Bloggers, Be Aware Of Scam

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There was an email sent to my personal email offering $100 to post a few posts about finance and would be relevant to my blog. See the message I quote here:

Hi,
We are interested in submitting a relevant and original article for publication on your website, wellroundedinvestor.com.
The piece will include references to one of our clients. In addition to providing you with a fresh article, we’re also willing to pay $100 through PayPal for your time and effort.
We are very excited to submit a draft for your review. Please let me know if this offer interests you or if you have any questions.
Hope to hear from you soon,

Olivia Wood

Senior Outreach Executive

olivia.wood@letsgetwise.co.uk

www.letsgetwise.com

The message looks legit, the website they provide looks pretty good. I was skeptical, but I responded anyway. I asked for details. They responded with promise of $100 paying through PayPal, and relevant article is coming.

The article was not anything exciting, the writing is mediocre. But what I noticed is about “forex” trading. Refer back to some random website about how to forex trading. How do I conclude this is a scam?

1. They wrote in such fashion that only “foreigner” would write (their website has .uk, that means they are native English speakers). I can’t pin point the exact word or sentence. But non-native English or the use of Google translation makes their sentences look weird to me.

2. There is no free money coming from the sky. You’d have to work for it. Certainly, it’s not a mediocre writing posting on my blog would give me $100. Hahah. Not to play down on my blog, but I don’t have enough traffic to get easy $100 from the sky.

3. I ask for details, a serious company would give me a legit contract, instruction, things that’s relevant to me. When they would go for the kill and asked for my paypal account, that’s when they draw money in and out of my banks.

4. I also notice recently there has been some bloggers having sponsor post about forex trading, where they are value investors or dividend growth investors through and through. Most people would not sell themselves short. I went back and check their blogs. Those  blog posts are now off their websites. That gave me the confirmation that they also facing the same scam.

5. Their article gave instruction on posting pictures, grabbing from Flickr not from their own company. A little “weird” off things.

Here is another quote from our email exchange. See of you can pin point the weirdness:

Hi,
I hope you are well. I’m back in touch because I have the article for you to put on your website.
You can make slight amendments if you feel the need, but please make sure the tone stays the same and you leave any anchor text as it is. The article has been specifically written for your site, so you do not have to worry that it is ‘duplicate copy’.
Simply publish the article as you would a normal post on your site, so it will initially appear on your home page before being replaced by a newer post.

———————–
<strong>Investing Blunders to Avoid When Planning for Retirement</strong>
No one is too old or too young to think about retirement. Everyone aims to have a stress-free retirement, free of financial burdens. Investing in retirement early gives you an edge, as you have more time to put in more money for yo

I write this hoping that my fellow readers don’t fall for the same scam.

Have a great day, everyone!

 

****************

Quick update: 4/25/18

After receiving more comment saying I conspire their company. I did a quick googling and another website is writing the same thing about them. Here is the link if you want to see it with more details.

Some of the highlight:

 

It’s ridiculous that #1, they boast about wanting to introduce a team. Yet show these graphics as “pictures”.

#2, the “woman” who emailed me is Elise Norman, yet no such name exists on their site. The closest I got was Elise Naylor.

So many red flags.

I read through other posts online that the company will actually send a shitty draft relevant to your content for you to publish, then ask for your PayPal details to input.

Then later on after they “send” you the payment, they will retract it and an email will be sent to you asking you to input your username and password.

This is where the scammers will gain your information to drain your account.

Thankfully, I can spot a scam a mile away with my eyes closed but others may not be so lucky, which is why I am sharing this post.

Be safe, bloggers. There’s no such thing as easy money!

56 Comments

    • They need your PayPal email, home address, other personal info because they are paying you. Then either send you money very quick, then revert the charge, send you fake PayPal address, so you input your user name and password by accident record that whole thing.

      Overpaid you, get you to refund, then revert the whole thing. Pay you with credit card, PayPal would get you 3%. Then call the credit card company and report “fraud”.

