Yesterday morning I received an email about a potential ad deal. Naturally, I got excited and quickly read through the email to see what the advertiser was after. Here is what I received:
[box] Hi, We are looking for new advertisement platforms and we are interested in your site livethewritelife. Is it possible to place banner on your site on a fee basis? Best regards,[/box]
This is for another blog that I have that is low traffic, not even a PR 1. This was red flag number 1. However, I was interested, so I emailed him a quick reply with various prices for different types of ads. Within 5 minutes his reply came back:
Red flag number 2; this guy is representing Lacoste! As in, the Lacoste? I find it hard to believe that my tiny little PR 0 blog would attract the advertising attention of someone working for a major international fashion retailer. Maybe this was my lucky day? I bit. I emailed him back and told him which size ad would work best for the site, and I sent him my monthly price. No harm, no foul.
2 minutes later and here came his reply:
[box] Hi! Thank you for your offer regarding your other sites, we\’ll discuss them in nearest future. Now we are interested in placing banner on livethewritelife We like your price. To pass to the banner control system follow the link http://webmaster.lanaagency.com To enter use the following data: login: livethewritelife password: %%%%%% 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://livethewritelife/?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.lanaagency.com/wp_install To activate your site you have to enter the code: WZK-&&&-P46 Best regards,[/box]
Red flag number 3; this guy wanted me to install a plugin for this ad, and then activate it before they sent me money! I have never heard of anything so crazy. I have always been leery of third party plugins, and the access they could potentially have to my site internals, so this was the final straw for me. I even accessed the link he sent, and it went to a real website, with a real control panel for downloading the plugin. It even had my details, and the price we had agreed upon the our email. This was a real live person performing this fraud!
A quick Google search revealed that I was not the only one who has been contacted by this guy. In fact, it appears that it is an entire network of people working for the infamous “Lana Agency” who are contacting bloggers of small blogs in reference to this ad deal.
Thankfully, I was not fooled into actually installing this plugin on one of my blogs, and potentially exposing my financials to this criminal. I hope none of you have fallen into a trap of this nature, but if you get an email from Sacha Charles, just press delete!!