Like many Bloggers I expect, I get a huge volume of emails requesting link exchanges. In almost every case I reject the proposed exchange – I’m only interested in free sites that serve the public good. As well, I’m only interested in sites that publish articles that are well researched, well written and that have endured the ups and downs of blogging.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to be an elitist. I am however, entitled to set my own standards. So when I get an site link request like the following, my spam/scam radar automatically switches on.
I’m a webmaster for http://www.xxxxxxxxx.com website, I’ve found your website information and advice to be a very good fit for our visitors so could you please give us the best price for a site wide link on your esteemed website for a period of half and 1 Year? We will make payments Via PayPal so if interested, please mention your PayPal id.
If we are happy with your price, then we will send you the Link details that you can place on your website and we will make the payments to the PayPal id provided by you”.
So is this a scam? You decide based on the following:
They don’t know my name.
They know nothing about my site – no specifics mentioned.
For a period of half and 1 Year? – Awkward phrasing is a hallmark of spammers.
Esteemed website? Sure, flattery works – right?
Incomplete contact information – no phone number or address.
Most importantly; why would they need my PayPal ID? I think you can figure that part out.
Spammers, scammers and cyber-crooks, come in all flavors and sizes, and use every conceivable social engineering trick to swindle the gullible. I suspect that at least some inexperienced Bloggers – flattered by the attention (wow, someone thinks my site is good enough to pay me for a link!!), will, or have fallen, for this fairly transparent scam.
One last note: This scam appears to be linked to a legitimate business site, which is why I have blanked the site address.
I’m not unreasonable in considering link exchanges – just careful. In fact, in the last few days I have added 2 new sites to my Blogroll, PC Magazine – Windows 7 Tips, (at their request), and Scoroncocolo Tech Pages. Both sites are well worth checking out.
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