      Use stolen credit card to pay you, then revert. Either way, you’ll be out of the money at the end for these kind of schemes.

      I wonder by posting this, they’d use it to get more people.

    • Bro,
      I hope I didn’t offend you or anyone. The emails raised “red flags” because they had a sense of “robo”. They weren’t authentic. Your blogs and writings are authentic and personable. It made a huge different.

      Although, I could use some improvement in my writing and English vocabularies.

      Cheers!

  1. This same company has been hitting me up lately. I responded last week and they sent me the exact same reply email. However the article was different. I wrote back and asked who the author or site is so I can give attribution and they haven’t gotten back to me yet. So, I assume it’s a scam. Also they won’t pay until after posting; which is a red flag for me. I’ll let you know if they reply.

    • I emailed the company and declined their offer, citing bad online reviews. Let’s see what they come back with. I’m half tempted to post the story just to see if I get paid. If I don’t get paid, we can all push my blog post about it viral 😉

      • I bet you they would be super polite, and super patience. It’d be good to see. Please do give updates!

        With these schemes, they want you to get emotionally involved, then one by one they break down your defense. I hope you don’t give up your PayPal email account.

  2. I’ve received the same email and I have to say that this particular company is legit. They gave me an impressive article a month ago that is still giving me traffic up to now. Although I understand sentiments about cyber fraud, especially in today’s tech-advanced world where online crime is abundant, but I have to also share my own story of how this company was able to give me a credible, original content and a Paypal payment with just asking my email. Now, I’m not sure with other companies though as I’ve also received funny emails in the past from obvious Indian spammers. But, I’ve shared my other websites with this company (letsgetwise.co.uk) hoping to get more quality content and payment as they’ve never failed me once.

    Happy webmaster!

  3. oh wow thank you for sharing. I often considered making some extra income from sponsored posts like that but I’m never really sure that they were legitimate. I didn’t know about this scam though. I did get an offer where the post was about saving money…saving money at a casino! I passed on that cause I wasn’t down with that.

    • Kudos to you for standing up for what you believe. Financial bloggers make most of their money with their day jobs anyway with exception of some elite. LOL 🙂

      I personally have not monetized my blog, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be losing out to something you don’t believe in. LOL 🙂

      To update: I’ve done some google research, I saw at least 2 posted about this company. So, I remain skeptical.

  4. Hi – they contacted me (same email script as above) and I refused the article as it had no bearing in my niche (art for kids/creativity) and then out of the blue – she sent me another article. A pretty good one that I’m actually considering. I just sent them an email with something I’d like to add to it and use a photo of my choosing (their choice was ugly and bad – not my aesthetic). We’ll see what they say. I’ll take $100 for something relevant to my blog. I’ll update you on what happens!

  5. Just received a similar email myself, which is interesting because I run a travel blog which doesn’t have anything at all to do with investing. I’m curious as to what sort of “article” they would send me, but I’m not going to engage. Thanks so much for posting this. I immediately thought this must be a scam upon reading the email. A quick Google search later and your post confirms it.

    • That’s what I say, there is no free meal. I can make $100 somewhere else and not risk giving up my info.

      I bought a couple of phone card and Netflix gift card before. I paid with PayPal and all. Then I out in the number on my phone, it works, but the minutes “drained” very fast. At first, I thought it must be the cellphone company ripping me off, but a couple years later, when I try to buy minutes straight off from my cellphone company, they wouldn’t let me as my account is relate to “fraud”. What fraud? I asked. And they said people were stealing credit card, bought the gift card, then I bought it, put on my phone, they reversed it. That was why the minutes “drained” fast.

      Same goes with Netflix, but I immediately placed a reverse on PayPal after Netflix said my 1 year subscription didn’t go through after the initial acceptance.

  6. So reading all these comments there is one person who actually posted their content and got paid $100 as agreed. Everyone else is just assuming it is a scam or talking about irrelevant problems they’ve had elsewhere.

