Recently, there seems to be a spate of these arriving in our inbox instead of the place it should be; the SPAM box. An unwelcome and unwarranted email urging us to take action IMMEDIATELY over our ‘Expiration Offer Notice’.
Don’t be fooled, it’s a scam.
First off, take a look at how this is laid out;
The whole thing is designed to scream ‘TAKE ACTION’ with no fewer than seven mentions of the word ‘Expire’ or ‘Expiration’.
Most normal people would assume that something is about to run out and if it relates to your website and by default in most cases your livelihood, you could easily be fooled into thinking that you need to deal with this. You don’t.
The language used is typical of scammers in that they are trying to persuade you to take action, now.
In sales, it is widely accepted that saying something three times cements it in the mind of the buyer so if I tell you that the car you are buying from me is ‘reliable’ and then repeat that twice more during our conversation, I know you are going to be weighing reliability as one of the reasons to buy.
You will also notice that the date has been highlighted no fewer than three times, once at the top of the email, the next in bold telling me when the offer runs out and the final one showing which dates it is applicable to and from. Much like other contracts, this inclusion of specific dates lends weight to the fact that it must be legitimate, after all, scammers don’t ask you to send money for a service that only lasts twelve months, surely?
In this case however, you are actually buying something. You are buying their “search engine traffic generator”. They even tell you in the email that “We are selling traffic generator software tools”. What these tools are and what they do is a mystery. They suggest that if you don’t buy their service it may “make it difficult for customers to find you on the web” but in reality that’s more likely to be influenced by how good your website is, not whether they do anything for you.
In fact, as far as we can tell, they do nothing fo you.
What bugs me the most though is the pretence that this is somehow above board.
They specifically state;
“You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers.”
Oh no I didn’t. You have simply scraped my details from the WhoIs information that is publicly available. And as a business, I am unable to hide this information so you choose to abuse it like this.
To add insult to injury they then assert that “This message is CAN-SPAM compliant” when clearly it’s not. The CAN-SPAM act clearly states as point 1;
- Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
They claim this is true but they haven’t counted on Agencies like ours who track the crap they send to our inbox. In the last week, we have received these emails from no fewer than seven different email addresses. This one came from email@example.com but they hope we didn’t notice that last week the same offer to renew the same domain name came from firstname.lastname@example.org. This is clearly not CAN-SPAM compliant.
Other email addresses they have used this week include;
and so on and so on……the list is endless.
Try reaching any of these websites and you will find they don’t exist, nor will they reply to any emails sent there.
So what to do about them?
- Delete the email. Don’t click on it, don’t give it a second thought and above all don’t reply to it.
- Don’t give them any money. Ever. They are asking for payment for fresh air and you DO NOT need to buy what they are selling
- Report them for CAN-SPAM violations, especially if you are based in the USA.
Sadly, here in the UK, it seems that we have little protection so as long as they keep spamming us we will keep broadcasting that it’s a scam.
Finally, just so you have the entire message all in one place, this is the transcript of what they send…
IMPORTANT NOTICE Domain SEO Service Registration Corp.
EXPIRATION OFFER NOTICE
Notification Purchase Offer
EXPIRATION OFFER DATE: 10/19/2016
To: Your Name
Your Business Address
Any County, Postcode, GB
|Domain Name:||Registration SEO Period:||Price:||Term:|
|yourdomainname.com||11/02/2016 to 11/02/2017||$64.00||1 Year|
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
Domain Name: yourdomainname.com
Attn: Your Name
This important expiration notification offer notifies you about the expiration offer notice of your domain registration for yourdomainname.com search engine optimization submission. The information in this expiration notification offer may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the Domain SEO Service Registration to purchase our search engine traffic generator. We do not register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above.
If you fail to complete your domain name registration yourdomainname.com search engine optimization service by the expiration date, may result in the cancellation of this search engine optimization domain name notification offer notice.
PLEASE CLICK ON
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
TO COMPLETE YOUR PAYMENT.
Failure to complete your seo domain name registration yourdomainname.com search engine optimization service process may make it difficult for customers to find you on the web.
CLICK UNDERNEATH FOR IMMEDIATE PAYMENT
PROCESS PAYMENT FOR
SECURE ONLINE PAYMENT
This domain seo registration for yourdomainname.com search engine service optimization notification offer will expire 10/19/2016.
Instructions and Unsubscribe Instructions:
You have received this message because you elected to receive special notification offers. If you no longer wish to receive our notifications, please unsubscribe here or mail us a written request to Domain SEO Service Registration Corp., Miami Beach, FL 33139. If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to stop receiving notifications notices. We are a search engine optimization company. We do not directly register or renew domain names. We are selling traffic generator software tools. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant. THIS IS NOT A BILL. THIS IS A NOTIFICATION OFFER. YOU ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PAY THE AMOUNT STATED UNLESS YOU ACCEPT THIS NOTIFICATION OFFER. This message, which contains promotional material strictly along the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM act of 2003. We have clearly mentioned the source mail-id of this email, also clearly mentioned our subject lines and they are in no way misleading. Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.