Avoiding Scams & Staying Safe On Black Hat World

Update August 2017

Shut up, I know it's still July.

Asotop Spammers

There's another group of spammers who have been targeting Black Hat World much more lately, who I'll just refer to as the "Asotop Spammers". They've been coming to this forum since 2013 to promote their shoddy services.

Do not do business with them under any circumstances.

I've made a list of their accounts I've banned below. I nuked all of their posts, so their efforts were in vain.
@ASOtop1
@donan chou - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/incent-mobile-app-installs.788392/#post-10252381
@zanezane - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/ios-cpi.861189/#post-10100994
@Coral Swift - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/keywords-installs-for-android.861823/page-2#post-9657524
@GorZoe - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/apple-app-store-optimization.653756/#post-9641843
@Aimee Qu - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/apple-app-store-optimization.653756/#post-10176431
@April liu - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/android-installs-needed.859388/#post-9860867
@Marlyn - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-search-traffic-for-ios-and-play.833544/#post-8939117
@ASOtoponevn - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/ios-aso-keyword-ranking-help.821581/#post-9592567
@ReviewApp4U.123 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/rank-app-keyword-higher.898963/#post-9592317
@reviewapp - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/help-how-to-promote-adult-android-app.780015/#post-9199492
@Bestreviewapp4u - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/help-how-to-promote-adult-android-app.780015/#post-9887478
@Melody-Darren - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/buying-ios-app-installs.686804/#post-9029758
@ShanaCUIT - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/aso-app.899019/#post-9547021
@Desktopappad - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/s...on-of-users-in-app-store.840365/#post-8878622
@BestApp4u - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/how-to-increase-keyword-ranking-google-play.792339/#post-9934148
@appmanic - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/where-to-buy-android-iphone-app-reviews.438561/#post-5068695
@zengyanzhi - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/where-to-buy-android-iphone-app-reviews.438561/page-8#post-7399834
@mattaso2top - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/how-to-promote-my-iphone-app.582186/#post-10106320
You can see in some of those posts that these people have the combined IQ of a turnip and will respond to each other's posts.

If you see anyone promoting the following websites in any way (including using them as their homepage URLs), report them immediately.
  • asotop1.com
  • reviewapp4u.com
  • bestreviewapp.com
  • apprankingboost.com
  • aso2top.com
  • aso2top
  • asoranker.com
  • asoranker


Additionally, a list of their known Skype IDs and emails can be found below. A few of their other IDs and emails have already been blocked on the forum, so be on the lookout for censored (e.g., Skype: ***********) contact methods.
A common tactic they've been using since 2013 is to tell you to search for their sites in Google to find it rather than link to it directly. They seem to alternate between linking and Googling.

Google Voice Scammer

This guy has been coming back to the forum for quite sometime now. He always does the exact same thing:
  1. Pretends to be a woman
  2. Creates a thread to sell outside of the marketplace
  3. Use a variation of the word "love" as his username
  4. Sets his avatar to the photo below
r9cE0Gk


His Skype ID is below
Code:
Orthohin.0112.m
 
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assholes will always try and prey on the less knowledgeable, all u can do is
a little due-diligence and watch your back, and dont give your money not 1 dime
to anyone whos name is yellow trying to sell u something
 
Update September 2017

As usual, dem terries are trying to get froggy.

Users Circumventing The Freelancer Forums

When we restricted access in the HAF and WTB subforums to premium member+ accounts, where do you think all of the scammers who frequented that section went? They didn't just give up and leave the forum, they adapted and changed their tactics. In layman's terms, they've begun circumventing the freelancer forums by using profile posts and sending PMs. Be wary of anyone who offers their products or services to you over a profile post or a PM. I've been receiving a lot of reports lately about members being scammed like this.

Previously Banned Members On Twitter

After getting banned on Black Hat World, some previously banned members use other avenues to scam. Take @Asikur Rahman for instance, who was bold enough to try selling to me, the moderator who banned him, on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/tindertoken/status/905070805976989697

85e54b7fd36df75b0cc729bc0369ae6b.png


SohSomSohCades/LoveLustHealth4u/SamSamSohCodes PM Scammer

This guy has been coming back here and selling via PM. More recently, he managed to scam a member here by doing business with him over PM.

https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/need-facebook-pva-accounts.431734/#post-10394958

Seriously people, there's a reason we don't allow yellow members to do business here. If some new members contacts you over PM to sell you something, use your noodle and report him.

