Don’t get scammed by this SEO fraudster
I’ve been scammed by an SEO fraudster — a trusted blogging friend — be warned and beware! I. am. so. bloody. angry. An unusual post for me, you might think. But I believe my fellow bloggers should be aware.
I’d been blogging for about eight months and was plodding along nicely, happy with the steady stream of new readers. Then I noticed (let’s call her) Debby, who’d started to comment regularly on my posts. One message read “Reading brings us unknown friends they say. And after reading all of your posts I have the feeling I’ve known you for a lifetime.”
In hindsight, I think Debby baited me with her kindness and flattery? She told me how good my site looked and that my content was great. That should have set my alarm bells ringing, right? But Debby had already done some great work for another really trusted longer-term blogging friend and massive influencer. She’d been happy with the outcome and alarm never entered my head.
I believe Debby hooked me when she suggested “submit your website to my free backlink builder and web submission service.” Whatever that all meant? But no doubt, her clever use of the word ‘free’ had me reeled in and in effect, she’d ‘done me up like a kipper‘.
SEO’s a foreign language
Debby later reported how much work my blog needed (scary) but that she could easily fix it (phew)!
Since I’ve no idea about SEO, Focus keyphrase, optimizing Meta Tags or Descriptions, or HTML, Debby’s help was appreciated. Her comment “your backlinks and backlinks score, and social media marketing” was just as confusing, until I read “are all bad.”
Still, Debby said “not to worry, I can fix all that, it won’t take too long and it won’t cost much.” I was sold. I paid her first request of £200 via Paypal, and Debby started work on my blog. She kept in contact every couple of days, and after a few weeks, she showed me how she’d changed my hyperlinks (?) She said many of mine were doubled up due to “My journey through a psychotic depression” posts I-IX.
“This of course is not good from an SEO perspective,” said Debby, “and could potentially devastate your rankings.” Ah, this I understood — sort of.
Then I got sick
Debby went on to tell me what else was needed and said the next part would cost £250 and could I pay it via Paypal again. I did so on 21st July. Debby only contacted me twice after that, both emails being advice related, explaining things I could be doing on my blog. I wasn’t well physically or mentally, and told Debby I’d get onto these tasks as soon as I was feeling better. I said I was happy for her to continue with what she was doing.
Within about ten day, I hadn’t see any changes to my blog and I never heard from Debby again — despite several emails asking if she was okay. When I still got no response, my concern for her well-being grew. I contacted my Influencer friend who tried to get in touch with Debby on my behalf, to no avail.
I think I’ve given it long enough now to know I won’t hear from Debby again, and I’m bloody angry! My anger and tears are no doubt born out of sheer frustration and sadness. Frustration because of the time and energy I’ve had to spend, and sad because people can be so damn sh*tty! More than that though, I’m so effin’ angry for letting myself be fooled. And of course, at the loss of my money.
Scammed by yet another online fraudster
Long story short, I’ve also been scammed by online fraudsters to the tune of £473.76 over three months. I only noticed it on my bank statement because they used a store I haven’t used since circa 1993. You can tell I’m really not good at checking my bank balance regularly.
I’ve now had to cancel my card, change my passwords for online banking and other online stores I use.
My bank manager is looking into whether they can refund this money at least. In the meantime, and on the bright side, without a card I’m unable to spend as haphazardly as I usually do.
Carry on blogging – now there’s a big question
Obviously having been scammed, I was unsure about continuing my blog. I didn’t believe I could feel any worse. Yet after reading a good friend’s blog about whether post size matters, I’m now thinking my blog posts are too long. And I wonder if I’m doing anything right. Apparently long posts are too long to concentrate on for some and their attention can waiver.
A comment mentioned that if we can’t be bothered to cut our own words, why should others bother to read them! Another said they’d read if the content was good.
Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with the post or the comments and I simply can’t fault the writers. The post raised perfectly valid questions and attracted perfectly valid comments. The fact is, the post was brilliant because it made me question myself and my own posts. The trouble is, I don’t like my answers.
Since becoming a bit more au fait with stats and insights, I can see monthly comparisons and my likes and comments have changed. They’ve gone down steadily month by month. So, is it because I’m too wordy and full of myself, making my posts too long or is it that my content’s crappy?
Moreover, lots of odd things have been happening with my blog and because a certain person had access to it, I’m becoming more paranoid. Now some of these oddities might be WordPress nuances, and perhaps I ought to have contacted a ‘Friendliness Engineer’. But the odd things happening are many, and I just don’t have the energy any more.
Last minute thoughts
Perhaps blogging is impacting on my mental health. Maybe I’m spending too much time, sometimes days due to lack of concentration, researching, writing, and editing. Perhaps I’m overwhelmed by the amount emails I respond to each day or the many blogs I’m reading, and commenting on.
Trust me, I’m not seeking sympathy. I suppose I’m seeking clarity of mind. When I was first ill mentally, I’d write angry letters to my ex and post them 2nd class to myself. I’d receive the letters a few days later and read over them, thanking God that I hadn’t sent them to him. Things always seemed much clearer when I read all this stuff days later. Let’s see.