Why is it that the crooks have all the money?

By Deane Barker on December 18, 2005

We’ve talked before about some of the crazy search engine positioning we get on this site. The GoogleBot loves us.

In particular, this page is second on Google for the term “bitlord,” behind only BitLord’s own site. I don’t know how it happened, it just did.

This weekend, we got an email from a company offering us $10,000 per month to place a single banner on this page. Ten large. Per month. That’s a lot of money, yo.

I exchanged a couple emails with the guy, and it turns out he was dead serious. He wanted to send me $5,000 up-front, right that second. He sent me the banner — it was big at 603 x 203, but, then again, so was the check.

Then he sent me the URL to which it was supposed to click through. I’m not going to reprint it here, but it’s in the list on this site: p2pscams.info.

Turns out there’s a snazzy new scam going around where companies claim to have a “service” by which you can download free movies, music, and games. To access this “service,” you simply download and install their “client,” which is a version of any one of several free P2P clients, with one nasty bonus:

Basically, a P2P scam site is a domain set up for the purpose of selling an unsuspecting user a free product, duping visitors into installing spyware, dialers, trojans or viruses, attempting to make money from a free service (through domain cloning or hijacking) or a mixture of all of these.

Nice. Why is it that the crooks have all the money?

So, we passed on the ten grand per month. I have little doubt they would have paid it, because a banner to that kind of deal on the aforementioned page would have been huge for them. But I still need to sleep at night.

What does this mean to you? Be forgiving about advertising on this site. At least we’re being honest about it.

The potential advertiser responds to my declination…

Hi Deane,

  1. It is obvious that p2pscams.info approves of our websites, please notice that they currently advertise one of our sites “[URL deleted]” in their top ad. We have attached a screenshot of that proves it.

  2. We don’t sell “free software”, we sell Memberships. Members of our website receive unlimited technical support, ratings and suggestions we provide for software.

    We provide an organized website with links to third party software. Our club provides FREE Peer-to-peer software, DVD Copy software, MP3 Players, Movie Players, CD Burning Software, Online Music Search, Lyrics, Internet Radio, Pop Up & Spyware Removers, technical support, ratings suggestions and more.

  3. We dont dup visitors into installing spyware, dialers, trojans or viruses. It is the opposite, we encourage and educate our members about spyware and virus protections. Please visit our members area for proof.

    [URL deleted]

Finally, our members love us and we provide a real service at the lowest possible cost so they write us thank you emails everyday!

My response…

First, this argument…

1- It is obvious that p2pscams.info approves of our websites, please notice that they currently advertise one of our sites “[URL deleted] in their top ad.

Come on, man — that is the weakest, most lame argument you could have possibly thrown out there. Do you think I don’t understand how Google AdSense works? Wow — congratulations on getting a screencap before they added that URL to their Competitive Ad Filter. In reality, it proves exactly nothing.

Second, about your “memberships.” If they have value, then you won’t mind if I go look around. Send me credentials for a membership so I can log in and review everything to make sure you’re providing what you say your providing.

Third, you may want to look at this post:

http://www.gadgetopia.com/post/4769

Given that 10,000 people are going to read that today, are you sure you want your banner anywhere near that page?

Fourth and finally, I’m going to publicly post this exchange and any future exchanges between you and I to Gadgetopia — sufficiently anonymized, of course. I’ve found that Gadgetopia readers form the greatest Massively Distributed Bullsh*t Detector in the world. Be advised that any future communication you send will be processed through this device.

In the end, I’ll let them decide. If they think your arguments add up, then sign me up.

He counters with…

Can you please answer the following question; If Linux is free, why are thousands of people buying it?

http://www.linuxcdmall.com/suse.html

To which I offer…

If this is how you view yourselves — at the same level as commercial Linux vendors — then I’ll offer you a hell of a deal: I’ll review your service on the front page of Gadgetopia.

Give me a login, and I will check out everything you offer, give you a ton of coverage, and tell everyone if I think you’re providing a good service to the Internet community. Lots of publicity, lots of page views, lots of traffic.

Send me an account. We’ll call it “due diligence.”

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Comments

  1. In an unrelated story, I have this thing that I would like you to install, that will give you 100% legal downloads to every form of media, and regrow your hair to boot.

  2. Put as many ads on this site as you like. Doesn’t bother me once you keep posting valuable content.

  3. Your honesty is commendable Deane, It’s nice to see that Gadgetopia is being kept as a ‘clean’ site. But I would like to think that the type of person that reads Gadgetopia wouldn’t be the type of person that would fall for such a nasty little scam. but then again, some humans beings never fail to suprize me.

  4. Deane, thanks for your integrity. That’s not always an easy decision. However, if you meant to anonymize the conversation, I think you left one of the domains in the text of your response.

  5. I’m going to publicly post this exchange and any future exchanges between you and I to Gadgetopia…

    This sentence should read thusly… “I’m going to publicly post this exchange and any future exchanges between you and me to Gadgetopia…”

    That aside, nice call on this issue, Deane. Very commendable.

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