Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Proven SEO Stategy and SEO Results

From: Jane R. Villarreal
To: David Lauri
Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:02 AM
Subject: Proven SEO Strategy and SEO Results

While doing some research on your industry I have come across your site and decided to run an analysis on your competition and your current search rankings. I’m very impressed with your company, but there are some real opportunities for growth that you currently are missing.

Would you like to understand several strategies used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which have lead to better traffic, driving higher sales, increased leads and more revenue! We are rated as one of the top SEO and digital marketing companies in the US. In 20 minutes I can show you how to fuel your brand and generate more revenue from search engines and social networks.

All I’d like to do is follow up this with a quick phone call and see if we can arrange a time where you can see how this works online in real time. Can I call you this week to discuss your campaign?

Thank you
Best regards,
Jane R. Villarreal
2719 Romrog Way, Grand Island, NE 68801.

I get shit like this all the time, both regarding my personal website and my employer’s website. Someone must actually pay for SEO services from “top SEO companies” who send out SPAM like this, because these SPAMmers wouldn’t do this if they didn’t earn any money from it, but really, how stupid are the people who respond to these emails?

As you already know, is not the website for a business. I don’t have any competitors. And my website is already the top search result for my name.

But these SEO SPAMmers don’t care. They just know I have a website and that is my email address. (Yes, yes, if I really cared, I’d try to hide my email address, but it’s been out there a long time, and Gmail has pretty good SPAM filters, though one or two SEO SPAMs do get through every day or so.)

A funny thing about SEO SPAM is that for my employer the SPAM is addressed to our “” address. If these SEO SPAMmers cared about any pretense, they’d at least look at our staff listing to figure out who’s responsible for our website (hint: me).

Earlier this week I found out that SEO SPAMmers also try to pitch their services via cold calls. Our receptionist let such a call get through to me. Usually she’s pretty good about screening calls, but this time someone asked to talk to whoever was in charge of our website, and our receptionist just transfered the call. An Indian woman launches into her spiel after first asking if I was in charge of our website. I said no thanks and hung up on her.

Here’s the deal: If you can’t find out from the info on our website who is in charge of our website, you’ve no business talking to the person in charge of our website.

Besides which anyone who pays for SEO services is stupid.

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Facebook scam

I got a friend request today from someone I was already friends with on Facebook.

At first I wondered if he’d accidentally defriended me and was therefore refriending me, but I checked my friends list and he was still on it.

Then I went back to the new profile and looked more closely at the URL, which was

No, my friend’s name is not Deji Waleola.

One smarter friend posted on our friend’s original FB timeline about the fake profile.

Dozens of our other friends in common had already accepted this fake account’s friend request, apparently without wondering why this friend had set up a new FB profile or chosen such a strange URL. They shouldn’t feel too bad, though, because lots of people on Facebook do stupid things.

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Request for Immediate Action or bullshit junk mail

I got a piece of mail that wanted to look as if it were mighty important. As you can see on the upper right, it had a little picture of a bald eagle and the dire notice “Warning: $2,000 fine, 5 years imprisonment,
Must be official with so dire a warning on it, right?

This mail really is from a governmental body
but has no warnings
or both for any person interfering or obstructing with delivery of this letter U.S. Mail TTT.18 U.S. Code.” Must be pretty important, right?

Except that mail from the government doesn’t really look like that. As you can see on the lower right, a notice I got from the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, Office of Jury Services, last year had no logo nor any dire warning about interfering with the U.S. Mail. So what gives?

What gives is that the folks who sent the quasi-official looking notice hope that no one will read the fine print on the inside, which says, “Not affiliated with dealer or manufacturer.” They just want people to “act now” and call them, so they can try to sell you an extended warranty.

Sorry, but just like someone else whose bullshit detector was set off by this stupid mailing and who googled 877-692-5070 and then blogged about it, I’m not interested in the sales pitch from Motor Vehicle Services or whoever they are.

