So-Called Scumware, And What You Can Do About It

Written by Steve Nash

I wroterepparttar following piece about so-called Scumware some time ago, when many responsible Internet Marketers were rightfully expressing their concerns too. Scumware has not gone away, so I am reprinting it to summarise those concerns and explain what you can do to try and put a stop to it.

(Note: some ofrepparttar 127564 programs/sites listed below may now have cleaned up their act, whilst other programs - not listed - may have taken their place. Do visit at least one ofrepparttar 127565 resources listed atrepparttar 127566 end ofrepparttar 127567 piece to learn more aboutrepparttar 127568 current scumware-situation.)


TopText, Surf+, Gator... so-called Scumware

Phew! These last few weeks have seen a lot of e-mails aboutrepparttar 127569 topic of so-called 'Scumware' - software that allows sites to advertise on *your* site without your say-so, and without any financial benefit to you. Apologies if you've read too much about this already, but for those who have yet to read about 'Scumware' or want to know more about how to stop it, this piece is for you.

Basically, if you own or operate a website, chances are many of your visitors are being "stolen" by your competitors even as I write this! It is possible RIGHT NOW that when a visitor visits your site, they can be shown banners, highlighted keywords, or other forms of paid advertisement, without your knowledge and without any benefit to you.

How is this possible? Throughrepparttar 127570 use of programs that have recently come to be known as "scumware".

Programs such as Gator, TopText and Surf+

These programs use proprietary software to track web surfer's usage patterns AND YOUR site content and serve up ads they have sold to your competitors that display directly over - inrepparttar 127571 form of popups - or even directly ON - inrepparttar 127572 form of keywords hyperlinked torepparttar 127573 other advertiser's sites - your website.

Here are some quotes I've been reading from other concerned website owners and e-mail publishers:

* "hasrepparttar 127574 potential to eat up your profits faster than anything else!" * "this is a blatant violation of copyright, pure unadulterated theft, and downright reprehensible behavior"

* (etc.)

The over-riding message is this:

"Please make sure you read about 'Scumware' and do anything within your power to help stop it."

I am writing this piece to alertrepparttar 127575 readers of [my newsletter] Promote! Promote! Promote!. I have stopped promoting Gator, and will not promote any site that uses this type of predatory advertising.

Red Flags

Written by Bob Osgoodby

Most of us think of hype as exaggerated or extravagant claims, made especially in advertising or promotional material. Sometimes it is deceptive and deliberately misleading. While we have become a bit immune to this through constant exposure, it always seems that someone comes up with a fresh approach that is not immediately recognized. There are a number of "Red Flags:" being raised.

Con artists have been around sincerepparttar beginning of time, and are always willing to take advantage of another "hot prospect". But every scam has "red flags" and a little common sense should prevail so you do not fall prey to them. Let's examine a few we get by email everyday.

"Complimentary Vacation Package" - this one has been around a long time, but has now found its way torepparttar 127563 web. It starts off with "Congratulations! You will be our guest in Orlando, Florida, home of Walt Disney World, for 4 days and 3 nights. All compliments of major Vacation Resort Developers." Reading it, you might feel you have won a contest. In actuality, this is notrepparttar 127564 case. It is a high pressure sales campaign designed to sell you a "timeshare" vacation package.

Another variation promises deeply discounted vacation packages. You pay for a package that seems great onrepparttar 127565 surface, but in reality is either third rate accommodations or doesn't exist at all.

"Guaranteed Winner" - they state - "You're going to get one of these top five prizes, guaranteed!" In this scam you normally send some information, and either return it by email or fill out a form on a web site. They require that you supply your telephone number to be eligible. You will then be contacted by a telemarketer who confirms that you have been chosen for one of repparttar 127566 five "valuable" prizes; however, you must pay a processing fee for handling, customs duties or taxes, and you must send a check or money order to them by overnight mail. The prize usually winds up being small trinkets of minimal value, discount coupons or vouchers, worth far less than what you paid.

Or, you might receive an e-mail informing you that your order has been received and processed, and your credit card will be billed forrepparttar 127567 charges. The trouble is, you haven't ordered anything. They contacted you using bulk email, using inactive return addresses which prevent you from refutingrepparttar 127568 orders by email. They do provide a telephone number inrepparttar 127569 area code 767, which is actually inrepparttar 127570 West Indies. They try to keep callers onrepparttar 127571 line as long as possible, and you are reportedly billed as much as $25 per minute. Be aware that your local telephone company may bill for services provided by other companies, and not be able to provide you relief.

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