Scam alert - Did you get this today too?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Scammers really should check their lists before they send their mail.

If they're sending it to people who can't possibly have a real estate listing, it's ascam lie. That means there HAS to be some ulterior motive for sending it.

That makes it scary to me, and my bet is that hundreds of real estate agents got this same message. If I was still an agent, I just might have fallen for it.

Here's what it said:

 

Your real estate listing was featured in today's News Digest International (www.newsdigest.co).

 

We look forward to hearing from you again in the future!

 

Sincerely,

 

Lisa Davis
News Digest International

Since I haven't held a real estate license now for about 7 years...

I definitely didn't click to see where it would take me and my efforts to "look behind" the address to see the actual link were not successful. (Did I mention, I'm no techie. I was afraid to "copy link location" for fear I'd end up somewhere dangerous.)

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Rainmaker
655,872
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF

Marte, with the internet scammers are able to scrape email addresses and use them for marketing. I literally get hundreds of scam emails each day [not kidding].

August 09, 2012 01:58 PM
Rainer
115,633
Renee Hearne
Realtor, CRA, CPPS, MMDP
Crye-Leike Realtors

Thanks for the heads up regarding this scam that is going around.

August 09, 2012 01:59 PM
Rainmaker
517,329
Jeanne & Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Brokers
Selling Durango CO homes to good people like you!
The Durango Home Team at Keller Williams Southwest Associates

I've received 2 or 3 of these within the last week.  Sort of like the ones that tell you that you've been included in the who's who in America.  Same kind of tripe.

August 09, 2012 02:06 PM
Ambassador
2,342,438
Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

I believe I got that one too.

They are probably scraping AR.

August 09, 2012 02:18 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Pamela - It's big business, so a percentage of the population must be responding.

Renee' - it seemed worth mentioning, just in case it is dangerous. If you had a lot of listings out there, you just might fall for it.

Jeanne and Ralph - Yes, I get those whose who things quite often too. I just figure that's a bid to pay money to be included in some hyped up directory.

August 09, 2012 02:23 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Lenn - Maybe so. In that case, they're hopefully targetting people who are too smart to fall for it!

August 09, 2012 02:37 PM
Rainmaker
1,141,597
John Pusa
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service
Sellstate Pacific Realty

Marte - Thanks for the warning. I don't think, I received such email, but I do receive emails could be scams. We need to be very careful.

August 09, 2012 03:18 PM
Rainmaker
1,930,703
Barbara Todaro
"New Franklin MA Homes"
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Hi Marte..... the past few weeks have been overkill with scam emails..... overkill.

August 09, 2012 04:05 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

John - Yes we do. Some could merely be scams to get us to buy something. Others could be dangerous. I just got a message "from" a client that I KNOW she didn't send. Was it because she clicked through to a wrong message?

Barbara - Too many people desperate because they've lost their jobs - so trying anything to make a buck? I've read that identity theft, etc. has gone way up since the economy has been in such trouble.

August 09, 2012 04:14 PM
Ambassador
2,365,985
Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.

Marte, I got one of these, too - in today's email.  I zapped it as spam, but I didn't think it might be scam!  I did almost click it, though.  Glad I didn't.

August 09, 2012 10:02 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Patricia - Lenn is probably correct in thinking they're scraping addresses from Active Rain. Who knows, it might have only been a sales pitch, but that one made me nervous.

August 10, 2012 12:30 AM
Ambassador
2,365,985
Patricia Kennedy
For Your Home in the Capital
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc.

Hey, Marte!  I included this post in Last Week's Favorites.  Have a great week!

August 12, 2012 09:40 AM
Rainmaker
342,997
Pete X-Investment to Luxury, Huntington Beach, CA -GRI-MCNE 714.459.2017 OCLister.com
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide
X Group Real Estate Advocates

There are scams aplenty and this one might just be a pitch for a useless service.

Windows 8 I hear will be great in protecting from spy-wear and other bugs, it's coming out soon.

