As adults in this age of technology, maintaining an awareness of safety is crucial. We teach our children not to talk to strangers or go with them without talking to us first. We know not to trust emails with attachments from senders we don’t know. Even our friends and relatives attachments are treated with care as we don’t always know if they actually sent the messages. Checking the complete ‘from’ address is important to verify that all is well with the email. We don’t open doors without checking who is standing there first, and we don’t give personal information to phone callers. I have made it a habit to call back companies that I do business with using a phone number I trust. This and more are just some precautions taken in this day and age when dealing with companies and people from outside our comfort zone.
Owning a Website and Blog is no different. Trying to increase traffic and raise a high sense of reliability and good reputation to Internet readers lends the owner and writer to be more outgoing. Owners need to market themselves and open their lives up to maintain a certain set of social manners. Writers want their readers to follow what they post about to feel comfortable. But, are you sure that everyone you come in contact with has those same goals, morals and intentions in mind as they reach out to you? Being a blogger makes it necessary to open up to strangers and perhaps at bit quicker than you would in a face to face situation. When I comment, share my own and others content, join groups and blog parties I feel as if those contacts have become special to me and persons I can trust and relate with. But are they all?
There was recently a situation discussed in a Facebook group where a long time trusted blogger was revealed to be a great con artist. By feeling safe and comfortable and following all common sense rules many bloggers were duped into parting with money and time only to be burned with the con. We all learned to be a bit safer. We learned to trust our instincts and question when developing situations didn’t feel right.
This week there was another situation that occurred I just couldn’t let go.
Visiting a link at my blog party I became interested in an article a blogger submitted. Going to the site I immediately felt extremely uncomfortable.
1. The author of the article was named Admin, even though the contents of the article led the reader to believe this was a seasoned blogger.
2. The site belonged to a Company, yet comments were disabled.
3. The site was only 6 days old. Six articles had been written but all were attributed to large marketing companies. Further checking showed they were scraped word for word.
4. There were a few navigation pages, Home, Shop, Contact Me, and Banners. The Banners were a page of grabable sales ads where the reader was asked to share them on their blog. Everything else was blank pages except the Contact Me. That form was a very intricate form requiring full name, address, phone number, website, and email. No information about the company was listed. No Newsletter was listed.
5. The ony social media site listed was Facebook. The facebook fan page carried the same six articles with no other information other than the web URL. The Facebook account was less than a week old.
6. The Facebook account had almost 40 followers. Impressive for a new account. All the followers were Blog Party Hosts or Cohosts. The same way I found this company.
7. Going back to my linky admin dashboard I discovered the email address was a Yahoo account. For a company?
I deleted their link on my party as I felt it was suspicious. If it isn’t I apologize. But I won’t expose anyone that trusts my site to this company.
My take on the situation is this company is a fraud, trying to get linkbacks by using parties. If you enter that site, the owner gets your ip address, where you came from going to that URL, and where you leave for. Not hard to get an email either as most bloggers give a way for inquirers to reach them. I don’t know the answer but I am certain it is a scam. Do they want black hat SEO? A list of potential customers? Valid email addresses to send viruses through? Or a list of emails to sell to bloggers looking to buy followers? Whatever it is, I am looking closely at my blog and any future problems to what develops.
What do you think? Have you ever thought a party link would be something you need to investigate? Would you have deleted the link so anyone looking at your party wouldn’t become a potential victim? Have you come across anything like this? Please let me know in the comments. Feel free to share this article in any way you wish.
I hope I have caused at least one person to keep situations like this in the back of their minds. Be safe my fellow Bloggers.
Have a great Day and stay Proactive!