There is no shortage of online marketers looking for opportunities to capitalize on their potential clients.
But what about the ones that aren’t?
How can they know when someone is lying?
The new report, published on Monday by the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, aims to help the public and policymakers better understand how online marketers are able to sell themselves to consumers.
“Online marketers are often more interested in convincing the consumer than in delivering a quality product,” says Matthew Dalton, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg School of Management who co-authored the report.
“A few years ago, it would have been impossible to tell who was a scam and who was just trying to get attention,” Dalton says.
“Now, there are so many ways to get that attention, and it’s easy to see who is a scam.”‘
Scams are everywhere’In a report published in May, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that a large number of online marketing firms are actively encouraging fraud through their marketing tactics, including “tweeting,” which is a tactic where a social media account uses the same account to promote itself, often by using a hashtag or other type of marketing.
“The fact that so many people are falling for scams is a problem,” Dalton said.
“There are scammers everywhere, from the old-fashioned con artist who takes advantage of people’s vulnerabilities to the new generation of online fraudsters who are more sophisticated and have a lot more money to spend.”
Dalton points out that in many cases, the fraudsters’ attempts to trick consumers is quite simple.
They simply post a link to a fake product or service that is not really what they are offering, like a product that doesn’t even exist.
“They use the same tactics for all of their marketing campaigns, and when consumers see these, they often think that they are getting a legit product,” Dalton explains.
“Scams work on many levels,” Dalton added.
“There are people out there who have been duped by a scam that they believe to be real, and they are also victims of the same fraudster who made a false claim.”
He believes that fraudsters often target people who are in the middle of a long-term relationship with a brand, and this allows them to sell the illusion of a relationship that is actually based on a fake.
“It’s a great opportunity to convince the consumer that they want a particular product or services that they have been looking for, but they don’t,” Dalton explained.
“It’s also an opportunity to create an illusion of intimacy between you and the brand.”
One of the most popular ways that fraudster use social media to try to get a response from a consumer is through their own social media accounts.””
And that creates an opportunity for them to make false claims about how much money you are spending on that product or the services.”
One of the most popular ways that fraudster use social media to try to get a response from a consumer is through their own social media accounts.
“People are very aware that they can be spammed by spam,” Dalton adds.
“But people also realize that if they post a message that looks like they are going to get some kind of response from you, it will be more likely to be true.”
The FTC also found that scams on Twitter have been a growing trend.
“Twitter has been known for being a place where fraudsters are able, by the simple expedient of sharing their personal information, to gain access to millions of consumers’ social media,” Dalton concluded.
“As social media becomes more sophisticated, the use of fake profiles to try and convince consumers of fraudulent products and services will increase, especially with the growth of bots on Twitter.”
The report also provides some insight into how marketers have responded to the rise of the fake-marketing market.
“We’ve seen an increase in the use and adoption of automated tools to generate online marketing campaigns,” Dalton told Al Jazeera.
“This is an interesting time for online marketers because it is often the case that the consumer has no way of verifying whether or not their online sales are legitimate,” Dalton noted.
“For example, we saw a recent example of this in the case of a woman who had a medical condition that was caused by her chronic insomnia, which caused her to sleep for a long time, and she would not sleep during the day.”
In response to this, she began posting to Facebook and Twitter about her illness.
However, the only thing that was posted was a series of images of a white coat, with the caption ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a white suit, I’m sick.'””
A lot of times, the marketing campaign has the intention of getting a response, but it’s actually the marketing agent’s job to try get people to think that this is a legitimate response and that it was really a response they would get,” Dalton concludes.”
Unfortunately, this is not always the case