I open up most anything and never had a problem, solid protection is affordable.

Unfortunately it does not include spam control.

August 12, 2012 09:46 AM
Ambassador
1,802,536
Jeff Dowler CRS
Carlsbad CA Homes for Sale (760) 840-1360
Solutions Real Estate

Cool, I actually missed out on this one. I see stuff all the time, as well all do. It's pretty scary how legitimate some scammers can make the emails appear to be.  I get stuff from the USPS, FedEx, PayPal and YouTube, among others, daily that is clearly spam/scam

August 12, 2012 10:12 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Patricia - Thanks! These wouldn't be so scary if they were just advertisements we could ignore, but... what if they're something worse?

Pete - and if you try to set up your system to filter out spam, it might also filter out customers!

Jeff - I get them a lot "from" Pay Pal - and before deleting forward them on to spoof@paypal.com. They always write back and say it helps them get to the root of the scammers, so I keep doing it.

August 12, 2012 02:15 PM
Rainer
91,091
Tanja Cisliek
Future Home Realty

Marte, thank you for posting, I am sometimes nervous and wondering about email messages, many are obvious (like the Nigerian Kind needing money transferred to a trustworthy person and I'm the lucky one!), but some are not. Luckily, the internet is a great resource, and most fraudulent messages can easily identified by just entering the link in the google search bar. Great reminder to be careful!

August 12, 2012 02:20 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Tanja - Yes, if you type out the link and don't copy/paste. The best idea if it is supposed to be coming from Pay Pal, UPS, your bank, etc. is just to go to their website from the address you regularly use. If you don't see anything strange and still wonder, just call them.

I got one recently saying there was a problem with my CitiBank account. If I HAD an account there it might have worried me.

August 12, 2012 02:30 PM
Rainmaker
538,391
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com

Isn't it horrible how much we have to worry about these things now days? Someone hacked my 13 year old's email and sends spam to all his contacts from that. So frustrating.

Gretchen

August 12, 2012 07:47 PM
Ambassador
1,500,485
Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Marte, that is a new one for me. I know there are all manner of ways for scammers to do their thing but this is something that I will definitely keep in mind to avoid

August 13, 2012 05:30 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Gretchen - that is really despicable. I've had it happen to me as well - and only found out when some of their mail bounced.

Ed - the worse the economy gets, the more desperate the crooks get to find ways to separate us from our $$.

August 13, 2012 02:28 PM
Anonymous #21
Anonymous
Cheryl

Hi Marte - I am not even a Real Estate agent but recvd a similar email (below).  The email harvestering program used by this sender apparently has the capability to compose or populate the email with the company or field you work in (in my case a university). Their website had no red flags according to my browser warning applets, so I did some homework on them & carefully went to the site, which does not have a deceptive embedded URL.  But the email message itself is a LIE.  There was NO such article or Honorable mention about me as stated in the email.  I also did a search for first, then last name in Google w/ [site:newsdigest.com] in the keyword box.  There is NO such occurrance (apparently) of my name, so the email itself is indeed a scam/spam, I guess just to draw people to their site.  Sleazy.

Expanding the email headers shows Abuse-Tracking info to be Forwarded to the host domain.  My suggestion for anyone who receives such similar msgs from"News Digest International" would be to expand the Full Headers & FWD the email to: <abuse@alphacen.net>.

This is the bogus email msg I recvd:

You received Honorable Mention in today's News Digest International (www.newsdigest.co), referencing your work at University of Hawaii.

There is also a Q&A section at the bottom of today's article, where readers can post questions and comments for you and your department.

We look forward to hearing more from your department in the future.

Sincerely,

Lisa Davis
News Digest International
http://www.newsdigest.co

 
August 14, 2012 06:30 PM
Anonymous #22
Anonymous
Cheryl

UPDATE to the Comment #21 above.  The spam abuse report to <abuse@alphacen.net> bounced as a non-existent mailbox.  Sorry, not sure if there's anywhere else this website & spammer can be reported to.

