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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued an alert to consumers and businesses to be alert for scammers using the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as a subject for their con schemes.

“Scammers will likely use e-mails, websites, door-to-door collections, flyers, mailings and telephone calls to solicit money by claiming they’re raising money for environmental causes or offering fraudulent services related to the oil spill. In reality, many could be trying to get inside consumers’ homes or get access to their personal information. The consumer alert advises consumers to check with the Better Business Bureau to get information on businesses and charities, and offers tips on how to avoid these scams,” they said.

Alert here: “FTC Urges Consumers to Watch Out for Scams Related to Gulf Oil Spill”

Tom Kelchner


Our good friends at McAfee AV have blogged about some dodgy affiliate marketing spam they’ve seen with oil spill themes.

Sam Masiello wrote:

“We’ve seen emails offering legal advice for those who have been affected by the spill, using subject lines such as:

File your lost income claim against BP Oil
Gulf Coast Oil Spill Information

Gulf coast oil spill legal information

Have you been effected by the oil spill?

Oil Spill Injury Representation

Oil Spill Lawsuit Compensation

Oil Spill Lawsuit Information for

Oil Spill Lawsuit Information

Will the oil spill hurt your business?

“These emails typically contain one or two short lines of text and a link to information on filing a lost-income claim against those responsible. Once the link is clicked, the fog of redirection and obscurity begins. One particular example contains a link to a URL on, which redirects to, then to, before finally hopping to”

He cautioned:

“As we frequently recommend, be careful whom you give your personal information to. You have no control over your data once you give it away, so provide it only to vendors that you feel you can trust. Never provide sensitive information that you are not comfortable giving out, and if you feel that your email address may be used for unwanted marketing, use a throw-away address that you check only as needed or not at all. You do not have ultimate control over how your data is used or to whom it is given, but you do have control over how personal the information is that you provide.”

McAfee blog piece here: Peering Into the Affiliate Marketing Window