As you probably know, the online ad industry is a cesspool of fraud and corruption. The World Federation of Advertisers
says that in 9 years ad fraud will probably be the world's 2nd biggest criminal undertaking (after drug trafficking.)
But who knew it could be this entertaining?
Did you know that your refrigerator and thermostat may now have social media accounts? And these social media accounts are being marketed to narcissists by the thousands to increase their number of "followers."
According to the
New Scientist, a criminologist with the University of Montreal and a cybersecurity researcher have discovered a lovely little botnet committing very creative social media fraud.
Here's how it works. The botnet uses the wonderful "internet of things" to hack into grandma's garage door opener. Then, from there, it opens a social media account on Instagram or Twitter that looks like a person. It opens hundreds of thousands of these accounts, gathers them up, and sells "follows" from these imaginary people to losers who want to look popular by having lots of
"followers." Think no one could be that pathetic? Check it out.
How much do social media followers cost? How about 1,000 for $2.95...or during our big Black Friday Fraudathon, 50,000 for just $249.99.
According to the New Scientist the genius behind this scam is bringing down about $200,000 to $400,000 a month
with almost no work. And the great thing is, it may not even be illegal.
You remember being "followed by a moon shadow?" Now you can be followed by a toaster oven.