Too good to be true?
This is the text of an email I received this morning:Hi,
Ive just visited your site looks nice, I am looking to donate anywere from $40 - $100 to your not for profit website.
I will be happy to make a donation via paypal.
The only requirments are the site gets good traffic and is well regarded by the major search engines such as google and MSN, In return for the donation I simply ask for a link back to one of our sites.
Let's ignore the ungrammatical first paragraph, which makes most Nigerian spammers seem positively erudite, and focus on the compliments.
Jakartass "looks nice"? Why, thank you kind sir, but not in I.E.
My site gets good traffic. Sure, if nudging 1,000 hits a week is good traffic. And as Blogger is part of Google, I get a lot of visits via the search engines.
So, what's the scam? A donation in return for a link to one of their sites?
How about Buzz Machine
? This is the personal site of Jeff Jarvis
, a noted media consultant. Nice guy though he may be, his blog doesn't fit in the Jakartass remit.
So I dug deeper. Email addresses often lead to websites, so firstname.lastname@example.org
leads to www.chauy.com
which leads to this page
And so we discover, amidst Dominic's appalling English, that it costs a lot of money to subscribe to PayPal or to advertise on one of his networked sites.
Obviously Dominic, whose postal address is in Bolton, UK, doesn't read Jakartass. If he did, he'd know that consumer protection is one of my themes. He'd also know that I also regard spamming as unethical, which is why I've left his email address unprotected.