WARNING: A Fake Banner Ad Offer Is Going Around

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I just received an email via our tip form with an offer to advertise on BestTechie.  The email came from someone named Eva Goldberg who apparently works at a company called JPP Consulting, whose domain didn’t exist until June 8, 2012 according to the WHOIS database.  You can read the email in full below:

From: Eva Goldberg

Subject: Banner on your website

Hello!

My name is Eva Goldberg, representing the advertising department of the JPP Consulting company. We are interested to place an ad (banner), of your choice, on your website. Design and sizes can be seen on our website at www.jppconsulting.net/id_a06d3/

Depending on the banner size you choose we can pay between $450 – $950/month.

If you are interested please let me hear from you.

King Regards,

Eva Goldberg

Let me start off by saying, this email should set off red flags for everyone. So if you received one, just delete it and save yourself any trouble that may come from it. So what’s wrong with this email? Well, if you take a look you will notice a few things in particular about this email, it’s not the most eloquently worded for starters (what the hell does “King Regards” mean?), it doesn’t request any information from me regarding my site, and it links to their website (I killed the link for security reasons – visit it at your own risk!) which prompts me to load a Java applet in order to view the page.  Also, why would they even want to advertise on my site (it doesn’t appear it would be a good fit for them)?

While I should have followed my own advice and deleted this email the second it entered my inbox, I couldn’t help but play along. So I clicked through to their website in a virtual machine and loaded the website. The first thing I noticed about the website was that in order to view any page on the site you needed to load a Java applet — that definitely set off a big red flag, especially with the current Java vulnerabilities that are going around.  Once the site loaded, I looked around, overall the site is very basic and offers very little information. And on top of all that, the ads, which promote a company based on the Czech Republic, they were offering me were not even the same dimensions as the ones we offer on BestTechie.  So either Eva never read our Advertise page, or didn’t comprehend it.

I decided that while I was playing along I should email Eva back, and so I did:

Hi Eva,

Thanks for reaching out. We provide the following ad slots:

– 728×90
– 336×280

Do either of those sizes appeal to you? Also, where would the ad link to?

Thanks,

Jeff

I’m not sure what Eva will say in response, if they even reply at all, but I can only imagine it’ll be humorous.  If I do receive a reply, I’ll be sure to update the post.

Also, for what it’s worth, I ran a scan on my virtual machine after I left the site with Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and it didn’t find anything, which is a good sign.  However, I cannot stress enough to webmasters and website owners, if you receive emails like this, just ignore them.  Often times the conditions of the deal are very shady or they will require you to have some kind of toolbar/plug-in installed on your site.


— Jeff Weisbein

Jeff is the founder & CEO of BestTechie. He has over 10 years of experience working with technology and building businesses. He loves to travel and listen to music.




Comments


  1. Hey Jeff, good work writing this up, man.

    I got the same thing this morning. Not only did the spelling error and the website look suspect, but the rates were ridiculous.

    I mean, obviously I think highly of my own blog, but no way do I push the kind of traffic that would warrant those rates. It would be nice, but no. Not to mention that my site is not tightly focused in subject matter – yet another cause for suspicion.

    So off I went to check out the site. My Safari doesn’t load Java anyway, so I wasn’t really worried, but it’s interesting when you get these requests because you can take a look at whatever the latest scam is.


  2. Hi. I’ve received it this morning. I usually delete this type of mails at sight but I felt like doing a simple web search for the company. Then I found your post and everything go normal again. Thank for the time you save me. :)

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