uniQlicks spamming AdSense publishers with fake AdSense termination emails

It is probably the worst feeling for a publisher… checking your email only to discover a “Google AdSense Account Disabled” email from Google.  That is what happened to an AdSense publisher Steve this morning (and presumably to others as well)… and it turns out that it was a fake termination letter done by a company that sells invalid click prevention services.  And even worse, the company – uniQlicks – used a address as the From address, to fool even more publishers into thinking they’ve been terminated. If you haven’t received one, I am sure you can imagine your reaction thinking your account has been terminated, only to discover it is a bait and switch technique designed to sell their service to “protect” your AdSense account.

The company using this sleazy spam scare tactic is uniQlicks, a company that has been popping up recently with a bunch of paid blog posts / “guest blog posts” on a variety of making money online blogs.

Here is the complete letter Steve received this morning, with a subject line of “Google AdSense Account Disabled”:

From: Google AdSense []
Sent: June-17-09 7:31 AM
To: (publisher prefers to remain anonymous)
Subject: Google AdSense Account Disabled


While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since
keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our
advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.

Please understand that we consider this a necessary step to protect the
interests of both our advertisers and our other AdSense publishers. We
realize the inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you in advance
for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions about your account or the actions we’ve taken,
please do not reply to this email. You can find more information by


The Google AdSense Team

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Our apologies for scaring you. Your AdSense account is 
fine, and we are not affiliated in any way with Google. 

But the above email could very well land in your inbox
one day – this time sent not by us, but by Google.

We checked out your cool <keyword> <keyword> resource.
<2 keyword specifics removed as per Steve’s request>

You are using AdSense, but apparently haven’t installed
any script to protect your site from invalid clicks.

This means that your AdSense account is at risk of
termination due to invalid clicks. AdSense bans are for
life, so your income would be wiped out forever.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that we can help
safeguard your site and your AdSense income from
invalid clicks. A basic account is free, why not try
it out?

Again, I’m sorry if I shocked you with this email. No
harm was intended. Our job is to help protect
livelihoods – and sometimes extreme measures are needed
to do just that.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
I look forward to hearing from you!

Valerie Kryie
Sales Manager


So not only is uniQlicks sending unsolicited spam, they are doing it by impersonating Google as well.  You have to wonder how many publishers don’t even bother reading down past what appears to be the end of the email to actually get the message as well.  There have been some phishing click fraud warning emails sent out recently, but nothing to the effect where it was done by a company selling services.

This particular email was not send to the same email address associated with Steve’s AdSense account, so it is clearly not in any way associated with AdSense.

So if you receive an AdSense suspended email, first scroll to the end to make sure it isn’t a uniQlicks spam email.  Second, go to login to your AdSense account, but by entering in the address manually – NEVER click the link from an email in case it is a phishing attempt.  If your account is suspended, you will NOT be able to login to your account.   Or you can check ad serving on any of your sites, if ads are running normally, there isn’t a problem with an account being suspended.

I would also NOT RECOMMEND using uniQlicks, since this is the type of spam scare tactics they are using on publishers.  If unsolicited spam sent from “Google” with this kind of message is how they promote their company and service, you have to wonder if their invalid click protection is just as bad.

Update: Daniel Tsieh of UniQlicks has posted a comment claiming the emails aren’t spam since they are sent to a publisher’s site they visit (obviously a different definition of spam than the rest of us have!) and defends the “shock tactic” of sending an email impersonating Google AdSense.  You can read my response below  it.  I would have expected to hear an apology or a “my bad”, instead of accusing publishers for not using their services since many were scared by the email.  And not surprisingly, I still will not recommend it.

Update 2: Daniel from uniQlicks responds again, this time insulting bloggers, who make up a good portion of his target customer base.

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32 comments to uniQlicks spamming AdSense publishers with fake AdSense termination emails

  • This is a terrible way of marketing. They could of at least used their own email address.

  • What scum. I’d about have a heart attack if I got an email like that, and on reading the end, make note to never deal with that company ever. Pretending to be someone you’re not on such a serious matter, even just for the first part of the email, is not funny or what I would call a good business practice.

