Is This a Scam?

31 Mar

Before I jump into this, let me just make one thing clear: Anyone who tries to take advantage of me is going to see a side of me they’ve never once expected.  I may look all young and innocent on the outside, but that doesn’t mean I’m stupid.  Nothing pisses me off more than coming across another human being who thinks I’ll just roll over and play dead for them because they think it’s fun, or just buy their Kool-Aid because they think they’re clever and can work me.  Nothing.  When that kind of stuff happens, something inside of me just snaps.  (Funnily enough, my protagonist shares the same trait.)

Now, with that said,  I am going to take a deep breath *inhales* and go about this rationally because it’s very possible I am overreacting here.

*exhales* Who Are These People?

I recently got an email from someone with this organization, claiming one of their clients would like to pay me for an article I wrote on my blog, in exchange for posting a link of theirs on my site.  They don’t say which article, who the client is and ask that you email them to see examples of their content.

Am I missing something?

Ooo, money… Shiny!

Okay, I have to admit: At first I was really excited.  Someone wants to pay me for blogging?  That sounds great!  Right?

…and then the flip-side implications start to roll around.  “Wait a minute…something doesn’t seem right, here.”

…and then I start to feel gullible and naive.  “What is this, some kind of joke?”

…and then I’m suddenly pissed “Who the heck do these people think they are?”

I kid you not: This was my thought process, and it all took place within the span of a few seconds.

I’m Not the Only One

I know I’m not the only one who’s been approached by these folks.  I just read about another blogger who’s talked about this in a recent post.  Still, there doesn’t seem to be a conclusive answer about the organization.  Some folks say they got paid; others just don’t know who they are.

What To Do?

It’s quite possible these people are so new that they don’t have a respectable list of clients to showcase in their portfolio yet, but they don’t even list a phone number or alternative method for contacting them besides email.

I don’t know.  My mom says I should call the Better Business Bureau and see if they’ve ever heard of them, which is probably a good idea.  (She always has practical advice like this, heh.  Stuff I’d never think to do.)  Still, I’m curious to know if anyone else has come across these folks.  Most importantly, I want to know if it’s a scam.

In any case, I’m not sure I like the idea of someone paying me to host their content on my site.  I don’t plan on responding to the email, but I am still curious about their legitimacy.


19 Responses to “Is This a Scam?”

  1. Mark Andrew Edwards March 31, 2011 at 11:56 AM #

    They don’t seem to be on the up and up, from the little reading I did on Google.

    Anytime something feels too good to be true, it IS too good to be true.

    If you stil want to go ahead with them, send them some emails, talk to someone on the phone and keep checking up on them.


    • Tiyana March 31, 2011 at 10:38 PM #

      Nah, that’s okay. I’ve kicked myself too many times for not listening to my first instinct… It’s not even worth it.


  2. Jay Noel March 31, 2011 at 3:37 PM #

    I think they just turn your blog into a little SEO site, essentially transforming your beautiful little corner of the blogosphere into a billboard.


    • Tiyana March 31, 2011 at 10:39 PM #

      Aw…we can’t let that happen, now can we?


  3. J. P. Cabit April 1, 2011 at 8:39 AM #

    What plagues my blog is comments that are overly flattering, and written in obscenely bad English!!!

    “Friend, such a nice blogs you have here! You definitly know what u r talking about. I have never read a blog that had so much authority in what he was saying before now! I will be bookmarking this, site, thanks!”

    Really? They honestly expect me to follow through their link…which happens to be http://www.freecasinos.CON!!! or the like? 😀 I usually tend to laugh it off.


  4. Tiyana April 1, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

    Haha. I haven’t gotten those kind of comments before. I think, in that case, laughter would be appropriate.

    Sometimes I get worked up about certain things, as trivial as they may be, and it seems to come out of nowhere. Ah, well, it’s over now. I got my hissy fit-fix, heh.

    Thanks for visiting, J.P.! I hope to see more of you.


  5. Stephen A. Watkins April 1, 2011 at 9:57 AM #

    Yeah, I think it depends on your definition of a con. I think the above analysis is right: it’s an attempt to drive traffic through SEO techniques. Which means it’s not your content their interested – not the words you’ve written – but your online presence. (They don’t even care about whether your readers click the links; only that google spiders crawl it.) In that sense, I’d call it a con, but others may call it legit.

    And J.P.: my Spam Filter catches those all the time. I don’t even bother reading them.


    • J. P. Cabit April 1, 2011 at 11:32 AM #

      Well, at least it’s a hint that you’ve got a good web-presence?

      Akismet is very faithful in catching the flatterers/pirates. And as an aside, I screenshot the particularly funny spams and keep them in a folder on my computer. It’s entertaining to say the least! 🙂 Maybe someday I’ll post some…


      • Tiyana April 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM #

        Haha, you should.


      • Stephen A. Watkins April 1, 2011 at 12:45 PM #

        Amusing. You really screenshot them, huh?

        That’s safer than keeping the actual messages. (Who knows but that those links won’t explode like a time bomb.)


        • J. P. Cabit April 1, 2011 at 1:14 PM #

          My “SPAM LOL” file has about thirteen clippings, ranging from “wow! I should re-look at screen toaster!” to “comment from“. 😀

          Links that explode…you know, that happened to me just the other week. It’s quite a frequent phenomenon.


  6. E.J. Apostrophe April 1, 2011 at 6:54 PM #

    Sigh…okay, you busted me…I’ll take the site down. Kidding! LOL


  7. Austin James April 1, 2011 at 11:36 PM #

    I got a lot of weird emails like this… Yeah, I don’t really know what to say to them… I’m pretty sure most of them are scams or proposals that won’t make any money… but I still read them just in case. I know there’s the website Preditors and Editors, but I’ve never felt motivated enough to look them up.


    • Tiyana April 2, 2011 at 11:13 AM #

      Too bad they don’t have a search engine or anything like that on Preditors & Editors ’cause honestly, I’m not that motivated, either, lol.

      But watch, will become a big hit out of nowhere, and then I look like a fool! 😛


  8. Ener Hax April 6, 2011 at 5:49 AM #

    lol, i received this too! and i am a fake person writing about virtual worlds

    i think i’ll wait to see how my money from Uganda is coming along first! =D


    • Tiyana April 6, 2011 at 11:59 AM #

      Lol. Thanks for stopping by, Ener.


  9. Aisha April 6, 2011 at 8:50 AM #

    I just got this too! I found you via googling for the very same information. Seriously- annoying!!!


    • Tiyana April 6, 2011 at 12:02 PM #

      More folks, huh? I guess I was just more caught off-guard by it than anything else. Still not sure what to make of it…


  10. sharppencilstudio August 25, 2011 at 5:48 PM #

    I got the same email and wondering if I should bother to reply to continue this conversation at all. The weird thing is my website ( went live about a month ago, how did they even find it?!
    Thanks for sharing this, smells like spam.


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