SEO & Website Promotion Scam

How Criminals Trick You When They Promise To Do Your SEO

Let's say you have a website, a blog, app, or a small business that needs some exposure online. You've heard about all these SEO tactics, secrets to push your website and products to the top of the search engine, and so on.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way to get your website to show up on global searches by using keywords and various other strategies effectively. However, many scammers advertise their "services" as online marketing specialists, promising that – if you hire them – your site will come up high on search engines, leading to lots of hits and sales. How does the scam work?

Watch the video below to see five phrases that give away an SEO scam:

5 Phrases That Give Away a SEO Scam Video

Let's take a deeper look. You think it's about time to step up your game and you might consider some of those unsolicited emails promising magical SEO or simply to hire somebody who might look like a specialist.

Some of these 'companies' often charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to do the work but never deliver. Scammers approach their victims via pop-up ads, emails, cold calls and even flyers in mailboxes. Others impersonate attorneys and reach out to website owners and ask them to post links on their website.


Don't get us wrong. There are legitimate companies that do proper and amazing SEO business; in this particular scam, crooks just charge and pretend to work for a few months. "The results of a true SEO work will be seen in five-six months, if it's done properly", they might say. The statement is actually true; however, tricksters are not actually doing anything all this time, while you're waiting for the months to pass to see results and transferring money every 1st of the month.

You just have to learn how to make the difference between the two.

Black Hat SEO: Posting Keywords With The Same Color As The Background

Some of the scammers you hire might even do black hat SEO. What does that mean? One example is to go into your website's HTML code and paste on the background color of your site thousands of keywords related to your business, but which are typed with the same color so you can't see them. This way, you can't notice the text, but Google spiders might recognize the words and propel your page into higher rankings.

In a few weeks, you'll see the results and might think the hired SEO person did an excellent job. However, Black Hat SEO is an illegal practice and Google has been working on it already. The danger is that you might even have your domain blocked by Google, if you don't do your homework in finding someone reliable to do your SEO! 


Search Engine Optimization Scam: How To Avoid

Ask for previous work and request to connect with former clients of your hired 'specialist'. Don't trust any spam that comes to your inbox. If you need help with your SEO, there are great organizations who can help you out. Use only reputable companies.

Here are four phrases that should raise a red flag for you – avoid hiring anyone who tells you these:

1. "We will get you on Google first page". It's a very loose statement. They will only get you on Google's first page for your name's search. When hiring someone, make sure you ask to get ranked for a different keyword that's relevant to your business (eg. "plumbing services in New York", "best dentists in London", or "carpet cleaning Chicago"). 

2. "Guaranteed Results in 30 days".

3. "We have insider secrets or friends at Google".

4. "Do not worry about the technical details".

Search Engine Optimization Scam: How To Report

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How To Protect Yourself More:

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selma hrynchuk
Selma HrynchukSenior Editor at Scam Detector Media, Selma is a fraud prevention specialist with a wealth of experience in private investigations and collaborations with law enforcement. A captivating public speaker, Selma educates audiences about scams and personal safety. Through her insightful writing, she exposes criminals and shares essential tips for staying secure. Selma is a dedicated guardian against fraud, committed to unmasking deception and promoting integrity.

7 thoughts on “SEO & Website Promotion Scam”

  1. Avoid Coastal Web LLC!!!! They are huge scammers. They got me with a “1000 referral program and search engine optimization” trick… You search and search for ways to make money online from home, and you think you have found one. So of course it starts out, you can make thousands a day. You enquire, then a man calls, JOHN SANDERS, quite a fast talker, knows just what to say for everything you could think of to asked (Except they skip around with what exactly it is that you are supposed to do). His phone number is 480-389-1384.

