“This offer is available TODAY only!!!”

1 minute read

Hmmm. That’s not what the source code says

We started out the day fat fingering the spelling of “youtube.com” and ended up at the typo squatting site behind the URL “youube.com.” youube.com redirects you to http://youtube.com-prizes.com – obviously a URL intended to make you think it’s really YouTube.

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Like so many of these “survey” scam web sites, the offer was available “today only: Thursday, October 7, 2010.” Obviously, this is to add a little bit of sales pressure to make a visitor go for the prize ASAP, or at least before midnight.

Looking for the deeper meaning of life (or at least this site), we checked the page source code. The text “today only: Thursday, October 7, 2010” isn’t in there. There is, however, JavaScript to pull whatever day the page is viewed and put it in the viewer’s browser.

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Well, there’s nothing illegal about that. But it’s a little html code giveaway that the folks running this thing aren’t exactly the most morally upright people who ever created a Web site, not that the typo squatting didn’t give that away already.

We took the survey of trivial questions and selected our prize: an Apple iPad and iPhone 4. That’s a retail value of $700-$1,130 (depending on options) from a leading on-line retailer. Now that’s not too good to be true or anything – YouTube gives away gear worth nearly a thousand dollars after you answer some inconsequential questions on a survey?

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But of course you then head into the old survey loop:

“Compete to win $50,000!” — $9.99 to $19.99 per month (billed to your cell phone)

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“Connect with Singles Anytime Anywhere!” — $6.99 to $19.99 per month (billed to your cell phone)

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“Get the Best Horoscopes Sent Right to your Cell Phone!” $9.99 per month (billed to your cell phone)

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“HOTTEST” flirting tips sent right to your mobile phone!” $9.99 per month (billed to your cell phone)

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Somehow there’s no mention of the iPhone and iPad that was “available TODAY only.”
**
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!**

If you try to navigate away from the page of course, as we’ve come to expect in these sorts of things, we see this:

YouTubeSquat_Survey_End

 

Credit to Tom Kelchner

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