US FTC Shuts Down Canadian SEO and Domain Name Schemes

What is 1646153 Ontario?  Many internet users thought that this Toronto-based company provided domain registering, as well as search engine optimisation services. And why would they think this? Because 1646153 Ontario told them this was so, and even sent them invoices for service rendered.

Many, believing that their internet service may be interrupted if they did not pay, came up with the cash. Recently, a federal court judge in the United States found that the defendants were liable for misrepresenting their services.

US District Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr., of Illinois, issued his decision that the company, as well as four of its employees, had extorted money from consumers by misleading them and misrepresenting their services. 1646153 Ontario sent consumers unsolicited mail which implied an existing business relationship. They claimed to have performed a number of services, including SEO. These letters indicated that if the consumer did not pay for these services, they would lose their domain names. By 2008, when the FTC brought charges against the Canadian company, they had managed to bilk consumers of almost $4.3 million, or over £2.7 million.

Judge Dow’s order bars the company from claiming that they provide SEO and/or domain name registration, that they have existing relationships with consumers, that the consumers owe them money for these services. While Judge Dow found the company responsible for the entire sum, the defendants were unable to pay. The settlement figure is, instead, only $10,000.

The company falsely claimed to be able to drive “massive” amounts of traffic to these sites; not surprisingly, they did not see results. Reputable SEO, on the other hand, is undertaken with a site owner’s consent and cooperation.

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