Ever wonder where all that spam in your inbox comes from? An untold number of people make up to $100,000 a year sending out unwanted messages and solicitations. One spammer told FOXNews.com it's common to set up "harvest sites," such as ones for free magazine subscriptions, that dupe users into entering their e-mail addresses, which then get sold.
More than 1 million people recently viewed a fake viral video of a death-defying stunt as part of a videographer's way to generate interest in Microsoft Germany. The point of the video was to "entertain people and to demonstrate the unbelievable possibilities of good planning," marketing giant MRM Worldwide said in a statement. Strategists behind these highly-successful campaigns can more than $100,000 a year, industry insiders say.
The Better Business Bureau consistently warns consumers to be weary of telemarketing scams. In many cases, the calls violate U.S. and Canadian “Do Not Call Registry” laws and actually perform services that consumers can do on their own for free -- like negotiating lower interest rates with their credit provider.
Like viral videographers, bloggers can also provide phony support for a product. The diet supplement company Urban Nutrition recently got in hot water for allegedly paying people to create fake "independent product-review blogs" to recommend their product with bogus "Customer Choice Awards."
Be sure to read the fine print before buying a ringtone online. While most claim to be a one-time buy, typically 99 cents each, many consumers are duped into believing they'll be charged for a single purchase when ringtone sellers are actually selling them a service that provides multiple ringtones, sometimes up to $9.99 per month.
Ever wonder why "nonsense" Web sites sometimes turn up in your search results on Google or Yahoo? Thatâ€™s because search engine optimizing spammers work full-time to create thousands of other Web sites that link to the spam site. For example, the creator of spamlaw.com is hoping to dupe would-be visitors to spamlaws.com, a legitimate site that bills itself as an online security resource.
That Google search may seem reliable, but spam can be hidden within those top ten results. A common technique by a "spamdexer" is to include keywords like "health care" at the bottom of their Web page to boost search results. But instead of getting the legitimate site you hoped for, unsuspecting users will see sites masquerading as the real thing.
Online advertising communities like Craigslist become much less useful when littered with advertisements seeking spam posters for the "casual encounters" section. An advertisement at getafreelancer.com recently called for an "experienced Craigslist poster" to produce up to 600 advertisements daily for up to 5 cents per response.
Nobody wants spyware infecting their computer, but what’s worse is fake spyware-protecting software. A 'scamwarer' earns money by offering fake security software to worried computer users and proceeds to steal credit card information and even user identities. According to some estimates, the criminals who create these pages earn just cents for every user they redirect to sites selling the bogus software, but the numbers quickly add up.
Job-hunting? Think about becoming an e-mail spammer ... or a Web site spammer ... or a search engine optimizer. Here's a great opportunity to become part of a team of Web-savvy professionals who clog the Internet with unwanted ads and sell users' personal information to the highest bidder. Not only are these jobs legal, they can be downright lucrative. Here are some of the top online marketing jobs that will make you money . . . and leave you alone and friendless.