The “Website Partnership Enquiry” Scam

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 <>
reply-to: Roly Joyce <>
date: Feb 8, 2008 6:30 AM
subject: Website Partnership Enquiry

Good day,

My name is George Nelson and I am contacting you to inquire eventual purchase of a link on your website (
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!

George Nelson

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., and the email actually came from, which suggests the person isn’t part of a legal company.

Second, gmail ignores dots in their email addresses, so is actually That suggests the person is using aliases to filter out responses from those suckered in to their scam.

Third, this scam has been reported elsewhere:

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.


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