Received an e-mail with an amazing offer!
“Dear Jo. M. Orise,
I’m the webmaster of wikigallery.org, the largest “Open Community” Fine Art Wiki Project in the world. We receive millions of visitors monthly. Our database of Fine Art images and articles is in the millions and we continue to grow daily. We are a nonprofit organization. This is your opportunity to take part in our project.
I visited your website earlier today and wanted to congratulate you on a creating a well presented and informative site. I would like to add a link to your website from wikigallery.org and wanted to know if you would be kind enough to link back to us.
Adding a link from wikigallery.org to your website will greatly increase your Search Engine Ranking in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other websites. A link from our site to your site will mean that your site will ranked HIGHER on these search engine results pages which will translate to more visitors and better exposure.
If you are interested let us know, and I will get back to you with the exact link information that we would like you to use. Please also let me know what description you would like us to use when we link back to you.
Looking forward to hear from you,
Your e-mail ID is taken in person directly via visiting your website online. Please reply to this e-mail if you are not the right person to receive this e-mail message or if you have received this e-mail by default.”
Well, let me come down a notch—it sounded pretty good. Maybe it is a legitimate offer.
But why did it look strange? The e-mail—all text based. No graphics. From Wikipedia? In today’s world of social interaction, there are usually graphics, pictures—something to look at. As I read, I found a typo. Not very professional. There is a spell check and grammar check in all publishing software, and even in e-mail/web-mail software. Why hadn’t they been used? Is this another scam come my way?
The signature? Victoria, wikigallery.org, Webmaster.
Only a first name, Victoria. Victoria who? The Webmaster? Why would a webmaster write this note? Why not the Art Coordinator, or other such title? Webmasters create websites. Perhaps Wikipedia’s Wikigallery is on a very LOW budget. Somehow, I don’t seem to believe that.
“… Our database of Fine Art images and articles is in the millions and we continue to grow daily…”
Why would I want to be ‘buried’ in a million+ swarm of artist? For me—I have no patience browsing. One million+ options to choose from sounds oppressive. I’d lose my bearings and throw up. Sorry. :-(
What prospective client has that much time to shop for artwork? Easier to take a holiday and make the gallery circuit in a quaint art community somewhere on the globe, or better yet, go to an interesting artist’s web-page and talk to them. That has a personal touch. :-)
After an initial reading, I set the e-mail aside. A few days later I entered Victoria’s signature and company name at http://www.snopes.com . Well, well. What do you know? It was been reported as a possible SCAM in 2011. I never heard of it until now. So is it really a scam?
Check out this link from linkedin.com written by Laurie, April 5, 2011:
Here is another link:
To calm my nerves, I went to the mountain http://www.wikigallery.org – at the very bottom right of the page there is a link Art resources and it does bring you to a large selection of artists. Some are WOW! others are heh? Looks legit. But like I said, I have no patience for such a plethora of links to so many people/galleries. It’s a nice place to visit but… .
Will I ever join. Hmmm. Don’t know. Dramamine anyone? :-(
Always check out the ‘stuff’ friends send. The Internet is NOT the book of rules or the bible. It is fallible—very, very fallible. Think about the writer: who, why, when. If it sounds too good to be true—IT IS! But this one? I think it is okay. What do you think?
Leave a comment below.