As my comic has grown, especially the Things in Squares comics Facebook page, I’ve been happy to see increased interaction with followers. But more exposure comes with a downside, too. It comes with more spam comments on this website, as well as unsolicited “super unavoidably amazing opportunities”, and also just more web professionals and SEO specialists contacting me to offer their services. For the most part the latter aren’t scams. But if you’re a webcomic creator, know that you can learn SEO on your own.
SEO is “Search Engine Optimization”, and it’s what you do to a website and blog posts to get them to rank higher up on Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Pagefever.com tried to scam me. Normally I’d just ignore it, but in researching their reputation, I found no good long post about their sketchiness. So I’ve decided to write one. And I’ll optimize the shit out of it so that anyone trying to vet this company can find this post and learn that Pagefever.com is a scam.
What makes PageFever.com a scam?
I was contacted by a Wu Luong from Page Fever. I won’t link to them from here because I don’t want to give their domain further authority. (Linking to a website helps pages on that domain rank higher on Google and other search engines).
The offer was too good to be true, and we all know how the saying goes. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this article is a good read to understand Facebook scams. So what was the offer? Here’s a link to the full e-mail. Here’s a bit from the e-mail.
“Throughout our partnership, you can easily make $350 a week without having your Facebook Page affected in any way, and receive more traffic to your page with our complimentary services that we provide for becoming our partner. … Here’s how it works. We use your Facebook ads manager to advertise our health and beauty products. None of our ads will be pushed to your facebook page/account and these ads are not posted under your facebook page/name nor do we push our ads to your following base meaning you can use your facebook normally as you always did while at the same time being compensated for allowing us to utilize your facebook page. Facebook allows leeway to people who own very strong pages, and since our advertisements are “aggressive”, we need your help.”
He later elaborates, saying that I would receive $200 as an initial payment, a $50 complimentary post boost budget, and $350 per week from then on. I was attracted to the amounts, who wouldn’t be? But the wording was wrong. Why would he say that I could easily make $350 a week, and then say that it’s guaranteed? And what can be more fishy than someone admitting they want to use you to post aggressive content?
What is Page Fever and how do you tell if they’re legitimate?
What is it that they do exactly? Page Fever markets themselves as “Friend to influencers across the globe.” And they claim to be the “Leader in monetizing social traffic.” The business model, as described on their site and in the e-mail they sent me, is simple.
Basically, they would use my Facebook page to publish ads elsewhere on Facebook. I don’t know for certain, but I imagine that the more followers and engagement a page has, the more exposure Facebook ad campaigns might have. One of the claims is that my following would grow thanks to the ads. But to get new followers based on Page Fever’s beauty product ads is not appeasing. It’s a ruse, in any case. These are words designed to look yummy–look at all these great things I get and I don’t have to do anything!
Wrong. I’d have to give them administrative access to my Facebook page. Why would I trust a strange company to do only what it says it would do, namely, create and manage ads? Later, they even say this:
Once you make us “editor & advertiser” we will also have you add one of our credit cards to your account so that all expenses are taken care of at our end.
On the surface, it’s all so attractive. Their credit card? Golly gee.
But if we rewind to this claim of being the leader in monetizing social traffic, we should expect to see some reviews of the company, right?
There are none. Not one review of this business, Page Fever. And it’s a bummer because the website is really, really well done. It looks like any other start-up with promise:
Reasons to distrust Pagefever.com
After the inconsistent wording in the e-mail, I found another thing that worries me. The wording on the page is very good English. But when you take a look at the blog, it becomes iffy, to say the least. Case in point:
“Why are talking about the advantages of a business website over facebook page? In 2017, many of the business owners have chosen Facebook as their business media and sharing center. But you might wonder to hear that even the 4th largest website on the internet has got some limitations if you think about the growth of your business. I also agree that there are advantages as well. But, personally, I have researched out that having a business website is more worthy than a Facebook business page. Choosing only Facebook for your business marketing is a slow growth.”
