Warning From Hostgator Because My Affiliates Are Sending Spam Emails...

27 replies
Hi! I have got an warning from HostGator because my sales page have been spamvertised. And whos fault is that? My AFFILIATES!


1. Email from hostgator (censored):

"Hello,

We have received complaints of the domain "**********.com" being spamvertised (Spamvertising - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Advertising your domain via spam is a violation of our Zero Tolerance Spam Policy as found in section three of our terms of service. As such, we are requesting an explanation for the attached email and will require a resolution to this matter within the next 48 hours. If you have any questions please let us know.


Payload URL chain:
http://***.ca/a4
>>
http://gma***.*********.click2sell.eu
>>
http://*************.com?hopc2s=gma*** [50.22.41.***]

Paylink:
https://www.click2sell.eu/************
"


The first thing I noticed was that the email was linked with one of my affiliates affiliate ID (gma***). This is the affiliate who have sendt this spam emails. I have banned him from promoting my products, but if I my salespage gets spamvertised again, HostGator will shut down my hosting account...


I responded with this email:

"Hi Hostgator! I do NOT seending spam emails. I'm selling a product true this domain (http://*********.com) and my payment processor goes tru Click2Sell(Click2Sell Affiliate Network - Innovative Affiliate Marketing Network)
I'm also running a affiliate program with this product on Click2Sell.eu. So the spam email MUST come from one of my affiliates, and not me, because I have NEVER sendt any emails that promotes "http://*********.com".

"http://gma***.*********.click2sell.eu
>>
http://***********.com?hopc2s=gma***"

These two links are affiliate "hop-link's", that means that the affiliate have created these links (in this case a affiliate with the username "gma***". The hop-links are for tracking, so the affiliate get their commission of a sale.

These emails have not been sent from any of my computers or any scrips on my webpage, but from an affiliates computer or webscript.

I hope you understand what I mean, and I also hope we can come to an resolution!
"


2. Email from HostGator:

"Hello,

It appears that you are doing something known as Spamvertising. What this means is that you are advertising your domain/website through unsolicited (spam) email. Spamvertised emails don't need to be sent through Hostgator in order to go against our Terms of Service on this issue. Since this is your first spamvertised complaint, this TOS ticket will serve as your warning, if we get another complaint about your account we will be forced to suspend the account.

Please make sure that you read our Terms of Service and Mail Policy on this issue:

Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and Dedicated Website Hosting w/ cPanel - HostGator
HostGator Mail Policy

If you have any more issues please don't hesitate to contact us.

If you are able, please provide me with a few seconds of your time and rate my response so I know how I am doing (good or bad) in working toward resolution of your issue.

Best regards,

****
Security Administrator
HostGator.com LLC
HostGator.com Support Portal
"....


Have anyone of you guys experince with the same problem?



Best regards,

Jimmy
#affiliates #emails #hostgator #sending #spam #warning
  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    Thats one of the big problems w/ HostGator AND open affiliate programs.
    -
    usman: The IP your website is on is more than likely blacklisted. Tell support and they will fix it or request to be on a clean IP.

    Garrie
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  • Profile picture of the author cashtree
    It might of helped to have spoken like an educated individual, instead of like a aol chat. I'm happy they didn't suspend you though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
      Originally Posted by cashtree View Post

      It might of helped to have spoken like an educated individual, instead of like a aol chat. I'm happy they didn't suspend you though.
      Since he is from Norway English is probably his second language. How good are you at speaking Norwegian?
      Signature

      Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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      • Profile picture of the author cashtree
        Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

        Since he is from Norway English is probably his second language. How good are you at speaking Norwegian?
        I wish I could say to you I was fluent in Norwegian just to blow your mind, but unfortunately I can't speak a lick. But You know who can? GOOGLE, most his typo issues are from laziness, not translation issues, he could of easily translated on google. And considering the severity of the email, I think they would of made more sense.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
          Originally Posted by cashtree View Post

          I wish I could say to you I was fluent in Norwegian just to blow your mind, but unfortunately I can't speak a lick. But You know who can? GOOGLE, most his typo issues are from laziness, not translation issues, he could of easily translated on google. And considering the severity of the email, I think they would of made more sense.
          He wasn't writing a sales page where mistakes might matter. I guarantee you hosting support personnel don't care about a typo.

