#3 - Content Locking
"What we found is an entire network of blackhat marketing advertisers, which we'll be covering in the next issue of Unethical Marketing Exposé." - Unethical Marketing Exposé #2
This episode is a continuation of the previous episode.
And we're greeted by this very interesting page that is promising us free Netflix subscription. We're talking about paying $0 for Netflix subscription, for life.
Well if something is too good to be true, it's because it is. Regardless, we proceeded and put in our email (using the technique we've learned from the first exposé of course).
Here's a sequence of screenshots of everything that happens after that:
After going through all these steps, we have finally found the money page.
With all kinds of unethical marketing and internet scams, think of them as a funnel, and at the end, it always leads to the "money page". The page where the person that designed the funnel collects the money.
The site mentions that this is an "Anti-Bot Verification", and to get your "free Netflix subscription", you should complete any 2 offers that are listed.
Upon clicking on the offers, a survey of some sort pops up, claiming more ridiculous offers, such as FREE unlimited movies, FREE hundreds of dollars worth of vouchers, and etc.
And what happens when you finish the surveys? More surveys. That's right, upon completing a survey, another one pops up, and soon you'll be doing surveys after surveys, forever.
That's the idea behind content locking. You're convinced that there's some super special content behind this... wall. All you have to do is follow the steps to unlock it.
Let me give it to you straight, it's all a lie. You were never going to get a FREE Netflix subscription in the first place.
This is where the network of blackhat marketing advertisers come in. After hours of research, we finally got access to the ultimate blackhat marketing network. Some of the exact details (such as the name and the URL to the network) are left out intentionally to prevent more people from becoming a part of the problem.
But here's a screenshot of how it looks like
This network allows anyone to become a "blackhat marketer", and promote all kinds of offers through any (unethical) method.
So what's an offer? An offer could be an app install, a survey, a user's information (such as your name, email, and address). The advertiser then offers to pay a certain amount of money per offer completed (in our case, the advertiser pays the marketer a certain amount each time a survey is completed).
If you take a look at the screenshot above, you'll see the offer country, name, type, device, and payout. The first offer is only applicable for Australians, and it's called "Ladbrokes iOS CPI", which pays $0.56 every time the marketer manages to get someone to install the app.
Thought you'd never ask. OK. So remember in the previous exposé, we were sent a link by some random Instagram account?
I noticed that by opening that link from different devices, it shows different content. In our case, we got the "Free Netflix Subscription".
And also, remember the screenshot that I shared above, that each offer only applies to different countries and devices?
Take a look at this:
Smart links are links that can show different offers depending on the user's device, location, and a couple of other variables to make sure that a profitable offer will always be shown, no matter who or where the user is.
How did we know this? Well, the network allows us to create our own smart link, and so we did. Since a lot of you asked for sources and more info (surprise, we actually read your feedback!), we'll show you what a real-life smart link looks like.
Before you actually click on the link, we'll have to inform you that this is for an educational purpose, and you should click on the link at your own risk.
Since it's a smart link, each of you will see something different depending on your device and where you're from, and there is no way that I can know what kind of content you'll see. If you're curious and want to test that out you can use a VPN, change the country, and refresh the link. You'll see a different offer.
Final warning, DO NOT give out your personal info (or worse, credit card number) no matter how convincing the offer is.
Here is the smartlink: https://smrturl.co/unethicalmarketing~89887