Beyond the Nigerian Prince: Insidious fake “comments” infiltrate blogs, including my own!

April 23, 2010

In my opinion, one of the most despicable forms of direct marketing is the solicitation disguised as personal correspondence or, worse yet, a gift of money. You know these pernicious pieces of mail by their cursive typefaces made to look as if a real person actually wrote them. Other tricks include admonishing receivers to “open immediately” for “critical time sensitive” information! Using real stamps instead of inked postage. Or stationary that appears personal as opposed to commercial. Anything implying a person created the letter as opposed to a machine. All of it done to improve the chances of an unwitting consumer opening the letter. As far as I know this is legal, like putting snag hooks on a fishing lure. But I don’t like it: not because I’m worried about all the pour souls getting duped but, rather, that we as marketers resort to such tactics in the first place. It just ain’t right.

Lest you think this unruly approach is limited to paper mail think again. Unfortunately, the ‘faux personal’ is rampant in the digital space as well. And here it is not always legal. We’ve all met the Nigerian Prince and his lost inheritance. (Does this ruse still work?) But there are more subtle tactics being employed, similar to the direct mail provocations mentioned above. Spam email of course dominates this cesspool.

Yet, nefarious marketers have found ways to circumvent our good judgment and spam filters by pretending to be someone they’re not and then tagging their notes with an email address or a URL. What’s more insidious is that they’ve begun sending these bogus comments to blogs. Most open by offering praise to the blogger’s post.

Below is one such “comment” which I received several days ago on this very blog. I’m printing it word for sometimes misspelled word and including the perpetrator’s contact information. Irony of ironies, it belongs to a law firm!

Author : nomoreaccidents (IP: 200.50.229.10 , rdns01.abdicar.com)
E-mail : fredmauradoff@gawab.com
URL : http://theaccidentlawyers.com
Whois : http://ws.arin.net/cgi-bin/whois.pl?queryinput=200.50.229.10
Comment:

Long time lurker, thought I would say hello! I really dont post much but thanks for the good times I have here. Love this place..

When I was hurt in that motorcar accident my life would be changed for all time. Unfortunately that driver had no car insurance and I was going to be in pain for ever.

This was not time for me to start and guess what to do. I had to find a good personal injury lawyer to help me get what I needed. After all, my family was counting on me.

How bad was it? I has bedridden for 7 months, I had to have constant care and my medical bills went through the roof!

Thankfully, I found a good referral site to help me.

I will post more later this year to tell you more about what I have been going through.

If you need an accident lawyer try the guys at pip lawyers
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7 Responses to “Beyond the Nigerian Prince: Insidious fake “comments” infiltrate blogs, including my own!”

  1. You can use the Aksimet (sp?) plug-in on WordPress to stop spam comments automatically. Cause you certainly can’t revert to admin approved comments only in a blog such as this.

  2. tjay said

    Did you put that there to boost your blog earnings? Just kidding. Yet you bring up an interesting point about social media. In the quest to monetize ‘everything’ where is that line? Even in normal tweeting and fbing and posting, is there a line between I posted this becuse it’s ineterestinf to my ‘freind’s’ and pretending to be ‘social’ in order to get paid?

  3. tjay said

    I left in the typo so you could tell I’m posting with an iPhone. (let’s see if I get paid for that)

  4. Madison said

    I COULD give the spammer a credit if s/he posted info about EMPLOYMENT lawyers as in relation to your recent post on blurring the line between work/personal blogging:

    ‘Long time lurker…I was in a similar situation when my employer fired me for posting X. BUT I hired XXX Lawyer specializing in…”

  5. Yes, Steffan, as Michelle said, Akismet is a wonderful spam trap for your blog. I depend on it. Works great.

  6. oriana said

    Okay, great, so I am not the only one!

    Recently, as in the last week or so, I have been getting two or three of these fake comments per day. I have several other blogs that I started and then abandoned over the last few years, but I recently decided to get serious about one of them as an outlet for pushing myself to explore creative ideas I have, whereas before I mistakenly thought maybe someone else wanted to read my crazy ideas. So, with this new orientation to blogging and knowing that perhaps no one will ever read what I write, I was confused by the comments I was getting– the first few seemed nice enough and not spam/phishing/garbage-y. Then they got more obvious. It became more clear that these comments were not at all in response to what I had written. I had also never gotten a comment from someone I did not know before, and that seemed cool at first, then totally creepy.

    Yuck.

    Ego deflated, I deleted all of them and thought, “wow, that sucks!”

    Thanks for your post, now I know I am not alone.😦

    I don’t know you (the author), but this comment is definitely genuine. Thanks for your post. Sincerely, Oriana

  7. […] found a blog called godsofadvertising where the author describes, in his April 23, 2010 post this exact same […]

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