  • Brett

    Yes, just received one of these emails early this morning when I first check my email. AdSense is my main source of income, so the message frightened the hell out of me. What a disgusting and immoral method of promoting their product! There is zero chance that I would do business with a company that used such sleazy underhand tactics.

  • Steve

    Hi, I’m the “AdSense publisher Steve” in the above story. I just thought I would add that I’ve been in contact with Google and they’ve assured me that they are doing everything in their power to prevent uniQlick from sending any more emails to AdSense publishers. Hopefully no one else will find a heart attack waiting for them in their morning email.

  • Google should take this scumbag for fraud, misrepresentation, copyrights violation, privacy violation, spam.

  • Roosevelt

    I actually had a free account with UniClicks. They advertised really cheap per month, but on the payment page, they were asking for yearly payment. So, I basically lost interest right there, right then.

    Now, reading about this kind of third class method of promoting their business really disappointed me. Stay away, Google’s smart enough to detect invalid clicks generated by you or some crook. You don’t need this kind service, I can assure you that.

  • Well, first of all, it may be unsolicited, but it’s not spam. Our account representatives visit each and every site we email, and make sure the site is a good fit – i.e. an AdSense publisher, and receiving good traffic. The proof is that in the above email the site specifics were there, and have been removed.

    Second, about our shock tactic, the sad fact is that people aren’t aware of the risk to their accounts. Our email does clearly state that the account didn’t actually get disabled, and that we are not affiliated with Google. We determined that there is very little market interest in invalid click protection, which is regrettable. It’s only after their livelihoods are wiped out that people start displaying an interest in services like ours, and then of course it’s too late.

    @Roosevelt – “Google’s smart enough to detect invalid clicks generated by you or some crook.” Google may be smart enough, but they don’t do it. Also, about our montly rates being low only if you sign up for a year – just about ALL major hosting companies do this, so I don’t see what issue you have with that.

    @Brett – Your reaction is proof that you desperately need invalid click protection. If you don’t want it from us, you should get it from somewhere else.

    Last but not least, I would like to point out that if Google AdSense didn’t terminate accounts even though the publisher has done absolutely nothing wrong, then there wouldn’t be a need for us to market SureShield. And if Google didn’t ban people for life, and make communications with an AdSense representative impossible, then none of you would have been so frightened upon receiving the email. Once you are banned, you will find yourself in the Kafka-esque situation of trying to defend yourself without knowing what you have been accused of.

    So the real question isn’t about uniQlicks’ business practices, but Google’s business practices.

    Daniel Tsieh
    uniQlicks Team

  • First, it is spam if it is something unsolicited that is promoting something, which your company is.

    Second, your company modified the sender’s information so that anyone receiving it would check the sender, and it would show a Google name and email address.

    As for the “personalized” email, that you claimed showed the how you visit each publisher’s site you spam – that part consisted of two keywords related to the publisher’s site. In all, that line was “We checked out your cool resource.” (I removed the two keywords included).

    There are a lot of ways to market a new business that doesn’t include spamming people or impersonating Google complete with a Google sender address and a copy of a Google email without any kind of disclaimer at the top.

    Frankly, I find it pretty astounding you are defending your company’s marketing tactics.

  • Thank you for posting my response.

    First, it is spam if it is something unsolicited that is promoting something, which your company is.

    Oh please. By that definition, all email marketing is spam.

    As for the “personalized” email, that you claimed showed the how you visit each publisher’s site you spam – that part consisted of two keywords related to the publisher’s site. In all, that line was “We checked out your cool resource.” (I removed the two keywords included).

    Those two keywords happen to prove the email wasn’t machine generated. Unless we happen to be the first company in the world to have developed Turing-compliant artificial intelligence. We’re good, but not that good (yet).

    A couple of other things, if I may:

    This particular email was not send to the same email address associated with Steve’s AdSense account, so it is clearly not in any way associated with AdSense.

