by Mike Masnick

Spammers Make Profits Without Making A Sale

from the who-cares-if-no-one-is-buying dept

For years, I've been asking reporters to find out who the hell is buying stuff from spam, thus, making spam worthwhile. Reporters always tell me that they can't seem to track down anyone gullible enough to (admit that they) buy from spam emails. Well, now it turns out that some people believe that it doesn't matter if anyone buys or not. Spammers are working more on advertising scams to get money these days. The whole point is to trick you into clicking on their site, where you'll get swamped with ads or spyware - for which they make money. It appears that, as the market of eligible suckers may be drying up, spammers are increasingly having to resort to more outright scams to keep up their spamming business. Of course, the article doesn't mention what seems to be the most profitable spam business out there: selling other spammers email lists.

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  • identicon
    Ed Halley, 4 Aug 2003 @ 5:12am

    No Subject Given

    I suspect that a large portion of the spam industry is very similar to any other MLM (scam or not). A sucker sees an ad on the roadside to "make money fast with your computer" and responds. The gullible sucker actually plunks down money for an "outfit" of software and seed emails. The sucker realizes that to go from the day-one investment to anything resembling a positive income, the sucker must tempt other suckers to join his "downline," buying tools and other entry materials.

    Whether it continues to follow MLM patterns depends on whether the upline actually monitors/collects from the downline after that initial buy-in; I suspect this does happen because new anti-circumvention spelling techniques are distributed quite efficiently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sherri, 4 Aug 2003 @ 7:41am

    No Subject Given

    Email going around:

    This is to all who signed up for the "do not call" law. This week I received a card in the mail that looked all right. It said "vote for your favorite cola--Pepsi or Coke--and receive a complementary 12 pack." It didn't look suspicious, but for some reason I kept looking at it. THEN I found it!!

    At the bottom of the card there was a VERY small statement. It was SO small it was hard to read--but here is what it said: .... "By completing this form, you agree that sponsors and co-sponsors of this offer may telephone you, even if your number is found on a 'do not call' registry or list."

    Urban Legends link:

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aNonMooseCowherd, 4 Aug 2003 @ 4:50pm

    why to advertisers put up with this?

    So advertisers are paying to have users tricked into seeing their ads. Doesn't sound like a good way to turn people into customers.

    If advertisers treated web ads like media ads and decided how much they're worth based on whether they actually increase sales, rather than just blindly paying for clicks, maybe these tricks would die away, and the advertisers might actually get their money's worth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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