          By the way, how often do you use translation software? I ask because it makes a lot of mistakes. It might have made even more mistakes than the OP.

          I do appreciate that you were honest enough to admit you don't speak Norwegian, so let me give you a friendly tip...if you pick on people's spelling, especially those for whom English is a second or third language, you're likely to run into someone who will correct your post. After all, you did make a few grammar mistakes in your post. I chose not to point them out.
          Signature

          Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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          • Profile picture of the author cashtree
            Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

            I do appreciate that you were honest enough to admit you don't speak Norwegian, so let me give you a friendly tip...if you pick on people's spelling, especially those for whom English is a second or third language, you're likely to run into someone who will correct your post. After all, you did make a few grammar mistakes in your post. I chose not to point them out.
            Correct away my friend, because what's you're failing to understand is
            1)this isn't an important conversation where you're threatening to shutdown my account over spam
            2)I wasn't "picking on his spelling" I was pointing out the fact his email response to me seemed really lazy, which suprised me considering how serious the subject was
            3)stop trying to make me the bad guy, I already said i'm happy he didn't get suspended, and I meant that, I don't wish that kind of stuff on anyone
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            • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
              Originally Posted by cashtree View Post

              Correct away my friend, because what's you're failing to understand is
              1)this isn't an important conversation where you're threatening to shutdown my account over spam
              2)I wasn't "picking on his spelling" I was pointing out the fact his email response to me seemed really lazy, which suprised me considering how serious the subject was
              3)stop trying to make me the bad guy, I already said i'm happy he didn't get suspended, and I meant that, I don't wish that kind of stuff on anyone
              Am I trying to make you be the bad guy? If anything, you're doing that to yourself. No, rather than that, I instead complimented your honesty and told you I appreciated it and offered you a friendly tip. If you think that's picking on you, well, sorry about that, I didn't know you were so sensitive.

              Perhaps you'll want to keep that in mind next time you want to pick on someone though. Calling him lazy and saying he sounds like he is uneducated is much harsher than what I said to you. How helpful were you being when you insulted him like that?
              Signature

              Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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              • Profile picture of the author cashtree
                Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                Am I trying to make you be the bad guy? If anything, you're doing that to yourself. No, rather than that, I instead complimented your honesty and told you I appreciated it and offered you a friendly tip. If you think that's picking on you, well, sorry about that, I didn't know you were so sensitive.

                Perhaps you'll want to keep that in mind next time you want to pick on someone though. Calling him lazy and saying he sounds like he is uneducated is much harsher than what I said to you. How helpful were you being when you insulted him like that?
                you're right, I apologize to him and yourself.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alan Ashwood
          Getting back on topic, and away from English language issues.

          This is the first time I've seen this sort of situation. From the point of view of taskemann, this must be very worrying too.

          It would appear that he's being admonished because of a disreputable affliate.

          I too would like to know haw this can be dealt with.

          Alan
          Signature
          Now where did I put that pencil?

          Time for a cuppa.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
            Originally Posted by taskemann View Post

            Hi! I have got an warning from HostGator because my sales page have been spamvertised. And whos fault is that? My AFFILIATES!

            No, that is your fault.

            You need to monitor who you take in as affiliates.
            Signature

            "May I have ten thousand marbles, please?"

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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Jill,
              You need to monitor who you take in as affiliates.
              Through Click2Sell. Do they offer the option of accepting/rejecting affiliates?


              Paul
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              Stop by Paul's Pub - my little hangout on Facebook.

