Avoiding Scams & Staying Safe On Black Hat World

Zwielicht

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Update March 2020
Whaaaaaat!? I'm updating this thread for the first time in... *goes to page 4*... nearly 2 years!

That $200 In 24 Hour Ebook (Again)

As a refresher:
$200 in 24 Hours E-book Spam
Every now and then, you might see someone join the forum to promote some stupid e-book written by "Michael Hill" (*cough* real name Raglesh *cough*) titled "$200 in 24 hours". This is an e-book the daft and poor spam on online marketing forums in an attempt to get people to click their affiliate links inside of the e-book. In fact, the e-book specifically tells you to spam it on BHW (among other forums) after changing the links.
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The book itself is nuisance, but some people have begun using it to share infected links. If you see someone sharing this book here over PM, threads, or posts; report them right away.
Ugh, so we've been getting a large variety of these kinds of ebooks on the forum again. It's no longer just $200 in 24 hours, though. No, now we're seeing any range of $20-$500 in 24/48 hours "on autopilot". Essentially, they're just changing around the numbers and adding in buzzwords.

Just don't be like the people who spam this ebook on every IM forum and don't download it. Instead, be like @gmc93.
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BassTrackerBoats

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Update March 2020
Whaaaaaat!? I'm updating this thread for the first time in... *goes to page 4*... nearly 2 years!

That $200 In 24 Hour Ebook (Again)

As a refresher:

Ugh, so we've been getting a large variety of these kinds of ebooks on the forum again. It's no longer just $200 in 24 hours, though. No, now we're seeing any range of $20-$500 in 24/48 hours "on autopilot". Essentially, they're just changing around the numbers and adding in buzzwords.

Just don't be like the people who spam this ebook on every IM forum and don't download it. Instead, be like @gmc93.
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They usually get caught in the moderation queue - those guys have some kind of workaround that we need to catch.

@gmc93 is spot on though.

I think the same when I ban them.
 

irivi

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I do not use skype, so I am shocked to see there are so many skype related scams. I suppose if I already had skype I could see an instance in which I might communicate in this manner, but it is hard to imagine. Why not just assume all skype people are scammers?
 

Zwielicht

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Update April 2020

"Can I Have YOUR Skype ID"
Ah, this is a common phrase I've noticed previously banned members love to use over PMs. If you contact a member and ask for their Skype ID, only for them to be hesitant and insistent on you providing your Skype ID instead, approach doing business with them with extreme caution. A good majority of the time, they're avoiding revealing their Skype ID because it links them to a previously banned account (which may or may not have been banned for scamming; you just don't know). Additionally, if the member saying this to you is a non-paid member with a yellow username, do not do business with them as they're not permitted to be selling on the forum.

Compromised Accounts
There was a case we dealt with recently where a buyer on the forum did business with a Jr. VIP who had his account compromised. The compromised Jr. VIP account had another Jr. VIP vouch for him. However, upon further investigation, the other Jr. VIP account was also compromised by the exact same person.

This kind of case is quite rare, however the recurring aspect of these cases is that the person selling requested payment through BTC, which is non-refundable. Upon receiving the payment, they would stop responding and move on to the next victim.

It's hard to predict situations like this, but before doing business with anyone, it's important to look into the person you plan on working with. This is why it's important to look through their account history, more specifically:
  • Do they have a history of selling the item they're trying to sell to you? For instance, someone who offers link building services is unlikely to suddenly try selling you a stealth PayPal account.
  • Is their writing style different or did their grasp of the English language drop overnight? For example, if I was all of the sudden like, "Hi sir, plz ad me Sk.yp.", you'd know just by looking at one of my posts that this wasn't me.
  • What payment methods do they usually use if they have a sales thread? If they usually accept payments via PayPal, but are suddenly only accepting BTC, proceed with caution.
 