    We actually very clearly say in the email that we’re not affiliated with Google. Perhaps you should actually read stuff you post before commenting about it?

    Regarding the From header, since you mention it again, I should like to mention that the Reply-to header, which was left out from your post, was clearly from uniQlicks. Of course, we could have used our own From header – but then our email wouldn’t have been so effective. It would have been obviously fake at first glance, and completely ineffective – like feet sticking out from under the sheet at Halloween.

    Also, re: with a bunch of paid blog posts

    We have never ever paid for a single post. You may want to edit that part out, because that’s just plain libelous. You’re welcome to criticize us as much as you like, but don’t post information that’s not true. I’ll let you stick with your definition of “spam” – it’s your blog – but “paid post” means money changed hands in exchange for publicity, and that never happened.

    I think your post shows why bloggers will never replace traditional journalism. You did not attempt to get our side of the story before posting, which any credible journalist would have done, and your post contains factual errors. I’m not complaining about the fact that your post is one-sided, mind you, or that it criticizes us.

    This is my last comment here; since this is your blog, I’ll let you have the last word. Thank you for having given me the chance to defend my company’s reputation and practices. We are proud of the system we’ve developed (which incidentally works really well) and will continue to work hard to provide a useful and reasonably-priced service people actually need.


  • I’d consider it spam if a company emails me out of the blue trying to sell me something. Particularly if it had a google email address.

  • Erik

    I am asking myself why you are scaring away your target audience. Jensense is a respected place to go for many Adsense publishers. Considering their reaction to your e-mail you could wonder if this is the right tactic for your company. People are mostly discussing your ways of marketing opposed to a discussion about your service.

    Maybe it is an idea to reconsider your e-mail strategy.

    Reading the above I am curious how most Adsense publishers work around the risk of being banned. I make a living out of Adsense but one of my main goals is to decrease relative Adsense income. You can decrease risk by trying to follow the guidelines. But that still leaves the risk that you break these rules without knowing. Furthermore, invalid clicks may be out of your control. This makes a 100% Adsense dependency a high risk strategy.

    I think the solution could be simple. Why does Adsense not provide warnings? Maybe Adsense could stop showing ads on a website leaving time and room for the webmaster to solve any problems. And what about invalid clicks by other people. It is a non-transparent black hole on which you have little influence but with the risk of being banned for life.

    What is you opinion about this? Maybe something to write an article about? First question, how large is the actual risk of being banned and secondly, are there ways to protect yourself? Would a service similar to uniQlick be of any help?

  • @Daniel: I think you need to take a look at the CAN-SPAM act, your emails to publishers violated a good portion of it, such as unsubscribe mechanism, physical address, false header (as the Google email address as the “Sent” address) and relevant subject lines.

    As for not getting your side of the story, I went to your site looking for a way to contact uniQlicks before I posted, but there is no way to contact anyone on the website, unless you sign up for an account. There isn’t an “About Us” or “Contact Us” that I could use. There was mention of a “support section” but it also required login first to access it.

    As for clearly saying you aren’t affiliated with Google, the entire first part of the email completely implies it is from Google, from the sent address to the “Sincerely, The Google AdSense Team”. Obviously people were confused thinking they had received an actual email from Google, which you admitted was part of your marketing tactic.

    And how could you be certain that the email address you emailed wasn’t the same as the AdSense account email in all the cases? It’s not really a selling point in your case as to why publishers wouldn’t be confused about it being from Google or not. Chances are good that some of them were sent to the same email address that the publisher used for the AdSense login too. And I am sure Google didn’t give you a list of login email addresses for you to cross reference first!

    As for insulting bloggers with “I think your post shows why bloggers will never replace traditional journalism”, you should have probably considered a good portion of your potential customer base of AdSense publishers are bloggers themselves, and criticizing bloggers probably isn’t the best route to go if you are trying to get new customers. You might want to read up on the RyanAir “idiot bloggers” and “lunatic bloggers” issue.

