We’ve all heard the saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but what about “borrowing” text and claiming, by its presence on one’s Linked In profile, that the write-up is your own?
The billing portion of this 2-page email that arrived in my Yahoo inbox last week introduces several complications, the primary one being that legally speaking, Page 2 (payment portion) is a different “agreement” than Page 1.
How was this achieved?
Web scams are craftily designed to take advantage of our common oversights, ignorance, and the abundance of personal info floating about online.
The most common ploy: phishing, whose purpose is to compel us to surrender sensitive-personal information like credit card info or bank-account numbers-passwords. And all variety of emailed visual disguises are used: the brand colours and graphics of banking and financial institutions, recognizable symbols from E-comm verification authorities, official looking invoices and so on.
Spam originates from either real life people or, more likely, automated programs that send messages (bots). Regardless, here are 3 tell-tale signs that you’ve received spam in your blog inbox.
1) Genuine comments or replies are sent from your blog and end up in your email inbox
2) When you click on the message’s website address, you arrive at a populated site with a professional look, consistent content and a About page with identifiable people
3) Genuine comments are usually brief and well-written; if not, there is a logical flow to them.
Here’s an example from firstname.lastname@example.org of PR Marketing:
“Blogging, tweeting and posting not only generate brand awareness and buzz, they also build links, which are like gold to Google’s ranking algorithm. In short, content marketing is the new SEO.”
Whereas, with spam:
4) The messages are from everywhere from everyone and often concern:
- Web-related companies such as blog plug-ins, SEO aids, Twitter list builders, etc. hoping (see ‘faint hope clause’ in an any legal document template) that you’ll click on their link and buy from them, despite their overture being unsolicited and ‘out-of-the-blue’
- Any type of commercial enterprise selling any type of service throughout the world
- People or bots from other countries who think you can decipher Chinese or Russian lettering – or might be curious enough to click (and I have been, on occasion).
5) Spam ends up in your spam inbox and nowhere else. So couldn’t you just erase the lot without checking?
You could but then again sometime legitimate stuff ends up there so you gotta go through it.
And, finally, you can tell it’s spam because the write-ups are so darned nice!
“I precisely wished to thank you very much once more. I’m not certain the things I would have taken care of in the absence of those recommendations documented by you on such problem. It was actually a very hard condition for me personally, however , discovering a new specialized tactic you handled it took me to jump with joy. I will be happier for the help and then have high hopes you find out what an amazing job that you are getting into educating others through your site. Most probably you have never got to know all of us.”
I almost wept when I read this one.