Scam or opportunity??? Website owners - see this email

22 replies
I have received the following email today and I am sharing this to warn you warriors (or maybe I am wrong?):

"Hi, I'm affiliated with a company for whom I'm looking to purchase advertising from quality websites. I've had a look at your site at [ my domain name] and think that it would be a good match for our client, whose target demographic is similar to your own.
We would be interested in purchasing advertising in the form of a text-based link on your site. To reduce unnecessary administrative costs we prefer to pay a fixed annual upfront fee for such advertisements.
Once the ad has been placed, payment can be made quickly by PayPal or check. Please let me know if the above is of any interest to you. Thanks in advance.

Best, John "

At first it looked like a good offer, an annual fee for a text link - what would be easier than this.
BUT - then I read it again and it hit me...
This is a great way to create powerful backlinks. "Once the ad has been placed, payment can be made" means you place a text link in your site, they stall the payment for a week or so and in the meantime the site were crawled and the backlink counted.
I can assume that after a while you either remove it or get an answer such as "Sorry, your site doesn't fit our expectations, please cancel" in any case the link has been made....
furthermore the domain the email came from leads to a simple website with a "mailto:" contact only.

This is what I call a creative scam...





#email #email scam #link exchange #opportunity #owners #scam #website
  • Profile picture of the author Keyword Prodigy
    I had that email a few months ago. I decided not to reply.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonboom
    I don't know, man. I'm thinking they may want to pay you for the backlink. Why does it have to be a scam? And the backlink would just disappear if they didn't pay, so what long term good would that do them?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ido Jansen
      Originally Posted by jasonboom View Post

      I don't know, man. I'm thinking they may want to pay you for the backlink. Why does it have to be a scam? And the backlink would just disappear if they didn't pay, so what long term good would that do them?
      This is why I think it is a fraud:

      * Website is a pure cover, no phone number or an address
      * Offer an annual fee without even asking for my price...maybe because they are simply not intending to pay
      * First put the link then we will discuss payments...
      * domain name inside the email looks like it inserted automatically using some database
      * I don't believe in "too good to be true" offers
      Signature
      Ido Jansen
      Author of the "Practical Internet Money guide"[B]
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      • Profile picture of the author jasonboom
        Originally Posted by Ido Jansen View Post

        This is why I think it is a fraud:

        * Website is a pure cover, no phone number or an address
        * Offer an annual fee without even asking for my price...maybe because they are simply not intending to pay
        * First put the link then we will discuss payments...
        * domain name inside the email looks like it inserted automatically using some database
        * I don't believe in "too good to be true" offers
        Fair enough. And the outpouring of similar emails from other site owners means it likely is one.
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    • Profile picture of the author leclaims
      I had this same email come through about a month ago. I told them I could sell them an ad spot on my website for $150 per month. I haven't heard from them since.
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    • Profile picture of the author CesarGalano
      The world is so small...

      I received the exact email!!!

      Hmm... I think I won't reply.
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      • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
        I got a similar email a couple of months back, negotiated a price for a year, placed the link and got a nice fat payment into my paypal account. The whole process took less than 2 hours from me opening the first email to the money going into my account. The agent thanked me for my speed and asked for a list of my niche sites.

        Within days the agent offered me a payment to place a text link on one of my other sites and since then has been back several times. The companies who he is acting for are international companies who I might place an affiliate link for anyway. Initially the domain the emails came from didn't have a built website, but now it has.

        Am I getting these windfalls so easily because so many believe that anybody offering you money in an email is a scamster?

        Instead of being so suspicious and running to this forum to warn others wouldn't it be better if you checked it out in a businesslike manner first. All you have to lose is a few minutes of your time, if the agent doesn't pay you remove the link then warn others.

        Surely it would be easier for them to get a backlinks from blog or forum commenting than starting a dialogue with somebody just to scam them out of a backlink for a week. It's right to be cautious but not everything is a scam.
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        • Profile picture of the author cashcow
          Originally Posted by PatriciaJ View Post

          I got a similar email a couple of months back, negotiated a price for a year, placed the link and got a nice fat payment into my paypal account. The whole process took less than 2 hours from me opening the first email to the money going into my account. The agent thanked me for my speed and asked for a list of my niche sites.

          Within days the agent offered me a payment to place a text link on one of my other sites and since then has been back several times. The companies who he is acting for are international companies who I might place an affiliate link for anyway. Initially the domain the emails came from didn't have a built website, but now it has.

          Am I getting these windfalls so easily because so many believe that anybody offering you money in an email is a scamster?

          Instead of being so suspicious and running to this forum to warn others wouldn't it be better if you checked it out in a businesslike manner first. All you have to lose is a few minutes of your time, if the agent doesn't pay you remove the link then warn others.

          Surely it would be easier for them to get a backlinks from blog or forum commenting than starting a dialogue with somebody just to scam them out of a backlink for a week. It's right to be cautious but not everything is a scam.
          Me too! And not only that, but they placed ads on several of my other properties too.

          I actually get emails quite frequently for people to place links on my sites and it earns me a nice little income every month.

          Some of them I even do with a paypal subscription so I don't have to remember to collect more money from them next year, but some of the companies I work with don't do subscriptions which is a little more work but I always like to open up my calendar and see that I can request a big fat check from someone who wants to keep their links.

          Lee
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          Gone Fishing
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  • Profile picture of the author David Allen
    As with Patricia, I had a similar email asking to place a link and negotiated a good price that was paid via PayPal.

