Stung by a deceptive popup

Sometimes I’m just tired, I guess. Normally I don’t pay attention to things I see on my Android since I don’t have ad-blocking software and I’m used to getting the occasional popup or redirect. The other day I saw this:


and thought, what the heck. To my shame, I didn’t bother to look at the URL: Decidedly not from Comcast.

(It did bother me that they got my IPv4 address right – I wasn’t using a proxy at the time – and really, none of us has any privacy on the Internet, but that’s a subject for another day.)

Let us make my own folly into an object lesson for others.

After a few generic questions about my satisfaction with Comcast, I get this:


Well, hqiz. As soon as I saw “Garcinia Cambogia,” I knew I’d been hornswoggled into looking at a whole raft of camel ejecta that I’d normally only see on clickbait ads.

So my “reward” is the privilege of looking at affiliate-marketing ads for crappy, worthless products. “Quantity remaining” and “valid for only 60 minutes” are shameless lies. Why anyone would do business with such blatant crooks is beyond me. Notice that the price for every “reward” is $0.00, but you pay for some shipping, and if you follow one of the “rewards,” you’ll get roped into a scummy deal in which you’ll lose both money and your personal information.

A relevant quote from an Atlantic article which I referred to elsewhere says a lot about this kind of trash:

The downside to affiliate marketing is its astonishing rate of fraud. Because affiliates put up their own money to pay for ads pushing these products, they have a strong incentive to dupe consumers, so they can recoup their investment. If you’ve ever clicked an ad or a “sponsored link” about, say, a spectacularly effective new weight-loss scheme, which then leads you to a fake news article (or “farticle,” in the industry parlance) filled with sketchy scientific findings and constant entreaties to buy a product “risk free,” then condolences are in order: you’ve likely stumbled into some affiliate’s trap. “Affiliates are the most creative bunch of people you’re ever going to find, because you’ve got 5,000 people promoting the same product, and they’re all trying to get an edge,” Jim Lillig, an Illinois-based affiliate-marketing strategist, told me. “So of course you’re going to have people pushing the envelope. Some will do anything and everything to promote a product they think they can make money with.”


At the end of the list, I got this:


“Comments” from “satisfied users” (meaning, paid shills or total nonsense written by the advertiser using stolen or stock images), and a chance to leave my own comment:

Sleazy. You don’t care about my answers, you just want me to buy sketchy, worthless junk that I’d normally see on clickbait ads (if I didn’t use add blockers, that is.)

Trouble is, these comments go directly to /dev/null, and no one will ever see them – except you.

When all was said and done, there was this, which makes it clear that I have fallen prey to an affiliate marketer:


2008-2015 All Rights Reserved. This is an independent survey and marketing website which is not affiliated with or endorsed by Comcast Cable. This website does not claim to represent or own any of the trademarks, tradenames or rights associated with any of the offers which are the property of their respective owners who do not own, endorse, or promote this website. All images on this website are readily available in various places on the Internet and believed to be in public domain according to the U.S. Copyright Fair Use Act. Offer shipping and handling fees may apply. *See manufacturer’s site for details as terms may vary with offers. NOTE – This website receives compensation in exchange for promoting third party offers. See important terms and conditions regarding this survey, site, and advertisement here.

“Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Be smarter than I was the other day, and don’t click things like this.


The Old Wolf has spoken.