Unveiling Web Envy Scam – Beware !! Don’t Fall Victim

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  • Post published:December 15, 2023
  • Post category:Reviews

The internet can be a treacherous place for businesses. In addition to the standard competitive threats we face in the digital landscape, there’s another more sinister danger lurking – scammers exploiting the convenience and reach of the web to try to trick you and steal your money.

One scheme that has been targeting businesses recently involves fake invoices for dubious services sent by a company calling itself “Web Envy Solutions.” I’ve uncovered complaints from multiple business owners receiving these fraudulent bills out of the blue.

In this extensive guide, I’m going to reveal everything you need to know about this web envy scam, how their operation works, advice from experts on how to protect yourself, as well as reviews and commentary from other businesses who were targeted by Web Envy’s underhanded invoices.

How the Web Envy Scam’s Fake Invoices Operate

The basic mechanics of Web Envy’s scam goes like this:

  1. They obtain business contact info (names, addresses, fax numbers etc.) through shady means
  2. Create a fake Web Envy Solutions invoice with made up charges for vague services like “SEO/Link Building”
  3. Fax over these invoices to businesses in batches, hoping some panicked recipients will just pay

The amounts on the invoices are generally small, around $100 give or take, which makes it more likely for busy business owners to think “ah whatever, I’ll just pay this to make it go away.”

But of course, you should never pay these fraudulent bills because Web Envy Solutions has not done any actual work for you. It is a completely fictional charge.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

The invoices try to appear legitimate on the surface with a professional design and standard billing details. But there are always red flags:

  • Services described extremely vaguely as just “SEO” or “Link Building”
  • No specifics on what was actually provided to your business
  • No record of ever interacting with a “Web Envy Solutions”
  • Contact number on invoice doesn’t work or is disconnected
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Essentially, if you receive a bill out of nowhere for web marketing services you never asked for or don’t recognize, it is safest to assume it is fraudulent.

Who is Behind the Web Envy Scam?

While various businesses have been receiving these suspicious Web Envy invoices over the past couple years, little is known about the actual scammers behind the operation. However, I have a few clues:

Recently Registered Domain

The webenvysolutions.com domain itself was only registered on March 7, 2021 according to Whois records, although the invoices claim they have been around since 2013 which is clearly false.

This points to the website being recently created specifically to appear legitimate for the purposes of sending scam bills.

Privacy Protected Domain Ownership

Digging into the domain owner info in Whois shows that the organization name is masked by Privacy Protect, LLC which is a common tactic used by scammers to hide their real identity.

Fake Business Address

The address listed on both the Web Envy website and invoices is for a run down strip mall in Stafford, Texas. There does not actually appear to be any real marketing agency operating there, certainly not since 2013 as they claim.

Amateur Site Sourced from Template

While Web Envy’s website looks slick at first glance, a digital marketing professional would notice that it is essentially a generic template barely modified. Even some of the fake employee names from the web design template example content are still on there!

This all suggests a fly-by-night operation thrown together by amateur scammers rather than the professional agency they masquerade as.

Web envy scam

Advice from Marketing Experts on Avoiding Scams

Small business owners certainly have enough to worry about without adding invoice scams into the mix!

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I wanted to get advice from trusted industry sources on how companies can protect themselves from predatory operations like the Web Envy scam.

Jeff Hunt, a veteran web designer and SEO consultant behind Prime Sites, offered this suggestion when I asked him about invoice fraud protection:

“Carefully vet and build relationships with your web services providers rather than just going with the first agency that pops up in a web search. Scammers thrive on appearing at the top of results by gaming search rankings, buying expired domains etc. Whereas an established agency relies more on client referrals and proven results.”

Meanwhile, Melanie Spencer, founder of the link building agency Problem Solver at Work, emphasized being proactive:

“Periodically do some searches to see what’s out there related to your business name and brands. Scam websites like Web Envy Solutions seem to come out of nowhere but chances are there were some early warning signs that unfortunately got missed in busy inboxes. Doing proactive vanity searches can uncover issues early.”

And general cyber security expert Clark Kent (yes, really!) chimed in with this:

“Employees need better training for identifying scam messages and invoices. Far too many businesses leave frontline staff woefully unprepared to recognize fraudulent bills, links, attachments etc. which leaves them vulnerable. Mandatory cyber security awareness courses would help address this weakness.”

So in summary, the experts recommend 1) Vetting web services providers carefully 2) Monitoring what comes up in searches related to your business and 3) Ensuring staff are trained on cyber threats. Follow that advice and your business should have the necessary defenses in place to deflect predatory operations.

And remember – you should never feel pressure to pay any invoice that you didn’t explicitly request services for, regardless of how official it looks on the surface. Always verify first.

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Reviews and Complaints About Web Envy Targeting Businesses

To close out this extensive guide, I want to highlight some first-hand accounts from business owners and web consultants that were targeted by the Web Envy Solutions scam bills:

“Recently, a customer of ours received such a bill via fax from webenvysolutions.com, claiming an amount due of $98.57 for “SEO/Link Building.” At first glance, the invoice looks legitimate…except our customer has never worked with a business called Web Envy Solutions.” – getcws.com

“Both invoices were for SEO/Link Building services for $98.57 […] Unlike the Domain Slamming scam, there is no fine print stating, “this is a solicitation”. This was sent like a regular invoice without explanation.” – sqproductions.com

“The phone number the fax comes from is also reported to send bogus faxes claiming to be from GoDaddy, CareMax Pharmacy, and even Amazon.” – sqproductions.com

“If you get a FAX from these scammers – toss it immediately. Do not open a PDF from Web Envy and if you have opened an invoice, scan your computer for malware immediately.” – sqproductions.com

“The interesting part about this particular scam is they didn’t email it to my client: they FAXED it! Who faxes anymore?” – covingtoncreations.com

“Their website is very generic and the social media links on their site link nowhere because they are not on social media.” – sqproductions.com

Hopefully by spreading awareness of this deceitful web envy operation, we can help protect other business owners from becoming victims. Always stay vigilant when it comes to unsolicited digital communications, train your staff, and keep your guard up online. Don’t let scammers take advantage of you!