August 14, 2012 07:41 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Cheryl - I used to have an address taped to my monitor - it was a reporting address for the FTC, I believe. I guess it went away when the monitor died. Need to find it again.

August 14, 2012 10:00 PM
Ambassador
892,241
Bob Crane
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663
Woodland Management Service

the address to report that you mentioned above might be this one that Yvette mentions in her blog - http://activerain.com/blogsview/3409598/spam-ahhhh-the-temptation-

I havent used it yet, hopefully it works.

August 15, 2012 10:58 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Thanks Bob - That's a good article, and the address is there: spam@uce.gov (I thought I remembered it, but wasn't sure enough to write it here. Glad Yvette passed it along.)

I've forwarded things to them many times in the past and think it's a postive thing to do - but don't expect a return email.

August 15, 2012 11:15 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Interesting, I just got an email from a gentleman who is an educator. He got a similar message from this company and decided to Google them instead of clicking. He found this post, then wrote me with thanks for the heads up.

So... they're still actively trying to get the unsuspecting to click.

October 01, 2012 08:40 PM
Anonymous #27
Anonymous
Fred Collett

Cheryl,

 

I got the same one about 15 minutes ago (same exact language, except to Mercy College).  I thought, perhaps, it was meant to attract academic egos (you know, "America's Top 100---" and so on).  Thanks for this service, Marte!idelaen

October 24, 2012 08:10 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Fred - Scammers are alive and well. My neighbor got a version of the "Nigerian Scam" on his fax machine yesterday - along with an advertisement for a free cruise. It's making him mad to pay for paper and ink for scammers. At least on our email we can just delete.

October 24, 2012 08:35 AM
Anonymous #29
Anonymous
Kayla

Marte, I just got this to my university address. It didn't mention the university I attend, so naturally I was suspicious. I googled them, and their site isn't blacklisted by Google, so I clicked. It looks like an amature site claiming to gather local and international news, and there's a link to download their news feed widget.. They display the widget on the front page, and it does indeed look like it gathers and displays news, but some of the article titles look a little odd.. It looks like it's open source, which is not necessarily a bad sign, and the souce code for it is listed on Google's code site.. That doesn't guarantee it's not malicious, though, and I have no desire to find out the hard way, so I'm going to avoid downloading it and suggest everyone else do the same.

 

Cheers!

October 25, 2012 12:11 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Kayla - My sentiments exactly. Better safe than sorry.

October 25, 2012 12:31 PM
Anonymous #31
Anonymous
Raquel Santiago

I received the same one this morning when I opened my University email and naturally typed out the link, nothing there ept the digest.  This got past 4 spam blockers, SFSU smap blockers, MCafee and malware naturally not new to these types of email.  I think that it just wanted people to go to their site, i checked all embedded material and everything.  But yes, the spam has gotten out of control.

December 05, 2012 10:24 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Raquel - and did they think that if you got to their site you'd want to stay, even though they got you there fraudulently? Goofy thinking!

December 05, 2012 10:44 AM
Rainmaker
1,204,810
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin
Your Southern Utah Residential Real Estate Agent
Prado & Kramer Real Estate, St. George, UT 435.632.9374

Marte, This message just showed up in my inbox. I went to their website to see if it looked reputable and it seems very vague and simple. I did not however click on the link provided. I am glad my ego did not get the best of me.

December 19, 2012 08:30 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Wanda - Good idea! You definitely don't need a scammy problem in your Christmas stocking.

December 19, 2012 09:11 AM
Anonymous #35
Anonymous
Vincent Ferraro

I also received the same e-mail stating, "You received Honorable Mention in today's News Digest International (www.newsdigest.co), referencing your work at the University." 

Unfortunately, I did click on the link that was provided in my e-mail and it brought me to the same website that several people have described above. I am just wondering if I should be aware of anything regarding Spam, virus, defects; especially since I click on the link directly. Please let me know if I need to do anything or what happened when I clicked on the link directly. I look forward to hearing from you guys. Thanks. 

