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How to avoid becoming a victim of email phishing scams.

Phishing-red

Avoiding becoming a victim of email phishing scams involves being vigilant and following some best practices to recognize and respond to phishing attempts.

Phishing is a cybercrime technique in which unsuspecting individuals are contacted via email, telephone or text message by someone posing as a legitimate business or reputable person.  The emails try to lure people into providing sensitive data such as personal information, banking and credit card details, or passwords.  

Here's how you can avoid falling for email phishing scams:

Verify the Sender

Check the sender's email address. Be cautious if the sender's address looks suspicious, contains misspelled words, or is from an unfamiliar domain. Be particularly vigilant of email addresses that impersonate trusted organizations or people – if you look closely there is usually a slight misspelling of the email address.

Never Trust Unsolicited Requests

Be skeptical of unexpected emails asking for personal or financial information. Legitimate organizations typically will never ask for such information via email. Verify the legitimacy of the request independently, preferably through official channels like the company's website or customer service.

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Domain Name Services Scam

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If you received a letter from Domain Name Services, Do not pay! It’s a scam.! Throw it in the trash. 

This is a scam company (util.com) that sends what at first glance looks like a bill.  The letter says your domain is about to expire and you can take advantage of their “best savings” to renew it.  This company will try to get you to transfer your domain to them so they can charge over 3 times the usual cost, and probably hold your domain name hostage.

If you have registered your own domain through a company like GoDaddy, they will be the ones to contact you when it’s time to renew.

Unfortunately, domain name registration and renewal scams are very common. I get a couple of emails every month from clients asking what they should do with a letter/bill they’re received.

If you read the letter you’ll notice that it actually says “This is not a bill” but obviously there are enough people who fall for this because they send these notifications out quite regularly.

If you get one of these letters, and you are not sure if it’s a scam:

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Salespeople for Large Marketing Agencies

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There are some larger marketing companies who occasionally contact my clients.

One company in particular from California spends quite a lot of money. They drop off toolboxes full of cookies, Yeti Tumblers, and even boxes containing a LCD Video Brochure (a video screen that played a commercial). According to this company, all they want is “15 minutes of the business owners time”.

Companies like this use aggressive salespeople who are only trying to make their commission. They promise the world, and sometimes they want to take over your website and then hold you hostage. You will get billed $600 to $800 per month for SEO services (more if they talk you into PPC) with a contract that is almost impossible to get out of.

They will say they have over 400 employees (the majority of them are salespeople), but they may outsource most of their web development and SEO to India. This is why your “customer service rep” will never be able to answer questions or get any work finished in a timely manner.

They do have lots of reports with pretty graphics that make little sense.

One of these salespeople who contacted a client had to brag in an email about her mad skills:

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Why do I get so many spam SEO emails?

SEO-Blog-23

If you have a website, then you probably receive spam SEO emails on a regular basis by scammers trying to make a quick buck, or worse yet doing something malicious.

Naturally, when I receive a spam email it’s mild annoyance and I just delete it. But occasionally, a newer client will forward a spam email that claims their website isn’t as good as it should be. And sometimes even ask “is this something I should be worried about” I can’t blame the client if they want to know what’s going on, after all – it’s their business and their livelihood and anyone would be concerned if they kept getting emails saying their website could do better.

You’ve probably received emails like these:

“I found your details on Google.com and I have looked at your website and realized your website has great design but your website ranking is not good on all search engines Google, AOL, Yahoo and Bing.

Do you want more targeted visitors on your website? We can place your website on Google’s 1st Page. Yahoo, AOL, Bing. Etc. “

Or…

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India based Web Design Company Spam emails

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There are web development companies all over the world – legitimate web design companies!

A lot of spam emails claim they are part of a large group of professionals from India and they want to design your next website. Sometimes these are start-ups or inexperienced tennagers, but sometimes these are malicious emails just trying to get your information and take your money.

You’ve probably seem an email like this:

Hello,

I sincerely hope you are doing well.