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irivi

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Update April 2020

"Can I Have YOUR Skype ID"
Ah, this is a common phrase I've noticed previously banned members love to use over PMs. If you contact a member and ask for their Skype ID, only for them to be hesitant and insistent on you providing your Skype ID instead, approach doing business with them with extreme caution. A good majority of the time, they're avoiding revealing their Skype ID because it links them to a previously banned account (which may or may not have been banned for scamming; you just don't know). Additionally, if the member saying this to you is a non-paid member with a yellow username, do not do business with them as they're permitted to be selling on the forum.

Compromised Accounts
There was a case we dealt with recently where a buyer on the forum did business with a Jr. VIP who had his account compromised. The compromised Jr. VIP account had another Jr. VIP vouch for him. However, upon further investigation, the other Jr. VIP account was also compromised by the exact same person.

This kind of case is quite rare, however the recurring aspect of these cases is that the person selling requested payment through BTC, which is non-refundable. Upon receiving the payment, they would stop responding and move on to the next victim.

It's hard to predict situations like this, but before doing business with anyone, it's important to look into the person you plan on working with. This is why it's important to look through their account history, more specifically:
  • Do they have a history of selling the item they're trying to sell to you? For instance, someone who offers link building services is unlikely to suddenly try selling you a stealth PayPal account.
  • Is their writing style different or did their grasp of the English language drop overnight? For example, if I was all of the sudden like, "Hi sir, plz ad me Sk.yp.", you'd know just by looking at one of my posts that this wasn't me.
  • What payment methods do they usually use if they have a sales thread? If they usually accept payments via PayPal, but are suddenly only accepting BTC, proceed with caution.

Yea, I think I'll stick with my assumption that all skype people are scammers. I am unaware of a single legitimate transaction of any form that would require skype. And thanks for the BTC tips too:)
 

IGWizzard

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pretty good information for everyone, newbies or not.
Can I give an unwanted advice?:D
Try not to write in green, neon green? is pain for my eyes :))) Seriously, it's difficult to focus and read.
But the info is so good that it's worth the effort! :D
 

Funmicson

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This post is very helpful to me. Thanks for the post.
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Browsing the http://www.blackhatworld.com/forums/hire-a-freelancer.76/, http://www.blackhatworld.com/forums/want-to-buy.92/, and http://www.blackhatworld.com/forums/joint-ventures.65/ sub-forums, you're bound to see a lot of shady folks climbing over each other trying to offer their services.
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While there are undoubtedly many members, including myself, who comb through those sub-forums and report members who have a history of scamming and breaking the rules, it's unfortunately very difficult to find every single one of them.

It's because of this that I figured it was time to create a guide on how you can save yourself from being scammed not just here, but anywhere else on the Internet.