    Then he gets personal and friendly, telling about his family and how his wife’s pregnant with twins and asks you about your family. Then gets onto; okay give me your credit card number, and you balk but he fasts talks you, it is so weird, why I didn’t just hang up, I don’t know. Then he keep saying "We guarantee that if you are unhappy at any time within 90 days you can receive a complete refund") And he keeps repeating that. So I fell but couldn’t afford to pay the full amount, which one was 499.00, you give them your card number not knowing that it is for automatic withdrawals for you to pay for getting ongoing email addresses to send their information too. And that amount was for the least amount of emails, like 1000 emails a month. But you tell him how leery you are for being scammed (Guess not leery enough) He said "Oh I know and if you have a problem like that with anyone you call me and I have a guy here that can handle that for you."

    It didn’t take me 90 days, just a few hours to realize I was scammed! So I called back and they got mad, then they kept calling and calling harassing me. I say they, as it was different people not just the first guy calling.

    After months of fighting and threating back and forth all I could get was my 299.00 and recurring removed, with the help from my bank, but lost the 200.00 because it was a cash card, So lessoned learned, cash cards do not back you up! And never do anything online with out doing a thorough check on the company, first off a scam check!

  2. Aug-22-2014
    Make sure you do your homework before giving
    Any account information to anyone

    Check and re-check , company history, back
    K ground, people who had work there


  3. Scammed by (2) separate businesses that were supposed too help with home based business setup. Help was to be in form of coaching on the development of personal web site; acquiring product supply; bookkeeping; LLC formation; and the list goes on. Bottom line ~ $59,000 down the drain. The business’s involved : BBS (Better Business Solutions) and BDCenter (Business Development Center.)

  4. Can anyone please confirm if SMS Marketing Ltd is a genuine or a fraud company. Their contact details are as given below :-

    +91 7396299812
    CMDD – Karthik

  5. Oliver McMullen

    I had a similar problem with Jump Up Media. They told me, amongst other lies, that they were UK Google partners and that I had been selected for a special promotional campaign. But "Mr Calum Jones" made one mistake – he put me on hold whilst he processed my payment – I had time to regain my senses and check them out on line. As soon as he came back I said I had changed my mind and cancelled the sale – which was within my rights to do. At this point he passed me onto someone else who got very aggressive. I hung up and immediately informed my bank of the problem. i reported them to the Telephone Preference Service as I am registered with them. I have also reported them to Action Fraud. They have taken £130-80 from my account which is now in dispute as I declined the service both verbally and in an e-mail to jump up media. By the way the initial cost of their service was £99 – which ballooned to £130 once I had agreed to their "service". Reporting them to Action Fraud is the only way you may get your money back since the bank should then refund your money. I also recommend using a phone blocker like True Call as I now intend to do. But if you do get a cold call – take their name and number then put THEM on hold whilst you check them out. Their tactics are to keep talking in such a way as to shut down your critical faculties. Also with Jump Up Media they had called me previously with a so-called "yes" call and fished for information which they could then use in the second call. So I repeat take their details first, put them on hold, keep your credit and debit cards away from the phone so you have to go find them – this gives you time to cool down. And finally never ever agree to pay for any services/goods from a cold caller.

  6. A sales agent called from Jump up media to talk to me about my ad on Google ad words. He promised he could rum my ad better at a cost of £226.80 per month. He was really nice and now I realize forceful, I asked for a pre-lunch of the key phrases they want to choose before I make any decision,He ask if I could secure the key phrases with £20. I went ahead and paid a deposit of £20 and specifically said to the scam compliance officer which sounds so stupid after the event, that he must call the following day between 10am and 11am so I can make the rest of the payment after I’ve seen the pre-lunch. To my surprise I realize the £206.80 balance had been taken from my account. I quickly called jump up media and complain about the way they took £206.80 from my account without my authorization and besides that I had no key phrases, no terms and no email whatsoever from them. this is where my agony started, the lady at customer services told me they had setup an automatic payment for the money to come out. I said did not ask for that and i want a refund, she quickly said she will pass me on to someone that can help so after 5 minutes holding i got though to one Mr James, clearly this is not his name, I talk over everything with him and he said straight away that he will not issue a refund because i have agreed to pay the money and that is that. work had not been done and by the way they send the lowest searched key phrases which i will not use in a million years in my own ad words campaign, To cut the story short its been a week and nothing is been done. so everyone be aware, do not do business with this company.

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