We are India based Web Design company with primary focus on SEO based Website Design & Development (PHP development).

We have a dedicated team of 150 professional designers, developers and SEO specialists; especially for Graphic/Flash/3D designing.

We can assure you of getting quality works. Most firms overseas have achieved a significant amount of savings by outsourcing either part of, or their entire work to us in India.

We would like you to give us an opportunity to work with your company and AMAZE you with our service.
Please let us know in case you are interested.

Kind Regards,

Damita

They always use an outlook email or Google email address (Free email accounts). Never a full name, phone number, company name, address, or website.

Some spammers will crawl the web to collect email addresses so they can sell them to other spammers. An email address once posted on the web is likely to be spammed forever, even if was removed from the web.

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Serial Pest Eric Jones and Talk With Web Visitor

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Lately a lot of us are getting bombarded with unsolicited and poorly written emails from Eric Jones. 

They usually come through a website contact form, and even adding Google reCAPTCHA to the form doesn’t seem to help. Every email is sent from a different IP addresses, so we can’t block the IP. 

A typical email looks like this:

First name: Eric
Last name: Jones
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 555-555-1212

Share your experience or ask a question: Hi, my name is Eric and I’m betting you’d like your website to generate more leads.

Here’s how:

Talk With Web Visitor is a software widget that’s works on your site, ready to capture any visitor’s Name, Email address and Phone Number.  It signals you as soon as they say they’re interested – so that you can talk to that lead while they’re still there at americasrepairforce.com.

Talk With Web Visitor – CLICK HERE http:// talkwith webtraffic.com for a live demo now.

And now that you’ve got their phone number, our new SMS Text With Lead feature enables you to start a text (SMS) conversation – answer questions, provide more info, and close a deal that way.

If they don’t take you up on your offer then, just follow up with text messages for new offers, content links, even just “how you doing?” notes to build a relationship.

CLICK HERE to discover what Talk With Web Visitor can do for your business.

The difference between contacting someone within 5 minutes versus a half-hour means you could be converting up to 100X more leads today!

Try Talk With Web Visitor and get more leads now.

Obviously, that alias “Eric Jones” is fake. So who is hiding behind this mass spam campaign?

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Watch Out For Fake Emails From A “Professional Photographer” Claiming Copyright Infringement And Threatening Court Action!

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In the past few days I’ve had clients forward phishing scam emails to me that claim they have copyrighted images on their websites.

The emails come through website contact forms and ask you to click on a link to view a document which shows which images have been used without permission.

Remember – never click on links in any email sent from someone you do not know. If these links are clicked on they will download viruses, malware, etc. to your computer. Then the hacker may be able to hold your device hostage and demand some kind of payment, obtain access to your computer and compromise accounts like email and banking, or Inject viruses that infect your computer and use it to launch attacks against others.

The emails come from emails like Melgallery654@gmail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. etc. with names like Mel Johnson, Mel Stone, Meleeora, Mellie, Melina, Melissa or even Melibella.

They claim to be a qualified photographer, licensed illustrator, certified illustrator, professional photographer, licensed photographer or illustrator etc…

Here is one of the emails:

This is Meleeora and I am a professional photographer.

I was puzzled, putting it lightly, when I came across my images at your website. If you use a copyrighted image without an owner's license, you must be aware that you could be sued by the copyright owner.

It's against the law to use stolen images and it's so wicked!

Here is this document with the links to my images you used at [Clients website] and my earlier publications to obtain the evidence of my copyrights.

Download it right now and check this out for yourself: [long link starting with https://sites.google.com/view]

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Web Envy Invoice for SEO

Web-Envy

This morning (March 23, 2021) 2 different clients of mine received a bogus invoice via FAX (Yes I said FAX) from a company called Web Envy.

The invoices were for SEO/Link Building services for $98.57.

This is the first time I've ever seen one of these letters being sent via fax. And normally there is some fine print saying “this is not a bill, etc. But this came through like a regular invoice.

