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Last update on .

This is a Public Service Announcement and a reminder to not share SMS reset codes with anyone.

This kind of scam could happen anywhere, but someone has been persistently trying to trick breeders by using the contact information publicly listed on our site.

It goes like this:

  • They text you as if they are interested in an animal.
  • They tell you a code is being sent to you which you should give to them so that they know YOU are not a scammer.
  • What actually is happening is they're trying to do a password reset on some account of yours, such as Instagram, which the scammer has also found. This service is sending YOU the code to make sure you are really trying to reset your password.

Some variants of the text message from the service trying to be reset clearly say "Do not share this with anyone", but we just wanted to help spread the word to avoid anyone getting tricked.

Since the communications are happening via text message and not on our site, there's nothing we can do to block them. We mentioned this in this the April 9 blog, but felt it deserved its own announcement.

In order to avoid this issue, you may wish to remove your phone number from your Store Profile on MorphMarket, your website, or other public sites. We also have an option to hide your name and phone number from users who are not logged in, found at the bottom of your Store Profile options. It is unclear though whether this would be enough to prevent this situation.

Last update on .

On Friday night, the site was down for periods of 5 minutes or so at a time for a total of about 30 minutes. Thankfully due to protections we put in place a few months ago we were able to fight off this attack with minimal impact to our service.

Also, another PSA -- someone has been texting some breeders directly, trying to get them to share the SMS code which Google sends for a password reset. It's a pretty obvious scam. The Google text message even clearly says "Do not share this with anyone", but just want you to be aware. Since it's not on our site, there's nothing we can do about it.

These issues are just par for the course when running a public website which has become well known. It's our joy to serve you!

Last update on .

Changes to "On Hold" Ads

Sellers: To prepare for new features coming out as part of MorphMarket's NFS Initiative, we've made some back-end changes that improve our system's flexibility. We are going to FULLY explain these changes soon as we release new features in the coming weeks.

For the most part, you should not see any differences at this time, but there is one exception sellers should know about. ON HOLD is no longer a separate checkbox but part of the ad's availability setting as an alternative to FOR SALE, SOLD, etc. To account for this change, we had to convert ads which were previously marked as both ON HOLD and SOLD.

For older ads, we know these animals really are sold, and the on hold setting was just never updated (this is part of the reason why on hold is now an alternative to for sale or sold). However, for more recent ads, we realized sellers might have marked the animals as SOLD when they were actually still in their possession. This can happen in some cases while waiting for payment plans or good weather. We did not want sellers to lose track of these ads.

To account for this, ads which were marked as both SOLD and ON HOLD and were last modified in the last TWO months have been moved to ON HOLD and INACTIVE. While they will show up in your primary inventory tab alongside the FOR SALE ads, they are NOT visible to users because they have been rendered INACTIVE.

If you have actually sold it, you can simply go through and mark it as sold again (note that the new inventory system will soon make bulk updates like this very easy).

We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience. We viewed this as the least confusing way to move forward.

We will explain the full set of changes along with the exciting new features soon. If you have any questions please contact our Customer Success team, and we're happy to help!

Last update on .

Image Processing & Other Nerdy News

Sometimes you put in new landscaping, repaint the exterior, or add on another floor. Other times you need to work on the foundation or replace the A/C. The latter is what we've been making a lot of progress on this week.

In particular, today we moved our image image processing "higher in the cloud" using AWS Lambdas. Images were already stored in the cloud on S3, but now we are generating all the image variants, like different sizes and formats there as well.

Why this matters:

  • Less load on our servers means the whole website goes faster (about 20%)
  • Lambdas pave the way for processing higher resolution photos than our current limits
  • More space in our database for other information
  • Less code that our developers have to maintain so they can focus more on new features!

Besides this, we dramatically simplified and sped up our development environment this week which again makes it easier for our dev team to build new features. We also moved the MorphReport over to Postmark, which is a fabulous mail service that we love.

Meanwhile we ARE working on exiting new features that you will be able to see and will share more about that soon.

Just a few nerdy updates for those who are interested in what's behind the scenes. =)

Last update on .