-V

 
January 05, 2013 12:38 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Vincent - a few people have gone there and don't seem to have suffered harm. I think they're just trying to sell you something.

January 05, 2013 01:07 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Thanks - I didn't know that. I'll go read the instructions...

January 24, 2013 08:55 AM
Anonymous #38
Anonymous
Michael

The site looks boring and it does not seem to have anything fishy. I think they are just trying to jack up their web site's popularity.

Read the ranking here to get an idea about what I am talking about.

http://digsitevalue.net/s/newsdigest.co

 

January 28, 2013 03:43 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Michael - If that's their intent, they've been listening to some bad advice. Getting someone to your site under false pretenses is no way to make friends and influence people.

January 28, 2013 10:35 PM
Anonymous #40
Anonymous
Michael

Web sites are ranked/valued only based on the times of visits. Advertisers decide which sites to put their ads based on such ranking systems. Only the traffic matters. Whether people like it or not is a different matter. Besides, "raising ranking" is only my speculation because I couldn't find fishy things on the site, although I am pretty sure about it.

January 28, 2013 10:53 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Michael - those advertisers would do well to think about how long visitors might stick around. An ad isn't much good if people aren't there long enough to see it!

January 28, 2013 11:33 PM
Anonymous #42
Anonymous
Norma

I'm just a blogger, retired librarian, and I got the same notice.  Didn't click.

January 30, 2013 05:39 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Norma - They may be harmless, but they're definitely using a list that makes them look sinister.

January 30, 2013 02:36 PM
Rainmaker
304,599
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

Some people have their minds too twisted. I wish they spend their mind energy on creating something good and learn to earn money legitimately and not my fraud. I'm going to post also something very new, the spam for a realtors ( offer to sell high end estate:) they count on the greed withing us...does anyone really think that something that look too good can be true?

March 05, 2013 12:10 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Inna - I so agree with you. Just think of the good things that could happen if everyone used their mind power toward creating good things!

Unfortunately, the answer to your question is yes - some people really do think that something that looks too good to be true can be true. There are many levels of intelligence in this world.

March 05, 2013 12:42 PM
Rainmaker
304,599
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

Thanks dear Marte for your message and comments. I just posted a blog about my recent experience here. It is for members only, since it is only for realtors and i'm curious if other realtors had such customized...scam.

 

 

 

March 05, 2013 01:04 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Inna - That's an interesting email. And I'm sure that an agent or two will respond...

March 05, 2013 01:55 PM
Anonymous #48
Anonymous
R Powell

I am a staff worker in higher education. I got a similar email. Seems as if they're running out of real estate agents to send this to:

Good morning!

We wanted you to know that you and your department were honored in today's Academic Achievement Awards, recognizing students who have recently demonstrated academic success and the faculty and staff who have helped along the way.

The complete article and recipient list is available at www.newsdigest.co/news/academia for on-demand viewing and download.

We wish you the best of continued success!

Sincerely,

Lisa Davis
News Digest International
http://www.newsdigest.co

 

April 10, 2013 07:49 AM
Rainmaker
1,204,810
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin
Your Southern Utah Residential Real Estate Agent
Prado & Kramer Real Estate, St. George, UT 435.632.9374

Marte, Lisa Davis form www.newsdigest.co is getting creative...I just receive an email that said that I and my brokerage just was recognized in an article for outstanding results in the real estate industry! DELETE! And I did.

April 18, 2013 11:30 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

So - you've both heard from Lisa! I wonder if there's a real person named Lisa Davis?

The last couple of days I've been getting mail from someone who doesn't want me to know who they are or what website they represent - but want me to click to update my password. OR - I can "click here" to unsubscribe.

No thanks - not clicking either of those links. DELETE!

April 18, 2013 11:59 AM
Rainmaker
125,599
Monica Hill
the Realtor to help you discover Delaware
RE/Max Associates

Marte,

I can see that this phishing scam has been around for a while, judging by your blog post. I just got it today and instead of clicking the link, did a search for it. Your blog was the first thing that came up! Yeah, AR!