Supposedly this company is in Texas but the number the FAX was sent from was (239) 237-1702 which is a Florida number. A quick search on this phone number showed many complaints about this number with some people stating when they received the fax via eFax the PDF’s contained Malware.

Apparently, the phone number (239) 237-1702 also sends bogus faxes claiming to be from GoDaddy, CareMax Pharmacy and even Amazon as well.

When I checked the Web Envy domain (webenvysolutions.com), it showed that it was just registered for the first time on March 7 2021 - so this website has only been up 16 days - not since 2013 like they claim.

The strange thing is that the website has quite a few pages – and it appears the companies and projects are real companies. If you go to the webenvysolutions.com website – it is very generic and the social media links on their site don't go anywhere because they have no social media presence at all.

Also the internet archive has no history of this company / website. When I do a search for Texas businesses and DBA's - there is no company called Web Envy Solutions. When I type in their business address Google maps shows a rundown strip Mall where half of the offices are empty.

So, is this a legit company that recently changed it’s name and got a new domain, or did a unscrupulous company buy this website and is now using it to scam people?

But then we are back to the Fake bills and malicious faxes. If a hacker is sending these out – why do they go to the Web Envy business address and use it’s phone number?

Last but not least – When I call the Web Envy phone number (1-888-236-2606) I get a recording saying this number is no longer in service.

So if you get a FAX from this scam company - toss this in the trash. If you open a PDF with one of these invoices – scan your computer for Malware immediately.

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Email Scams during the Covid-19 Pandemic

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Since the pandemic started there has been a noticeable increase in phishing emails, scams, and different types of fraud.

Recently phishing attacks look even more like they came from a specific company. This is called “spearfishing,” and hackers might pose as your bank, credit card company, or a site like Dropbox or PayPal. Generally, targets receive an email that looks as if it came from a legitimate business. You might be prompted to click on a link to “verify account details” and from there, malware is installed on your device.

Where you once had to download a file or an app to get malware, it’s now a matter of clicking a link. These kind of fileless attacks are also more difficult to detect, as most antivirus programs only scan your hard drive.

What to Do if you receive one of these emails

  • Never click a link in an email that comes from a bank, government agency, or commercial institution. If the link comes from a company, check your account by going directly to the website by typing the URL into the navigation bar manually.
  • Check at least once a week for updates for your computer’s security software, and run scans several times a week. I personally have used Webroot for the last 8 years – it runs in the background and automatically scans for viruses. I have been very happy with it. Also Malwarebytes is a great program that removes malware and spyware.
  • If you get an unsolicited call from someone who claims to be a tech support provider for your computer or software – hang up!
  • If you get any warning message on your computer – read it carefully. Bad grammar or misspelled words are telltale signs of a false warning.
  • If you get a fake virus alert message – just shut down your browser. You can do this on a Windows PC by pressing Control-Alt-Delete and bringing up the Task Manager. On a Mac, press the Option, Command, and Esc (Escape) keys, or use the Force Quit command from the Apple menu.
  • Never allow someone who calls you out of the blue to access your computer remotely.
  • Never rely on caller ID to determine if a caller is on the level. Scammers can make it appear as if they’re calling from a legitimate number.
  • Never give your computer username or any account passwords to someone over the phone.
  • Never provide financial information to someone who calls a few days, weeks or months after you've made a tech support purchase and asks if you were satisfied — it's probably a “refund scam.” If you say “No,” the caller will ask for bank or credit card information, ostensibly to deposit a refund in your account but actually to steal from you.
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Caroline Vance Web Design Spam Email

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I always find it amusing when I get emails like the one below. Obviously, this is not a real person and even if it was they never looked at my website. Unfortunately too many people who get these spam emails actually reply to them – and that only encourages these spammers.

Sometimes they even send emails that have been personalized with your name and website address, but rest assured it was an email automatically generated by software probably on a computer located in a dark dusty closet in Turkey, china, or India.

The software behind these emails uses publicly available information on domain name owners to get the contact emails.  Or, your contact info may have been just on a list purchased by the spammer.