    There is no evidence this is a scam. Whether you want to post other people’s content is another debate …

    • I guess, as far as the content go, if it’s a true advertisement you might have to read posts from financialsamurai.com or affordanything.com when they try to sell you uber, amazon, or the landlord credit card processing system, they’d would write believable articles on how they “actually” use it and test it.

      I’m not sure I’d use or pay for amazon prime service or landlord or whatever the product that they are selling. The article they sent me didn’t have click bait, was not good writing, they can’t make money that way, let alone paying me $100 for a post.

      I’d rather stay grounded.

      You are proficient, you can read their article they send you and judge for yourself.

  7. Thanks for the tip. I received the same email this morning and decided to research the company first.

    Hi,

    We are interested in submitting a relevant and original article for publication on your website, natatia.com.

    The piece will include references to one of our clients. In addition to providing you with a fresh article, we’re also willing to pay $100 through PayPal for your time and effort.

    We are very excited to submit a draft for your review. Please let me know if this offer interests you or if you have any questions.

    Hope to hear from you soon,
    Elizabeth

  8. Thanks, I just got the same message. I became suspicious because.. why will a UK company be willing to give my Nigerian blog $100 for just one post!

    Thanks again

  9. I tend to agree with @matthawkinsuk above. I have also been contacted and provided with an article that is totally relevant to my website content. It was well written and had three links to client sites (that I checked out and seemed legit). If you have a Paypal account that is not linked to your bank account (yet), why even worry? I’d like to see someone post a claim where they have actually been ripped off! Many times these writers have clients and are paid well to drive traffic to their clients sites. This is normal and business as usual in the world of SEO and revenue-driven traffic (impressions and click-throughs). Could be legit, we’ll see!

    • It is a scam!!!! No free money. They did not even care to ask about popularity of my blog. But they were sooo excited to work with me. Then I start asking cash which I will come pick up. NO, must be PayPal, Then I asked for quick coffee meeting because I live across the street (from their scam website company with street address). NO, management does not allow meetings. Then I said: No pay. I do it for FREE to you. Then they both disappeared, even I wrote back and said is article final can I post – both disappeared. They will trick you to get access to your PayPal, through phishing technics for which many people fall. SCAM SCAM….

  10. I too got a email from this website.. let’s see whether they will.provide some original content..
    But my main question is that How they can do a scam with a single Email id…
    If a single Email id of PayPal can get them linked to my account , then I can provide them with thousands of email ids

    Let’s take a risk

  11. I received one from them awhile back and I have just received a follow up
    “Hi Carlie,
    I recently sent you an email about the possibility of contributing an article to consider publishing on your website. I was wondering whether you had any feedback?
    If you are interested, I can submit a well-written piece of content that will add value to your website.
    The post will contain some references to our client. For this, we will provide you with compensation via a prompt payment through PayPal for your time and effort.
    Look forward to hearing from you soon. Thanks.
    Yours,
    Naina”
    Just wanting to let you and all of the commenters know that it is still going on! My blog is fairly new and definitely does not get enough hits for someone to pay me to post on there…

    Cheers!
    Carlie

  12. This is a scam. I got exactly the same wording from two different people and I played around with them asking cash, asking to have a quick meeting, with all very lame answers. They don’t want to meet (not allowed by management) and MUST be PayPal. They will trick with “oh payment did not go through”, then they send you an email mimicked PayPal and ask you to log in… blah blah don’t fall for FREE money!

    • I don’t know, they went back and checked what I wrote on my website, then wrote me a letter slamming me for posting the scamming article.

      But this is a good phishing strategy, saying “payment doesn’t go through, send a website mimicking paypal, to get your log in” I guess then they’ll be in business. Financial freedom website, they know people have a bunch of money, so … yikes!