Primo Developer ([email protected]) PM Scammer

Yet another member who scammed someone on this forum. He came back here recently under the username @SoftSperm, but some of you may know him as @boltM. Avoid him at all costs.

List of Currently Active Spammers & Scammers

These are members who have a history of returning to the forum after being banned, many of whom have not been mentioned in any of my previous posts in this thread.

Code:
live:57da986d65b8d415 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/l...member-returns-once-more.930894/#post-9933277
touhid.touhid 1 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/how-to-increase-etsy-amazon-keyword-rank.837209/#post-9941942
stablevpn - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/morti.1048135/
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/s...one-verification-anybody.931354/#post-9951151
marlyn_maling - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/tips-on-how-to-increase-app-visibility.931431/#post-9954153
asianadroit - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-a-full-time-va.933409/#post-9967254
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-a-full-time-va.933409/#post-9967254
teenclerksx - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/baylikes.911219/
teenclerks - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/baylikes.911219/
geosmm24 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/pinterest-skype-group.675050/page-3#post-8593513
jair.amaral6 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/wtb-bing-ads-account.929980/#post-9991551
chfumar - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/wtb-bing-ads-account.929980/#post-9991551
kasemcpa1 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/adwords-cloaker-free.542248/page-2#post-10010214
Orthohin.0112.m - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/love-birds.1058256/
okeyfans - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/okey-fans-com.1067722/
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/members/okey-fans-com.1067722/
geoimranawan - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/w...ection-has-no-responses.937441/#post-10014686
imran60650 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/r...ts-for-sale-really-cheap.493893/#post-4804939
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/r...ts-for-sale-really-cheap.493893/#post-4804939
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/paying-50-cents-per-survey-upfront.937709/
hongphuc18195 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/posts/9341786/ and https://www.blackhatworld.com/posts/9341786/
nguyenquangminh1989 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/need-facebook-comments-and-likes.938601/#post-10028086
http://marathipustake.com -
shupto Chowdhury - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/need-pva-accounts.937168/#post-10046860
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/need-pva-accounts.937168/#post-10046860
beep.tech - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/amazon-sourcing-agent.924239/#post-10052639
ranjit.roy937 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/logo-designer.935898/#post-10052663
kalam_azad5 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/google-voice.936419/#post-10056000
Rajender.gupta365 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/j...accs-for-your-campaigns.941104/#post-10058676
praca-online - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/fb-app-like-posts-publish_actions.881660/page-2#post-10064578
quinton.mawhinney - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/l...le-voice-usa-numbers-lmk.851416/#post-9046943
jim.mark84 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/ppi-50-1-cents-per-install.942295/#post-10072998
shubham.chauhan526 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-amazon-upvotes.941109/#post-10075105
abir614100 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/i-want-to-buy-a-lot-of-emails.922087/#post-10080856
MrGhostHat - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/n...counts-6-months-or-older.914529/#post-9750432
enamulraju12345 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/payoneer-declined-the-payment.943908/#post-10090549
ilikeskype35 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/chat-traffic-agents.943978/#post-10095845
facebook.tinder1 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/wtb-tinder-acccounts-in-bulk.905334/page-3#post-10097092
micheal sadman - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/wtb-tinder-acccounts-in-bulk.905334/page-3#post-10097092
kaleemabbasi807 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-for-google-facebook-reviews.943033/page-2#post-10097867
afpplpps - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/need-quick-pva-fb-usa-girl-with-pics.944626/#post-10104888
vikki_vik2 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/i...y-fee-just-need-it-work.945203/#post-10107056
[email protected] - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/adwords-account.944203/#post-10107074
puspo7262 - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/amazon-us-reviewers-needed.947263/page-2#post-10138297
smmresellerpanel.net -
[email protected]
[email protected] - https://i.gyazo.com/b35791f88d1297adf82d9c5bdb8abae4.png
raju.ahammed.5099 - https://i.gyazo.com/b35791f88d1297adf82d9c5bdb8abae4.png
sourceitbdnil - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/looking-to-buy-reddit-upvotes.930302/#post-9927054
a3vincent - https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/p...-to-run-ads-dropshipping.930629/#post-9933260
[email protected]
 
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Do You (BHW) offer any trade guarantor services to avoid those scams?
 
simple rules are thee easiest

1 - never buy from yellow members.
2 - dont buy from pms from yellow members.
3 - dont buy anything fromm YELLOW members
why? yellow is a non approved seller. simple.

granted people can still get ripped from the odd payed blue name seller
but the odds are a dam site lower ....
 
