You Don't Have to Be Sherlock Holmes to Sniff Out Email Scams

Something's rotten in the state of SEO, and you may have already encountered it. We’re talking about email scams from supposed SEO companies.

Our clients often come to us with email offers that they have received, wanting to know if they are legitimate.  Very often these offers sound pretty compelling, as they prey on attorneys lack of understanding about SEO and fear of upsetting Big Daddy Google.  We know a lot about these types of emails because we get them too!  That’s right, these email scams are so ubiquitous that we are solicited by agencies offering us the same services that we provide to our clients.

If you want to sniff out an email scam from a mile away, look for these 5 telling signs:

  • Stinky grammar. If the grammar and spelling in the email you receive stinks, this is a clue that you’ve gotten an email from an overseas “SEO” shop.  While being overseas isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if the grammar is bad do you really want them writing your content or acting on your behalf as an SEO?  This seems obvious, but we have plenty examples from actual clients who have had horrible content or linkbuilding done by individuals with poor grammar and spelling skills. It just makes your firm look unprofessional.
  • A fishy email source. Look at the domain name of the person who sent the email.  For example, my email is Danielle at  That means that is our domain.  We have a website on this domain – you can check me out, see that I am a real person.  If the email comes from a domain name that does not exist, or from a personal account, such as AOL or Gmail, be suspicious.
  • A scummy website. If there is a website listed in the email or if the domain where the email originated is a real site, check it out.  How does it look?  Is it well designed?  Do you see a lot of “filler content” like “ipsum lorum” or blank pages?  Are they using stock photo images?  If the website looks shabby, contains design or content errors, it’s a good bet that the purported company is a sham.
  • Do real people work there?  Look for an “about us” or “bio” page on the website.  If the company does not contain information about a single real human being who works there, that’s another sign that they have something to hide or aren’t willing to put their personal name behind their product.  This is not a company you want to hand your hard-earned dollars over to.  At Foster Web Marketing, our team members bios are available on the website so you can see a picture and video of the genuine human being with whom you are doing business.
  • Rank reviews. Do a search for the company online.  IF you find nothing about them online at all, that’s a clue that the company isn’t very good at SEO, isn’t it?  On the other hand, if the company has multiple terrible reviews, it's best to back away from the offer. There are also cases where even big-name SEO companies will change names when they get too many bad reviews, so look for news articles or forum comments saying that company X changed name to company Y.  Then go search for company Y – and you’ll usually see why they changed names.

If you’ve got questions about an agency you’re working with or an offer you’ve received, we’re happy to talk with you.  While we provide services for clients we also have great relationships with website clients who do their own marketing or have another agency helping them out.  Our goal here is to educate you about how to spot email scams so you don’t lose money or web traffic thanks to and SEO scammer!