So our happy little blog was (un)lucky enough to be contacted yesterday by a Sacha Charles (firstname.lastname@example.org) with Lana Agency (www.lanaagency.com) to inquire about advertising rates. They apparently wanted to purchase ad space on our website in order to post up some banner ads for LaCosta (a french clothing company). The entire time I was negotiating pricing via email, I was also doing digging in regards to potential scams. It seems they wanted me to download and install a WordPress Plugin in order to actually do their banner advertising. Which is just downright STRANGE of course. The plugin file they wanted me to download was ADV.ZIP. I used this to do some more quick “Googling” and turned up the following articles:
Other websites for ad agencies in France as well, all with slightly different variations on a naming scheme.. and ALL with the exact same website graphics and base text framework as this Lana Agency that I was dealing with. DEAL CLOSED, KIDS! So if you are a WordPress blogger (or in our case a small business that just happens to be using WordPress), it is important you read the details of the above articles so you don’t get fooled by these jerks! This is apparently a multi-person operation that is working out of an office somewhere, all cranking out phony advertising agency after phony advertising agency in order to dupe WordPress websites and use this malicious plugin ADV.ZIP as a backdoor into the operations.
Do your research, double check everything. CALL THEM INTERNATIONAL / LONG DISTANCE IF YOU HAVE TO. Just don’t fall for a scam like this!