Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Scam Alert # 9,014

Have you ever received an email or comment asking you about advertising on your blog?
I have.
The offer below is obviously bullshit, and quite possibly it's nefarious bullshit as well. I'll explain in italics below. This is a cut and paste of an email:


Hello,

We have reviewed your blogger.com blog on behalf of one of our
clients that would be interested in placing advertising with you.

Who would want their business venture linked to my blog?

Client profile :
DoingFine "http://doingfine.org/"
New projectTheme A forum dedicated to those things that came out right
and worked out fine.

When I read this I laughed so hard that I fell off my unicorn, bounced off of a pot of gold and landed in a field of rainbows and four-leaf clovers. Then I married the princess and lived happily ever after.



We'd like either a 150x150 button, 160x600 skyscraper or 468x60 full
banner (or footer). Alternatively, we may be interested in text-only
advertising.
This would be a weekly, monthly or yearly arrangement. In either case
we will require a one time, one day (24 hours) free placement in order
to test the quality and quantity of traffic your website can actually
provide*. Within this interval, we will make a final determination,
based on the traffic volume, quality, and your asking price. Should
we find your terms acceptable, this trial day will count towards the
agreed interval.


I only see two possibilities here:

1) The offer is "on-the-level", but the revenue is minuscule or less. A quick perusal of the site shows that it's only income stream is that which comes from Google ads. This is an offer to get paid a proportionate fraction of that revenue. Woo. Hoo.
If you have ever dabbled in Adsense, you know what I mean. If you haven't, don't.


2) The ad contains harmful code such as spyware, Trojans or viruses. You might lose your URL to hijackers and/or turn your reader's PCs into 'zombies'.

Kindly let us know if you would be interested, which arrangement best
suits your editorial needs, (my editor needs to point out this useless comma) and what rates you would like to charge.

(What rate I would like to charge? Golly, that sounds too good to be true!)
We prefer using PayPal but may be able to accomodate (sic) alternative
payment methods.

Thank you.

*Please note that we employ software that reliably detects autoclick
and autosurf bots, pay per click and paid to surf type traffic, and
other such non-human traffic. This may be a concern for you,
especially if you are buying "bulk traffic", or employing the
services of dubious "SEO experts".

Employing the services of a "dubious SEO expert?"
I am a "dubious SEO expert". Insulting me isn't going to encourage my participation in your venture.
I'm a dubious expert on everything, including job-searching, which brings us to our second alert. Hardly a day passes that I don't get email such as the example given below:

Dear Allan ,

We have an Executive Assistant we need to fill and the Administration experience you listed on your e-resume make you a great fit for the job. I'd like to invite you to take this opportunity to apply. Included is the basic outline of the opening.

They need to fill an Executive Assistant? Fill the Assistant with what? First, they need to hire a proofreader.
Grammatical and spelling errors are a good tip-off that you are dealing with spammers and hackers.

I hope that the unfilled Assistant looks something like this:

They go on to say that I am a good fit for the Executive Assistant that needs to be filled, but don't go into specifics. A real recruiter would make a specific reference to your resume: "Your experience as a widgeteer at Acme Co. caught my eye" etc.

Another clue is the company that is doing the purported hiring. It's always a good idea to research the company that is named. (If no name is given, it
is spam.)

William Morris Agency

In this case, the company named is hugely famous and it's very unlikely that they would pull my resume out of the e-clutter for any reason whatsoever. Let's google them and see what turns up.

Gosh. Would you look at that? Right at the ding-dong top of the WMA career page:
The William Morris Agency has received numerous inquiries about job postings that do not actually exist. Prior to providing any personal information to any recruiter, please verify that the job posting is valid by contacting the office at which you seek employment.

Really? Who would have guessed? Anyway, back to the original email:


If you're interested in applying for this job or learning more about it, please click on the link below...<more deletion>

The link is to a site called Fast Job Openings dot com and it exhibits classic tell-tale signs of information mining. They ask for personal info and try to get you to sign up for "higher-education" updates and opportunities. You are given a choice of replying:
-Yes! I'm really interested in enbettering myself! Sign me up! Here's my home phone number!

