About once a year I receive an email from someone wanting to put ads on my site. I received this one this morning:
from: Roly Joyce <firstname.lastname@example.org>
reply-to: Roly Joyce <email@example.com>
date: Feb 8, 2008 6:30 AM
subject: Website Partnership Enquiry
My name is George Nelson and I am contacting you to inquire eventual purchase of a link on your website (steelwhitetable.org).
Could you please give us the prices for the following ad options:
1) text link on your homepage only
2) text link on all pages
3) text box 120×60, 125×125 on homepage
4) text box 120×60, 125×125 on all pages
Thank you in advance!
At first I didn’t look at it closely because of legitimate inquires I received in the past, but I always research who the email is from and the company they represent. As I started to look into this, the first thing that was suspicious was their email address: it’s from a domain that doesn’t exist (i.e. akxc9.com), and the email actually came from gmail.com, which suggests the person isn’t part of a legal company.
Second, gmail ignores dots in their email addresses, so firstname.lastname@example.org is actually email@example.com. That suggests the person is using aliases to filter out responses from those suckered in to their scam.
It’s a form of Advance fee fraud alias Nigerian 419 fraud.
If you fall for the bait and sell something for $2000, you’ll receive a check for $3000. The perpetrator of the scam will then claim that a mistake was made and ask that you refund $1000 via money transfer.
So you send $1000 via money transfer, which cannot be stopped… and in the end when it finally clears, the $3000 check ends up being a fake.
Even if I DID response to their email, I would never send someone I didn’t know money.