Sat Jun 21, 2008 15:31
File sharing scam sites are sites that try to trick visitors into buying or paying for free file sharing software. Some even offer so-called file sharing subscriptions, charging a user up to $60 every month to use free file sharing software. You can find a list of file sharing scam sites in the guide Google Adsense File Sharing Scam Sites. Keep reading for more information on file sharing scam sites.
Most of the file sharing scam sites can easily be recognized, however some will go as far as registering domains similar to real file sharing sites and copying their site design. There are three types of file sharing scam sites.
Basic File Sharing Scam Sites
These sites will have a domain address that immediately attracts the attention of unwary visitors. Examples of words that may be present in the domain are: free music, mp3 download, music access, movie downloads, music sharing etc. These sites may have a high ranking on search engines since their domains carry frequently used keywords.
However, owners of these sites will go even further and buy ad spaces on sites and search engines; hence insuring a good placement and exposure to users. A popular advertiser for these sites is in fact Google Adsense. Google Adsense shows advertisement relevant to the page content, meaning file sharing scam sites will be advertised on trusted file sharing sites. This technique has led to much confusion in the past regarding the stance of some websites towards file sharing scam sites.
Average File Sharing Scam Sites
In order to increase their profits (and subsequently the number of victims); file sharing scam sites have turned to a more specific method of scamming. They will try to use the reputation of trusted file sharing sites against them. They simply register domains similar to that of a real file sharing site, in the hopes of catching visitors off guard. This includes registering similar domains but with common erroneous spellings.
A file sharing scam site may register a domain with the same name, but with a different TLD (TLD being the last part of a domain: .com, .net, .be, etc.). Other techniques are registering the same domain TLD and nearly the same name, for example: only one letter L instead of the normal two. Usually these file sharing scam sites tend to copy the layout, design and graphics of the real file sharing site. This way it hopes it will make users believe their beloved site now requires a "file sharing subscription".
Advanced File Sharing Scam Sites
The most advanced file sharing sites will be more careful about exposing their true nature. In general, more time will have been put into making the website. They will present the visitor with different real file sharing programs; provide some information about them and a download link. At first glance everything will seem alright, they might even comment on various file sharing programs, advising you which one to use.
However, the real problems arises when you actually download a file from their site. There are a vast number of problems that you can run in to. The file you downloaded may be the real file sharing program wrapped up in a custom installer that also installs malware, spyware and adware in the background. The file could also simply present you with instructions on how to obtain the real software; obviously requiring you to pay a certain fee, either by phone, mobile or credit card. During this process you may be redirected to a hidden section of the site where you can pay online.
A new and inexperienced user can easily fall victim to a file sharing scam site. Not much is being done to shut down these sites, or educate people for that matter. There have been a few legal steps in the right direction. However, quite ironically, in practice it turns out officials are more worried about people that find their way to real file sharing software. File sharing scam sites that have the courage to defend themselves state they offer "file sharing support" (as in help) and not "file sharing services", a minor technicality that is virtually non-existent when viewing their website.
Hopefully you found this guide useful and came across it before ending up with "file sharing subscription".
Here is the list of known file sharing scam sites advertised through Google Adsense