Update: This is part of a “WebSEO” fake freebie network powered by another freebie site that has Russian ties. More info here. It’s operated by freesamplesmail dot com which has a history of using fake freebies to boost their Google search rankings.
Another day, another fake freebie from the “WebSEO” fake freebie network. This time they are getting aggressive at promoting it with fake Facebook accounts from Russia, Tanzania & Rwanda. Always a good sign that your personal information is in safe, caring hands (sarcasm).
Here is the URL if you want to follow along, however I urge you not to share your information with this website: promo.soundpro.ru/free-sample/
Let’s dig into why this is likely to be a fake
- They contacted me via email on 10/26/17 using the same template as other fake freebies like this one. So, that is how I know right away it’s part of the “WebSEO” fake freebie network.
- If you didn’t notice, the website is soundpro.ru, that ends in “.ru” which means it’s a Russian website. If you go to the homepage of soundpro.ru, you’ll see it’s a bare bones store, entirely in Russian. Which might mean this site was hacked to host this “free sample” form.
- It’s running a Russian language version of WordPress on the subdomain “promos” – it is missing the telling “webseo” author though.
- Their website’s WHOIS information was updated 10-27-17, it’s not clear what, but it’s never a good sign to see such a recent change as you don’t know who really controls the domain name anymore.
- At the time of this writing there aren’t any ads on the site, but if they follow the “formula” I’ve observed they will have advertising and a possible “pop up” asking for help in the future. All telltale signs of being a fake freebie. I predict the ads will appear within a few days of writing this alert.
- They are hosted on a shared server again, maybe they are getting cheap and hopefully not earning as much from this fake freebie network.
- One new thing that also shows (hopefully) desperation of the spammers is that they are promoting to freebie sites using fake Facebook accounts as well now. I got 2 Facebook messages about promoting this site, again using the same template as their email. The 2nd account appears to be a male in Russia who enjoys working on the beach, looks like a nice life. This may just be the person behind all these crappy fake freebie sites? Hmm..
As usual with fake freebies, avoid them! If you see them on other websites, do not sign up. If you signed up for this one, worst case is you’ll get some spam mail, spam email and perhaps some sketchy links from fake PayPal/Amazon/other websites. Don’t trust links that ask for your password or any personal information, ever. Thank you for reading my fake freebie rant.
-John ‘Samples’ Clark