How to determine if that ‘free audit’ solicitation email is legit
It can be tough to determine if a 'no obligation' audit email is legitimate. Thankfully, columnist Dianne Huff shows how you can identify scams -- and how to get basic website audit information for free.
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.
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.
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