A business owner told me this story of a WordPress plugin scam that she handled today (2/21/2012).
She is an active Affiliate Marketing professional and runs a couple very active websites based on WordPress templates.
A few weeks ago she received an email from supposedly an Affiliate marketing group asking for Ad Space rates for one of her websites.
She sent them her standard rate sheet. This is the email she got back:
(names & URLs changed to protect the innocent)
From: Ilyes FOOLISH GUY
Subject: Re: We would like to buy banner space on hiddensite.com
Sent: Feb 22, 2012 7:35 AM
Thanks for the reply to our proposal! We like your price.
You should install and activate the plugin in order to display the 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 wwebsite address. For example:
To activate the site you need to enter code 21G-YSR-3W3-I-Am-A-FOOL
What way of payment is suitable ot you
Ilyes FOOLISH Guy
End of Email Message
Wow – There are lots of scam agents out there.
It is rather clear from the spelling and grammar errors that this is not a legitimate business.
The reason for this post is to alert all WordPress site owners/managers to be careful.
Never accept anyone’s WordPress Templates, widgets or plugins unless you know who the developer is or if you get them from the WordPress repository. Caution is important. Otherwise you could jeopardize your WordPress site, it’s contents, and your business.
See a relevant article @ http://techie-buzz.com/wordpress/blogpress-seo-wordpress-plugin-scam.html There are numerous other articles you can find with a simple WordPress Plugin Scam search of the Internet.
Again – the key take away from this story is Caution is the Word. Ask questions, search for information about the widgets and pluggins, search for information about the business before continuing with a plan, let alone accepting and installing anything to your site.