There is no “weird trick.”

 

I’ve written about this bit of Internet stupidity before. It boggles my mind that scummy advertisers continue to use this, but it must generate revenue, or they wouldn’t do it.

Lower My Bills [1] is one of the worst offenders.

You see, I never encounter ads on my desktop machine; Ad Blocker Plus and a few other good extensions take care of that. My smartphone is not so lucky. Here’s an example; check out the ad with the little T-Rex running across it as an attention-getter below.

2014-05-13_07-43-47

Now I don’t fall for such rubbish, but today I decided to jump down the rabbit hole just to see where it leads. I was taken to screen after screen requesting my personal information; the usual stuff about what cars I had, how I use them, and what kind of coverage I wanted. They also wanted my address, my phone number, my date of birth, my email address, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Naturally, as with Nigerian scammers, I provided bogus information for everything.

Finally, I got to the last page, where I was promised my free results, and – supposedly – the “ridiculously easy trick”.

2014-05-13_07-37-43

 

Before we click, let’s look at that text disclaimer:

By clicking the button above you agree to be matched with up to 8 partners and/or providers from the LMB Partner Network and their agents and partners and for them and/or us to contact or market to you (including through automated and/or pre-recorded messages/means, e.g. automated telephone dialing systems and text messaging) about insurance information via telephone, mobile device (including MSM and MMS), and/or email, even if your telephone number or email address is on a corporate, state, or the National Do Not Call Registry, and you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You understand that your consent is not required as a condition to purchase a good or service.

Now that’s just scary. If you enter your real data, hoping to learn a “ridiculously easy trick” or even get quotes for low-cost insurance, this is the kind of marketing you will get by mail, by phone, by email, and on your cell phone:

Moving-picture-Niagara-Fall-waterfall-animated-gif

That’s right. A virtual Niagara Falls [2] worth of spamvertising, and you’ve just given these putrescent scumballs your permission to do it.

That’s how Lower My Bills works: T’hey gather your personal information, and sell it to every single possible entity on earth that wants to spam you, who will in turn sell it to the rest of the universe. They offer no other goods or services, even if they claim to do so. This is the height of disreputable, dishonorable marketing, and their ads infest the net like a plague of locusts.

If that’s not scary enough, look at that last sentence:

You understand that your consent is not required as a condition to purchase a good or service.

This means that you have given them permission to sell you their and their partners’ excrement without your explicit agreement, thus opening the door to fraudulent charges on your credit card.

Now let’s see what all that PII got me:

2014-05-13_07-38-26

Yup. Exactly nothing. They suggest a few providers, but no “ridiculously easy trick,” no promised quote, nothing. But they would have had all my information, and that information would result (usually within minutes) in a flood of calls, emails, texts, and other ongoing hqiz from people wanting to sell me everything under the sun.

Do yourself a favor. Any time you see that “one weird trick” or anything like it, realize that you’re dealing with a borderline criminal operation, and stay as far away from such drones and scumbags as you possibly can. If you see Lower My Bills, run like hell in the other direction. Oh, and spread the word, too; if you have vulnerable loved ones who are not terribly computer-savvy, make sure they understand this.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


[1] Have a look at this lovely entry at Ripoff Report; also check the Wikipedia entry on this shady outfit.

[2] Slowly I turn!

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5 responses to “There is no “weird trick.”

  1. Pingback: “Content from the Web” | Playing in the World Game

  2. Pingback: Don’t Click That Ad | Playing in the World Game

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