How great would it be if your blog, which is just starting out, gets the attention of an international advertisement company – better yet, they want to purchase and advertisement space for whatever price you throw at them? Well, that’s what happened to one of our blogs – Evilnickel.com – The blog gets about 100 views a day, and is little by little getting new posts. But earlier in the week, we received an e-mail that didn’t look like a scam, until you got down to the third or fourth e-mail.
The internet is full of scams, there are
hundreds millions of different cleaver ways that a person can take your money without you even suspecting a thing. Many people online have been able to use the internet to make money, but because of the notion of – well, he’s doing it, why can’t I? – people fall prey to scam artists who mask their intentions with something that sounds legitimate and true, but usually isn’t. Make sure you “google” any and all kinds of “get rich quick” e-mails you receive.
We’re all too familiar with the Nigerian scam where a King is asking for help to transfer a large amount of money to a different bank. That same scam has been re written into the Apartment/car/lease scam. Where an individual sends you money in a check and then asks you to wire him part of the money back after you deposit the check – three days later, the check bounces but the guy already received the money, and you’re out of the money you sent the guy. These scams, fail because they are WAY over the top of your average internet user… you may fall for the scams when you’re a novice internet user – or when you trust other people too much. But eventually you learn from the scam, and never fall for a similar scam again. Remember – If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But what happens when you find a scam that you’ve never encountered before? Google it, make sure that no one else has fallen for that scam in the past. If you found this article is probably because you’re looking for the advertisement scam.
So What is This Scam?
I’m always on the internet, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with Scams on the regular basis. Friends of mine have fallen victim to all types of scams, even family members have fallen for vehicle scams on Ebay. So I never thought I would fall for a similar scam, and then I got this email:
Your Name: – Killian Blanchard
Your Website –
Your Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Phone Number: –
How should we contact you? – By Email
When Should I Contact You: – ASAP
Your Message: – Hi, We are looking for new advertisement platforms and we are interested in your site evilnickel.com. Is it possible to place banner on your site on a fee basis? Best regards, Killian Blanchard
Did You Find My Website Through Google? – Not Checked
Form Displayed on Page: evilnickel.com/contact-us-2/
I have seen these kind of advertisements come through my site in the past, and honestly most are legitimate. So this kind of e-mail didn’t send any red flags to me. I replied telling them that I had several different areas to accommodate their advertisement. I asked them what they were looking for, and they replied with the following e-mail:
Thanks for reply to our proposal!
I represent Jino Agency. At the moment we are preparing an advertising campaign for Lacoste Company (it is a French company producing clothes, footwear, perfumery etc.) We already have designed banners for the campaign, they are the following sizes: 160×600, 240×400, 300×250, 336×280, 468×60, 728×90.
I sent them My prices for an advertisement that would go at the top of the page across all of my pages. Usually I tend to over price the advertisement expecting them to negotiate the price down to a price that is going to fit both the agency and I. But to my surprise they e-mailed back with:
Thanks for reply to our proposal!
We like your price.
To pass to the banner control system follow the link http://webmaster.jinoagency.com
To enter use the following data:
You should install and activate the plugin in order to display advertisement. Before making payment, advertiser must approve location of the banner. The banner will be shown on your site when you add special code to your web- address (for example: http://evilnickel.com/?adv_test=1). It means, that visitors will see the banner only if it is approved and payment made.
To get installation instruction for your site type pass to: http://docs.jinoagency.com/wp_install
To activate your site you have to enter the code: ———
What way of payment is suitable for you?
This was the first red flag that came blasting through the door, why would they require me to put a java script? At first I thought it was similar to the Google Adsense campaigns, so I logged into the website to see what it’s all about. The site looked dull, it didn’t look like the professional ad companies that I’ve dealt with in the past. And even then, the companies that I dealt with in the past would send me the image of their banner with a tracking cookie, and I would place that on their desired ad spot. Being a PI, I started to do some research about the company. I clicked on their site and it took me to this page:
I know my fair share of design and website development to know that the website was probably made in an afternoon or so, I also know that advertisement companies usually have a very well designed website. Something that is going to impress their customers – this lacked all of those things. I then clicked on the “news” links and instead of taking me to a reputable website instead, I was displayed JPG images of news-papers similar to this one:
What are They After?
When you sign up to their website and actually install the code, which can be found here if you want to examine it, you are going to be asked to send them payment information – How do you want to get paid? – You do want to get paid from them right?
I never went through with the full campaign, but this kind of scam is the same one as the – something is wrong with your paypal account, click here to sign in and approve our payment – they send you to a phishing PayPal account that looks exactly as PayPal, but when you type in your credentials, they wipe your PayPal account clean of all the money. If you have your PayPal attached to your Bank Account, there goes that money as well.
If you’re having trouble understanding why or how this is a scam, here are all the Red Flags – Evil Nickel gets about 100 views per day, 3k a month. If we’re lucky, the company wants to put and advertisement on a website that is not going to pay out them. They wanted to put a clothing companies advertisement on a site that is not about clothing at all. The ad placement was overpriced, and lastly, no advertisement company is ever going to ask you to install a plugin to make something work. Not even Google uses plugins to serve their advertisements. A simple search online revealed several other people who have the problems with their sites. But perhaps the BIGGEST red flag of them all, is the following image from other companies:
Do they look familiar? It’s the exact same website as Jino’s website. So who’s responsible for these sites?
- Killian Blanchard – – Jino Agency
- Noa Morin – – Kara Agency
- Oscar Meunier – – Kervel Agency
- Jules Barbier – – Marka Agency
- Rayan Meyer – – Bevesto Agency
It doesn’t matter who sends you this advertisement, if anyone is asking to install a plugin, make sure you never do it. Especially if they are asking you to install a plugin that is not in the “wordpress plugin market” Hope this helps you a little, and if you’ve had an experience with them before, let us know in the comment section below.