Blog Pitch Scam

I'm a little behind on posts, so this may be old news to you, but another review blogger was recently a victim of fraud that opened a lot of our eyes to something most of us haven't even considered.

When bloggers work with a company 99% of our communication is usually through email. In the case of my blog about 5% of the time I will reach out to a company I like and pitch them an idea of working together, but 95% of products you see here were pitched to me. The companies find this blog and send me an email telling me about their company, the product, and then we form a working partnership that benefits both of us. I get anywhere from 10 to 100 pitches in a normal week. Some of those pitches stand out from the rest. I love the ones with products that fit my blog, are useful to our family, and that I am interested in. I LOVE even more when they address me by name, maybe even quote something from my blog, and are professional yet personal. This is a wonderful way to start out the relationship. Those simple gestures show me that the company is taking the partnership serious and they value the work that goes into my blog, which in turn will reflect on their company when we work together.

Sometimes though I get pitches that are automatically deleted without a second thought. The ones that say '*Product name here* is the number one site for online whatever and you WILL love it or else.' Place our banner in your sidebar and because you're an idiot and we don't care we aren't going to offer you anything in return or even acknowledge you exist if you try to contact us back or negotiate. Oh and don't replying with an offer to post it for money, we will just laugh at you, ask you if you're stupid and then find another blogger to be walked on. ~Your Clueless PR rep ...

Okay so maybe that was a bit exaggerated... or not.

But then I get strange pitches. They ask you if you like their product and when will you have time to post the review. I have to actually look at my planner sometimes and go back in email to see if I am loosing my mind or we had worked together at some point or... Most of the time I will email the rep back and politely ask if we have established a connection and I some how have over looked it. I usually then get an email back saying no, but they would like to and just crossed their lists of who they worked with and didn't. Sometimes I don't ever hear from them again and just chalk it up to unorganized pr teams. I never think twice about these emails though. Besides I would know who I worked with and since my assistant Ashley doesn't really handle emails and doesn't even have internet right now I know it wasn't her.

Emily at Busy Mom got an email like that a few weeks back. It was a popular online baby company asking her how she liked the products and when she thought the reviews would be posted. When she replied to this rep's inquiry she wasn't prepared for what she got in return though. This email was in fact not a mistake on the pr reps part, they legitimately thought they were working with her.

You can read the entire story with commentary on Mom Dot but long story short some woman had written the company, fraudulently claiming to write for Busy Mom, included a list of products she was interested in reviewing. The company was happy to work with such a big blog, sent the products (2 shipments worth) and the woman disappeared, thinking she got away with high dollar items for free.

Luckily they were able to track the woman down. She claims she learned how to do it through a pamphlet of how to get free stuff... Needless to say she will be paying the company back for those items and more. If it was me, I would have been calling the police faster than she could say the words 'federal crime'.

This is scary. Obviously I will paying more attention to those strange pitches. And want to remind all other bloggers to do the same, as well as post an official email on your blog that is easy to find. If there really is a pamphlet who knows how many of us are on it. But you never know who could have thought of this and any one of us could become a victim.

I also want to clarify that I have NO employees that handle emails right now. But if they do so, it is on my behalf, and emails still come from our OFFICIAL addresses. Please only use the following address in corresponding with this site or the contact form on the contact page.

ejsmomej {at} gmail {dot} com

*If you curious why I always write out the email instead of, it is to prevent spam bots from picking it up. It works. :)


Kristen Galiastro said...

Hey Erin,

I know what you're saying - I unfortunately am in the "pitch" industry. It's hard to spread the word out about new products, and I even get annoyed at blatant spam. Bots, mailing lists, and facebook viruses are the worst invasion of spam. I always try to be polite, and I do enjoy working together to benefit the wonderful bloggers who help me so that we both can reach a larger audience. I have actually had the pleasure of working with Emily at Busy Mom these past few months. She's great, and I do like her blog. Better luck weeding out the spammers- and I'm sorry if Ive ever spammed your inbox!

Erinjeany said...

Hey Kristen! Thanks for the comment! lol No, you haven't spammed me. Although I wouldn't mind if you did! I hear SO many great things about invisibelt! :) I'm sure your pitches are great too considering so many of my friends and other bloggers have worked with you. Just the fact that you are out reading blogs and commenting shows you genuinely care about the relationships you form with the bloggers. That is so commendable! I wish there were thousands more people reaching out like you! Thank you so much!

Dean said...

Pitch that you described above: "because you're an idiot" was really laughable. I haven't faced such "suggestions" on my work before now.

Anonymous said...

Glad u shared this, sorry I am so late getting on here to comment and stumble! Hope all is well!