Since switching over to WordPress, I got my first spam comment. It keyed off the phrase "Fantastic Four" and provided a link to a site where surfers could purchase movies (and probably get their computers locked up with malware.) It was easy enough to delete before it ever saw the light of day, but I worry about how much more of this junk to expect. Back when I had my own home-grown site, spammers couldn’t figure out how to get bots to interact with it, so I was relatively safe. Such is the downside of using an open-source editor. The RandomConnections inbox also had a few choice pieces of junk e-mail. Most were immediately deleted, but for some reason, this one caught my eye…
Good Afternoon, My name is (NAME WITHHELD) and I found your site on Google today. I browsed through it and was impressed with what I saw.
OK, I know Google spiders my site regularly, and some really strange search terms have sent visitors here. However, this has all the sincerity of a form letter.
This is not an automated link exchange program generic email. I did however search your site with a tool that pulls any email address to save a little time, so I apologize in advance if I mistakingly sent you more than 1 email.
I find this paragraph to be a bit contradictory. First, he claims it isn’t automated, then he admits to using a tool to extract any e-mail on my site. The funny thing is, I don’t have any e-mail addresses on this site that aren’t concealed under tons of code. Furthermore, the e-mail was sent to a catch-all address, a sure sign that this is a genuine as a three-dollar bill.
The reason for the email is that we are a ticket broker that sells tickets to the Superbowl (not to mention all sports, concerts and so on), and I would like to make you an offer: If you will place a link to our site, (just cut and paste the code below) we will pay you 5 cents for every visitor that you send to our website, and we will pay you 10% of anything that they buy. One Superbowl ticket generally sells for between $2,000 and $5,000. That means we would pay you from $200 to $500 for just one referral that buys a ticket.
Well, gee, that sounds reasonable and all. Just think, for just a tiny bit 0 bandwidth and webspace, I could be raking it in. This, of course depends on three things. First, someone with the wherewithall to actually purchase Superbowl (or whatever) tickets has to hit my site. Secondly, this person has to be gullible enough to follow the link and actually make a purchase. See, I know a little about http-referrer tracking, so obviously, for their tracking and crediting to work, they would have to make this impulsive decision to buy a big ticket (literally) item IMMEDIATELY after following the link from my site. And finally, this outfit would actually would follow through and make the payments. Yeah, right.
The only requirement that we have is that you post it on a page that has some type of Google Page Rank (you can check that here: URL HIDDEN)
A Google Page Rank doesn’t seem so bad, at first. However, something like the tool Mr. Beal is sending me to would only provide an invitation for more offers like this one. It just would prove how gullible I am.
You don’t have to fill out a W9 yet, but it would speed up the process of getting paid. If you would like to fill one out go to: (URL HIDDEN). Fill this out and fax to :XXX-XXX-XXXX
Now we resort to tossing out official-sounding form names, as if this were a truly legitimate offer.
We ran a trial on this program and 2 of 5 trial participants collected checks for $352.45 and $405.40 in just 3 weeks time. I can furnish their email addresses if you would like to verify this with them.
Hmm, "2 out of 5"? So, assuming everything else to be legite, I would only have a 40% chance of earning anything? Knowing how easy it is to spoof e-mail, I wouldn’t trust any references from them.
We generally pay 24% on average to sell tickets, so this program is actualy [sic] making everybody money. You get 10% and we save 14%.
First, learn to spell. Secondly, it sounds like you are adding a 24% surcharge to any ticket price in order to meet this target. Scalping? In their defense, I did find the company listed with BBBOnline and the National Association of Ticket Brokers, but even if it is legit, why use such a distasteful way to make money? I think I’d just as soon sell Amway.