Adam Winter and Thomas DiCicco: Lying Asshats of the Day


Today’s asshats of the day are Adam Winter and Thomas A. DiCicco, Jr. of “Web Guardian” (I don’t know if it’s this WebGuardian, but it’s probably just a boiler room in Boca Raton).

The first time Adam called he gave his full name (“Adam Winter”, possibly a pseudonym; if I were working in a sleazy boiler room in Boca I sure as hell wouldn’t give my real name) and said that he was with “My Search Enterprise” and was calling regarding Google. He called from 561-237-3018 and left the number 561-305-2861.

The second time he called from 561-237-3019 and left the number 561-237-3018. This time he claimed to be “Adam w/ Google” and claimed to be calling regarding “fraud on the internet”, an interesting claim, considering that his claimed affiliation with Google was itself fraudulent. Like Kevin McHenry and Terry Fifer of R.W. Lynch, these people have no compunction against lying to try to get a call back.

Well, I called back to see how Adam Winter justified lying to my answering service. I reached Thomas DiCicco, who admitted that he was Adam’s boss at “Web Guardian” (boiler-room theory confirmed: different business names and phone numbers, but same guy) but unhesitatingly denied that Adam had claimed to be with Google. Like the folks at R.W. Lynch, they’ll deny to their last dying breath that they lie to get people to call them back. (Here’s a riddle, Tom: you didn’t know who I was; how could you have known that Adam hadn’t claimed to be with Google when he left a message for me?)

I’ve been getting this sort of call fairly regularly. When they reach me, the claim becomes “I’m so-and-so, and I work with Google and Yahoo.” Plausible deniability, right? “I never said I worked for Google and Yahoo!” Well, I work with Google and Yahoo too, so STFU and don’t call me any more. (Actually, no need: now that I have added Google Voice to my phone flow, I can blacklist your numbers myself.)

Here’s the real problem for lawyers: outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics, as New York personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz concisely puts it. I don’t know what sort of snake oil Adam Winter and Thomas A. DiCicco, Jr. are selling, but it doesn’t matter. Guys who think it’s okay to lie to the receptionist think it’s okay to lie you and your clients.

If, after they’ve lied to your staff, you call them and they lie to you, blame nobody but yourself.

And if you give them money and they lie to your clients? Well, that’s on you too. I guarantee that Adam and Thomas are not gonna come stand up for you in the grievance proceeding. Because that’s the way asshats roll.

[Update: This post was good in 2007, too, when Turkewitz wrote it.]

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0 responses to “Adam Winter and Thomas DiCicco: Lying Asshats of the Day”

  1. Heh. I had a recent call from a guy who sounded like an extra from a mob movie who wanted me to join a website that gave legal advice to union members. I’ll have to write it up.

  2. We’ve had a guy calling lately who tries to trick the front of office staff into believing he’s looking for legal advice just to get us to put him through to an attorney. He won’t leave a message OR a phone number (line says private), but he will say he’s looking at our website and has some questions about it. I take that to mean, “I want to try to trick someone into paying me to redo your website and then abscond with the money.” Asshat.

  3. It’s amazing how many times I get that line about “I work with Google.” I generally just hand up on them, but I really ought to stick it out and get names more often. It makes for good blog posts.

  4. The newest one, at least for me, is “calling about a criminal case.” I take the call and immediately get the “I represent people looking to refer criminal cases.” I interrupt and mostly we begin talking over each other for about 9 seconds until I hang up. Then the kid probably wipes the mustard off his shirt from his subway sub littering his keyboard.

  5. I visited webguardian.com for ha-ha’s.

    In the paragraph headlined Application, the third sentence says
    “call our representatives at (insert phone number here)”

    Proof that this is a reputable company! This must be a vanity number…dial 1-866-insertyournumber here.

    Or something.

  6. Mark,

    I am soo jealous!!! I have been waiting for Google voice and have to “wait”!?! Your going to have to let me know if its all it was supposed be cracked up to be, or more?!? Argh!!! The suspense is killing me!!!

    Cuando tiense un momento para picar te la mente, tengo una idea para una defensa que quireo ver lo que pensas!!! But brother, not before noon!!! >:o)

  7. Darn, I was hoping that Kunz & Coventry would win. Please consider those two jerks in the future.

  8. I just got a call from this guy and he said he was with the fraud division of google and had noticed some odd clicks on our website. I am a paralegal for an attorney that has a website. I should have gone on with the call to find out what the guy was “selling” even though he said he was with the fraud division. Before he even got to the spiel I told him I didn’t care if someone in China was clicking our ad because we don’t pay anyone per click. He apologized and hung up. I know that if my boss had answered the phone, he would have been lured into this. I am a little smarter than him in this aspect.

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