Are you receiving offers in your inbox to renew your domain, update your listing, increase web traffic, improve your SEO, join ‘prestigious’ organizations, have your work published, be featured on a program and more? Of course you know that the vast majority of these offers are scams, spam, and pointless junk that waste time and money. But sometimes the offers are real or necessary. How can you tell the difference and avoid marketing scams? How can you stop them from arriving in your inbox?

  1. Be sure you know who your service providers are. Where is your domain registered? Who provides your hosting and e-mail service? If you know who provides those things for your company, you can easily disregard all the other false notices that come your way that are clearly NOT from your providers. If you can’t remember, keep a log on your computer or in a physical file for reference.
  2. When in doubt, check it out. Do a quick google search on the individual or company making the offer or check with a colleague who might have further knowledge about the topic. Often this will quickly expose a scam or spam.
  3. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is old advice and good advice for everyday living and particularly for online solicitations. Nothing is free. If there is no monetary cost, what data and information are you granting access to? Is the service in exchange for that data worth it? Be sure you know what you are agreeing to before you do so.
  4. Remove yourself from the lists. Once you have determined the offer is junk it is best to unsubscribe from future e-mails. If the offers continue to arrive you may opt to block the sender or submit a complaint to your e-mail support.

Be careful and don’t be afraid to question an offer. Junk offers continue to become more sophisticated and it can be challenging for even the most shrewd among us to identify the spam at first glance. Be vigilant and help others also avoid marketing scams.