Beware of Trick Emails: Phishing and Scams

The main purpose of this blog post is to alert you to two types of scam emails that I’m seeing a lot of these days, and that you may also be receiving.

These emails may come via your website contact form or by direct email; either way, please be careful and be on the lookout for these types of emails.

As the owner of a business website on the internet, you’ll almost certainly be the recipient of some phishing or scam emails that attempt to trick you into revealing sensitive data, passwords, or other private info about your website or business.

Learning to identify these emails is a critical skill that you’ll need to develop in order to avoid becoming a victim. You can find some general information about recognizing and avoiding phishing scams at the end of this article.

The Expiration/Renewal Trick

In this email, the sender seems to be warning you of the impending expiration of your domain name registration. They’ll say that the matter is URGENT and that you MUST ACT quickly.

But these emails are often written in plain text, with no company branding from any identifiably legitimate domain registrar. No name brand company would send such a plain looking email for legitimate purposes.

In this case, not only do they want your money, they want to steal your domain name. The sender is actually trying to trick you into transferring your domain to their service, thereby stealing your domain from you! That would give them control of your website and your emails!

If anything remotely like this arrives in your inbox, DO NOT click any links.

To double check about your domain registration status, it’s best to go directly to the business website of the company where your domain is registered (such as GoDaddy, Register, Namecheap, Network Solutions, etc.) and login or contact them to confirm.

The Copyrighted Images Scam

Another high pressure trick email accuses you of using some copyrighted images on your website. The writer is outraged that this has happened, threatens to sue you, and wants you to click a link to some supposed legal document.

Of course, copyright violations are a serious issue, and no one should ever use images on their website that do not belong to them (or that they have the rights to).

This email takes advantage of that fact, and is trying to trick you into downloading some malicious software via the links provided. So again, do not click any links in such an email.

If in doubt, check it out!

KPFdigital clients: If you receive any emails like these that you are not sure about, please forward to me for review.

More About Phishing and Scam Emails

Cybercriminals often use a range of techniques to trick you, and these emails often have predictable signs of being fake. The info below can help you learn to identify potentially dangerous emails and avoid falling victim to these scams.

Social Engineering Red Flags
View/download Social Engineering Red Flags (PDF)

What Is Phishing?

How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams

Lady Derm Docs

Website Upgrade and Brand Development

We are so excited about the debut of our new website! Thank you to our extraordinary Webmaster, @kennethfeldman, for his creativity, wisdom, brilliance and patience.

Ladydermdocs (on Instagram)

Baltimore dermatologists Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien and Dr. Diane Orlinsky wanted to update their ten year old website. Besides the obvious visual update it needed, I recommended that we update all of the written information first. The website had the basic sections, including bios of the doctors and the primary staff. But the services pages were filled with a minimum of info, mostly in the form of bullet points.

However, what I found missing, was any information about the practice itself. What was their medical philosophy? What kind of patients do they see? Is there anything different or special about their practice or their partnership? How could anyone tell if this was the right practice for them?

We conducted a long interview with both doctors, and found them both to be amazing women, accomplished doctors, dedicated healers, and committed to providing the best possible and most comprehensive healthcare to their patients. Yet, none of that passion or mission was contained in their online materials.

Our lead writer Samara did a wonderful job of distilling and presenting the story of this practice, and what the doctors come to work to do every day.

Now, instead of simply providing the boring facts of the practice (location, hours, list of treatments, etc.), the website conveys the passion and dedication the doctors provide to their patients. And more importantly, the website shares the promise that the doctors make everyday to every patient;

“We promise to empower you in your own healthcare journey, so you know with confidence that you have the support and resources you need to be healthy and happy in your skin.”

Who wouldn’t want to be their patient!

Now, all that goodness is wrapped in a clean, fresh, simple layout, and is topped off with a bright new logo!

Visit the Lady Derm Docs Website

New Logo Design
Re-designed homepage
Old Website

Are You on the Dark Side or the Light Side?

How’s your monitor/screen calibration? Look at this image and observe the gradations between black and white in the diagrams. You should be able to see the subtle difference between A/B/C and X/Y/Z brightnesses in the chart.

If you can’t see the difference between the dark patches A, B, and C, then your screen’s calibration is shifted too far to the dark side and you won’t be able to see details in photos with deep shadows or overall dark appearance.

If you can’t see the difference between the light patches X, Y, and Z, then your screen’s calibration is shifted too far to the light side and you won’t be able to see details or faint colors in overall bright photos or graphics.

This is not related to what brightness level you have set on your phone or monitor, but concerns your screen’s ability to display or distinguish between very dark or very white image tones.