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              • Profile picture of the author taskemann
                Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

                Jill,Through Click2Sell. Do they offer the option of accepting/rejecting affiliates?


                Paul

                Yes, they do. But if I have to accept the affiliate before they can begin to promote my products, how do I know that them WON'T send spam emails? I don't know them in real life as person's... :p
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                • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                  Banned
                  Originally Posted by taskemann View Post

                  Yes, they do. But if I have to accept the affiliate before they can begin to promote my products, how do I know that them WON'T send spam emails? I don't know them in real life as person's... :p
                  Have a very clear and strongly worded TOS on your affiliate page. Email your affiliates with a reminder of these TOS. It's your hosting that will disappear if the affiliates spam, so you are responsible for how they promote.

                  Spammers don't usually change. I would get rid of the spammer who caused this problem to begin with and send an email to the rest of the affiliates reminding them of the TOS ... maybe even telling them about having to ban an affiliate due to a Hostgator warning.
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                  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
                    I hate to do this, Suzanne, but you started it.

                    Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

                    Yes .. I would say that he is far more educated than you are. He speaks English well enough to be understood plus his native language.

                    You have several grammatical errors in your own native language. His problem with Hostgator is his affiliates spamming ads, not communication.

                    I think they would of made more sense
                    Corrected version: I think that would of made more sense

                    'Red Pen' version: I think that would have made more sense.
                    Man, that wombat bite is throbbing...
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                    • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
                      Banned
                      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

                      I hate to do this, Suzanne, but you started it.

                      Man, that wombat bite is throbbing...
                      lol ... you just had to do it and you're my favorite fisherman.
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                • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
                  Originally Posted by taskemann View Post

                  Yes, they do. But if I have to accept the affiliate before they can begin to promote my products, how do I know that them WON'T send spam emails? I don't know them in real life as person's... :p
                  Jimmy, you can't be expected to know a good affiliate from a bad one in that situation, just be sure to ban the spammers as quickly as you can.

                  You've gotten some good advice in this thread, for dealing with HG and for dealing with your affiliates. If you act on it, it should help. Good luck.

                  @cashtree - As they say, live and learn. Apology accepted, and good luck to you also.
                  Signature

                  Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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                  • Profile picture of the author taskemann
                    Originally Posted by Dennis Gaskill View Post

                    Jimmy, you can't be expected to know a good affiliate from a bad one in that situation, just be sure to ban the spammers as quickly as you can.

                    You've gotten some good advice in this thread, for dealing with HG and for dealing with your affiliates. If you act on it, it should help. Good luck.

                    @cashtree - As they say, live and learn. Apology accepted, and good luck to you also.
                    Yes Dennis, I have got many good advices on this thread! Thank you and all the others for the fantastic help and support.

                    Have a nice day/evening everyone!

                    Jimmy
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        • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
          Banned
          Originally Posted by cashtree View Post

          I wish I could say to you I was fluent in Norwegian just to blow your mind, but unfortunately I can't speak a lick. But You know who can? GOOGLE, most his typo issues are from laziness, not translation issues, he could of easily translated on google. And considering the severity of the email, I think they would of made more sense.
          Yes .. I would say that he is far more educated than you are. He speaks English well enough to be understood plus his native language.

          You have several grammatical errors in your own native language. His problem with Hostgator is his affiliates spamming ads, not communication.

          I think they would of made more sense
          Corrected version: I think that would of made more sense

          But You know who can? GOOGLE, most his typo issues are from laziness, not translation issues, he could of easily translated on google.
          Correct version: This is run on sentence and should be broken up to make sense, i.e., You know who can? Google can. Most of his typo issues are from laziness, not translation issues. He could have easily translated on Google.
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  • Hi! I have got an warning from HostGator because my sales page have been spamvertised. And whos fault is that? My AFFILIATES!

    Or perhaps your affiliate is actually a competitor.