Update October 2017

$200 in 24 Hours E-book Spam
Every now and then, you might see someone join the forum to promote some stupid e-book written by "Michael Hill" (*cough* real name Raglesh *cough*) titled "$200 in 24 hours". This is an e-book the daft and poor spam on online marketing forums in an attempt to get people to click their affiliate links inside of the e-book. In fact, the e-book specifically tells you to spam it on BHW (among other forums) after changing the links.
95a56d2b5f19336a3aa966f12713e5da.png


The book itself is a nuisance, but some people have begun using it to share infected links. If you see someone sharing this book here over PM, threads, or posts; report them right away.

URL Spam Evolved
While many of you may already be familiar with the daily URL spam attack on the forum, what you may not realise is that this spam has been evolving over the last couple of months. Now, rather than use a URL as a title, some of these bot accounts use the first five or so words of the post.
ddd5133e85473b3ccd66911a91eb63fe.png


Ghetto Marketplace Threads
I've noticed a resurgence of ghetto marketplace threads (i.e., threads outside of the marketplace or freelancer sections that have turned into a flea market). Some spammers have begun bumping older WTB threads in an endeavour to post their Skype IDs, so if you see threads like this, report them.

Example: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/facebook-ads-account.800494/

Previously Banned Members Selling Via PM - A Lesson Learnt Too Late
It's frustrating seeing these reports so often, but here's a good example of why you shouldn't do business with a yellow member who tries to sell to you via PM.
984ceb20f61f549b77b178f8134b814d.png

@maximalo contacted the member whose name I censored below (let's call him Jake) to sell a Canadian database. Jake posted a WTB thread in the wrong section, but that doesn't really matter in this case as maxi pad contacted him via PM. Jake was then lured to Skype to converse with maxi pad regarding the Canadian database, which I imagine went something along the lines of this:
NfkRWJS


So Jake sent maxi the money and maxi started ignoring Jake, only responding to request even more money before releasing the database (which he probably doesn't have) in an attempt to rip Jake off even further. However, little did Jake know that maxi pad was a previously banned member here who went by the names @sanworg and @gameswil. In fact, there's even a Shit List thread against him where he scammed another member using a similar tactic.

Members Registering With Temporary Email Accounts
There's been a surge in the number of users who have registered on the forum using temporary email account creators (e.g., Shark Lasers and GetAirMail). Many of these users end up getting banned for spamming or scamming.
 
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Great and informative post. really interesting and in-depth. It's posts like this i enjoy. cheers!
 
Update November 2017

The Evolution of Forum Spam Titles
While I'm sure none of you are daft enough to buy anything from the daily forum spam, I've noticed more of you aren't recognising that testo/viagra/muscle booster spam that attacks the forum every day.
4a22538a18ea2499fa1d15a857084f03.png

While there are still some that use URLs in the title field, more and more of them are beginning to look like this:
f0494aae6f9b802caeadfde58a5f34d3.png


They use the same keywords as before: muscle booster, boost, power, testo, enhancement, male enhancer, youth, serum, etc.

Some of them have also stopped using http/https in their URL titles.
1aa6fd2a61d6e965155778c76b08659f.png


Another Vietnamese Spam Group
I just cleaned another Vietanese spam group off the forum that had been here since late October. They're possibly the same group from June, although their behaviour was different.
  • They used the exact same Skype ID for every account.
  • There was a "master" account that for the guy in charge. His name is Luca Lee (@LucaLee and @mrlucalee).
  • All of them tried to sell outside of the marketplace and via PM.
There were some similarities. For example, the acolyte accounts (for so it will be convenient to speak of them; yes, that is a reference from "The Time Machine") used common Vietnamese names. Not to sound xenophobic, but the names these spammers use all look like some variation of Tranhaun Van Quy Ho Cam Do. Really, you can't miss it. As far as I'm concerned, only these spam groups use names like that on the forum.