Index
  • The Ten Commandments Of Doing Business On Black Hat World
  • Performing Background Checks
  • Traits Of A Black Hat World Scammer
  • How To Find Previously Banned Members & Members With Multiple Accounts
  • The Black Hat World Search Method
  • The Google Method
  • How To Find A Member's History Online
  • What To Do When You Find A Scammer
  • What Not To Do When You Find A (Potential) Scammer In A Thread
  • How To Send A Proper Report
  • Opening Up A ShitList Thread
  • Doing Business In The Marketplace
  • Fake Journeys & Giveaways
  • Current Scams On Black Hat World
  • Conclusion
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Most of these 10 commandments are based on @zen19's thread titled, "http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoid-being-scammed-basic-pointers-for-your-security.306303/", though I've added in a few of my own pointers as well. While this was written with conducting business on BHW in mind, most of these pointers apply to doing business online in general.
  1. Always Research Anyone You're Planning To Do Business With. It doesn't matter if they're a Jr. VIP, Jr. Executive VIP, or even a moderator! What you uncover during your search could not only save you from getting scammed, but it can save other people as well. For example, https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-a-full-time-va.933409/#post-9967254.
  2. Pay Attention To What Others Are Saying In A Business Thread. I've lost count of how many times I've called out members who were previously banned for scamming, only for an oblivious member to try to do business with them.
  3. Learn About What You're Paying For. The more you know about what you're hiring someone for, the easier it'll be to spot out a scam.
  4. Search For Both The Positive & Negative Reviews. Too many people look for one or the other. Positive reviews are nice and all, but seeing how a seller responds to negative reviews will give you an idea of their professionalism.
  5. If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Probably Is. For example, if someone approaches you and says that they're going to build a business for you and all you have to do is give them $100 to get started, then run for the hills!
  6. Always Have Multiple Forms Of Contact With The Other Person. Just having their BHW username isn't enough. If you plan on doing business here, especially if you're in a joint venture, make sure you can contact the other person either via e-mail, phone, instant messaging, etcetera. Most scammers aren't going to bother providing all of that information.
  7. Remain Cautious Of Members Who Have Recently Joined. I'm not saying new members are always scammers, they just don't haven't built up a reputation here and their accounts do not have any value. Though always keep #1 in mind. Additionally, watch out for members who built up most of their posts one day just to be able to PM.
  8. Choose Your Payment Methods Wisely. For those of you who use Paypal, don't ever send money to someone via the Family & Friends feature. https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-safety-and-security.
  9. Keep A Record Of Your Interactions. Chat logs, private messages, and anything else that could come in handy if the member goes rogue. For an example on how chat logs can help ban unscrupulous sellers, https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/fed-up.917855/.
  10. Report & Shit List Scams. By taking action as soon as you can, you could save someone else from getting scammed.
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Researching members is actually much easier than it sounds. For the sake of simplicity, there are 3 common types of members you'll want to avoid:
  • Previously banned members. They were banned for a reason.
  • Members with multiple active accounts. Some users anticipate being banned and create backup accounts.
  • Members who have a shady history online. I shouldn't need to explain the problem here.
Traits Of A Black Hat World Scammer
If I had a skull for every scammer I've banned, I'd be standing on a mountain right now!

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Do you want to know how I've managed to identify so many scammers? Because these people are predictable and easy to identify. It's almost as if they all have a meeting every month and decide to use the exact same tactics.

Recognising their patterns will make it easier to know who to avoid. Based on the scammers I've banned, here are some of the most common traits to look out for:
  • First few posts are in the WTB/HaF/JV sections.
  • Navigational masters: They know their way around the forum on the first day. Most new members are not aware of sections that aren't on the menu main bar to the left.
  • Repeatedly bumping old threads to sell.
  • Most of their posts are attempts to sell.
  • New and trying to get members to add them on Skype.
  • Using disposable emails and Skype IDs.
  • Using sex symbol avatars. Err, not "sex symbols" like Brigitte Bardot, but and . Wait, actually, sometimes they do use photos of women as their avatars.
  • PMing you their Skype. This is a fairly new tactic as some scammers have caught on to the fact that I use their Skype ID to find out if they're a previously banned member.
  • New and trying to sell outside of the marketplace.
  • Claiming to be from the US, but speaks like a caveman.
  • A complete disregard for the rules and etiquette here; they'll often post 10 times in a row in the same thread.
  • Multiple accounts. There's no reason to have more than one account here unless you're up to no good.
  • Using a try-hard American name as a forum handle (e.g., Jake Jakerson or Rob Robertson)
  • Using a random assortment of numbers and letters as a forum handle (e.g., gt4n43rhgn).
Note that just because a member is doing one of these, that doesn't make them a scammer. There are some members who PM their Skype because they don't want just any Joe Blow to find it and spam them later. However, if they PM you their Skype ID and it looks disposable, that's when you should get suspicious.

How To Find Previously Banned Members & Members With Multiple Active Accounts

Those of you who frequently browse the Hire A Freelancer section may have noticed http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/canadian-traffic-paid-very-well.862405/#post-9113457. Ever wondered how I do it? Well, I have a couple of different methods, but they're both quite simple.

