On the Web, Nobody Knows You’re a Crook (EverydayLifeToday.com scam)

By , January 5, 2012

“Somebody should do something about that.”  It’s a common refrain, and it’s meaningless. And sometimes, there’s just nothing that anyone can do.

While researching “giveaway” marketing strategies recently, I found a web site (EveryDayLifeToday.com) promoting a wide range of attractive free prizes.  Superficially, the site seemed legitimate, but it’s now clear that it’s a scam.

First, let’s look at why most folks would initially consider it legitimate:

  • The site includes a Privacy Policy.
  • There is a “Contact Us” page which lists a street address, an email address, and the names of three editorial staffers.
  • There are “Official Rules” for their sweepstakes, with fixed deadlines for each drawing.
  • They promise that winners will be listed after the drawing.
  • There’s a page inviting prospective advertisers to contact them.
  • Rotating third-party advertisements appear on the site.
  • Most prizes identify recognized national brands (Apple, Sony, Wal-Mart, Ikea, Schwinn, DeLonghi, Home Depot, etc.), and some of the prizes are modest-value tangible items with limited appeal.
  • Searches for phrases like “everydaylifetoday.com scam” bring up no negative results (until this blog post was picked up by Google).

But that’s all superficial stuff. Here are some warning signs:

  • Their sweepstakes entry forms remain active long after the listed deadlines;
  • They never actually list any winners (not even vague references like “John S. of New York”).
  • The email address listed on their “contact us” and “advertising” page is invalid (emails to that address “bounce”).
  • The phone number listed in their “WHOIS” domain registration record is invalid.
  • There is no clear business name (corporation, LLC, etc.).
  • The site’s business model is unclear (where do they get revenue?).
  • The street address listed is a multi-tenant office building, but no suite or office number is listed. One of the tenants is an “executive suite/virtual office” company.
  • The entry form doesn’t include safeguards against abuse (such as a “captcha” verification code).
  • All of the rotating third-party advertisements that appear on the site appear to come from a single dubious advertising network.
  • The site appears to have evaded detection by “credibility tools” like McAfee’s SiteAdvisor.

Is this is a scam? It sure looks like it.

What are they gaining from this scam? I don’t know. They ask for a name, email, and mailing address (a combination of data that’s useful for “data mining” and other marketing purposes), but they don’t ask for a birthdate or telephone number, nor for gender, age, birthdate, income levels, or interests (as many other giveaways seek). And the omission of a “captcha” verification probably means that they’re being flooded with bogus data and entries from automated tools (and other scammers).

It’s possible that this is just someone’s “pipe dream” business, created on a whim with the hopes of finding a way to make a profit.  It doesn’t appear to be an “orphan site,” since there are new giveaways being posted (though they might have been queued up many months or even years in advance), and eventually some of the “completed” giveaway links disappear.

Most likely, the entire site is just “bait” to attract people to click on the paid advertising.

Now what? What can anyone do about this? I’ve notified the dubious third-party advertising network whose ads appear on the site, but otherwise there’s really nothing left to do.

Unless, of course, we call this scam to the attention of “the right people” who have a motivation to protect their companies’ reputations. But how can we do that? Perhaps some of the right people will find this article: Apple scam, Sony scam, Wal-Mart scam, Ikea scam, Schwinn scam, DeLonghi scam, Home Depot scam, Nespresso scam, Dyson scam, Bulova scam, Sharp scam, Quattron scam, MacBook scam, Apple fraud, Sony fraud, Wal-Mart fraud, Ikea fraud, Schwinn fraud, DeLonghi fraud, Home Depot fraud, Nespresso fraud, Dyson fraud, Bulova fraud, Sharp fraud, Quattron fraud, MacBook fraud.

 

4 Responses to “On the Web, Nobody Knows You’re a Crook (EverydayLifeToday.com scam)”

  1. spamgirl says:

    mongobongo.net
    gastroweekly.com
    decogalore.com
    Truth-About-Dating.com
    Vacation-Magazine.com
    MyPlingo.com
    maxbeauty.net
    wZine.net
    familycovers.com
    gadgetmag.net
    zoomxs.info
    crazyframe.com
    topz.me
    zoota.net
    technology-globe.com

    I believe they’re all in the same network as the one you mentioned as they would add their contests to my contest list (www.cancontests.com) at the same time, and they all share similar elements. I believe they not only make money off ads, but also email addresses.

  2. Mark Welch says:

    Thanks, spamgirl, I checked out a couple of those sites and they do appear to use a very similar template concept, with some of the same “credibility signs” which superficially seem legitimate, but which fall apart under scrutiny (I found a “winner’s list” on one of the sites.) It looks like they’re throwing a bunch of different sites out there, hoping that some get picked up by other sweepstakes sites (and by search engines) to draw in traffic.

  3. Hailey says:

    Thanks you guys. I like sweepstakes, but I dislike crooks on and off the web. I will continue to refer to your blog and Spamgirl I will visit your site as well. Thanks for the information.

  4. Mark Welch says:

    Today, I noticed that the site is no longer active at EveryDayLifeToday.com; it’s now just a “parked domain” page.

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