Messages sent today from email from 7:11am to 6:29pm (Central Time) were not received by MorphMarket or the recipients.

Messages sent from the Messenger and new inquiries had no issues. The emails with problems would all be replies to previous messages.

You can verify if your message were sent now or any time by checking the Messenger and seeing if they are there.

How to Re-Send

If you sent messages during this time, you can resend using one of the following options:

  1. In email you can re-send the message by finding the message you sent, hitting "reply" and then copy/pasting what you sent before to the top of the message. Make sure the recipient which is being emailed is something like [email protected] so it is routed the same way the original would have been.

  2. Alternatively, you can go to the Messenger (link above) and copy/paste your message in a reply there.

Cause of the Problem

This morning, we enabled a feature on Cloudflare which blocks "bad bots" from scraping our site. This kind of feature helps keep our service running more smoothly for our actual users. This protection, however, interrupted our email service Postmark without us realizing it. We have changed back this option until we can properly pass Postmark traffic through Cloudflare.

Conclusion

We apologize for this email outage. Solid communication is of utmost importance to us, which is why we continue to improve the messenger and other communication capabilities (see also the upcoming app with native notifications). Unfortunately hiccups from time to time are unavoidable but we are committed to transparency.

If you have any questions about the above, please contact [email protected]

Last update on .

We apologize for the website being down this morning for several periods of time on Sunday.

This appears to be an intentional attack against our website, where our service is being intentionally flooded with requests from around the world. This makes it difficult to prevent since there is no obvious pattern of user to block.

It looks like someone doesn't like MorphMarket, and is trying to interrupt you from using it.

No worries, we're using this as an opportunity to improve our services and security.

Thanks for your patience!

UPDATE

10/30/21 - We have added Cloudflare and its DDOS protections to our website, and our services have been running very smoothly. Since last Monday, we only experienced 1 hour of downtime which was on Tuesday, for the same reason.

We're happy that this led to the evolution of our services becoming better and more robust.

Last update on .

Yahoo/AOL Email Deliverability Update

Update

On August 18, we reported that Yahoo/AOL had been giving us trouble with email deliverability. We are happy to report that we believe those problems have been resolved now. On Aug 30, Verizon (also AOL, Yahoo)'s Postmaster said that for our domain "they're now seeing a 97%+ inbox rate over the past week, which is extremely good!"

That still doesn't mean on occasional messages can't go to the spam folder. One thing you should do to tell you email provider that MorphMarket emails are important is to whitelist our email addresses. Find out how to do that under step #2 here.

Also, PRO TIP for iPhone users using the Mail App: add '[email protected]' as a VIP address, which will star it, prevent spam and can even enable push notifications. Here are the full directions. Thanks to Stephanie at SNK Kreatures for this tip!

Last update on .

This past week, the website experienced some performance problems. As website availability is of utmost importance to us, this update is to let you know what happened and what we've done to address it.

This past week, the site was unavailable on Monday around 7-9pm, Friday from 3-4pm and 7-7:30pm CST. There were some other areas of brief slowdowns as well.

The first problem on Monday occurred as John was traveling back from the Daytona National Breeders Reptile Expo. Unfortunately he misdiagnosed the problem as a shortage of web servers and the steps taken to remedy the issues made it worse leading to the 7-9pm outage.

Since then we identified the actual problems relate to our database. As a result we have:

  • Upgraded the DB to give it more resources
  • Reduced size of the DB, deleting old and unused data
  • Are working optimizing some slow queries and limiting long queries

Other than one 5 minute period from maintenance, the site has been running very smoothly since Friday night. We believe that all of these issues have been sufficiently addressed for now and have learned a few lessons in the process.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the downtime.

John & Team

Last update on .

MorphMarket is committed to providing the modern platform for reptile enthusiasts. As such our staff has been working hard behind the scenes to performing a major software upgrade to Python version 3 (the programming language), which has been rolled out today.

We have tested these changes to the best of our ability, but it's inevitable that there are a few more bugs to be squashed. Thanks for your patience if you encounter such an issue. We should be notified of any errors on our end and fixing them as fast as possible. If you a problem remaining for more than a day please let us know.