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Classic Spam: He gets paid for your opinions

The bottom line: Offering you money (directly or indirectly) for "your opinions" is a standard opening gambit in many spam-based rackets and frauds.

I’ve frequently received messages of this sort in the past, but never before looked into them (since they are so obviously spam); More recently, however, I decided that this might be a fit topic for yet another adventure in Classic Spam.

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Subject: 34- No joke, companies will actually pay for your views
Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 17:31:07 -0700
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<html>
<head>
<title>"where experiments could be conducted without risking blowing up th=
e laboratory. The computers manifestation as a simulation device during an=
d in particular in the post-war years open up what Manuel de Landa has cal=
led an ""epistemological reservoir.""[25] E"</title>

<meta http-equiv=3D"Content-Type" content=3D"text/html; charset=3Diso-8859=
-1">

</head>

<body>
<div id=3D"Layer1" style=3D"position:absolute; width:382px; height:196px; =
z-index:1; left: 183px; top: 92px; background-color: #CCCCCE; layer-backgr=
ound-color: #CCCCC3; border: 1px none #000002;"> 
  <p>&nbsp;</p>
  <p>&nbsp;</p>
  <p>&nbsp;</p>
  <p>&nbsp;</p>
  <p>&nbsp;</p>
  <p><font size=3D"2"><a href=3D"http://www.go64.biz/takeoff/takeoff.html"=
>to get off our database</a></font></p>
</div>
<div id=3D"Layer2" style=3D"position:absolute; width:340px; height:172px; =
z-index:2; left: 203px; top: 104px; background-color: #FFFFFC; layer-backg=
round-color: #FFFFF0; border: 1px none #000007; overflow: visible;"> 
  <p align=3D"center">&nbsp;</p>
  <p align=3D"center"><font color=3D"#000006" size=3D"4" face=3D"Arial, He=
lvetica, sans-serif">Do you want to make some serious cash with just your =
opinion?</font></p>
  <p align=3D"center"><font color=3D"#00000A"><a href=3D"http://www.go64.b=
iz/srv.html
"><font face=3D"Courier New, Courier, mono">GET MORE INFO</font=
></a></font></p>
  <p align=3D"center">&nbsp;</p>
  </div>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

<font color=3D"#fffff2">even showing behavior characteristic of pets Field=
4 Artificial Intelligence</font>
<font color=3D"#fffff4">but what you get is only the program. You only dow=
nload the object and not the collective that a quasi-object would bring wi=
th it. If we look at this from a non-modern perspective Field7 Artificial =
Life</font>
<font color=3D"#fffff2">Boyle contributed to the debate 48) For Freud thes=
e objects were not physical or material but objects such as 'slip of the t=
ongue and 'dreams' how they use surrounding objects to construct theories =
about life. Piaget discovered that children work as small scientists conti=
nually posting and testing theories for how things and the world works. At=
 that time the world was full of things that could b</font>
<font color=3D"#fffff5">but we can draw parallels in the solution. Boyle s=
olved the dispute about the vacuum by arguing empirically and developing e=
xperimental science 67 - 68).  L=E9vy is a bit vague on the need for an et=
hics of Cyberspace modified and altered in any way. A homepage manifest it=
self as a representation of information in virtual worlds</font>

</body>
</html>


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Opinions are like nostrils -- everybody’s got at least one. And, while you and I know in our hearts that our own opnions are always impeccably correct and well founded, it couldn’t hurt to receive outside validation of the fact, particularly if some cold cash comes along with the deal. Apparently, this giving-your-opinion business is so lucrative that, according to one unsigned testimonial on the spammer’s website, “...all we do is take a few surveys in the morning and then go out and enjoy the day.” Ah, yes, the life of the opinionated gentry. The perp claims that you can earn up to $500 per month “part time,” or else sit in front of your computer all day and “...make enough money to eventually quit your current job.”

And so, I visited the perp’s website to find out how I could hop on this consumer-culture gravy train. Guess what? Of course — YOU HAVE TO PAY FIRST in order to make money from your opinions!

So, let me get this straight -- normally, I’d have to pay nearly forty bucks to make money from my opinions, but thanks to the stupid wedding clip-art I only have to pay $15? (By the way, 15 bucks is actually more than 50% off, but you have to take into account that this chickenboner probably can’t do math if it involves counting past twenty-one — or twenty, if the spammer is a lady.)

Now, fifteen clams is probably below most people’s threshold of pain, so the spammer stands to make quite a bit of money from people who take a shot in the dark, even if all he has to offer in exchange is some wormy old “database” of false leads and contacts. Plus, since the spammer now has the victim’s credit card info, he might well be able to derive even more from the transaction (!!).

Yes, there are market research firms who will pay you a nominal amount to sit in on focus groups and such, but if you think you’d make a living from this, you’re woefully misinformed. And anyway, the firms who run these things are always fairly careful about selecting their participants, and don’t hold general “cattle calls” ("Don’t call us, we’ll call you.“) A ”professional" opinion-giver is probably about the last person they’d want in their surveys.

Just because I’m grouchy today, I’m going to go the Full Monty on this message.

Like you, I prefer to get paid for my opinions, but I have some about this spammer that I’d be willing to give away for nothing.



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03671 hits since March 28 2009

Updated: Sat, 18 Aug 2007