Most modern mobile phones have very good screens and should perform well. Desktop/laptop screen can often be adjusted; look to see if yours has any such adjustments.

A few more calibration images can be seen here.

Old Car Pricing

Excited to announce the launch of a complete website redesign and rebuild for classic automobile appraiser Joe Troise, at Old Car Pricing.

This website was originally made almost 20 years ago! At the time it was as modern a website as there was, and it has served Joe very well for many years.

Fast-forward to mid-2019 and the site needed an upgrade. It was very text heavy and the navigation was all wonky. The information in the website was actually very good — and besides just updating some facts, we did not change the basic text and info.

BUT what we did do, was to ORGANIZE and LABEL it all much better! Now it’s super easy to tell what Joe does and how his services work.

Then we added a bunch of crisp photos of classic cars and hot rods and gave the website a new logo and a clean modern/retro automotive vibe. We kept the old orange color by putting it in the logo an accent colors of the new website. Now all of the pages clearly display and emphasize Joe’s deep expertise and experience.

You can rest easy buying or insuring a classic/collectible car when you are backed by a professional appraisal from Joe Troise!

After the 2019 Redesign
Before the 2019 Redesign
Facebook Social Sharing Image
New Logo


Insta-Ken Pix

For the Insta-Ken website project, I became my own client!

As an artist, my Instagram collection is the living documentary of where I go and what I see. So I decided to make a gallery website and shop where visitors can view my work, and maybe purchase a print for their own art collection.

The website is clean and simple, letting the art take center stage. The shop is powered by a customized installation of WooCommerce, allowing buyers to purchase the artwork securely via credit card. Ordering information, policies, and print care information round out the great information provided to potential buyers.

The main goals of the website project were to make the gallery and sales process feel professional, trustworthy, and reliable.

Read the rest of this article »

The Cocktail Guru

Raise your glasses for some holiday cheer! It’s another new website launched here at KPFdigital.

The Cocktail Guru website needed a fresh new look, and we think we nailed it. (We, is me and fab visual designer Michael Kroll.)

Jonathan Pogash and his Cocktail Guru team develop delicious and on-trend cocktail and beverage programs for bars and restaurants. They also offer fabulous team building events crafted around cocktails and mixology lessons. Visit the new Cocktail Guru website to learn more!

Visit The Cocktail Guru website »

Special Delivery: Putting Your Website to Work

At KPFdigital, we love to make websites that work — I mean, websites that actually do some work for you.

One important job a website can do for you is to save time. Save time by making it easy to log in and update. Save time by minimizing effort. And save time by automating some important manual work or tasks.

I’d like to share with you now, the story of a website I recently made that really does some work for its owner (and saves him lots of time!)

The Circus Fruits Weekly Specials

Circus Fruits is a fairly large open-air fresh fruits and vegetables market here in Brooklyn, NY. (They’re actually open 24/7/365!)

One of the most important things Circus Fruits does each week, on Wednesday mornings, is to publish their new weekly specials flyer. Customers eagerly look forward to seeing the new specials each week, before they come to the store to shop.

Read the rest of this article »

Why Your Entire Website Should Be Served Securely Over HTTPS

…and what is HTTPS anyway?!

HTTPS is an extra level of security for the people who visit and interact with your website. It creates an encrypted connection between your website and its visitors, and prevents the data going back and forth from being intercepted or manipulated.

Google: HTTPS Everywhere

Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website.

Example of Secure Page connection

Read the rest of this article »

The Website That Needed to Fax It In

A recent project of mine involved updating a very old website for a local fruit market here in Brooklyn. The existing website had been created in 1998 and was long overdue for a modern upgrade.

I wanted to bring all of the newest tools and features to the new website, and for the most part we did; it’s responsive, SEO optimized, and is easily self-manageable.

The new website also has a very slick system where the weekly specials automatically get posted to the website, Twitter, Facebook, and Mailchimp — all in one easy step. More about that slick system in an upcoming post.

But we also made a new Home Delivery page, where customers can place a delivery order by filling out a form on that page — a fairly common website feature, and not a hard thing to set up.

Just The Fax

However, my client had a very strange request for the Home Delivery form:

Read the rest of this article »

Knock, Knock, WHOIS There?

Where is my Domain Registered?

Use the below KPFdigital WHOIS lookup tool to see where your domain is registered, and maybe even some additional info about the domain ownership.

Note that domain owner info is typically publicly available unless cloaked as part of your registration. However this tool may not display any ownership contact info here depending on the specific registrar.