When will people learn that advertising by spam is the surest way to throw away any shred of credibility their business might have? If there’s any better way to shout “SCAM!” to the world than through Unsolicited Commercial Email I haven’t found it yet.
The latest scam to come my way is from an outfit called Talk Business 360 that wants to “discuss” my “possible” inclusion (we’re only in the opening sentence of their spam at this point and the weasel words are already flying) in their February 2017 “Industry Innovators segment”. A quick search around the web reveals – surprise! – I’m not the first one to receive this offer. The reports I’ve found suggest the offer is really for the opportunity to pay a five-figure sum to get a short infomercial of unknown quality. The possibilities of anyone even seeing it seem questionable to me and the benefits even more so.
Their current web site is at talkbiz360.com and my web research suggests they may have moved through other similar-sounding domain names in the past (they still have an identical web site running at talkbusiness360.com). It’s difficult to say because looking up the domain registration reveals they’re using GoDaddy’s “Domains by Proxy” registration service. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a service that allows domain owners to cloak their true identity. So why would anyone want to conceal their name and their location? Well, if they’re running a pro-democracy site in China, for example, they probably have good reasons. But a business site in the U.S.? Not so much. (Their web site gives only a P.O. box in California for an address.) Anonymized domain registration is a huge red flag for any business site as far as I’m concerned. Imagine your doorbell rings one night and when you look through your peephole you see someone dressed all in black, wearing a bulky overcoat, a large hat and a balaclava. Would you open the door? Not me.
Their web site appears to identify a related company called Clearwind Media with a web site at clearwindmedia.com that shows the same phone number and P.O. Box address as talkbiz360.com. Oh, and the domain registration information is cloaked as well. Of course.
Here are some other people who’ve heard from “Talk Business 360″:
Michael Perone (blog – he just states he’s been spammed by them)