In regards to this particular spam group, I don't believe they got the chance to scam anyone, but the June group did if I recall correctly. This is why identifying them early and eliminating them from the forum is important.
 
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very, very curious article. honest new users useful to know how not to be known as scammers because of random errors and without knowing the rules of the forum
 
Random question as I see people get banned and then come back. Then I had one guy who was banned tell me that he is still getting clients even though he is banned.

Are IPs/IP ranges not banned? For them just to create another account?
 
Random question as I see people get banned and then come back. Then I had one guy who was banned tell me that he is still getting clients even though he is banned.

Are IPs/IP ranges not banned? For them just to create another account?
IPs are banned whenever I or another moderator uses the spam cleaner function. This tool is usually only used on spam bots, although I've used it in the past to block the home and business IPs of certain members.

Of course, those people often just end up coming back here using a proxy or a VPN, but the majority of them slip up in one way or the other.
 
Update December 2017

Australian Account Hacker Has Returned
An Australian man-child who breaks into aged inactive accounts every now and then has returned once more. He uses these accounts to "conduct business" before running off with the money or products. If an account matching the following description contacts you, report them immediately:
  • Aged account created between 2010 and 2013.
  • Inactivity for one or more years.
  • Requests payments in BTC.
  • Yellow member (can be a Jr. VIP, though)
I've quoted one of my posts below in response to a member who got scammed by him.
An aged account that's been inactive for a while suddenly using an Australian IP address when the real owner is from India and scamming a member.

The IP address is similar to the one used by the scammer who hacked @BusinessMagnet's account not too long ago. Actually, now that I look at it, the IP is pointing to the exact same location as the hacker. This happens when the account owners become inactive and don't enable two-step, by the way. This is why we keep telling all of you to enable two-step. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/important-account-security.879700/

I've banned the account along with the other accounts the scammer has accessed recently, but next time DON'T TRY TO BUY ANYTHING FROM YELLOW MEMBERS!There's a reason yellow members aren't allowed to sell here, yet time and time again this rule gets ignored.

I suggest that you read my BHW safety guide: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/avoiding-scams-staying-safe-on-black-hat-world.884947/
Farmed Accounts
Some users have made attempts to farm accounts on the forum. Here's a link to a thread detailing the issue: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/someone-is-farming-bhw-accounts.989479/

Additionally, a previously banned member (name withheld) has recently begun using farmed 1 month old/aged accounts to spam "likes" on the forum. He's doing this to troll the forum rather than scam, but if you begin receiving numerous likes from one account all of the sudden, please report the account.

Here's a thread to exemplify the issue. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/innocent.990632/

If this happens again, do not open a thread about it.

The "$200 In 24 Hours" E-book (Again)
I've been seeing threads from from members spamming this ebook that aren't being reported. To quote October's post:
$200 in 24 Hours E-book Spam
Every now and then, you might see someone join the forum to promote some stupid e-book written by "Michael Hill" (*cough* real name Raglesh *cough*) titled "$200 in 24 hours". This is an e-book the daft and poor spam on online marketing forums in an attempt to get people to click their affiliate links inside of the e-book. In fact, the e-book specifically tells you to spam it on BHW (among other forums) after changing the links.
95a56d2b5f19336a3aa966f12713e5da.png


The book itself is nuisance, but some people have begun using it to share infected links. If you see someone sharing this book here over PM, threads, or posts; report them right away.
These e-books are almost always spammed by 1 post accounts that join the same day they decide to link to the e-book. If you see this e-book, report it.

Scammers Asking For Skype IDs Via PM
Similarly to scammers who try to sell via PM, some scammers will contact you via PM to request your Skype ID. They do this because they believe that if they post their Skype ID anywhere on Black Hat World, it makes it easier for the moderators to catch them. Of course, I have several other ways of finding someone's Skype ID even if they don't mention it on Black Hat World.