    And as a sidenote, I happened to look in my spam comment folder, and lo and behold, there was a blog comment on JenSense made by uniQlicks (this time from someone named “Dee Hartlee”) on 2009/06/15 at 1:54pm… even Akismet figured it as spam 😉

  • @Erik – Definitely a great idea for a blog post, I’ll talk about what I tell my own clients when it comes to protecting against invalid clicks. I have added it to my “to do” list 🙂

  • Brett

    @ Daniel
    “Your reaction is proof that you desperately need invalid click protection. If you don’t want it from us, you should get it from somewhere else.”

    What an absurd and presumption comment! I make every effort to comply with AdSense Program policies and and do NOT “desperately need invalid click protection”. You cannot deny that the first part of your email is deliberately designed to deceive the recipient into believing that the message is a legitimate email from AdSense. You even include the signature “Sincerely, The Google AdSense Team”. In my opinion this tactic is highly unethical. It doesn’t matter that you explain yourself in the bottom part of the message. Frankly, even if I did decide that I needed some sort of click protection program, I would never consider using a service that employed a deliberately deceptive tactic such as this. How can you expect Adsense publishers to trust the service you provide when it clear that you are willing to use such deceitful methods of marketing your product?

  • I have a feeling this particular marketing technique will be coming back to bite him in the ass, judging from the reactions here, on Webmaster World, other forums, and of course, on Twitter. Word is spreading fast – and his posts here certainly didn’t help him or his company any.

  • @Jenstar – You’re dead on about CAN-SPAM. I analyzed the legislation for some clients a few years back, and this tactic clearly violates the law. You can’t spoof an email address and header, and you can’t flat-out lie in your subject. There are a lot of smaller aspects of the act this email violates, but why bother – it’s incredibly illegal just counting the big stuff. Daniel’s defense is laughable.

  • Anyone who got these should forward them to as directed at

    If they did violate CAN-SPAM, hopefully if enough people forward complaints the FTC will follow-up.

  • Steve

    When I received that fake AdSense termination email yesterday from uniQlick, I was angry. Rage may be a better term. But after reading Daniel’s comments defending himself and his company for what he did, now I’m just flat out disgusted. To come here and claim in front of everyone that the email clearly stated my account was not banned and that uniQlick is not affiliated with Google would be laughable if I was able to find any of this funny. In Daniel’s world, it would be perfectly acceptable to hand an employee a termination letter, or have a doctor inform a patient of a terminal illness, as long as somewhere down the line, it says “just joking… but it COULD happen one day!”

    uniQlick impersonates Google, sends out official looking account termination letters to AdSense publishers, then sends a rep here to defend itself and its actions by insulting the intelligence of the site owner and its visitors. I can only hope that Google’s lawyers are just as impressed with them as I am.

  • Steve

    Thanks David, I just forwarded the email to the FTC.

  • MG

    For the past few years, I’ve worked with a corporate email marketing company (one that only works on behalf of large corporate companies that everyone knows), and compliance with the law is top priority. We don’t work with anyone who refuses to stick to the law.

    That said, this guy is operating WELL outside of the law. I think he should be prosecuted. Make an example of him.

  • Unethical business strategy and this has to be condemned I think.

  • I think this person just need a kick from internet. We never need this type of people. I have to write a strong article on this type of fraud effort. I already put a 0 reputation of this site on WOT(Web Of Trust) and now trying to figure out similar heartless email marketing company to put them on a single line on my article and help my reader to protect themselves as well as help us to keep them out of net. We really don’t need this type of company in our internet world.

  • I think it is strange that Daniel is not prepared to provide further comments. I am sure he is still reading this post and I am very curious if he changed his opinion about this.

    It is obvious that he considered his tactics to be worthwhile. However, it is starting to backfire and leading to a lot of negative publicity, potentially damaging the reputation of the company.

    Is there a decrease in new signups or an increase of new clients for UniQlick? What is the effect? Many Adsense related blogs and fora are discussing this and therewith creating more and more negative feedback.

    Maybe it could benefit the company if some kind of apology is provided together with a reconsideration of the tactics. This could lead to a lot of backlinks and more positive feedback. Moreover, the discussion can then shift to a more constructive discussion about the service instead of the marketing tactics.