1. The Black Hat World Search Method
This is by far the easiest method out of the two which employs the use of Black Hat World's new and improved search feature (because the old one sucked!).

To get started, all you have to do is go to the upper right-hand corner of the page to the search bar. Click where it says "search" and then click "More..." to perform an advanced search.
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Now, for the keyword, enter the Skype ID of the member you're interested in looking into. Make sure that you're searching "all forums" and that you select the "most recent" radio button to order the results by recency.

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Now, one of three things will happen: either you'll be told there are no results, you'll go to the results page, or you'll be informed that the Skype ID is censored.

If no results appear, go to the next method. If the Skype ID is censored (shown below), this member has been banned numerous times before. In other words, don't with them.
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If you're taken to the results page, two things you should look out for are my name (@Zwielicht) and multiple accounts using the Skype ID. If you see my name, there's a really good chance I've called them out before, hence why I do it publicly.

Now, I'm unsure if non-moderators still can't see the strike-through, but if you see multiple accounts using the same Skype ID, click on one of the duplicates to see if it's been banned.
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Funnily enough, if you look at the image above, I just caught another previously banned member posting while I was creating these screenshots. Oh boy, here I go banning again!
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2.The Google Method
This one is great if you want to be sure that someone hasn't been banned here before as Google will usually still display results for threads and posts that have been deleted (use the cached feature to view the pages).

What I do is copy the user's Skype and forum handle and paste it into Google using the following search operators:
Code:
"Skype Id or email" -username site:blackhatworld.com
Using "meril" as an example, searching for his Skype ID will yield numerous results, though I'm only going share first 3.
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As you can see, the 3 results say "BANNED" clear as day. If you were to go as in-depth as me, you would find out that https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/canadian-traffic-paid-very-well.862405/#post-9113457.

If you hadn't noticed by now, meril's Skype ID is censored here on Black Hat World (denoted by the asterisk series). If you see anyone with a censored home page URL, censored Skype ID, or censored email, then report them immediately. I've posted an example screenshot below of a censored username below (it won't always be underlined).

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Regarding the Skype ID search method, there are unfortunately a couple of problems with this method:
  1. There's an issue when you search Skype IDs that use periods with omission modifiers (-) in Google (I cover how to get around this below).
  2. Not everyone posts their Skype ID so plainly.
Because of this, there are several variations you need to be aware of.

For example, use the query below when a Skype ID has a period in it. Oddly enough, I've found that when you use the query above with period Skype IDs, it won't show any results.
Code:
"Skype.ID" site:blackhatworld.com
Once the results come up, go through each page and see if the Skype ID was used by any other members. A dead giveaway is when you find a thread from 2015 in the SERPs, but the user's account was created in 2016 and they've only posted in recent threads.

Some users will also try to cloak their Skype IDs in order to prevent them from coming up in the search results. I've analysed their posting patterns and found that using the search queries in Google will help you find most of those accounts.
Code:
"ID:insertskypeidhere" -username site:blackhatworld.com
"Skype:insertskypeidhere" -username site:blackhatworld.com
"skypeID:insertskypeidhere" -username site:blackhatworld.com
"me:insertskypeidhere" -username site:blackhatworld.com
Google will occasionally show you related search results using the first search operator as if you searched for these variations, but don't count on this happening too often.

Alternatively, you can use the search query below to see if I've called out a previously banned member before. I usually leave notes around the forum in order to make it easier for other members to find out who's been banned before, so use this to your advantage.
Code:
"Zwielicht" "Insert Skype ID" site:blackhatworld.com

How To Find A Member's History Online

Those of you who remember me calling out "George" in his introduction thread back in 2014 will remember that I found out he was not just banned from multiple other forums for scamming, but I even found evidence that he was still trying to scam.

I found this out by finding the "breadcrumbs" he left around the Internet. What are breadcrumbs you ask? Well, this is just another way of saying that user left a trail that can be used to find their information.

