Estimated time to read: 4 Minutes
In short: We try to rank among scammers and scam people ourselves – to inform about scams.
– and scam people ourselves?
We know that it sounds a bit weird, but hear us out.
What do we mean by ranking?
In this context, ranking refers to the position of a website’s page for a keyword/query on search engine results pages.
This is important since the ranking position on a search engine results page extremely determines the amount of traffic a page will get.
The first result will get about 35% of the search traffic but the tenth result only about 3%.
If a page does not rank for a certain keyword – no one will find it.
And that is a big problem for common scam prevention websites.
How can you prevent a scam, if you don’t show up in those search results where scammers are?
Our goal is it to do exactly that – rank amongst scammers in search engine results.
Since we can not rank for every scam for several reasons, we focus for now on just one broad online scam (to test out, if the idea works).
The online scam we chose is the “free code generator” scam.
Where will you encounter it?
Any search starting with a “free” and ending with “code”/”gift card”/”in-game currency” will give you results that will contain this scam.
What does it do?
There are two general types of free code generators, but most try to convince visitors to do a (fake) human verification. This fake human verification sends these visitors then to other websites which are designed to scam people.
The generator websites are more or less a gate to the actual scams. This makes them very resistant against automatic removal by Google.
Other scams, especially if it includes downloading something – are often removed quickly by Google’s system – but not these.
And this brings us to…
People who search for “free […] codes/gift cards” don’t want to land on a page which immediately tells them that what they are searching for basically doesn’t exist. They will just go back to the search results.
So we implemented a lotto sweepstake system, which gives people the actual chance to get what they want for free.
Two questions come out of that:
In theory – it is not a scam. No one has to pay anything and people can actually win.
But just take a look at the probability of winning a prize.
It is so low that almost no one wins. So mathematically speaking – it could at least be considered scammy.
But since giving stuff away for free is not the point of our website, we don’t care so much about it. And this leads us to the next and most important question:
To explain this part best, we need to talk a little bit about the psychology behind our method.
The majority of people who search for “free [..] codes/gift cards” are younger than 25 and most of them are kids and teenagers.
And judging by monthly searches and the sheer mass of free code generators – they fall for the scam enough so that scammers put effort and time into this.
Young visitors with not much experience with scams and on the edge of falling for one would be an ideal audience for most scam prevention sites.
But the reality is different. Most scam prevention sites are not very effective and not being able to target that kind of audience is one of the reasons.
We offer this audience six prize categories. Between each prize is a “confirmation page“. On this page, we display articles informing about scams.
The content of each article is designed to have a contextual relevance to the search that the user did before landing on our page. This way we increase the chance of the article being read.
It would not make sense to show a teenager who just searched “free psn codes” an article about investment scams. He or she could surely benefit from that information, but the likelihood of that article being read is very low.
So we put together 6 articles which are relevant to this audience.
If you are interested to test it out – just choose one category here.