Polska Brain Jelly

One Born Every Minute

by on Apr.07, 2010, under Stupidity

It amazes me the number of scams out there.  Not so much that there are scammers, that part I accept.  The part that amazes me is the fact that to support so many scams there have to be people that fall for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m against scams and scammers.  Scam artists are life forms just above that slimy brown algae that forms in a fish tank filter.

I have to wonder though who the people are that fall for some of these scams.  Many of them are so obvious that’s it almost seems like a spoof on scams.

Take for instance SatelliteDirect.

I was first made aware of SatelliteDirect from a comment on this blog.  The comment read:

I really like this blog. I’m thinking of utilizing A similar format for my own. I’ll keep an eye out for your following postings since I definitely liked visiting. Thank You 🙂

My first thought was yay!  Someone found something useful on my site.

Then I read it again, and the stinkings of spam started to penetrate my senses.

Notice the very generic tone.  Now notice how complimentary they are, even thinking of mimicking their blog based on mine.  However they never say what they like or what they want to duplicate.

I get several of these a week, however this is actually the first one that has come from the States and not Russia (no, I have nothing against Russia.  When someone comments on my blog I get a WHOIS trace on the comment.)

Out of curiosity I check out the link attached to the comment.  It takes me to an actual blog that was created on Tripod of all places (I didn’t even realize they still existed).  There was a long blog post about watching satellite TV on your computer for a low price.

Again, warning bells go off.

This being a hobby of mine, I decide to check this out further.  Oddly enough they don’t drop the name of the software on the Tripod page.  At the bottom there are two more links, one to another blog on WordPress and one to a Blogspot blog.

The Blogspot blog shows paydirt.  There is a banner ad right in the middle of the post for SatelliteDirect.

I head to their site.  It’s not a bad looking site, professional and even legit looking.  They have a “product review” at the top.  According to Interactive Media Magazine, SatelliteDirect is “[u]nequivocally the best TV to PC software on the Net!”  They also have some award badges for fake internet awards at the bottom (note to scammers, if you are going to give yourself fake awards, at least make a fake award site to link to).

What really should set off alarms are the promises of 3,500 HD channels for only $49.95.

Right.

The U.S. alone apparently has over 700 HD channels.  I don’t think the U.S. has 700 channels alone, much less in HD.

A quick search for Interactive Media Magazine leads me to a site that basically says SatelliteDirect is a scam.  I haven’t fully studied that site or the site it directs to (No Bull TV on PC Reviews), so I’m not linking them here.  However, a quick search will get you there if you are curious, however tread lightly.  Like I said, I haven’t checked them out so I don’t know if they carry any malicious code.

A further search on SatelliteDirect shows some very disgruntled customers.

Yep, people have paid the approximately fifty dollars for the promise of free TV.  They aren’t happy with the returns, citing unresponsive customer service and broken promises.

Who would’ve thunk it.

Satellite TV is not to be had for a one time cost of fifty bucks.  There are plenty of free options to watch TV on the internet for free on top of that.  I, in fact, have a dear friend who has found the wonders of Chinese fed Internet TV.  Even if you don’t want to wade through pages of Chinese characters to watch your favorite TV shows, most are offered online by the networks that broadcast them or sites like Hulu.  There is usually a time delay, but hey, it’s free.

I’m still confused.  “Too good to be true” didn’t become a cliche because it wasn’t accurate.  I think the drive to get something for nothing has ended up costing many people a lot more than they were trying to save.  Especially if the scam ends up harvesting credit information for fraud or identity theft.

Update: The site for SatelliteDirect is registered to ETV Corp out of Miami, FL.  I’m curious if “Corp” is a protected term in Florida and if the company is an actual registered corporation.


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