  13. So I got a similar email and went ahead with the transaction, nothing out of the ordinary happened and the money was received into my account in about 3 days after they said it would. I am curious to all the people who are posting about how this is an obvious scam, is there actually any proof to this? I mean, it is easy to shout about what they COULD be doing, but has anyone here ACTUALLY been scammed by them?

    I am all for being careful, and I very much was when they asked me for my Paypal address, but they didn’t send any URLs to click or anything like that. So how can they scam me based on just having my Paypal address? Which anyone in the world needs give out to to get paid via Paypal? I don’t get it.

    Thanks

    • Nice!
      Do you have a picture of your paypal transaction? Everyone here is pretty curious.

      We’re all concern about phishing scam, they said they’ve sent it, then you haven’t, then they send you the paypal link, you entered your information, they got a hold of your account,and they can do whatever they want with it. That’s our biggest fear. Money doesn’t come from the sky, it comes from hardwork, at least that’s for me.

      • Yeah I completely get that we should all be concerned about phishing scams, and bad links and stuff, my point in the comment above was that there are multiple posts here that state matter-of-fact that this is a scam or they have been scammed. Yet no one seems to have tried to trick these scammers into actually sending the Phishing URLs so that we can all be aware of the ones that are being used? That doesn’t seem very helpful to the community, especially when browsers like Firefox and Chrome have a report phishing function. How do we report this sort of thing and keep each other safe if no one actually provides these links? If 2016 taught us we should be wary of Phishing emails and scams, then surely 2017 taught us we need to be careful about what people online report as fact?

        Anyway, they asked me if I had other websites to advertise on and I gave them a list, maybe their M.O will change from here on out? I’ll likely go ahead with another transaction and see what happens, fingers crossed.

        I uploaded a screenshot from Paypal, and blurred my address for obvious reasons – https://i.imgur.com/nfhmqSu.png – the one thing I would say about this is that they send the money with you having to pay the Paypal fee, so keep that in mind when negotiating!

  14. Again, congrats on your $110 successful transaction!

    The reader Jon wrote: “. They did not even care to ask about popularity of my blog. But they were sooo excited to work with me. Then I start asking cash which I will come pick up. NO, must be PayPal, Then I asked for quick coffee meeting because I live across the street (from their scam website company with street address). NO, management does not allow meetings. Then I said: No pay. I do it for FREE to you. Then they both disappeared, even I wrote back and said is article final can I post – both disappeared.”

    I don’t know, if they don’t want to meet in person if the guy is across the street from them, it’s kind of scary.

    I also see that the transaction is fresh, March 9th, 2018. So, it will take a little while for the real account owner to realize the money is missing. If they check their balance on their credit card regularly they might have noticed, otherwise, it would take a couple months to find out. The statement has to be sent. Then the credit card company will be notified, and the transaction will be reversed, and the PayPal account will be suspended … the whole entourage will have to happen.

    Please let us know if you have any developments or other success. I’d love to find out.

    • I’m sorry Vivianne but you have lost all credibility with me now. You seem to be saying that they can take control of someone else’s Paypal account and change all the details? Anyone who has spent any time using Paypal knows it is infuriatingly difficult to get anything changed without full proof, there is a very slim chance that someone could get an old Paypal account verified with different information to continue to use the credit card on it.

      Else you are saying they stole the card and added that to their own verified account? Which I am sure is equally impossible unless they have access to internet banking to get the Paypal verification code.

      All of this account and credit card stealing for what? To send me $110 for an article which for the most part seems pretty well written and has a couple of links out to some websites? What is the point in that? There has been nothing sent for me to click on and they have asked for nothing but my Paypal email in return. I get that people’s Paypal accounts get stolen & emptied, but why would this company steal Paypal accounts only to send people money? What are they, Robin Hood?