For instance, let's say George came back with the user ID "scamorge" and we want to find his info all over again. This is what we would do:
  1. Search his Black Hat World profile for any other IDs.
  2. Search his profile name and other IDs in Google
  3. Visit any and every account with his name while taking note of any additional IDs
  4. Search for those IDs and bookmark any pages where he's done something dubious or been accused of scamming.
An example trail would look something like the one below:
BHW Account>Warrior Forum Account (Banned)>Real Name>Domain Name (No Whois)>Physical Address>Phone Number>Newspaper Articles>Arrest Records

Get the idea?

Now, there are several ways to begin a search. You'll want to start off by searching their Black Hat World profile for any names or Skype IDs. If the user hasn't filled out their profile, check their posts and look for any information you could use to identify them (alternative usernames, emails, Skype IDs,etcetera).

You can also reverse image search their avatar on here. This can lead you to their other profiles, but that's only a reliable tactic if they're using a unique avatar. A good majority of the time, these clowns will use one of the default forum avatars or, my favourite, they change their gender to "female" and use a gender symbol as an avatar. This is the cardinal sin of the forum scammer; they try too hard to not to stand out, which draws even more attention to them.

Just rinse and repeat this process with each new account you find until you find something that's a cause for concern. If you don't find anything, then great!

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1. Don't Call Them Out Publicly Without Evidence
When you suspect someone is trying to scam you or another person in a thread, do not call them out publicly unless you have evidence. I've seen too many quasi-detectives here in the past few months drive new members away with baseless accusations. This doesn't make you cool or funny, on the contrary, it makes you look like a jackass.

2. Don't Forget To Report Them
One thing that annoys me is when a ShitList thread concludes with a scammer getting banned, and then some Joe Blow comes out of nowhere and says "He scammed me, too". Why the hell didn't you report them, then!?

There are a couple of common misconceptions around here about reporting.
  1. Some members are under the notion that they shouldn't for scam attempts
  2. Some members believe that just because they're new or of a lesser status, their reports won't be taken seriously, especially when they report a Jr. VIP+ member.
Both of these beliefs are wrong. You should always report a member, even if they attempted to scam you or if they have a higher status on the forum than you do.

3. Don't "Feel Bad" About Getting A Scammer Banned
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This is related to the last point and I've actually heard this one before. A member once private messaged me about someone who tried to scam them, and when I told them to report the guy, they didn't want to because they would "feel bad about the member getting banned". What in the Sam Hill!?

Imagine this, what if that guy you didn't report because you "felt bad" went on to scam another member out of $500? What if that member who was scammed out of $500 needed that money the next day for an emergency surgery for his cat? Oh, but now he can't pay for it and his cat is dead because you "felt bad" for a scammer.

Remember that getting rid of the scammer now can save someone else from being scammed here in the future. You might also be saving a cat's life.
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4. Once You Have Evidence, Send In A Proper Report
If someone attempted to scam you, then sending a report to a moderator that just says "member is a scammer" isn't going to be enough. You need to include links to any evidence you've collected, links to screenshots, and http://www.blackhatworld.com/help/terms. If the member really did attempt to scam you, then this shouldn't be a problem.

If you're still not sure about how to structure a report, then I've created a report format below based on the one I used as a moderator in training.


5. Opening Up A ShitList Thread
Now, if a member did scam you, open up a ShitList thread against them (again, include evidence). I've been fortunate enough to never have to do this, although I'm familiar with the procedure there as I usually read those threads. @bz has included http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/shitlist-rules-and-procedure.499995/ at the top of the ShitList section on when to open one, what to do, what not to do, and the procedure.