When hundreds of thousands of emails are sent – they only need a handful of gullible people to take the bait.

From: Caroline Vance <vance _caroline@ aol.com>;
Sent: Fri, May 29, 2020 5:38 am
Subject: Re: Website Designing

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Internet Networx SCAM

Internet Networx SCAM Internet Networx SCAM

Scammer's website Www.internetnetworx.net
Scammer's address PO Box 957268 Duluth, Georgia 30095
Scammer's email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Type of a scam Fake Invoice/Supplier Bill

Scam artists often send fake invoices to businesses hoping to trick them into paying for products or services that they did not order, that have little or no value, or that are never delivered. Many of these “invoices” appear at first glance to be legitimate bills.

One of these is a website listing scam by Internet Networx. They send solicitations disguised as bills for website listing services.  If you receive any mail from Internet Networx asking you to send them a check – throw that mail in the trash where it belongs.

Internet Networx has an F Rating from the BBB

BBB Pattern of Complaints

According to information in BBB files, this company has a pattern of complaint regarding invoices being sent to consumers. Specifically, complaints allege the invoices being sent look like they are coming from a government agency or other agencies.

Federal law prohibits any mailing which is “in the form of, and reasonably could be interpreted or construed as, a bill, invoice, or statement of account due” but is, in fact, “a solicitation for the order by the addressee of goods or services,” unless the mailing includes the following notice:

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Why aren’t your happy customers leaving you great reviews?

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Let’s face it, most customers, happy or otherwise, don’t leave reviews, but why?

Understanding a few of the more common reasons why customers don’t leave reviews will help you overcome those barriers and get you more 5-star reviews.

Reason #1: They forgot what you did for them.

Customers are far more likely to forget the good things you did than the bad so make sure you ask for reviews before they forget what a great job you did.

Reason #2: They can’t find your business on the popular review sites.

Make it super easy for them by providing links to the right pages.

Reason #3: They are secretly unhappy…

For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 remain silent* and 91% of those unhappy customers will never do business with you again.** Providing a forum for unhappy customers to privately share their experience will give you an opportunity to regain their business. 

Our automated Review Management tools will help you follow up with customers, while the experience is fresh in their minds, they provide links to your company’s page on the most popular review sites so your customers don’t give up before leaving a glowing review, and they direct unhappy customers to privately share their experience so you can correct the situation before they go public.

Concept Digital Media can help you amplify the voice of happy customers, reach unhappy customers, monitor all reviews as they come in, and share the best reviews with potential clients.

Call 941-993-7790 to learn more about the #1 Review Management and Marketing platform. 

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6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Business Email With Your Domain Name Instead Of A Free Email Account

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Why should you spend money on business email hosting?

For starters, @gmail and @yahoo (not to mention @AOL) addresses just scream “Unprofessional!”, but there are many other reasons why you owe it to your business to have email using your domain.

1. Credibility
Free email addresses make potential customers wonder whether you’re a “real” company and they make you look cheap. Plus, why would you want to advertise Google, Yahoo or your internet or cable provider on your business cards and collateral materials?

A “real” email address gives your company credibility (maybe it shouldn’t, but it does). Savvy consumers aren’t comfortable sending personal information to jimmydogg69 @yahoo.com or even YourCompanyName @gmail.com. Branded email addresses give customers the added assurance that your business is legit and their information is secure.  If you don't care what your own email address looks like - how are you going to treat your customers? 

2. Control
If an employee uses their personal email address for business and they quit or get fired, you lose access to those emails – especially, if they leave under less than amicable circumstances. With premium email hosting, you can easily redirect those emails to yourself or another employee.

3. Portability
With your own email domain, your email address is as portable as your cellphone number.  You aren't tied to Verizon, Comcast or any oterh ISP.  This allows you to switch internet service providers without losing your email address.

4. Less Spam
Are you fed up with spam? With a premium email address, spam won't even make it to your inbox and you have full control over inbound and outbound spam filters.

