Spam Email: SpellScan / SpellingScan

I had an email through my contact form that looked like a friendly visitor was helping me out with a speller error on my site:

From: Beth Clark
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 703-812-8410

How can I help?
Greetings,

I’m not the best speller but I see the word “fundemental” is spelled incorrectly on your website. In the past I’ve used a service like SpellAlerts.com or SiteChecker.com to help keep mistakes off of my websites.

-Beth

Well, oops! Yes I had made a spelling mistake on an SEO spammer post (now corrected!). However, the email/spam from ‘Beth’ isn’t all it appears to be.

‘Beth’ doesn’t exist! This is from a spam bot for a company that sells different website services.

A quick Google of that gmail account shows that it’s been used on lots of spam emails like this as well as spam comments. I also found it on a blog post about this type of spam where it’s listed along with many other spam email accounts used by/for the same company

And the phone number on the spam – well that’s for a Staples store in Arlington, Virginia! (So not a real person then…)

There’s another odd (well rather clever) thing about the spam. It lists two sites – SpellAlerts.com & SiteChecker.com. However, the spam is really for ‘SpellAlerts.com’; the other site is nothing to do and is just there to make it look more ‘real’.

I mentioned that these spammers use comment spams as well as contact form well – and they use them A LOT.

A Google of the phrase “I’m not the best speller but I see the word” turns up many comment spams with this in and following exactly the same format as the spam I got.

There are several other forms of the spam as well. These are a few I found (often there were two different ones on the same post):

I’m pretty sure you misspelled the word “untill” on your site. You might want to check out a site like SpellRadar.com or SiteCheck.com which have helped me with problems like this in the past.

I was looking at your website and noticed it appears the word “improvment” is spelled wrong. I had similar problems on my site until someone mentioned it to me and I also now use software from SpellPerfect.com to keep my site error free.

You misspelled the word “improvment” on your website. Sometimes errors like can hurt your web traffic. Maybe check out a service that alerts you to issues like SpellReport.com or [other ok site].

Hi There,

Just a heads-up that I believe the word “untill” is spelled wrong on your website. I had a couple of errors on my site before I started using a service to monitor for them. There are a few sites that do this but we like SpellingReport.com and [other ok site].

It looks like you have a couple spelling errors on your website such as the word “infomation”. Check out a service like SpellAce.com to help. We’ve used it in the past and liked it.

Greetings,

I’m not the best speller but I see the word “Wellcome” is spelled incorrectly on your website. In the past I’ve used a service like SpellAlerts.com or SiteChecker.com to help keep mistakes off of my websites.

I think you misspelled the word “tinnitis” on your website. If you want to keep errors off of your site we’ve successfully used a tool like SpellPros.com in the past for our websites. A nice customer pointed out our mistakes so I’m just paying it forward :).

One thing you’ll notice that there’s also a lot of different spam sites/domains in the spam comments (and remember, if there are two, only the first one is the site they’re spamming about, the other is there to make it look better).

The ‘main’ site seems to be SpellingScan.com (registered in April 2015) and/or SpellScan.com (registered in May 2019). However, the company behind all this spam have been on a domain buying spree lately. All of these were registered on the same day in May 2021:

  • SpellAlerts.com
  • SpellPerfect.com
  • SpellReport.com
  • SpellAce.com
  • SpellHelper.com
  • SpellingReport.com
  • SpellRadar.com
  • SpellPros.com

The very suspicious thing is that ALL of the above domains have IDENTICAL sites. The only differences between them are the domain name, the name on the logo on the site (they are the same logo designs with different words) and the ‘name’ of the company.

However ALL of them have the same design, the same content and they all have the same ‘nameservers’ (which controls where a site ‘lives’).

SEO wise, having multiple sites with all the same content is very bad idea. But if you’re a spammer who doesn’t care about doing things properly, you don’t care about that either. (Their site(s) also miss several basic SEO things…)

They claim to offer other services like malware scanning as well as spell checking sites.

If you look up SpellScan.com on Trust Pilot, it’s got a 96% of 1* reviews (and the one 5* review seems to have actually mean to have left a 1* review!)

It’s quite impressive to get that bad of a ranking on Trust Pilot (and I shall be adding another 1* review shortly).

Looking at the website(s) themselves. It basically tells you nothing about the company. The only ‘information’ at all is this line:

We are a group of passionate webmasters and developers who have discovered after 40 collective years of website ownership across 25+ websites…

Well, I’ve been in the business over 20 years myself and have had well over 25 sites! Looking at the code of the site(s), the current version seems to have been created in November 2019.

There is an address on the site(s) in New York. Only if you look up that address, it’s for a Self Storage Unit company!

There’s no phone number and the only email is an ‘@spellingscan.com’ one which is on the Privacy Policy page. It’s good that they’ve got a privacy policy. However, it’s formatted so badly that it’s very hard to read and in reality tells you basically nothing. And rather puzzlingly, the policy has a date of November 2014 at the end. This is several months before any of their domains were registered!

There’s also no social media accounts. There is an @spellscan Twitter account, only it was created by someone who’s had spam from them and so grabbed the Twitter handle so they couldn’t!


Conclusion

So putting everything together, it’s not great.

We have a company that seems to primarily be using spam, either through contact forms or comments, to get business.

They’re now using multiple identical sites in their spam tactics, which really isn’t a good thing.

There’s no information on the site about who they actually are and the only possible thing (the address) appears to be fake!

So if you get an email telling you you’ve got a spelling error, you might want to correct the spelling, but I really wouldn’t want to let this company anywhere near my site.

But, as ever, the choice is yours..

(My site will now have the spelling mistake in at the top of this post in the spam, so I wonder if that will mean I’ll get spam from that company on this post about them?!)

Leave a comment