Week 13

What are they selling?

My dad received a phone call that he purchased a loan from a website called payday-loan-yes.com.   The caller claimed that he owed him $500 and will be under litigation if he does not make the payment.  Typically, loan sharks notify several days before a payment is due.  Even if my dad did apply for a loan, he should have been notified for any impending payment.

What is their reputation?

According to a forum in consumeraffairs, 153 complaints were filed that this predatory company was a scam that tried to scare people into paying them loans.  One person complained that the interest they charge for a loan is ridiculous, essentially expecting that they would not get repaid. Additionally, there were other complaints that they were trying to target more middle class families or poorer families that were not expected to repay the loan.  The fact that many people are getting harassed by these phone calls speaks volumes of how untrustworthy this predatory loan company is.

Can I verify?

I can verify that this company is a scam and a phony after typing in the URL.  After I typed it in, GoDaddy.com showed that there no domains by that name.  As a result, this whole website is merely a loose organization of anonymous individuals trying to scare people into sending them money.  Additionally, this company is not accredited by important business and consumer interaction websites such as consumeraffairs and BBB Business Review. 

 

 

 

Who’s behind it?

According to the BBB Business Review website, the supposed collection agency is based in Chicago.  Their phone number was provided and once I called them, the call got redirected a couple times to other numbers around the area.  As a result, the anonymity of the agency and their effort to not get discovered demonstrates their need to hide and avoid charges of fraud.

Who’s paying?

According to some complaints, there were people who felt urged to pay this company or buy into the scam out of fear.  Thus, only victims seem to be funding for this organization.

Who are the people?

As mentioned above, the people are likely a loosely based fraudulent collection agency based in Chicago who target low-to-middle-class income families to gather funds and claim to charge ludicrous amounts of interest rates.  The fact that not enough is known about this company already indicates that what they are doing is shady and duplicitous.

 

Week 13

I frequently come across ads on facebook posted by my very own friends from a website called “onlinestore-rbglasses.com”. This website claims to sell authentic Ray Bans at a huge discounted price, even as low as $25! I immediately think that it’s shady because of the cryptic captions written alongside the horribly photoshopped ads. The website itself was put together a lot better than I expected, but it was still amateurish and unprofessional. I investigated further and found that there wasn’t a larger company that owned this website; onlinestore-rbglasses.com is privately owned. I tried googling reviews for the website, but I couldn’t find much on it. However, there were reviews of similar websites with the same Ray Bans scam. However, just by observing it from its ads and its audacity to hack into my friends’ facebook book profiles in order to promote themselves, this website certainly does not feel trustworthy. It’s visual representation is questionable and doesn’t even provide contact information.

Discussion Questions

The questionable ad I found was for a free cruise.

Here’s the link-

http://www.top-cruise-deals.com/?gclid=CjwKEAjwu72pBRC9hsn2-e34vRUSJACnSYsTADRVnZbwBsGgJKTuE2sR0U-V7i1vh-X912vYrD4OGRoCgHbw_wcB

What are they selling? They are selling cruises. They use tag words like “free cruises” to lure people on their site.

What’s their reputation? The company that runs this site is Booking Buddy. Their reputation depends on where people were going. For instance, some people reported staying in ugly places, while others loved their experiences.

Can I verify? You can.

Who’s behind it? Booking Buddy

Who’s paying? You are, if you’re going on vacation.

Who are the people? Older people.

The questionable part of this wasn’t the business itself, but how they lure people on to their site. Saying things like “free cruises” is misleading. It undermines what their company software is really for- finding affordable vacations.

Week 13

The questionable information I found is something actually that I was scammed into. The site is flower delivery express.

http://www.flowerdeliveryexpress.com/

What are they selling? They are trying to sell you quick, fast flower delivery to anywhere with bogus coupons and discounts.

What’s their reputation? Their reputation is terrible. I went on yelp.com and looked at reviews for the website and they have bad reviews written all over them.

Can I verify? I actually did verify it since I tried the service. The service was terrible and I wasted my time and money on it for a gift that was never delivered.

Who’s behind it? A company in Detroit that has outsourced it’s customer service employees overseas.

Who’s paying? I’m paying and I wasted my money. I’m assuming they are getting paid by people to have ads right on Google since it was one of the first results I received when I searched.

Who are the people? The people are people that know what they are doing in corporate but have no idea what they are doing with their outsourced employees that are overseas.