5. Flexibility
Even if your business goes from 5 employees to 500 employees, we can scale right up with you.

6. Access
With premium email, your employees can access their email from anywhere through mobile, webmail, and other mail clients, allowing them to be more productive.

Concept Digital Media offers:

  • Secure POP/IMAP/Webmail
  • Premium anti-spam and anti-virus
  • 25GB Mailboxes
  • Outlook auto-setup
  • Custom email filtering
  • Free user aliases
  • Up to 50MB Attachments

And, for an additional fee, you can get:

  • Mobile Sync to sync contacts and calendars
  • 30GB Cloud Drive for storing and sharing documents
  • Online editing of documents and spreadsheets
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The Chinese Domain Name Email Scam

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There is an email scam that seems to pop up every couple years. The sender poses as a Chinese registrar company and attempts to convince the receiver that a company is trying to register variations of the receiver’s domain name.

Here is an example:

Subject line: It's very urgent, please transfer this message to your CEO. Thanks

We are the domain registration and solution center in China. On Oct 24, 2019, we received an application from Kangwei Ltd requested "conceptdigitalmedia" as their internet keyword and China (CN) domain names (conceptdigitalmedia.cn, conceptdigitalmedia.com.cn, conceptdigitalmedia.net.cn, conceptdigitalmedia.org.cn). But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it's necessary to send this message to your company and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China?

Best Regards

***************************************
Adrian Liu | Service & Operations Manager China Registry (Head Office) | 6012, Xingdi Building, No. 1698 Yishan Road, Shanghai 201103, China
Tel: +86-02164193517 | Fax: +86-02164198327 | Mob: +86-13816428671
Email: adrian @ chinaregistry .org .cn
Web: www. chinaregistry. org. cn
***************************************
It might look like a legitimate domain name registry, but it is not.

This fake site sends out thousands of emails every month to scam business owners into sending money to secure a domain name.

These emails tell you to act quickly to protect your domain name. They claim a Chinese company is attempting to register your domain name with the .cn extension. For a fee, the company will prevent this from happening.

Responding to these emails will only result in exorbitant prices for your own domain name.

In addition to seeking money, the purpose of the scam is to gather more specific information about your company and in order to commence a targeted attack.

What to do if you receive this email?

If you get one of these emails, send it to your company’s IT department for evaluation, and then delete it. And Remember the three key anti-phishing rules:

1. If you receive an email from out of the blue, never click on a link or attachment.
2. If you receive an email from someone you know, but it includes an attachment that you were not expecting to receive, call the sender to confirm it came from the sender and not a hacker.
3. Finally, if you forget rules 1 and 2 and click on something which opens a dialog box asking you to supply additional information—or click on something to enable a later software version or to open a zip file—close it immediately and call your company’s IT department to have a scan run on your computer.

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Get More Customer Reviews!

What customers say about your business online… is powerful.

Reviews give your business credibility and help new customers find you online.

It’s no wonder 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than any other form of advertising.

This Makes customer reviews the single most effective piece of marketing you can invest in. 

Concept Digital Media can help you harness that power with our complete solution for review management and local search marketing.

Our review management platform provides an easy and unobtrusive way to ask and remind customers to review your business on the sites that matter most to you.

Now you can amplify the voice of happy customers by making it easier for them to leave reviews…

Reach unhappy customers to improve their brand experience…

Monitor all of your reviews…

…and share your great reviews on your website and social channels.

Contact us today and learn more about the #1 review management and marketing platform for your business.

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Our favorite spam email this week - aka Mike Coe needs to learn how to do mass email marketing before he can claim to know how to do SEO.

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I just received the following email this morning – it has been cut and pasted with nothing added or removed.

He (or she) forgot to set up the form email so it would auto populate the fields. Maybe they are just getting lazy – or maybe this is done on purpose because unfortunately, I’m sure someone somewhere will still reply to them.

No one online knows your business exists...

What do I mean by that?

I did a quick Google search for [Name] in [City] and I noticed your business is not in the Google 3-pack.

