Beneficiary of Fake DMCA:   

  • Phil Cannella – First Senior Financial Group

Contact Info:   

Possible Infringements:   

  • Perjury, Impersonation, Identity-theft, Misrepresentation

Submitted by:   

  • Life Hacker

Date of Submission:   

  • October 13, 2015


  • This technique of fake DMCA combined with bait-and-switch was prevalent since 2015 among the rogue Reputation Agencies. Here is how it worked –

    • Step 1- Select a legitimate article on a reputed website (in this case, an article at . Claim it as yours by impersonating the author.
    • Step 2- Find a dozen or more similar article/content on small blogs and irrelevant websites.
    • Step 3 – File a fake DMCA impersonating the author’s identity (in this case, Leonard Kolodny) , list the above small blog links as infringing upon your copyright, and slip in the target URL (in this case, so that it is camouflaged.
    • Step 4- Hopefully, there’s a good chance that Google staff will not spend time verifying each and every URL and remove all the URLs listed in a single sweep, along with the one you intended from the very beginning.

    The above method was overly abused until Google staff was alerted by us. Unfortunately, they could not take action against all such cases due to the deniability due to the number of URLs listed. However, Webactivism is brave enough to expose this scam and tell it as it is.

    Let us examine this case.

    The original content is from an article at which was published on June 12, 2015.  It was authored by ‘Alan Henry‘ who is the Editor-in-Chief at Lifehacker. So we instantly became curious as to why would Alan Henry be concerned with a few random websites (allegedly) publishing excerpts from his article, especially when Lifehacker has NEVER filed a single DMCA report at Google. So why now?

    In fact the only times allegedly seemed to have filed these DMCA reports is to take down complaint URLs for Phil Cannella –   So, we reached out to him.

    It turns out that he has NO IDEA about any DMCA report filed by, or on their behalf. It is clear that this is a fake DMCA fraud, and the sole beneficiaries is Phil Cannella and First Senior Financial Group.


Investment bankers, financial service guys, and firms have a lot to gain and lose from their reputation. One mistake can damage the reputation in the market beyond repair. Phil Cannella has had several bad reviews, and with the extent of his reputation management campaign, it looks like he has managed to fix most of his issues.

Some, like links, were too stubborn to be suppressed.

So he greenlit them !!

Interesting Links:

EDITOR’S COMMENT : For those who might ask – ‘why and how do we interject that ‘Phil Cannella – First Senior Financial Group’ has something to do with this fake DMCA. Couldn’t it be a coincidence ?’, we will say this – When someone goes and creates a whole new fake news site, falsifies his/her identity and submits fake DMCA to try and de-list some very targeted content on Google, it signals intent and a plan. It is obvious that ‘Phil Cannella – First Senior Financial Group’ or someone they hired was directly involved in this crime. Phil Cannella – First Senior Financial Group also cannot plead ignorance in this matter, since this notice on Google search is hard to miss, really.

We are awaiting more information from and regarding the identity of the person who filed the DMCA. We’ll update this page once we have more information. If you have any information to add to this investigation, get in touch with us at [email protected]

Leave a Reply