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While it's safer to do business with a seller in the marketplace than it is to do business with some random guy trying to add you on Skype, there are still a few things you need to look out for.
  • Dropped Quality - Many of you are probably aware that I've stopped reviewing services in the marketplace. This is because there have been several instances of sellers providing other high ranking members and I with stellar services, but then immediately dropping their quality shortly after. I feel that I leave pretty detailed reviews, so if you purchase anything from a service I've reviewed, compare what you've received to what I received. If you didn't get the same service I did, report that seller.
  • Fake Reviews - Some sellers, after dropping their quality because their lazy, resort to buying fake reviews or creating multiple accounts to review their own services. Because these people are incredibly stupid, fake reviews are easy to spot out because the sellers tend to over-hype their own services. For more information on this, refer to @Apricot's thread titled, "https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/please-read-spammers-and-fake-reviews.852452/".
  • Likes From Numerous Banned Member - I suspect some sellers have tried purchasing likes for their sales threads. I came to this conclusion after checking a few sample threads, of which many of the accounts that have liked the threads were banned for fake reviews.
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After reading @thehighmind's thread titled, "https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/is-bhw-going-lame.981027/", I thought it was time to address the disguised promotional content on this forum.

Spotting Fake Journeys

There are two main types of fake journeys I see on this forum: promotional and noob bait.

Promotional journeys are characterised by the use of obscure tools or service and their purpose should be obvious. These are fairly easy to detect as the promoter will often speak very highly of the tool or service despite barely beginning their journey, and the more careless among them will post affiliate links or tracking links back to the website. Using some of the tactics mentioned in the "Performing Background Checks" section of this thread, it's also possible to establish a link between the thread creator and the tool or service.

Now, I've noticed that most of the members here have a difficult time detecting noob bait journeys. To summarise, the purpose of a noob bait journey is to coax members into private messaging the thread creator, and most of the time, lure them to Skype. What happens once the member is lured to Skype differs between each noob baiter. Some of them are just looking to build an email list, others want to shove affiliate links down your throat, and the more nefarious among them will try to sell you a garbage "method". You can spot out noob bait thread by taking note of the following:
  • Bogus claims with no proof. You'll often see the noob baiter claim to make a large sum of money without offering an substantial evidence.
  • Fake screenshots. These are easier to detect when the noob baiter is careless, but for an example of how to detect fake screenshots, see https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/hi-here-is-another-afiliate-journal-1350-this-month.971492/#post-10405232.

Spotting Fake Giveaways

A fake giveaway thread is one where a member claims to be doing a giveaway, but has other intentions. You'll find four types of fake giveaways on this forum:
  1. They go through with the giveaway, but later sell your email to spammers.
  2. They don't go through with the giveaway and later sell your email to spammers.
  3. They only partially deliver the freebie and try to charge you for the rest of it.
  4. They open up a keyword giveaway for niche ideas.
Unfortunately, there's no real way of avoiding the first three, but the last one can be avoided by simply not entering keyword giveaways.