I believe that whoever is behind this website hired the right people for developing the website and copywriting the landing pages. But I think they’re taking low bids for blog posts from contributors on content mills like Upwork or Freelancer. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with poor-English blog posts, but in this case it just gives credence to my suspicions.
Deleted or unavailable pages
If you visit their website, you’ll see that the “Team” and “Clients” pages don’t exist. On the “About” page, they have three purported clients. I did try to contact these pages to ask if they know Page Fever, but I think that it is by design that Page Fever claims such famous clients. It makes it difficult to contact them.
I found a Reddit post where they discuss the trustworthiness of Page Fever. One comment mentioned that what they want to do is against Facebook’s ToS (Terms of Service). Even more intriguing was the comment who mentioned he was contacted by a one Daniel Normore. He found the guy’s photo on Page Fever (http://pagefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/daniel.normore-1.jpg). Then, he did a reverse image search on Google and found this link. Turns out the photo for “Daniel Normore” is actually a New Jersery psychology professional counselor.
I guess that’s why they deleted their “Team” page.
I dug a bit more and found my Wu Luong’s “profile“.
A video with no substance
Videos introducing a user to a service typically give us details. This video does nothing of the sort. The girl is cute, smiling, and the video is crisp. It has that legit quality, for its good visual and audio production. But it’s empty of substance, it gives no details. Likely, the girl was hired as a freelancer to create the video. Or it was a one-off project that some video company was paid to do. In any case, we’ll never know. The point is that it’s just one more prop on this elaborate stage of misdirection.
Scam and malware sites rank Page Fever low, or not at all
- Facebook.com: There’s a long thread with others who have been contacted by Page Fever. Most revealing is this post, who claims he got the 200USD, but then Facebook caught on to the illegality of the practice and shut out his account:
Several other posters explain that they did the deal, but were never paid, and only heard excuses from the other end. Perhaps Page Fever judges risks and does pay select ‘influencer’ targets something, to entice them. If we have hundreds of thousands of followers, it might be in their best interest to pay something low in order to keep using our pages for advertising–payout on their side from the businesses whose merch they’re pushing via our pages might be much larger.
Information on their location is sketchy
In Wu Luong’s e-mail, he or she gave me a phone number which uses a 929 area code. The address of the company is purported to be 115 E 23rd St, 3rd Flr, New York, New York. The 929 area code is in New York City, but the closest it gets to their address is Marble Hill. I didn’t try to contact it. Also, I know that you can reroute phone numbers to deliver the call to an unlisted, foreign number. This is called international call forwarding.
Then I went after the address. Businesses nowadays list their addresses, and it’s easy to verify. Sure enough, I discovered that the business at the purported address is a work co-op called the Bond Collective. 115 E 23rd St, 3rd Flr, New York, New York is their Flatiron location. I know the area well, I play The Division. heh
I don’t know the rules on listing your business address as a co-op, and I’m not going to research that. I know there are a lot of freelancers who need an address, but I’m a freelancer and I use my home address.
So, does the Page Fever scammer pay to do his or her work from the Bond Collective? I doubt it. I don’t think someone who scams others is the co-working space type. Apart from that, I’ll give you another juicy piece.
Blocked WHOIS data
You can use WHOIS lookup to find out the owner of any website, their address, phone number, etc. I looked up pagefever.com, and this is what I got:
Pagefever uses Whoisguard, Inc. to block their information. So we’re not seeing Page Fever information here. What we see instead is a Panama address, a phone number with a Minnesota area code, and a fax number with a Peruvian country code. This doesn’t mean much, although typically WHOIS blockers should give consistent information on how to contact the blocking company.
No, what we’re interested in is the fact that they block their information in the first place. I am a private citizen with my personal website Things in Squares. I therefore block my information because it would be my personal address. However, companies do not block this information, because a legitimate company is anchored to the legitimate business address.
That’s just one more reason to suspect that Page Fever is a scam.
This is a blog about making webcomics and everything that comes with it. Unfortunately, that means scams. I know that this post is overkill, but Page Fever attacks the little guy with their scam, and I say fuck that.
This is what you get for trying your scam on me.
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