A couple of months ago I got this email:
You know better than most that putting your writing "out there" takes a tremendous amount of courage; readers will find and comment on even the simplest mistakes. At Grammarly we know the feeling - and we've made it our mission to improve writers' confidence. Putting our money where our mouth is, we'd be honored to sponsor your next blog post with a $100 Amazon gift card.
In case you haven’t heard of us, Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that finds and explains those pesky grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes that are bound to find their way into your first draft. Think of us as a second pair of digital eyes that can spare you the cost of hiring a proofreader. If you'd like to join our 3 million users and try the premium version of our proofreader for free, let me know and I'll make it happen!
Please send me the expected publishing date and topic of your next appropriate blog post (ideally something about writing) so I can give you all the details you need in time.
P.S. Let me know if you ever find yourself in foggy San Francisco; I’d love to grab some coffee. ;)
Secondly, did you read the last line? It's more than a little creepy. 'I'd love to grab some coffee. ;)' Erm excuse me but I am fourteen years old so no, I will not go for coffee with you. Ever. You can stick that wink face where the sun doesn't shine, too.
Now I'll get on to why you should be extremely wary of this email. It is a scam. Firstly, 'Nick' hasn't stated that in the sponsored blog post you need to have a disclaimer stating that you are being compensated for writing the post. In short, if you don't do what I just said, you're going against FTC regulations and that is against the law. So...that seems a bit off, doesn't it, that he wouldn't include that vital piece of information. One of my bloggy friends actually replied to the email so she could get the 'more details' and even that didn't include encouragement to add a disclaimer.
Plus, to have your post proofread by Grammarly (which was the requirement if you wanted the gift card) you needed to put in your credit card details. Do you hear those alarm bells ringing now? They're ringing pretty loudly, right?
I will never know if they actually intended to send out the gift cards, because obviously I didn't even bother to reply to the email in the first place. I would just like to add, why would you pay to use Grammarly when programmes like Microsoft Word offer a perfectly good FREE grammar check service?
Sloppy, Grammarly, very sloppy. Wouldn't it be funny if we took him up on that coffee offer...