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If you get an "Action Against Links" notice - there is no plea you can send. Your site or some pages of it - would basically have a lot of rankings. To fix things you need to fix links and any other on-page and other issues and wait for the re-crawl to happen. Since the Penguin algorithm is not real-time... you will see ranking gains faster and you do not have to wait for a data-refresh to happen to see any benefits of your link purge or SEO fixes.
Of all the tools listed in this article, Moz Link explorer is an old one & quite popular. If you want to compare backlinks between two or more domains, Open Site Explorer is worth trying. This tool works best when you have a paid account of SEOMOZ though a free version of this tool is good enough to get you started checking the backlinks of your site and the sites of your competitors.