April 18, 2013 01:08 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Monica - Thanks for sharing that good news. We all need to be alert for scammers. Even if those links hold no danger, they don't deserve to be rewarded.

April 18, 2013 01:27 PM
Rainmaker
304,599
Inna Ivchenko
Los Angeles / Valley Homes
Mannis Real Estate Group

I've never heard about this one. yucks. It seems like the more we rely on technology the more it has the ability to harm us.  I will definitely have my eyes open for any text messages from marketers. Thanks for heads up.

April 23, 2013 10:47 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Inna - As long as they're just trying to sell something they're only annoying. I worry about the ones who have a more evil intent.

April 24, 2013 08:26 AM
Anonymous #55
Anonymous
Phuong Le

Got the same message from Lisa Davis as all of you and the first thing came to my mind is: this must be a scam, and voila_ - your site came up on Google. Thank you all!

May 08, 2013 01:17 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Phuong - Thanks for sharing. Lisa Davis certainly is active!

I've gotten a few others lately that were for real estate agents - leading me to believe that the scammers are simply gathering names from Active Rain without looking to see if the person is an agent or not.

Another scary one lately has been coming from "Pay Pal." It warns that my account is about to be closed, so "click here." I think that one could be dangerous.

Yet another tells me that they've been unable to deliver my package... what package?

May 08, 2013 10:43 AM
Anonymous #57
Anonymous
Mark in Seattle

Thanks a lot for this discussion - I also found it via a Google search.

I work in the nonprofit sector, and got the following (did not click on their links):

Good morning!

We wanted you to know that you received Honorable Mention in yesterday's article titled "Who's Who in Local Communities" by Stephen Bozanek, recognizing individuals and businesses who have recently contributed to improving their local communities.

The article will remain available at www.newsdigest.co/news/communities/ for the next few hours and is available for on-demand download and printing.

We wish you the best of continued success.

Sincerely,

Lisa Davis
News Digest International
http://www.newsdigest.co

June 30, 2013 10:59 PM
Rainmaker
256,645
Liz Lockhart
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO

I just got it.

Good morning!

We wanted you to know that you received Honorable Mention in yesterday's article titled "Who's Who in Local Communities" by Stephen Bozanek, recognizing individuals and businesses who have recently contributed to improving their local communities.

The article will remain available at www.newsdigest.co/news/communities/ for the next few hours and is available for on-demand download and printing.

We wish you the best of continued success.

Sincerely,

Lisa Davis
News Digest International
http://www.newsdigest.co

 

Follow the link and you get nothing that resembles the promised article. Scam, for sure.

July 11, 2013 12:16 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Mark and Liz - You have to wonder about their purpose in sending these. Do they think you'll go to their page and spend money? 

July 11, 2013 01:19 PM
Anonymous #60
Anonymous
Sara

Came to read the article, but your web page is a mess with type overlapping and photos out of place. Just thought you'd want to contact your page designer.

July 17, 2013 10:58 PM
Anonymous #61
Anonymous
Sara

And then... after submitting my comment, the page reloads and it clear. Still might want to look into it...

July 17, 2013 10:59 PM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

Sara - I don't know where I'd look, since this is the Active Rain platform. Sometimes it does get wonky. 

July 18, 2013 12:49 AM
Rainmaker
286,462
Martin Kalisker
Weichert, REALTORS - Synergy: MA Real Estate & Mor
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Synergy

Lisa Davis is alive and well.  She is now sending emails to agents that haven't worked for me for over 5 years, have moved out of state and may not even be licensed.  But, according to newsdigest.co, this agent is being recognized for "outstanding service."  What a load of dog doo doo.

November 06, 2013 08:59 AM
Rainmaker
795,714
Marte Cliff
your real estate writer
Marte Cliff Copywriting

What is newsdigest.co? And why are they so full of dog droppings? 

November 08, 2013 11:40 AM
Anonymous
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