Amazingly enough I actually received 2 extortion e-mails  yesterday which were sent to the Search Engine Academy. I thought it may make an interesting SEO case study so I am including the form e-mail message below.

John Alexander



Read this email very carefully.

This is an extortion email.

We will do NEGATIVE SEO to your website by giving it 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks (permanent & mostly dofollow) pointing directly to your website and hence your website will get penalised & knocked off the Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) forever, if you do not pay us $1,500.00 (payable by Western Union).

This is no false claim or a hoax, download the following Notepad file containing 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks pointing to (this is our website and go and see on this website, you will find our email address from which this email right now is being sent to you) :

Just reply to this email to let us know if you will pay just $1,500.00 or not for us to refrain or not from ruining your precious website & business permanently. Also if you ignore this email and do not reply to this email within the next 24-48 hours, then we will go ahead and build 20,000 XRumer forum profile backlinks pointing directly to your website.

We are awaiting your wise decision.


———– End of Extortion e-mail ————-

Interestingly enough, the letters RS supposedly stand for Rannvijay Singh which may or may not be a real person.

Later on the same day, I received exactly the same form e-mail (word for word) from a different extortionist that used this other e-mail address of

So I’d like to share a few thoughts and impressions with both of these people.

1. Since there are 2 of you, does that logically mean that you are threatening to send me a total of 40,000 spammy links?

2. Does this also mean that I need to send each one of you $1,500 each ($3,000 total) in order for you to refrain or not from ruining my precious website & business permanently? (as you put it in your threat)

In order for this lame type of threat to work, you must be the type of person who is easily motivated by fear.

Fortunately, I have never been motivated by fear or by any type of threat. That is the first reason this type of threat will fail. These form letter e-mails are likely sent out to the masses with hopes of finding at least a few people who will cringe in fear and send in their money.

Oh yes, another follow up e-mail just came in….  which asks me…

“What did you decide ?”

So for the sake of a response, I’ll tell you that there never was any possibility of me paying money to either extortionist.

I will be monitoring our links very closely in case either one of these people actually attempts to make good on their threats.

It certainly won’t be hard to remove your spammy links using Google’s disavow tool.

Finally, I’ll give you one more reason that you are bound to fail. This has to do with your attempt to hide behind your anonymous names and e-mail addresses.

In this world, there is no one who is truly anonymous.

There is someone who is much higher than I that is watching you and watching the works of your hands, and there is nothing that escapes His attention.

At the end of life’s journey, do you really want to answer to God for your choices of how you attempted to prey on others?

Believe it or not, I am praying to God that you come to your senses before you do any damage to yourselves or anyone else.

For my final word on money, you’ve likely heard it said that “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Anyone who “loves” money more than they love God or more than they love people has a bigger problem than they realize.

We at the Search Engine Academy remain committed to teaching our attendees the full scope of white hat SEO.

Check out all of our September SEO Workshop dates here.