Friday, July 24, 2009

Behind the Veil - My Social Advantage Rip-off

You've seen them. Those ads on the side of the browser window on your favorite social networking site. Tempting aren't they? Free camera's, free computer's....

Well recently I read a review about a really nice camera. Small, digital, portable, durable and water resistant. Yeah, WATER RESISTANT. A pretty huge fan of amateur photography myself, I saw that ad there on Facebook and I thought...what the hell. I wanted that camera and can't afford to pony up the $300 it retails for. If I can sign-up for some junk programs and pay significantly less than $300 total then I would consider it a victory.

So come with me as I try to find out if I could ever get this company to pay up with a "free" camera.

Well the first thing I did was create an alternate e-mail address for the inevitable virtual tons of junk mail that I would be bombarded with once I start the process.

I went to GMail and I created one. It took only a few seconds and oddly enough an SMS message for verification. :S I have SMS disabled on my personal phone because people fail to understand, "Please don't send me text messages they are expensive. Please send me an e-mail instead." so I had to use another phone.

Once that was done the e-mail was ready to go. I right clicked on the advertisement and copied the url into a text file.

I closed my browser and I cleared my cache, cookies and internet history to protect from potential spyware. I opened a fresh browser window and pasted the address into the url and hit Enter. I was greeted with a surprising clean page. No pop-ups, no porn and very tidy format. A good sign.

A bad sign, several different generic sounding names for the company. On the top it says "Live Active Network." Then near the bottom I see this little name. My Social Advantage?

I did some quick research online and didn't find any warnings or complaints. I went to BBB.org and searched for both. No results. That could be both good or bad.

Then I hit the jackpot, so to speak.

I searched for My Social Advantage Scam and found this thread on Facebook.

That single thread was more informative than the several different pages attributed to the many faces of My Social Advantage. On that thread one of the "associates" was promoting it and trying to be "open" and denying any "scam" was taking place. Whenever someone would make a point, such as, why the full details of the process required to obtain the objects was never disclosed on any page, he would talk around it and direct them to another page.

The page claims, "2 total offers to complete."

That is a complete lie.

One of the posters there summarized it the way My Social Advantage could not across multiple pages.

1. Register.
2. Check email for verification link.
3. Complete 2 offers.
4. Refer 1 person to Live Active Network.com.
5. Earn enough reward credits

Earn enough reward credits? How does one do that. Well, I'm glad you asked because that only happens when your 3rd generation referral makes some sort of payment. That means the person or person(s) your referral referred.

Sounds like a pyramid scheme doesn't it? Well when confronted the "associate" denied this and instead directed everyone to this page which has the clear diagram below that "proves" its not a pyramid scheme.



I took the liberty of reformatting that image a little.



Oh and here's a little tidbit I found on another one of their pages here.

How long do I have to complete the promotion?
180 days.

So...just as we all suspected, it was too good to be true. I was hoping they were just fishing for spam email addresses and credit customers but its worse than that.

No camera for me, or anyone else from what I understand. This pyramid scheme was worse than others before it. NO ONE came out of it successfully.

9 comments:

Douglas said...

If something seems too good to be true... then it very likely is.

jewlover2 said...

Wow. Just wow. I really hate the internet. This in spite of my five blogs, youtube channel, and pension for online shopping. ;-)

not a pyramid scheme? that's a riot.

HektikLyfe said...

>Douglas: Even if the exchange may be fair, it's most likely not.

>Jewlover2: Yes, the world would be great without greed wouldn't it. Pssst, don't look at the ads I posted on the right to get some occasional pocket change. ;)

Farhan said...

You daredevil, you.
Don't websites like those have trojan horse viruses in them?

HektikLyfe said...

Trojan horses and other virii can only really get to you if you have administrative privileges and no anti-virus or similar application.

We have many layers of protection on the machine I was accessing it with so I was pretty safe.

I wouldn't recommend you do the same though. :)

Oh I changed the comment form now so you should be OK.

Lauren said...

HAHA! Love the diagram that you so graciously made for the company.

HektikLyfe said...

My wife found that really funny too. She actually laughed out loud.

:)

HektikLyfe said...

Hey this article has been ...dugg! XD

http://digg.com/search?s=thesilentpodium

HektikLyfe said...

Oops. Here.