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According to @Apricot's "https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/warning-bitcoin-payments-escrow-and-buying-services-over-pms.930503/" thread in the Lounge, many shady users are contacting other members via PM regardng the following:
  • Payments via BTC (these are irreversible).
  • Escrow services provided by another member.
  • Members asking for YOUR Skype ID via PM.
  • Advertisements via PM.
Additionally, I've noticed several members trying to pull a fast one on the forum. Here are a few stunts you should be on the lookout for:
  • "Giveaway" threads where a member asks you to leave a review. This is especially the case when they request the review before they deliver the freebie. There was an incident recently where a member left a Fiverr review for a freebie, but they never got the freebie and the member ended up vouching for a service he never used.
  • "I Make $65,352.56 A Month" Threads. I'm seeing more of these threads pop up on the forum. I'm not saying you can't make this much money in a month, all I'm saying is that you should research the people who make these claims before you try to do business with them. I've seen a couple of http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fake-news-how-partying-macedonian-teen-earns-thousands-publishing-lies-n692451s with parental support/funding come here and make these threads in the past, trying to play it off like they "made it on their own".
  • Begging threads. I've seen both old and new members grovel for money on the forum. Now, some people are legitimately in a bad situation and need help and I have no problem with members of the community coming together to help these people out. However, I do have a problem with new members named "Frank Frankerson" using proxies and starting threads about how they need money to pay for a funeral/ their dying dog/their upcoming surgery. They're the online equivalent of this guy, except without the money:
  • "What Can I Do With/Where Can I Sell My...?" Threads. This isn't always a scam and it's https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/no-more-where-can-i-sell-my-whatever-or-how-much-is-my-whatever-worth-threads.702510/, but I've seen too many members get scammed by people who post these threads. Here's the basic premise: a member comes on this forum and wants to sell something, usually accounts, but they're broke as FUUUUUUUUU----- so they can't afford a marketplace thread. So what do you do when you're broke and want to sell crappy accounts? You open up a thread saying, "I have FB accounts with 100,000 followers. What do I do with them?" You see where this is going, right? Some desperate guy with $32 in his PayPal account tries to buy these accounts using "Friends & Family", gets scammed, and then opens a Shit List thread.
  • Spacing out Skype IDs. Not a scam per se, though some previously banned members have been catching on to the fact that their Skype IDs have been censored. In order to circumvent the censor, they'll try to space out their Skype IDs. Know that anyone who does this has been banned here before.
  • Vietnamese Scammers. This is a group of scammers who have been targeting this for since May. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoiding-scams-staying-safe-on-black-hat-world.884947/page-2#post-10126223.
  • Asotop Spammers. Another group of spammers trying to promote their shoddy services. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoiding-scams-staying-safe-on-black-hat-world.884947/page-3#post-10258711.
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  • $100/Day E-book. Watch out for this one. There's an e-book floating around with an affiliate link at the end of it. You'll almost always see it being promoted as an attachment by a new member with 1 post. Don't be decieved by its promise of a lower middle income salary; the only person making money from the e-book is the affiliate, not you.
  • GPT offer filling. Some members will post job offers saying you can make $XX or $XXX a day by completing surveys on their "get paid to" website. They aren't paying squat, they're just looking for someone to complete the surveys for them.
  • "Freebies" that require you to post a review. People have been doing this one for years. It's not free if they're asking for something in return, so don't fall for this. Some members will try to guilt you into posting a review and other will threaten you, but at no time are you obligated to leave a review in a BST thread after receiving a freebie in the giveaways section.
  • Skype users posing as reputable members. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoiding-scams-staying-safe-on-black-hat-world.884947/page-2#post-10193644 Here's a great recent example of https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/sale-bing-ads-and-adwords-coupons-available-cheap-prizes.952941/#post-10202027.
  • The Google Voice Scammer. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoiding-scams-staying-safe-on-black-hat-world.884947/page-3#post-10258711
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To conclude this post, I'd just like to say that if any of you are ever dubious about someone here, don't hesitate to contact me or any of the other moderators and ask for help.

That's all I have to say, so as they say in Canada, peace oot!
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Zwielicht

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Update August 2020

$2,000 In 30 Minutes
Some of you may know of the $200 in 24 hour ebook spam we occasionally get here. Well, they've gone even further beyond.
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Same rules apply, if you see this get through, report it. Don't download it. If you don't know why, refer to the quote below.
Update October 2017

$200 in 24 Hours E-book Spam

Every now and then, you might see someone join the forum to promote some stupid e-book written by "Michael Hill" (*cough* real name Raglesh *cough*) titled "$200 in 24 hours". This is an e-book the daft and poor spam on online marketing forums in an attempt to get people to click their affiliate links inside of the e-book. In fact, the e-book specifically tells you to spam it on BHW (among other forums) after changing the links.
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The book itself is a nuisance, but some people have begun using it to share infected links. If you see someone sharing this book here over PM, threads, or posts; report them right away.