 

Week 13 Discussion

http://tulane.spoonuniversity.com/2015/03/31/nutella-to-be-discontinued-by-the-end-of-2015-hearts-break-worldwide/

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I came across an article from Spoon University that a Facebook friend put on another sister’s wall. The article was entitled “Nutella To Be Discontinued By The End of 2015, Hearts Break Worldwide.” This was questionable to me because I know Nutella is a very popular food item in the United States and in Europe. I clicked on the article and read the whole thing and then realized that it was an April Fools joke, as it was originally posted on April 1st. However, even if it did not have the “April Fools” disclaimer as the bottom, I could still find out the truthfulness of the article by answering the questions in Chapter 7 of UnSpun.

What are they selling? I do not think they are trying to sell anything specifically. At the bottom of the article, there are links to Nutella Recipes from Spoon University, so maybe that was a good opportunity to promote their own website content.

What’s their reputation? I think Spoon University has a good reputation. It is basically a bunch of college students that contribute to their college’s Spoon University page, which is about food.

Can I verify? I absolutely could attempt to verify this information. If I did not see the “April Fools” at the bottom of the article, I would have went to Nutella’s website and would have searched for more news stories involving Nutella and would have found out it was false.

Who’s behind it? The company is made up of about 25 main writers and 3000 student contributors.

Who’s paying? They do have a section at the bottom of their website where companies can advertise, sponsor, and partner with Spoon University.

Who are the people? The people are the cofounders, main writers, editors, director, a video and business person, and the 3000 student contributors.

taylorallen

Week 13

Find online information that seems to be questionable. Using the questions from chapter 7 starting on p. 144, answer the questions based on the information and describe your findings.

The online information that I found questionable was the new trend called ‘BooTea’ Using the questions starting on p. 144 as a guideline the first step is to find what is actually being sold. BooTea is an all natural product that is supposed to help an individual get back on track when trying to lose weight. This is done by drinking a morning tea, and then another formula at night. Reputation wise, the company is very smart with their marketing so they have many followers. When you first visit the page, one of the first things one can see is a link to the company’s Instagram page. The most difficult question to answer was verifying the information on BooTea’s website there is a link called ‘About BooTea’ This gives a short explanation on what is in the tea. Never in this section does it explain how the ingredients in either the morning or night to work to help you lose weight. Once at the bottom of the page it states that to learn more on how the tea works to go to FAQ. when one goes to FAQ the first question is ‘how does it work?’ there is then a link to go back to ‘About BooTea’ This clearly shows that verifying to usefulness of the product is difficult. The individuals behind BooTea are UK based as stated online. This also causes conflict since certain regulations do not transfer over from other countries. The website states in very small font that it is hosted by Shopify. This brings into question who exactly is behind it, but it does give an idea of who is paying.Also, it is important to note that it never specifies a name of who created BooTea, only simply saying the general area that is from. Using the questions in Chapter 7 only really analyze this product at face value. Lance Smith discusses in his article “The Conspiracy Theory Conspiracy” that there can be multiple levels of meaning in various forms of speech. ( p.108) Without even considering the fact that the website BooTea could have underlying meanings to their statements, the product still does not seem very trustworthy. Chapter 7 gives numerous websites such as cdc.gov, opensecrets.gov, or kff.org to help check facts that may be distributed on the web. Using sights such as these would make a huge impact on trusting websites, products or companies on the web.

Week 13

I recently read an article titled “Hillary 2016″. While this makes sense considering Hillary Clinton’s recent election announcement, this article mentioned a different Hillary. Hillary Duff to be exact. While I’m aware that this is obviously satire, the article was shared throughout social media and it eventually spread like wildfire. Most people had a good laugh, however I did notice some comments and concerns by users stating their disbelief. Anyone who follows the news of any sort knows that there’s no way this can be true. Hilary Clinton has been on the presidential track since she became secretary of state. This is something she was born to do and has been preparing all her life. Hilary Duff on the other hand is making her musical comeback and there’s just no way she’ll have time to be the leader of the free world while also touring the world.

It’s really easy to believe everything you read on the internet and with the amount of information being put out there with no credible sources or research, it can be difficult to understand what’s true and what isn’t. This is why it’s crucial to always double and even triple check all the information you take in. If I didn’t know this was satire, I’d be highly disappointed to learn that my teenage idol isn’t really running for president.

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