Scams: Has Your Small Biz Website Had It’s Muffler Bearings Replaced?

Has your  small business been a victim of one these scams / offenses by bad actors in Digital Marketing, Web Design, or SEO?    You might not even know until you read this series of articles!

Scams & Offenses Part 1:
Have you ever paid to have your Small Business Website’s muffler bearings replaced?

Cars don’t have muffler bearings, and neither do WordPress sites.  So what’s that $350 bill actually for?

The Setup

A few years ago, a close friend of mine asked me to take a look at multiple email notices he was receiving from the company that designed and hosted his small business website.  Keep in mind, this was mass emailed to every single one of their clients.

First of all, it consisted of a snippet of an article from a local newspaper detailing how Philadelphia's City Hall website had been hacked by terrorists and defaced with pro-ISIS propaganda.

Computer Terrorist
"You're Next, Infidel!"


The email then claimed this happened because their website had not been updated to the newest version of WordPress with the latest security patches.   In addition, it went on to explain that my friend’s website was using the exact same version of WordPress.  It then proceeded to present him with a big green YES button and a big red NO button asking him to choose whether or not he’d like to approve them to do the work of updating it for him.

Scams Big Green Yes Button & Big Red No Button
Real Screenshot of the buttons they used. Actual Size.

The Scam

Estimated time to complete the project:  2 – 5 hours (minutes).   Cost: $350.

Finally, the email cautioned that declining the work would put his website at risk of:

  1. Having his website being taken completely offline, 
  2. Giving his visitors a virus
  3. Having his website defaced by political extremists
  4. Displaying advertisements for penis enlargement pills to his customers. (most noteworthy)
Scammers Had To Troll You On Top Of It
Scams: Sometimes Scaring and Fleecing Your Customers Just Isn't Good Enough, You Need To Troll Them A Little Bit Too!

The Truth

So, I logged into his website.  I spent the next several hours tediously installing complicated security patches and upgrades.  I Clicked one button.  I Waited 13 seconds.   Done deal.

Yes, updating the WordPress core and your plugins is that easy most of the time.  Usually it just involves clicking buttons labeled “update”.

Upgrade Button

Profit Isn’t a 4 letter word… but Rape is.

Nobody works for the glory.  As a business owner you understand that everyone’s time, specialized knowledge, and skills have value.  However, repeatedly trying to induce a state of panic in your customers in order to fleece them (for hundreds of dollars at a time) to perform simple tasks that take a few minutes is the very definition of unethical.  This is the equivalent of taking your car in for  a $30 oil change and coming out with a $350 bill for bad muffler bearings and low blinker fluid.

This scam is being perpetrated by a "reputable" well known company in South Jersey that has won “Best of” Awards.   This wasn’t a one-time deal either.  They pull these scams on their clients repeatedly.  My friend showed me another one where they doubled the estimated time of completion to  5 - 10 hours but dropped the price to $195.  In order to take advantage of this "special rate" you had to ACT IMMEDIATELY (yawn) though, otherwise the price would rise to $240 the following week.

Scams - Red Flag
Red Flag Alert: Tactics like Arbitrary And Capricious Pricing and Time Sensitive Offers that attempt to coerce you into making an immediate decision instead of letting you deliberate on the value of the offer are indicative of Scams.

Updates and Security ARE Imporant.

It cannot be denied that updating your core WordPress installation and installed plugins to the latest version is an important task that should not be overlooked.   Running outdated software does indeed pose a security risk that could potentially allow hackers to breach your website.

I will gladly spend 10 minutes with any of our clients and show them how to log in to the back end of their website and perform their own updates if they are comfortable with doing it themselves.  I always recommend performing a complete backup of the entire website and database before performing such operations in the off chance that an update breaks the site.   It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen occasionally.

Security Lock
Implementing A Plan Of Action For Website Maintenance and Security Is Absolutely Essential.

Our Service Packages

In the event that you don't want to be bothered with maintaining your website, aren't comfortable doing it, or need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your site is 100% protected from security breaches altogether we offer the following service packages:

Guaranteed Updates & Maintenance package for WordPress


$ 89.99 / Yr.

  • Core WordPress updates installed within 72 hours of release
  • Quarterly Plugin and Theme Updates
  • Complete Backup and Archive of Entire Website and Database before any work begins
  • 100% Guaranteed Resolution of Conflict / Restoration in the event an update breaks your site
  • Email notifications every time work is performed

Guaranteed Updates, Maintenance, and Security package for WordPress


$ 20 / mo.

  • Core WordPress updates installed within 24 hours of release
  • Monthly Plugin and Theme Updates
  • Monthly Complete Backup and Archive of Entire Website
  • Weekly Archived Backup of Database
  • Installation and Configuration of Sucuri Plugin that monitors for suspicious activity / breaches
  • Monthly Intensive Anti-Malware Scan
  • 100% Guaranteed Resolution of Conflict / Restoration in the event an update breaks your site
  • 100% Guaranteed Complete Virus & Malware Removal / Restoration in the event of a security breach
  • Email notification every time work is performed

About Chris Stackhouse

Chris Stackhouse is the Founder, Owner, President, and CEO of CP Web Marketing.

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