    In the end it are the (potential) clients who decide about the usability of a service. Constructive discussion with the target audience could benefit the service and customer base of a company.

  • Steve

    I wouldn’t accept an apology from them even if one was offered, since it would only be an attempt to save their jobs and their paychecks. It’s obvious that Daniel and his pals believe they’ve done nothing wrong, which only goes to show how disconnected from humanity these people are. I’ve been a successful AdSense publisher for two years and the only time I’ve ever run into a problem was two days ago when I received that email from Daniel’s company. No one needs them or the worthless services they offer.

  • Roosevelt

    Daniel Tsieh,
    First of all ALL the web hosting companies I worked with were clear that the monthly price is e.g. $7 per month but we are charged yearly. (e.g., hover the pricing link and it will show the billing schedule.

    But on the checkout page you surprise/shock the users by saying that you will charge us yearly… or else monthly price is almost double. Be clear about the payment plan on your features page.

    I don’t want to waste my time opening an account, and then realize I have to pay yearly, I got better things to do in those 2 minutes.

    You actually made the matter worse by trying to defend your spamming.

  • @Roosevelt. Gheesh. That’s nothing. Look at the fine print of those ‘Unlimited’ offers…you’ll see that you can never have more than 50,000 items on your account.

    Items= an email, a file, a folder.

    Quickly got suspended after only 10 domains on that account with about 5 email accounts each.

    Bluehost, too. Hostgator. They all scam the public by claiming UNLIMITED when anyone with any clients and email accounts will quickly fill their “50,000 inodes” quota in about 6 months.
    They’re all scammers scamming in the name of ‘marketing.’

  • Roosevelt

    Well, there are two kinds of scam.

    1) One that shows amazing offers to lure you, and backs it up by writing a good TOS. But does provide a valuable service if you follow the TOS closely.

    2) Other is flat out blunt, takes your money, and doesn’t give you any value. I call this criminals.

    I don’t mind marketing pitches that are outright in the front-page, at least I know I don’t have to spend any of my time there anymore, but when they surprise or shock me, I simply look elsewhere or make my own!

    The fact is those companies aren’t breaking any laws, it might be hard to swallow, but that’s how the free economy works.

    But when a company breaks the law, and call it “shock tactic,” that’s a different story.

  • “I think your post shows why bloggers will never replace traditional journalism.”

    Well that was enough to get the guest post I published on my blog from uniQlicks deleted.

    uniQlicks – I think your best strategy moving forward would be to admit that you were wrong. While you may not have intended to offend, hurt, enrage or put off side those that you sent that email to – the reality is that you did.

    All you do by defending it is further put people offside – not really a smart move when it comes to online marketing.

  • Enrique

    Yesterday I received an email from this people. No more fake headlines, no more scare tactics. Nothing of that wonderful marketing strategy Daniel has been defending. That’s a quick change!
    They now send a polite Beta Invitation for their system. And the email is quite personal (although it is clearly a template with some changes).
    So, it seems that you have educated them, Jen! Congratulations! Sadly, an apologize from them is missing.

  • Good catch!
    I think they’ll shy away from using this promotional technique now.
    Not sure what they’re thinking. They want to acquire customers, and they start off by scaring Adsense publishers half to death. Not wise.


  • Hello Jen. This is the first time I will make a comment on your blog and I have to admit that it was long overdue. Having posted on June 6, an article about UniQlicks on my blog, I felt that it is important to let you know that I am totally in agreement with your “outrage” and that such behavior from a Company should not and will not be tolerated. I am quite frankly surprised as to why they haven’t yet made a polite statement admitting that what they have done is not in their best interest and more specifically incorrect. The comments left here by @Daniel could have been limited to a small and positive remark, rather than digging deeper into the grave. Go figure..

  • It is a great post, This is something scary for a new blogger that uniqlicks is not safe, and thanks to for the little hint of what we do when we recieved an AdSense suspended email.

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