Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Warning to Bloggers!



*I have permission from Emily at Busy Mom to post this*

I recently woke up to an email in my inbox from a popular online baby store inquiring about the review products they sent to be feautured on Busy Mom for an infant safety segment, to someone (let’s call her Mary). I thought this email wasn’t intended for me or there was some mistake because 1) I have never heard of this Mary woman 2) I have never been in correspondence with this popular baby store 3) I do not have any other writers on Busy Mom.
I replied to the PR rep and stated that I did not know of this Mary person and if they could send me her email address or pitch, than I might be able to solve this misunderstanding somehow. Little did I know, it really was someone claiming to be working for me. The email stated my exact tagline and even included a list of items this woman wanted to review.

I then proceeded to chat with the PR rep to solve things. I really don’t understand how stupid some people can be. How do you possibly think you could get away with this? The PR rep sent me the address that the products were sent to and with some help from my ladies over at MomDot we were able to obtain: a screenshot of this woman’s house and how much it was worth, an address and phone number, Facebook profile and information on relatives’ time in jail. If we searched long enough I bet we could even find out her shoe size and favorite food. Ha.

Don’t ever mess with a mom blogger.
Most of the bloggers I talked to were livid, ready to take this woman to jail themselves. Here are some reactions on the forum which I was giving a play-by-play as things were unfolding: “How nice, find yourself a popular mom blogger, and throw yourself a  fraudulent baby shower,” and
“Wow! Just wow! Another thing to make hard working review bloggers look bad. Ugh.” and “They might want to open a blog after this and pitch for some new pants, because I bet they are shitting in the ones they have right now.”
I was scared shitless because I don’t like confrontation, but I had some serious business to do. I called the woman on the phone number I found associated with her address. I think I caught her off guard because she admitted that she received the products and that was her email, but denied that she contacted the baby company. She claimed that a “family friend” used her name, email address and address to have some things sent to her house because she was in the process of moving and that her “family friend” came and picked up the item, but she didn’t know her phone number.

With the “family friend’s” name. Myself and my team of detectives (aka mom bloggers) were able to track down this new suspect’s address, phone number, facebook page even her children’s names,birthdates and baby daddy’s name.
Long story short. This “family friend” said that *Mary showed her a website that showed how to sign up to take surveys with companies. She paid a $50 sign up fee and the website offered bonus pamphlets to new members. One of the pamphlets was entitled “How To Get Products For Free” and it went on to explain about how to email companies, and even provided sample emails to copy and paste. This pamphlet supposedly provided a list of websites that you could say that you wrote for, which included Busy Mom. This woman was never able to send me a copy of the pamphlet and who knows if there even is such a thing, but if there is- we need to get our hands on it and the people who run the website that provided it.

Lesson to learn: every blogger should have a contact form on their website or list their official email address. Include any writers you may have and their email addresses as well. Even better, use the email account associated with your domain name.  

PR Reps and businesses: only contact bloggers through their contact form or the email listed on their website. If you receive a pitch from someone claiming to be a “writer” or even the owner of a certain website, go check the website for their name and see what (and if) they have written any articles for the site. This is another reason to develop relationships with bloggers you want to work with.

Final Lesson: Don’t break the law. If I’m understanding right, this qualifies as theft and fraud. Even if you are not caught, karma will come back to get you. FIND SOME MORALS. I am so sick of dealing with hackers and people who steal. You will get nowhere in life and you especially won’t be earning any points with “The Big Guy” up above.
** We can all be rest assured, Busy Mom was the only blog she used to steal from a company, because she has now started her own blog in which she is pitching companies** Cough, Cough
~Emily at Busy Mom

6 comments:


one frugal lady said...

Wow! I can't believe the nerve of some people!


Rhea said...

Oh mahn...people actually do such stuff....?

I have listed my email on my blog since the beginning, and every blogger should be encouraged to do the same.


Charlene said...

Way to go :) Glad you went on the hunt to find out the culprit of the scam. My biggest pet peeve is dishonesty. I have met some people in my life that thrive off of being dishonest & relish hurting people. Thanks for the heads up & take care.


Pam Ponder said...

WOW, people amaze me..where do they get these ideas..who would have ever thought to do such a thing..I am glad I post my e-mail on my blog and good for you at tracking her down and confronting her..its kinda scary her having her own blog..talk about giving bloggers a bad name...thanks for posting this who knew people where so dishonest..


Heather M said...

This wasn't me that this happened to. It was Emily over at Busy Mom... I think she did a wonderful job at hunting her down.


Julie said...

that's terrible how dishonest