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I posted this on Michigan Storytelling.org  -- a website I maintain, but this is bigger than just Michigan.

Scam Alert Targeting Performers with Websites
(The company is unnamed here as there may be more than one.  Wouldn't want to have a slander problem either, but the method deserves mentioning for the safety of my fellow performers)

Storytellers and possibly other performers are being targeted by telemarketers for a digital marketing company promising website Search Engine Optimization for a low introductory price, normally $__ , but $_ to introduce their company.  Fortunately I told the caller I wanted to check online first.  I'm glad I did.
I know the company is targeting storytellers because a fellow storyteller asked about them on Facebook.  That's when I knew my being called was only one of many storytellers and performers being called about their websites. 


In case you didn't see my Facebook reply: DON'T DO IT!!! They called me. Read online reports about the company and say: No Thank You. Do Not Call Further.
LoiS(till a researcher and am learning to do it before buying)

I sent the alert to Storytell, the international email list for storytellers and a fellow storyteller on the west coast said:

But gosh, it’s been WEEKS since they settled the Federal and New York legal cases filed against them. What could possibly be wrong?
They were accused of poor practices that were technically illegal in some jurisdictions. One of the most annoying was posting fake reviews on web sites. I know that’s been done for a long time on Amazon and other sites, but there’s actually a term for it now: it’s called “Astroturfing.” I’ve been afraid to ask why, but I assume it’s because it looks real but isn’t.
At the Folk Alliance Region West conference I’ve met a couple of people who do help performing artists do digital marketing. Legitimate ones do exist, but they’re not the ones who cold-call you, for the most part.

If anyone on the west coast needs help with their digital marketing, email me off-list, because I have a recommendation for someone who seems very knowledgeable, likes storytelling, and probably has room for new clients.

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Tags: blog, engine, optimization, scam, search, website

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Comment by Lois Sprengnether Keel (LoiS) on February 13, 2014 at 5:17pm

Glad you're safe, Simon.  These things tend to cycle again and again.  It was months ago I posted that and I'm sure they're still trying for a new edition of Gullible's Travels.  I know another storyteller here in Michigan they approached and, to mix my literary metaphors, figure these Trolls are still lurking under bridges hoping to Trip, Trap, Trip someone up.

Comment by Simon Brooks on February 13, 2014 at 4:52pm

They got to me too! But I did not spend a penny!

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