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Avoid Common Scams

Over the years, I’ve heard it all. And, if you have a website, chances are you have too. Why, each time you open your inbox (or check your snail mail), it seems that there is another snake oil salesperson trying to take your hard-earned money.

Here are a few of the most common scams that clients ask me about:

  1. Is my domain up for renewal? Well, maybe. But if you get an official-looking envelope delivered to your door that says “Domain Registry of America”, tear it up and throw it away. They are not your domain registrar and are just trying to get you to switch to their service. If you have a question about your domain, feel free to ask me or do a WHOIS search.
  2. Can this company really get me at the top of the search engines? Virtually every day I receive an unsolicited message from someone claiming they can get my site to come up first in Google, Bing, etc. It’s simply a scam. While there really are SEO (search engine optimization) experts who are legitimate, no one can guarantee you a #1 result. Treat those unsolicited e-mails as what they are – spam.
  3. PayPal, eBay, etc. says I have a complaint against me, but I don’t even use them. How is this happening? Ah yes, they call this one “phishing”. It’s a great way to scam people because the email you receive looks just like it came from PayPal or eBay. The graphics are the same. Except, there might be a misspelling and the reply-to address doesn’t look legit. If you do sell using one of these services, open up your web browser and log in to your account. But NEVER click on a link inside one of those emails. They’re looking to take your account info and your money.
  4. I was just browsing a few websites and a message popped up that said I have 1000s of viruses and spyware. Is that possible? Most likely not. Those popup windows on various websites have scammed more than a few people. The trouble is, once your buy their “security software”, it often discovers a whole bunch of viruses that don’t exist. Or, even worse, it proceeds to infect your system. When in doubt, stick with the big brands like Norton, McAfee and ESET.

That’s just a few of the more common scams going around. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!