-No! Me be dumb like rock. You no sign me up.

It's a ploy. If you are smart, you'll take my advice and avoid Fast Job Openings dot com and it's myriad ilk.
Certain rules are timeless and apply to all situations. Can you think of one that might apply here?
See bold-faced red text (above) for a hint.

22 comments:

yellowdog granny said...

my daddy always saidd:'If it sound go good to be true...it usually is."....

more cowbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
more cowbell said...

I am a "dubious SEO expert". hahaha! Oh my. Let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy (and timely) National Grammar Day! I'm thinking they'd do well to hire you as an editor for their dubious operation.

Auld Hat said...

Congratulations! The CEO of our company enjoys reading your blogspot.com blog and would like to hire you to entertain her on a daily basis! Just send us a copy of your social security card, birth cirtificate and a blank check to get started with the opportunity of a lifetime!

(I'm pretending to be a troll today)

Allan said...

JS- He was right.

MC- Thank,you. Having a great grammer day for yourself too! When is syntax day?

Hat- "entertain her...daily basis", hmm...like a court jester?
I'm already a fool for you.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

P.T. Barnum was right.

citizen of the world said...

I am so taken with the word "embettering" I can hardly stand it. I must think of ways to work that into daily conversation.

angel said...

hell i love reading your posts like this one!

Allan said...

Whim- Rubes galore!

CW- I stole it from Dubya. He's a landmine of malapropisms.

A- Thanks! I love scam-diving.

Grish said...

I'm sure they mean no harm...By the way you just unknowingly bought me a new Ford Mustang...and I thank you..

billy pilgrim said...

sounds the test on mercury for getting a space ship out of the cavern.

how did the ad read when turned upside down?

McRaven said...

Hey Allen how about this amazing scar cream...you can smear it on your scar and just like that your skin is clear and smooth as a baby's ass. No...the scar game is better! I have this one going down my left leg...

Susannity said...

I think a company producing whalanol might want to advertise on your blog? =^P

When I read the fill the Executive Assistant part, my mind immediately jumped to sex too lol. Not sure what that says about us? What are you putting on your resume these days lol?

Allan said...

Grish! Good to 'see' ya again, buddy!
You couldn't even buy a Big Wheel with my bank account.

BP- What have you been reading?

I don't know. I fell down when I tried to stand on my head.

McR- I tried creams and goops, nothing worked...nowadays, I don't care. I like my scar, it's part of me and my world.
I'm working on embellishicating my scarification story... I'll be done by 2012 at the latest! Or perhaps we could start a scar meme? Be well.

Sus- Whalanol gets free ad space here!

Says we're human is all...I'm using a form of the one you did (thanks again, btw)- on some versions I have added my retail and restaurant mgt. exp. I never thought I'd be applying for that kinda work again, but times are tough. Worse than ever, seriously.

Susannity said...

I was on the eastern side of this continent a few weeks back. You all are definitely getting hit harder (jobs, real estate) than we are on the west coast. I'd also forgotten how much everyone smokes there (I think I noticed more since I quit). West coast is militant about smoking - lotta haters. I also noticed there's hardly any orientals where we were. My son and I kept getting looks of happiness when we did run across any, even in the airports in atlanta and florida - so happy to see one I think lol.

Allan said...

It's horrible here economically, worse than I've ever experienced, recession for sure, maybe worse to come...I don't know many smokers anymore. Most of them have either died or quit.
I'm glad to say that my city has a wide range of immigrant communities; it drives the blue-bloods crazy!

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Blogger said...

You can make $20 for completing a 20 minute survey!

Guess what? This is exactly what major companies are paying me for. They need to know what their average customer needs and wants. So large companies pay $1,000,000's of dollars per month to the average person. In return, the average person, like me and you, answers some questions and gives them their opinion.