    The site they wanted me to link to, I was already linking to as a good resource. I pointed this out to the agent but they were more than happy to pay good money for me to link to a certain page with a certain anchor text.

    Just had the first renewal on that site, along with 2 other sites they wanted!!

    Not always a scam, common sense prevails as usual.

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author MadameBusiness
    Although, I think that this may be different. There are no contact details, and others who have received the email and actioned have no reply.
    Good for you Patricia and David - hopefully we can all get some easy success like that for Christmas.
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    Clare

    Business Academy Online - IM Education and Online Marketing Project Management - Easy
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  • Profile picture of the author Ido Jansen
    UPDATE:
    I took Patricia and David's advise and wrote back a very positive email...
    Let's see if I get any answer and can close a deal here.
    Will update!
    Signature
    Ido Jansen
    Author of the "Practical Internet Money guide"[B]
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    • Profile picture of the author A Bary
      What you are worried about?

      The worst scenario...

      You place the link..they don't pay you..you remove the link..

      No harm on your side, actually, their site is the one that will be hurt, because links that are added and removed quickly is a very bad practice for big G.

      Your site won't be affected...but you have to check first that the site isn't a bad neighbor...simply check in Google using site:www.theirdomain.com, if it appears and it is indexed by Google in a healthy manner..then go on...you won't lose anything...

      If it's not indexed..stay away from it.

      A. Bary
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    • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
      Originally Posted by Ido Jansen View Post

      UPDATE:
      I took Patricia and David's advise and wrote back a very positive email...
      Let's see if I get any answer and can close a deal here.
      Will update!
      I'll be waiting for your update. Its nice to hear success stories from so-called spam emails.
      If a spam email will be truly paying then I might want to receive one myself.:p

      Andrea
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by Ido Jansen View Post

      UPDATE:
      I took Patricia and David's advise and wrote back a very positive email...
      Let's see if I get any answer and can close a deal here.
      Will update!
      I hope it works out for you. I asked for a bit more than was being initially offered and will up my price if they want to advertise again next year. I made them nofollow links to comply with Googles rules. After several transactions and trust had been built I got paid upfront.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Ido Jansen View Post

    This is what I call a creative scam...
    It is, indeed: it has considerable potential benefit to the scammer; the potential downside to the "victim" is so small as to have a very low risk of adverse consequences; and now it's been discussed in the famously incisive and perceptive Warrior Forum where half the people posting didn't even think it was a scam at all: you can't get much more "creative" than that.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeCollins
        Why a scam? Maybe it's just a text link broker looking to legitimately buy a link on your site. These types of deals can be very lucrative if you work them right.

        As far as placing the link before getting payment, that is not unheard of. You negotiate a price first, place the link, and get paid.

        Could it be a scam? I guess. In all likelihood he's throwing out a line trying to get a link for pennies on the dollar, but I wouldn't call that a scam. You'll never know unless you respond back.
        Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author joshuagan80
    I had this type of email too and I ignored.
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  • Profile picture of the author tribros
    It's a legitimate offer but only thing that is not legitimate is they use some kind of software to bulk contact lots of webmasters at the same time.

    Also, the similar example offer is "SEO services". That comes in my mail almost every week.
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    >> ** Discover 1,000's of Unique and Quality PLR Articles, PLR Ebooks, Softwares, Audios, Videos and other Private Label Rights products... Choose from 1,000's of Topics and Categories... Get Instant Access!! Make a Quick PLR Search...** <<
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  • Profile picture of the author Ido Jansen
    Second Update:
    Ok, I have sent a positive answer and to my surprise...
    I got a real offer - 100$ for a small text ad in the sidebar of my blog.
    Nice, isn't it?
    But,
    I have search the web for the target website ,it is some kind of a loan company. apparently, they use nasty methods in order to collect the money owed.
    I have decided to keep my blog's good reputation and not sell it for 100$,
    I will not put such a link on my site.

    And, yes, their site is indexed in Google.
    It looks professional, but I assume they are being banned from PPC networks therefore using private sites. (assumption only)

    Guys, I might be wrong but I have decided to keep my
    conscience clean and it worth more than 100$...

    P.S, after my polite refusal I got an email saying:
    "
    No worries. Let me know if you decide to change your mind.
    Take care,
    John"



    Signature
    Ido Jansen
    Author of the "Practical Internet Money guide"[B]
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    • Profile picture of the author PatriciaJ
      Originally Posted by Ido Jansen View Post

      Second Update:
      Ok, I have sent a positive answer and to my surprise...
      I got a real offer - 100$ for a small text ad in the sidebar of my blog.
      Nice, isn't it?
      But,
      I have search the web for the target website ,it is some kind of a loan company. apparently, they use nasty methods in order to collect the money owed.
      I have decided to keep my blog's good reputation and not sell it for 100$,
      I will not put such a link on my site.

      And, yes, their site is indexed in Google.
      It looks professional, but I assume they are being banned from PPC networks therefore using private sites. (assumption only)

      Guys, I might be wrong but I have decided to keep my
      conscience clean and it worth more than 100$...

      P.S, after my polite refusal I got an email saying:
      "
      No worries. Let me know if you decide to change your mind.
      Take care,
      John"



      I wouldn't have wanted to link to a loan company either. At least now you have established that there are bona fide offers coming in by email and maybe next time you will get asked to link to companies that you feel more comfortable with.
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