    Overly suspicious? Maybe. But as Dr. Johnny Fever once said, "Sometimes paranoia is just good thinking."

    fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
    Just follow the money...
    Take note of the affiliate ID.
    Inform your affiliate network and ask them to ban that affiliate.
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  • Profile picture of the author globalpro
    Jimmy,

    If at all possible, I would call HG and follow up on this.

    I have been with HG a long time and have several domains that have been used for the purpose of spamming. Unless the spam emails are coming from your domain, it shouldn't be an issue. Just because it's an affiliate shouldn't matter, even though banning them is the best way to handle it.

    In other words, they should look to see where the spam emails are being sent from and verify they aren't coming from your domain. Like it was said above, how would they expect you handle this if it was a malicious competitor doing this?

    Thanks,

    John

    PS And I agree with the post above, grammar and spelling is not what this post was/is about.
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    I would tell Hostgator, what part of I didn't send out any email, don't you understand? Tell them to check the header to find out where it came from, because it didn't come from you and you know nothing about it.
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    Tim Pears

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by timpears View Post

      I would tell Hostgator, what part of I didn't send out any email, don't you understand? Tell them to check the header to find out where it came from, because it didn't come from you and you know nothing about it.
      Tim, do you actually use some of the belligerent tactics you advise others to take?

      I've served some time as a CSR, and I can tell you that 1) that kind of posturing isn't new and 2) it makes most CSRs dig in, shut off, and be as non-responsive (read 'unhelpful while not endangering their jobs') as possible.

      Sometimes diplomacy is the best course.

      @taskemann...

      One thing you left out of your response to HG was the fact that you have banned that affiliate. That would have demonstrated good faith, that you were taking positive corrective action.

      If you have the ability to communicate with your affiliates, this is a good time to let them know that you won't put up with any shenanigans.

      "Sad news, guys. I had to ban one of my affiliates today because he was spamming, and it was endangering our ability to make money by selling this product. I won't allow any affiliate to endanger that, so I will ban anyone caught doing unethical or illegal things. Now let's go make some money together the right way..."

      Or something like that...
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    be proactive. hostgator is a real business, they have tens of thousands of affiliates, ( i know the affiliate manager). they have rogue affiliates and affiliates who use spam to promote their site.

    they know what it looks like and they deal with it fairly well. so identify with them as a real business owner who was also taken advantage of by this rogue affiliate. Your business reputation was hurt by these spam tactics more than anyone else's.

    HG is not against you on this...YET. they seem to have handled it fairly well so far as i see it. they brought a problem to your attention that needed some addressing.

    calm down and address the problem, HG is not attacking you.

    if HG really felt it was you doing the spamming, your site would be offline already. they gave you a shot to deal with a problem, so i suggest you do so, and keep them informed.

    btw... if you do need further assistance with this issue, PM me. i have lots of contacts at HG.
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  • Profile picture of the author dechardia
    Ok how is it your fault its your affiliates fault? Host gator is the one offering the affiliate rights so its there responsibility. I hate when programs offer out affiliate status. But when you get someone in your down line that "acts a fool" you get blamed for it. Thats not fair And I would just start another way of income on the side so if it happens again you have a back up plan.
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    • Profile picture of the author globalpro
      ???

      If you read the post, you will see the affiliates are for a product he is selling from his site. The site is hosted on Host Gator.

      Originally Posted by dechardia View Post

      Ok how is it your fault its your affiliates fault? Host gator is the one offering the affiliate rights so its there responsibility. I hate when programs offer out affiliate status. But when you get someone in your down line that "acts a fool" you get blamed for it. Thats not fair And I would just start another way of income on the side so if it happens again you have a back up plan.
      Thanks,

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author ebusinesstutor
    Some good advice here. Another option is to upgrade to a dedicated server with Host Gator. Then you are a larger customer and the spam is not running the risk of blacklisting their shared servers.
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