      I came here to share my experience and help other people, and to maybe learn something. But going back and actually reading all the comments shows two or three people who have actually provided proof that they were paid by this company with the rest being an echo chamber for conspiracy with no one providing so much as a URL to this so called, highly advanced phishing scam. I actually bothered to do some research and checked to see that this is a registered company with Companies House, so the verified tag on their Paypal payment matches up with the company information with the UK Government. Why would a scammer who seems to have been operating for at least two years have a registered business with tax returns in the UK?

      Then you have the guy above screaming “scam” because they didn’t meet him in a coffee shop to hand him $100? And you say this is scary? Yeah, scary for anyone who would be stupid enough to agree to meet him. Who in their right mind would meet a stranger from the internet to hand over $100? Lol.

      I think a lot the posters here need to stop listening to Alex Jones and posting on Facebook about how hair products give you cancer, and drinking the tea of some weird plant cures it.

      All the best, i’ll be back if my account suddenly gets emptied, but i’ll bet a decent amount of money it doesn’t.

      • Well, if it works for you go for it!!

        I’m still cautious about the situation. Obviously, everybody is entitle to their opinion. I’ve never claimed myself as an expert in security and fraud prevention. So, zero loss for me on credibility. LOL 🙂

        Cheers!!

        • “I’ve never claimed myself as an expert in security and fraud prevention”.

          You really should have that as a disclaimer at the top of the blog post before your own comments, and the comments you encourage others to post are purposefully worded and posted as fact without the burden of proof.

          The credibility is lost, Vivianne, because you are whipping people up into a frenzy based on (from what I can see at least) pure speculation. Each time someone explains that this seemingly isn’t a scam you dismissively say “Good for you but i think it is”, and then continue feeding new posters into the conspiracy side of things by ignoring any evidence to the contrary. How is one to read your other articles on the site and take on board your advice when it is quite clear from this one that you are happy to blur the lines of factual reporting?

          It’s a shame, because the rest of your content is well written, but since sharing my own experience here it just doesn’t sit well with me that you’d repeatedly scare people like this instead of being objective, which is what is actually helpful when people come here to find out information about being contacted by this company.

          Anyway, your site, your blog, you do you. I did end up getting another article from them for another site of mine which I intend to publish next week, once again there is no request from them for any other details than confirming my Paypal address that they paid into last time.

  15. Be careful, there is a guy named Philippe Ballesio, dedicated to these types of scams and his arguments seem overwhelming, but he is a vile thief. Take advantage of being an Apple engineer with computer skills to carry out cyber scams.

  16. Thanks for this blog post, I got an email this morning from them, and apparently this is not the first as the lady was reminding me she already emails me, which I can’t even remember.

    The whole thing did sound a bit too good to be true, and while I never entertain guest posts of that nature as a rule, I decided to check this one out. Glad I did, and I will continue on ignoring their emails.

  17. I agree with Simon P.
    I think it’s absolutely laughable the way you are all sitting around here and conspiring about this like old people that don’t trust banks.

    Your article states that this is a scam with no actual evidence that it is a scam. The company is registered in the UK, with a legitimate website and bloggers that have actually confirmed to have received payment after working with them and you are still screaming scam.

    Fair enough if you don’t want to risk working with them, but who are you to state false facts to deter other people?

    If you knew anything about the world of SEO and online marketing, it’s not uncommon for companies to pay rates like this in exchange for a link back to their site. It helps build their domain authority and reputation in the eyes of Google to have so many sites linking back. Considering that, $100 is not an unheard of amount.

    I wouldn’t trust any of your articles after reading this. You are worrying people unnecessarily.

    As for the guy that demanded meetings – LOL. You sound batshit crazy. I wouldn’t want to meet some paranoid stranger that wanted me to hand over $100 in a coffee shop either.

    Hope people reading this article actually bother to read comments from people who HAVE checked to see if this was a scam or not rather than the bullshit and conspiracies as fact you are stating. I wasted so much time reading your nonsense theories.

