Category: Website Scam

The eCommerce Store Scam

There are many fake websites able to do eCommerce  I.e. take money from you for products even if the products don’t exist.

But a recent set of emails are the first ones offering to create a store for you from scratch and to reach £10,000 in sales within 50 days.

That is an odd combination of promises. Do they really build eCommerce websites for people and ensure plenty of customers?

Seems very unlikely. More likely is that the entire thing is jut a con – no website, no eCommerce and no sales.

The email is from a Gmail address rather than a company address, the email is sent out to random people,  the grammar is terrible, there are many text words used rather than correct English (e.g. plz instead of please) and the whole thing is very amateurish.

It’s a con.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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Unwanted Spam Links

This is not about spam emails or scam emails with dodgy links in them.

This is about finding that someone has added spam links into your website without permission.

Hackers can insert spam links into your website – to gain a better ranking on search engines. The more inbound links a site receives, the higher the placement of the target web site in search results. Spam links are typically inserted into the database content in plain text, though they can also be deliberately obscured to make finding them more difficult.

Spam links can be inserted in site files or databases, so determining if your site is infected can often be done by simply reading the pages and looking for  inappropriate links.

The most common spam links are:-

  • Prescription drugs
  • Online gambling
  • Essay writing services
  • Film & TV downloads
  • Fake designer goods
  • Weight loss products
  • Adult content

Finding and Removing Spam Links

This means painstaking review of the code to find the inserted links. The links may be  inserted as typical hypertext links or they may be disguised by JavaScript for example. Determine which links are not relevant to your site and remove them.

For hackers to have inserted these links into your website means there must be vulnerabilities that they exploited. You need to find these vulnerabilities and fix them or the hackers may return.

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Fake Dating Sites

Dating services are a goldmine for scammers and there many fake dating services online. Some are simply phishing websites designed to get your confidential information and provide nothing. Some are real dating sites but poor quality and designed to con people into paying a lot before they realise it’s a waste of time.

This new batch of fake dating sites with names such as Affairbook, Affairgram and Affairsmeet are very basic – there are no websites as such, just fake pages.

The emails sent out by the million target men interested in women  and are quite  basic such as

“Paula sent you a message. Click to see her photo and read your message.”

Or “Flirt Alert. Kirsty wants to see more of you.”

These even have Unsubscribe options at the bottom of the email – but clicking that just tells the scammer you are interested.

It’s simple to avoid these fake services – if you didn’t sign up for such a service then any emails claiming to be messages from someone interested in you are obviously fake and clicking the links is a really bad idea.

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Viagogo Dirty Tricks

Viagogo is a website that resells tickets for concerts, events, shows etc.

Viagogo has a bad reputation for hiding the true cost of the tickets and for not warning people that their tickets may not be valid (in many cases only the original purchaser can use the ticket).

The Viagiogo website uses many tricks to make people feel under pressure to agree the purchase ASAP.

The most common tricks are the use of misleading prices and creating a false sense of urgency to push people to buy.

As you browse and select, the prices shown are minimum prices and only when you are set to pay does the actual final price including booking fees etc. appear. By then the user is just trying to pay and may miss the sudden hike in price.

The false sense of urgency is created by constant popups and messages, such as:-

  • Only 2 tickets remaining
  • 120,671 people are also viewing these tickets
  • Tickets are strictly limited
  • This is your LAST CHANCE
  • Tickets will be more expensive tomorrow
  • Don’t Miss Out!

Everything is geared to pushing the customer to buy now rather than “miss out”.

Better to miss out on Viagogo’s nasty tactics altogether – find a reputable site to buy from.

If you have bad experiences with Viagogo – then let me know.

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