What a scam

You may have noticed that I recently added some Google AdSense ads on my blog. I thought it would be a fun and interesting way to make a little bit of extra cash that I could spend like... cash.

I have made $0.20 (the result of two clicks) so far. At this rate, I should be able to meet Google's minimum payout threshold of $50.00 by the year 2015. Then it's you and me and baby makes three for dinner at White Castle, yeah.

Anyway, I chose Google AdSense because it analyzes the page contents and delivers content-specific ads. For example, the keyword "sushi" appeared in "My top 10 favourite foods of all time" and resulted in an ad for www.sushi-robot.com. If you clicked on that ad, you made me $0.07 or $0.11 or whatever amount the good people at Sushi Robot had bid on the ad. Thank you!

The downside of this is that there will be an occasional ad for a scam. Right now there's one for www.highpaysurveys.com that, when clicked, takes you to a web site that promises $300 to take a 15-minute survey from Betty Crocker. (The High Pay Surveys web site looks like it was designed by a monkey. And I don't mean that smart chimpanzee who learned sign language, just your average run-of-the-mill lower primate.)

Not being a complete idiot, I didn't take their $300 promise at face value, so I decided to look into it some more.

Step 1: Here is a partial screenshot from their site:


Step 2: And now behold, the virtue of View Source:

<strong>WARNING: </font>Openings Are Limited. We Can Guarantee Processing Of New Applicants Only Through <font color="navy">12:00 Midnite E.D.T. on <SCRIPT>
var mydate=new Date()
var year=mydate.getYear()
if (year < 1000)
year+=1900
var day=mydate.getDay()
var month=mydate.getMonth()
var daym=mydate.getDate()
if (daym<10)
daym="0"+daym
var dayarray=new Array("Sunday", "Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday")
var montharray=new
Array("January", "February", "March", "April", "May", "June", "July", "August", "September", "October", "November", "December")
document.write(""+dayarray[day]+", "+montharray[month]+" "+daym+"")
</SCRIPT>. </font><br><br>


Step 3: The debunking

Oh! Oh! Lookit dat! See how the "deadline" is automatically set to be whatever day it is today? The JavaScript simply tells your browser to fill in whatever date today is. How misleading!

Anyway, the moral of this story is, what they really want is $69.95 $49.95 (today only) in exchange for a list of surveys that you can get paid to take. Which could in theory pay as much as $300 for 15 minutes, although some pay $4 an hour, which is kind of the same thing.

Hey wait, that's not a "moral of this story." That's just a description of the scam. A moral is a lesson learned. Okay. The moral of the story is not to be an impressionable idiot and believe everything you read on dem dar intarwebs. Don't waste your money on this!!!

Also that I do not personally control or endorse the contents of every ad on my web site.

This public service announcement brought to you by me. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

P.S. Anyone else notice that glaring Y2K bug in their JavaScript??

P.P.S. Also we're not on EDT (Eastern Daylight Time) at the time of this posting. We're on EST (Eastern Standard Time). EDT doesn't next start until April 2, 2006.

Comments

markoos said…
yeah i had blogads for a while too. i made about $6 but they took it allaway from me because i was clicking on the ads! i didn't know that wan't allowed!
Sassan Sanei said…
Sure, you could sit there and click ads all day!

Actually they are pretty sophisticated about detecting "click fraud" through pattern matching and unusual activity.

I've clicked on a few of my own ads myself, not to get paid but to check out who is advertising on my web site, and they show up in the Google AdSense report as unpaid clicks. Fair enough.

I think I might remove the ads altogether, though. I don't like some of the ones that have shown up. It's more of an experiment for me right now.
├črink said…
i found highpaysurveys.com and i was dubious so i googled something along the lines of "pay survey scams" and not only did i find you, i also found these:
"http://top2005scams.com/"
"http://topsiteratings.com/"
which appear to be single page web sites posing as ligitimate investigative sites. But real sites tend to investigate more than one thing, and are unique (where as these are almost identical) and real cautionary sites usually dont have ways to join the sites they promote right on the page... and i just noticed that the date it was posted was today, but wait, why would a site called top 2005 scams have only one article published in april, of 2006? HEY! i bet if i came back tommrow it will say it was published tommrow too!!

There is no reason for the date to even be there! how could this further the scam in any way?? He is clearly just doing it because its the only trick he knows and (like you said) he is a retarded chimpanzee who always drinks a case of beer befor making a website.

my thesis: you cant teach a drunk retarded chimp new tricks.

also he shouldnt have made the names of his fake survey sites so simular.
Sassan Sanei said…
Both of those sites are scams themselves. Did you know that the "con" in "con man" does not stand for "convict" as most people think, but "confidence"? As in, the con man's game is first to gain your confidence, then to screw you out of your money.

Those two sites you pointed out both do this. First, they try to gain your confidence (by pretending to be investigating online fraud and revealing a scam), then they screw you out of your money (by providing links to actual scams).

"Don't fall prey to a scam! Use one of these sites that I recommend instead. I'm not a scammer myself, honest!"
minetruly said…
Wow, your post was exactly what I was looking for!

I thought that $300 to take a Pepsi survery was too good to be true. However, MY suspicion was that they would steal the credit card information needed to "receive the $30 payment."

So, I googled it... and all the warnings were about sites that charged you to join sites that linked to high-paying surveys. That's not what THIS was.

But, turns out it IS, I guess. I hadn't dared go that far.

I absolutely loved the way you checked the script- not only because it provides solid, verifiable proof that I can check myself, but also because THAT WAS SO FRICKIN' SMART!!! And the fact you furthermore caught an ERROR in their short little script gave me smiles for miles. Hey, chimpanzees are, after all, less competent than your average web programmer.
minetruly said…
Oh yeah, and it crossed my mind that those "beware of scams only these 5 are safe" sites might be scams themselves. My plan had been to find all the sites that listed "legitimate" survey sites, and then see if these sites match up. Now that I have the idea in my head that MAYBE, for ONLY $45, I COULD make hundreds a month taking high-paying surveys...

I really wish I knew a reputable site that actually was devoted to exposing the scam sites and sanctioning the legitimate ones. The trouble with the internet is that anyone can make a professional-looking website that points to endless "outside links" that support its claims.

Popular Posts