    • I wasn’t going to approve this comment, but … hihiih

      As far as meeting in the coffee shop or meeting in person, I think it’s pretty sensible to meet in person. As he might want to keep the relationship going. I’m a girl, and I don’t think it’s creepy at all to meet a client at a public place of my choice. So, yeah, if nobody can’t really verify your company, your business in person, then they have the right to question your business and your practice.

      Okay, my website and many other people who search online and came here to see this post, think that your service is a scam because look: 30,000 views/year is NOTHING nada. If someone think that 30,000 view/year website is worth getting $100 post ads, they deserved to be scam, because it’s a BAD business model. hahahah. If this is a real company, I would not post a very bad article to post on some random small website about non-related and expect to somehow drawing in the traffic from that 30,000 view/year. It’s like the fastest way to go bankrupt.

      Flaws on the this scam:
      1. Pick loser websites like mine – slow traffic, nothing is really appealing, if it is a real business, then they should have picked financialsamurai.com, retireby40.org, mrmoneymustache.com, gocurrycracker.com, etc. If it’s a real company, then they should have recruit those big names, instead of recruiting losers who have no traffic. So, that’s a flaw, and that’s part of the scam. Get someone who’s desperate enough, think too highly of their website, have money in the bank to draw it from hahah
      2. Bad article – If it’s truely an advertisement, the writing has to be super good. The article was so bad that it didn’t really worth $100. Like you didn’t really want to sell the company/the link you try to refer people back to. 🙂 Just sayin’ 🙂 If you want to be professional scammer, you gotta improve your writing.

      That’s why if it looks too good to be true, then it ain’t true.

  18. This is the strangest thread I ever read. I got such a e-mail. Now, I am from India, so the amount is a decent enough one. I did research, reached this page, and ‘the-too-good-to-be-true’ thing dinged me. She re-messaged me, I said, what the heck, let’s do this. I got an article, I posted it, they paid me. I have earlier lost $700 to a scam like this, so I know what a fake PayPal id and stuff looks like. I got the money, it takes 2 days for the actual amount to reflect in my account. So, nothing out of the ordinary as yet. Let’s see further.

  19. Here’s an update. I had the money transferred into my bank account – my country had Bank Holidays for a couple of days – so it took some time. I have the money now, in my currency, in my wallet, and my life is going on as usual. So, yea, not a scam, a bit weird, maybe, but not a scam.

  20. So against my better judgement I decided to come back and see if further information or some sanity had been brought back to this thread, and oh boy how wrong could I have been?

    So not content with providing zero proof to your own readers, Vivianne, you then post a link to a “similar” blog post who has also provided the same amount of proof as you, namely absolutely none. I also find it very VERY odd that this “similar” post and your post are all worded in a very similar manner making the same accusations. Could you be trying to get other sites to back up your baseless claims, hmmmm? If I were a conspiracy nut like yourself I would find this all very odd timing indeed. Some people come here and say they have actually been paid, then suddenly a post which is a carbon copy of yours with no proof pops up and you just so happen to “find it”. The post titles are practically the same for goodness sake!

    You also keep changing the very reason why they are a scammer and how they scam you. You said that it was by taking over Paypal accounts and then when it was explained to you how ridiculously difficult that would be you then just go “oh, actually they get you this other way I have just entirely dreamed up”. “They use links in emails” you claim, yet no one here has mentioned any such thing. I certainly didn’t see any links when they paid me TWICE for advertising on my site.

    Then you even go as far to say just outright false lies… “If this is a real company”. It is a real company, Vivianne. This was described to you in the last conversation we had. They are a UK company that has been operating for a number of years with a website and seemingly real people who email asking for advertising. I don’t even understand how you can’t grasp the concept of advertising? Have you walked down the street and seen a billboard? That is money for free. Have you seen Google Ads or banners? That is money for free. People don’t really care if you have 1,000 or 1,000,000 views if the target audience is right.

    You are being entirely irresponsible now, and I think it is disgusting that you are spreading information like this without a shred of evidence. Did you moonlight as a Trump campaigner?

    All the best!

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