The "3-pack" is the place on Google that shows 3 businesses in a specific area at the TOP of the search results.

If you aren't in the 3-pack that means your competitors ARE.

54% of your customers will do a Google search at least once per month to find a local business - although it's likely more.

Most business owners have no idea how to get into the 3-pack, but I've mastered the art of ranking there and I can help you...

If you'd like to know how it's done and maybe even have me just do it for you -- simply reply to this email.

I can only help 3 businesses per city since the Google 3-pack only lists 3 businesses...

I sent this same email to your competitors and I work on a first come first serve basis. Don't miss this opportunity!

Don't let your competition outsmart and outrank you.

Check out << Link >> or Call me now at 555-555-5555 or reply to this email and I look forward to helping you get more clients in the door.

Best,
NAME
NUMBER
COMPANY (optional)

Well Mr. Coe, and that’s probably not your real name to begin with, I think what you need to worry about is your fellow email spam competitors outsmarting you.

You would never hire a plumber or auto mechanic that contacted you out of the blue, so when you get an email like this – just delete it!

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1st Page Ranking on Google

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The following is just one of many spam emails that are sent to anyone who has registered a domain.

The spammer gets the name and email address from domain information on file and never actually visits the website. This is the same email that thousands of people will get.

Hi Sir/Madam,

I was looking at your website and realized that despite having a great design; it was not ranking high on any of the search engines (Google, AOL and Bing) for most of the keywords related to your business. We can bring you more clients and customers. I will do this by advertise your business structure and its merits on different social media platforms with the help of my SEO skills. I will put you on the first page of Google; this will help clients and customers to find you more easily. This will be done within your budget which doesn’t affect your business a little.

I am affiliated with a SEO company that has helped over 200+ businesses achieve (1st Page Ranking on Google) search result page for highly competitive keywords.  Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our SEO Packages & price list and our company details.

Kind Regards
Nancy Jain
Business Development Manager

So let’s break down this email.

1. I was looking at your website and realized that…. No They never did visit the website otherwise they would say something specific that applies to only your site – i.e. the colors, layout, content, etc. remember these emails are sent to anyone who regsiters a domian name. I regularly get these emails for domains that do not even point to a website yet.

2. We can bring you more clients and customers. I will do this by advertise your business structure and its merits on different social media platforms with the help of my SEO skills. A good way to spot spam emails is to note misspelled words and broken English. Many of these come from India, Russia, China, etc.

Nancy Jain is a Business Development Manager? For what company, where are they located? Why can’t she give an address or phone number? Why would anyone working for an SEO company use a free AOL address?

These type of emails are only some kind of scam to get your money. SEO strategy is complex and, done right, quite time-consuming. When you revive one of these emails ask yourself the following question: Do I really want to hire someone I don’t know who contacted me through an unsolicited email from another country and is not using their real name?

After all – would you hire a doctor if they sent you an email like this:

Hi Sir/Madam,

I was looking at your facebook photo and realized that despite having a great smile, you could use some plastic surgery so people find you more attractive. We can bring you more compliments and a better paying job by making you more appealing to people who will spend money on you and buy you gifts such as new cars and homes. I will do this by removing extra fat from your stomach and butt, you’re your cheeks, remove eye wrinkles, and make you look 20 years younger. This will be done within your budget on weekends and at night as to not disrupt your life.
I am affiliated with a well-known hospital that has helped over 200+ people look better using my special techniques.
Let me know if you are interested, I will send you our plastic surgery packages & price list and our hospital details.

Kind Regards
John Smith
Plastic Surgeon and Barista

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Did you get a website hosting bill from Sunshine Biz Services?

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If you got a bill from Sunshine Biz Services – It’s a SCAM! The fake invoice looks like a real bill

The invoice is a fake renewal notice for annual website hosting. It shows a bill of $180 payable to “Sunshine Biz Services Inc.” It also says: “To pay with a credit card or to avoid receiving paper invoices in the future, please sign up for paperless billing at www.trendywebsolutions. com.”

