When Diane and I formed Bickers & Bickers in 1999, we had a website under the name of bickerslaw.com. When we closed the office and retired, I shut down the website in late 2015 rather than pay the annual fees to keep and maintain the domain name or to pay for a server to host the website. I never dreamed what would happen next.
Apparently, another company bought the rights to the name "bickerslaw.com" and set up their own website using our old name early in 2016. Their server is in Canada, but the company is an attorney referral service in Texas. Why would a Texas company hijack our old website? Obviously to sweep up any potential clients who might come looking for us. Of course, they are wasting their money, as almost all of our legal practice was concentrated in the Western Pennsylvania area and it is highly unlikely that anyone who might be looking for us for legal services would need or want a Texas attorney. While there appears to be at least one attorney in Texas named Bickers, he won't benefit unless he is affiliated with this referral company. Still, I find it all a little irksome.
If that wasn't bad enough, someone put up a false Facebook page a few years ago called Bickers & Bickers, Divorce Attorneys at Law, which was supposedly located in Iowa. The page lists our old phone number, our old website and our current e-mail address. Try as I might, I cannot get Facebook to take the page down. The next best thing was to post a review on it pointing out that this was a fake Facebook page and that it should be ignored. I do have a real Bickers & Bickers Facebook page that refers to the closing of our office. UPDATE: I was finally granted access to the fake Facebook page on November 10, 2016 and was able to delete it.
Exercise caution. The Internet is not a safe swimming pool, but a vast ocean. And there are sharks out there.