URL Spam Evolved
While many of you may already be familiar with the daily URL spam attack on the forum, what you may not realise is that this spam has been evolving over the last couple of months. Now, rather than use a URL as a title, some of these bot accounts use the first five or so words of the post.
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Ghetto Marketplace Threads
I've noticed a resurgence of ghetto marketplace threads (i.e., threads outside of the marketplace or freelancer sections that have turned into a flea market). Some spammers have begun bumping older WTB threads in an endeavour to post their Skype IDs, so if you see threads like this, report them.

Example: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/facebook-ads-account.800494/

Previously Banned Members Selling Via PM - A Lesson Learnt Too Late
It's frustrating seeing these reports so often, but here's a good example of why you shouldn't do business with a yellow member who tries to sell to you via PM.
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@maximalo contacted the member whose name I censored below (let's call him Jake) to sell a Canadian database. Jake posted a WTB thread in the wrong section, but that doesn't really matter in this case as maxi pad contacted him via PM. Jake was then lured to Skype to converse with maxi pad regarding the Canadian database, which I imagine went something along the lines of this:
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So Jake sent maxi the money and maxi started ignoring Jake, only responding to request even more money before releasing the database (which he probably doesn't have) in an attempt to rip Jake off even further. However, little did Jake know that maxi pad was a previously banned member here who went by the names @sanworg and @gameswil. In fact, there's even a Shit List thread against him where he scammed another member using a similar tactic.

Members Registering With Temporary Email Accounts
There's been a surge in the number of users who have registered on the forum using temporary email account creators (e.g., Shark Lasers and GetAirMail). Many of these users end up getting banned for spamming or scamming.

General Increase In Scams Across The Web
This isn't happening as much on BHW, but I have noticed that across the web, there's been a massive increase in the number of scams and hacking attempts (both websites and accounts on other websites) because of the pandemic. Desperation and loads of free time are causing more people to resort to this egregious behaviour. Ordinarily, I'd go into more detail about this, but there's just too much to list. Anywhere specific to BHW will be listed here as usual.
 

shevkorn

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never read before, it's very helpful I will take some actions before make a purchase. thank you OP
 

Zwielicht

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Update November 2020

Fake WTB Threads
So you're browsing the WTB subforum and you see a member who wants to buy some aged Instagram accounts. You sell these, so you think to yourself, "Great, I'll send him a PM". You send him a PM only for him to try selling aged IG accounts to you. What gives?

Well, some people have resorted to the extremely desperate tactic of selling to people that respond to their WTB thread. That's right, they're trying to sell the exact same product to the very people who are also trying to sell these products.
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Why on Earth they think this is a good sales strategy is beyond me, but if they try this with you, report them so we can give them an infraction for selling via PM.
 

proxygo

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ive been lucky, 12 years never been scammed once on bhw.
i do believe as a seller not selling to new members and
1-10 post members is why,

i mean this as a seller looking back over 12 years, the high
proportion of scams come from new members, low post members.
sad but true, so i just avoid them all.
 

Zwielicht

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Update February 2021

Phony Email Resets

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Some clown has decided to impersonate our support channel in order to phish emails, but he sent an email to our support desk by mistake. If you get an email like this, know that it's not from us.

Of course, I know this isn't the only joker doing this kind of thing, so below, I've gone over some steps so that you check the validity of the email.

1. Check the sender's email
If it comes from anything other than an @BlackHatWorld.com email address, it's not us.

Even if it looks like an official BHW email address, copy and paste the email's domain into Convert Case. To explain why, look at the example emails in the screenshot below.
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Both look the same, right?

Wrong!
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The old swapping-out-the-L-for-an-I trick is still in use today, so it's important to check the email account this way.

2. Check the English in the email.
The support desk isn't going to send out an email in broken English. Additionally, in the email above, the phisher does not understand the concept of punctuation.

3. When in doubt, send in a support ticket.
Send in a support ticket using the contact us link at the bottom of every page on Black Hat World. A support staff member will be able to tell you if the email is from us or not.
 
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