Spam, scam or virus

According to strangers that email me, I’ve had a handful of rich relatives or someone who just wanted to leave me money die in foreign countries.  I deleted the messages right away.

Recently, I received two invitations to link my blog to leading ink cartridges blog sites by I assumed from the way the email read a employee of those companies who just happened to read my blog and found it interesting enough to have on their website. In the one link, the address turned blue which was a sign to me that there was such a link. In the next email link I received a week later with the other ink cartridge company name mentioned the address was not blue which should have been a red flag. I did search for a blog site for that company and didn’t come up with one. But I excused that as my failure because I didn’t know where to look. I put the links in a couple of my blogs. One of those blog web sites red flagged my blog as having a virus in it and didn’t use the entry. At that point, I still wasn’t getting what had happened. You see as an author, I was thinking the more places on the internet I have my blog means more exposure so more people become familiar with my name and my books and buy them.

I got another email from the one link. The woman said she couldn’t find the link on any site. I replied that the link didn’t light up so she might send me the link again if the one she sent wasn’t working. I didn’t hear from her. Until a few days ago that is when I recieved much the same type email with the hype that the site had thousands of bloggers and thousands of viewers. The woman used the same name as before which wasn’t too smart. Now I’m finally suspicious that something is wrong. She requested me to link up to yet another name brand ink cartridge blog site. The link wasn’t blue in this one, either. I investigated and couldn’t find the blogs so I deleted and blocked that message. Maybe the links were just these companies way of advertising. If someone saw the links they couldn’t use them because they weren’t valid for good reason, because there isn’t blogs connected to the company sites but the ink cartridge brand mentioned is a way to remind them to buy.

I’m not sure what was suppose to happen or what will happen as a result of my replying to the emails. Now I’m wondering about the first email with the legitimate website address. Anyone can type in a website address that works. That doesn’t mean the person who emailed me had the authority to invite me to be in the blog site or that I actually got in once I put the link in my blog. I’m now thinking that all three message came from the same person or persons.

The blog site that red flagged my blog has let me back in to post. I appreciate that the website managers are willing to give me a second chance. So from now on, one lesson I’ve learned is if the link isn’t blue delete it and before you accept an invitation investigate to see what you’re getting into. I’m going to go back to my blog entry with the links in them and delete. For right now, if I were you I’d put emails with bad links to name brand cartridge ink blog sites on the top of your list of emails to get rid of fast. If anyone can tell me what was or is suppose to happen now that I stupidly replied to the email, I’d appreciate hearing comments.

Think that is the end of my virus or spam woes. Think again. A couple weeks ago, I took myself off a social network. I enjoyed emailing family and friends through that website. However, they all have my email address and can contact me anytime they want, but it makes me angry that I should be the one to leave in order to stop a problem created by someone else. My email was being used in a link that was thought to be a virus. I didn’t have a clue that the link was circulating on that site until a member that wasn’t on my list of contacts so wouldn’t have been someone I would have known how to contact emailed me. She sent me the link with my email address in it. This was a long line of letters and numbers with my email address in the middle which by the way wasn’t lit up. She said she had received the link many times for a period of time. The link looked like a virus to her, and she wished I’d quit sending it. I replied that I didn’t know anything about it or her which should have made her suspicious. She should have notified the website managers right away after the first time she got the email. I didn’t like what was happening any better than she did so I told her I was going to leave the site, but before I did I turned in the problem and hoped she did, too. The website managers answer was for me to delete myself until they found out what was going on. Right after that I received another email from a man who had gotten a link he didn’t like. I didn’t know him, either. A man he did know was sending this link to him so he deleted that man from his list of contacts. He thought that would be the end of it for him. He was hoping that would solve my problem so I wouldn’t have to leave the group. Might have but I didn’t know the person the link came from or what was behind it so I couldn’t delete anyone from my list of contacts. The damage was already done and would continue if I had stayed on the site. Who knows, my email link may still be surfacing to unsuspecting members of that social group if the person or persons sending it hasn’t been caught yet. For me, it means I will never use that site again.

Lesson number two, don’t be like the woman who suffered in silence as she deleted emails from me, a stranger, with my email address in the link and no other message included. Alert someone at the website involved, tell it to whoever will listen so a virus doesn’t happen to them. Stop whatever was suppose to happen. I know that won’t stop the bad guys from coming up with something new to pull on us, but hopefully as we keep each other informed, we become more alert and wiser. So if anyone out there wants to leave a comment about this happening to them or something similar I’d appreciate hearing from you. The more educated I am, the more prepared I am to end the next attempt at scaming me or putting a virus in mine and other computers.



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