These days any miscreant can set up shop and rack up a lot of cash, without necessarily being a criminal.
Using the new frontier (YouTube) as some people call it, you will see countless pages claiming to be free music, movies etc…
Take for example this upcoming album by Chris Rea (my favourite artist):
Not yet released but apparently already free for the download??
And it’s not just through YouTube that people spread their files. Torrents are a prime distribution channel as well:
Back to our first YouTube scam, a hop through a dubious link shortener (ulinks.net) and you land on (filesmy.com):
The site filesmy.com is registered through ENOM, INC and has all the Whoisguard you can think of.
Also, its home page shows you can download Acrobat.exe (a file that should be free anyway).
I’m not sure who is behind this site, but it is clear that there is some sort of relationship with sharecash.org (a Cost Per Action with surveys, type of business). It’s possible it is one of their affiliates.
Anyway, before you can download any file, you must complete a survey (it turns out it’s more than one):
I really despise these surveys. Not only are they after your money, but also your personal information. Besides, they shouldn’t even be called surveys. They are nothing less than a big fat marketing trick that’s after your money.
Going through the pages is quite hilarious actually when you see the amount of efforts those guys have put into this:
And a little bit of information gathering about you:
The whole point of this game is for you to sign up with one of these companies, give your cell number etc…. The people that make those surveys get their commission and then pay out their affiliates.
Seeing that the file offered for download is most likely a fake (and if it isn’t then it is illegal distribution of copyrighted material), is this really worth it? All you end up doing is putting money in several different people’s pockets who couldn’t care less about you.
The sad thing about all of this is that people actually do answer those surveys which is why they are still going strong.
Sharecash.org is doing quite well for themselves anf their affiliates:
Cost per Action is a well established and profitable business model. Unfortunately, whenever easy money is involved, there are always cheaters and people with no ethics ready to roll. Sure, you could say that it’s like that everywhere and that CPA is also a recognized online marketing strategy used by people filled with good intent.
However, looking at the big picture I only see ignorant people getting scammed and greedy people making cash, just one other great thing the Internet has brought us.
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