Unsuspecting businesses may get an invoice like this and pay it – that’s what Sunshine Biz Services is hoping you do!  Scams like this try to confuse people by sending these type of invoices knowing that people usually don’t read the fine print.

While this looks like a bill, it does say : “You are under no obligation to make any payments on account of this offer unless you accept this offer. This notice is not a bill, it is rather an easy means of payment should you decide to renew your web hosting with Sunshine Biz Services.”

But if they aren’t hosting your website to begin with how can you renew hosting with them? Trendy Web Solutions does have a website that appears to offer various hosting packages. But if any company is this shady – would anyone trust their business website to them?

If you try to call the phone number listed you will end up waiting through many prompts and the automated voice eventually says “This is a solicitation, goodbye!”

This particular scam has been around at least since 2015, according to a Reddit post.

According to the BBB

BBB Alert - Pattern of Complaints

BBB files contain a pattern of complaints from consumers that allege they received solicitation that looks like an invoice to be paid in the amount of $180.00.

On January 18th 2019, BBB sent correspondence to Sunshine Biz Services requesting their voluntary cooperation in providing steps it will implement to eliminate the pattern of customer complaints.
BBB will continue to monitor and update the company's report as needed.

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Is Yelp Bad For Business?

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Yelp is an influential site but also tends to continually stir up controversy and disillusionment among business owners.

Love it or hate it - Yelp has the potential to be a force for good but sometimes ends up being one of the worst things that has happened to small business in the last few years. Both reviewers and businesses complain about the filtering algorithm which often hides good reviews while showing every bad one. There have been to accusations of extortion by Yelp, if you pay they claim they will remove competitor’s listings that normally appear alongside your business.

According to Yelp:

“Every Yelp review is automatically evaluated by Yelp’s recommendation software based on quality, reliability, and user activity on Yelp. More often than not, those useful reviews come from active members of the Yelp community.”

Yelp usually puts more weight on reviews left by people who have a lot of friends, and who have left many reviews for businesses. Could it be possible that some customers find if they want to promote businesses they like, they must leave bad reviews for other businesses to make their good reviews look legit. Is it possible that these people will leave much harsher reviews than they normally would, or even leave unnecessarily bad reviews for businesses they have never patronized?

Anyone you will ever talk to at Yelp has no real clue what is going on in their own company, is never of any help if you have a questions and cannot explain how their filtering algorithm works.

  1818 Hits

Hacker Who Cracked Your Email And Device Scam

couple-in-home-office-with-computer-and-paperwork-pointing-SBI-301044955

"You may not know me and you are probably wondering why you are getting this e mail, right?  I’m a hacker who cracked your email and devices a few months ago."

If you have received this email, chances are there is no reason to worry. This is just another scam used to trick people into paying a Cyber criminal.

Think of these emails like the daily horoscope. Thousands of people can read the same horoscope and think it applies to them directly. This is because horoscopes are so vague and general enough to be somewhat meaningful to a good percentage of people who believe in that kind of stuff.

So the Cyber criminal knows that a certain percentage of computer users aren’t all that savvy, may not be all that up to date on technology, maybe don’t have anti-virus installed, and are very likely doing something on their computer that could be embarrassing if someone else found out.

Like so many other spam email campaigns, "Hacker who cracked your email and device Email Scam" is designed to blackmail people. Cyber criminals send emails stating that your computer has been infected or hacked. Maybe they claim to have installed a remote access tool and taken a humiliating photo of you, or video of you watching porn, etc. . If they are not paid, they threaten to distribute this photo by sending it to all of your contacts.

The Cyber criminals send these emails out to thousands or even tens of thousands of people in the hopes that just one or two people fall for the scam. These criminals have nothing better to do, so they just keep coming up with one new scam after another.

The following is an example of what one of these emails will look like (including bad grammar and spelling errors)

You may not know me and you are probably wondering why you are getting this e mail, right?
I’m a hacker who cracked your email and devices a few months ago.

  6647 Hits
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