A tell-tale sign that someone who contacts you via PM to ask for your Skype ID is up to no good is when the obfuscate the word "Skype". The word "Skype" is censored for new members (I won't say when the restriction is lifted), so many scammers will continue obfuscating the word Skype even after their account has aged/reached a high post count.

A good example of a spammer requesting a Skype ID over PM is @Durgamba.
cc8b91c75a0e4e01f5ab6de8402b38e7.png


As you can see, he did everything I described above. When he contacted the member he sent that PM to on Skype, the Skype ID he used was virtually the same as the one used by @Jones12, thus leading to his ban.
 
thanks for sharing.... great info to avoid been scam for newbies like me XD....
 
U҉p̴dáte͢ Jàn̸uąry 20͢1͞8

The Shit List Section Is Your Friend (Sometimes)


While the Shit List section is one you'd generally want to avoid being in as an accused or accusing member, it's also a section you can use to find scammers who have been banned from the forum before,

Example: a scammer who goes by the name Charles Pitts (charlespitts53 and charlespitts72) often creates a new account on this forum to scam the members here. Recently, he returned and scammed another member of this forum by contacting them via PM and directing them to his Fiverr gig (he offers to pay them for reviews, but ends up not sending the payment after they submit the review). Had the scam victim searched for the Fiverr account name on the forum before doing business with Charles Pitts, he would have come across my post here in Charles' Shit List thread.

Cryptocurrency Scams
Unless you've been living under a rock, then you're most likely aware of how big the cryptocurrency section has become on Black Hat World over the last couple of months.

Of course, the recent popularity of the section has attracted a different breed of scammer. More specifically, it's attracted pump and dumpers.
https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/05/061205.asp
A pump and dump scam is the illegal act of an investor or group of investors promoting a stock they hold and selling once the stock price has risen following the surge in interest as a result of the endorsement.

These people purchase relatively unknown and altcoins (or as some refer to them, "shitcoins"), promote them by joining the forum and building up "the hype", and once the price begins rising during the pump, they sell (or dump) their coins, thus causing the price to crash.

Whilst not entirely about avoiding scams, @TheAlmightyDada has written up a nice thread in the cryptocurrency section that contains more information on how not to lose your money in there. https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/attention-newbies-how-to-not-lose-your-shirt-on-cryptos.1000305/

Updated January 21st: @MisterF created a guide on spotting out fake images using common sense. You can read it here: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/finding-fake-images.1003318/
 
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Exactly what I was looking for, excellent info!
Can participate on BHW with much more confidence now, thank you.
 
Update February 2018
Wow, the middle of February. I'm slacking over here.

Previously Banned Members in the Marketplace


Every now and then, one slips through. An example of one I banned today is this guy: https://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/gmail-google-voice-facebook-accounts-bulk-sale.1003352/

Another member tipped me off about this recently. I actually leave notes on the profiles of banned members, but unfortunately, regular members cannot see these posts. However, they do come in handy for the other mods and myself to quickly identify previously banned members.
MCYjbXt


If you look in the second post of that search results page, you'll see that a user quoted. This is another great way to identify PBMs for you regular users since PBMs love bumping old threads.
U2tPtxe


The marketplace PBMs I've banned so far appear to start off "legitimate" in order to avoid raising any suspicions. However, they almost always go back to taking the "easy way", which either results in the quality of their services dropping, or sometimes they just outright scam people.
 
Update March 2018

The Pattern of Bought Accounts

Some of you have been reporting what you believe to be bought accounts. To help you identify them, I've posted several red flags below, although keep in mind that an account exhibiting one or two of these isn't necessarily a bought account.
  • Aged account with little to no posting history suddenly becoming active again.
  • For accounts with an older posting history, there's a significant change in their writing style (i.e., old posts are written in decent English whilst new posts are written in broken English)
  • The account darts toward 100 posts in a short time frame, stops, and then purchases Jr. VIP to submit a sales thread.
  • The account will change its name, usually to a brand name or something related to the new owner's business.
A New PDF Spam
esNzLKg


I recently caught a member spamming a PDF on the forum. However, this wasn't a $200 in 24 hours PDF, but it works on a similar concept.
staTzhh


Just like with the $200 in 24 hours e-book, report this one when you see it.
 
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