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How to determine if that ‘free audit’ solicitation email is legit

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One of my small business clients forwarded an email to me with the question, “Do I want this no-obligation audit?”

I stand behind the work I do, so I have no qualms if a client wants to use tools, or even reports, from other agencies to see how their websites stack up to the competition.

But in this case, as soon as I saw the email my response was, “AAAEEE! No, don’t do it!” Why? Because it was one of those spam/scam-type emails.

I get these emails from clients on a regular basis, so I thought it would be good to break down how to quickly spot a scam email. In addition, I’ll show how you can easily locate the relevant audit report information for yourself using Search Console.

The scam: Free ‘no obligation’ audit

As you can see in Figure 1, the email appears to come from a real person: Alan Walker, Marketing Consultant; he’s letting my client know the company website is full of errors and that his large design team will fix all of them.

Figure 1: The “no-obligation” email

The email gives three easy clues for spotting the scam:

Clue #1: Gmail “from” address

This is a dead give away: Alan’s last name doesn’t match his Gmail address, which I’ve noted in Figure 1.

If Alan were indeed a “professional” marketing consultant, he would most likely have a domain name rather than a Gmail address.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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