They didn’t provide a return address or even put any pricing in their mailing. Who the hell gets one of these offers and calls for more info? Someone must or Motor Vehicle Services wouldn’t do these mailings, but how can what they offer be a good thing if they have to be so shady about it?

I don’t know if Direct Warranty Services LLC of St Peters, MO, is the company behind the mailing I received, but from this Better Business Bureau report, it sounds like a very similar operation, if not the same. The BBB gave Direct Warranty Services LLC an “F” rating, saying:

The BBB brought to the firm’s attention that an advertisement as a whole may be misleading although every sentence separately considered is literally true, and that misrepresentation may result not only from direct statements but by omitting or obscuring a material fact. The BBB continues to receive a pattern of complaints and reports from consumers alleging that the firm’s solicitations are misleading. The company failed to modify the advertisement.

What’s really sad is that vehicle warranty expirations aren’t public information. The only way firms like these get this info is from car dealers or vehicle manufacturers. That Volkswagen of America would sell my info to shady operators like this makes me sad; I really like my VW Eos, but I think less of VW for selling me out.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Letters from a false prophet

Click to read
a letter from a false prophet.

Dear Dave Over the past several months I’ve been getting letters from someone who calls me “Dave.” If you know me at all, or if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my name’s not Dave. Now my getting letters addressed to “Dave Lauri” is at least partly my fault. You see it was a test, and someone’s failed it.

I did something a bit deceptive. I filled out a form online requesting a “miracle spring water and debt cancellation kit,” and I did so using the name “Dave Lauri.” The kit did arrive, accompanied by a letter with all sorts of fancy instructions, promising me an end to all my debts, so long as I did the right voodoo with the water and especially so long as I showed my obedience to God by sending back a small financial token, even if I had to borrow more money to do so.

An example of the hocus pocus God is supposedly calling me to do

Of course God commands me to send money


The deceptive part, besides my using a name I never use, is that I knew I’d be asked to send money, but I never intended to do so. Yet despite my never having sent a single cent, I keep getting letters from my new friend, who makes all sorts of promises, so long as I follow his crazy instructions, which, coincidentally, always seem to include sending him money.

Peter Popoff, a false prophet
Who is this new friend that knows me so well that he understands my needs and can promise such big changes in my life? Why it’s none other than (false) Prophet Peter Popoff.

Despite having a direct line to God, (false) Prophet Peter doesn’t know that I’m not Dave, that I don’t need debt cancellation, and that no matter how many wacko letters he sends me, I’m never going to send him any money.

I guess (false) Prophet Peter operates using the same principle that SPAMmers do, which is if you send out enough junk, there are enough suckers out there who’ll respond to make it profitable.

What a way to make a living, though. Prey upon the “hurting people around the world” and see how many you can con out of their money. No wonder Christians in general have such a bad reputation.

Tuesday, December 7th, 2004

I got an interesting letter in the mail today, from the Rev. Wayne Delatte of the Interfaith Foundation of Mason, Ohio. He wanted to tell me about God's message, but the message wasn't what you might expect from a Christian minister. He didn't mention gaining eternal life by being born again and accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior. He didn't mention Jesus's urging us to love our neighbors and to care for strangers, the sick and the poor. So what did he mention?

Money. Money and bizarre instructions. Rev. Wayne wants me to think about how much money I need. He wants me to set a glass of water on a piece of paper on which I've written that amount of money, after I've taken three sips from the water. He wants me to press his letter to my heart and to my forehead. And most importantly he wants me to "release my seed [...] to God" and to "expect an unusual miracle release." (If you're thinking that that language is rather onanistic, shame on you!)

Sorry, Rev. Wayne, but you're not getting my seed or my money. I don't "feel led" "on authority of God's eternal word" to send you "$14 or $17" or "another amount." I have to give you credit, though, for keeping costs down and profits up by sticking to a simple black and white bulk mailing. Sure, Steve Munsey prophesied that we each should be giving God Benny Hinn $79, but they've got television production costs to cover.

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