Understanding the Scam behind “Read News, Click Adverts and Get Paid” Websites

There is a website that has been trending for some months now. It is called ATPAYS (ACTIVITIES THAT PAYS). The website’s address is www.news4results.xyz
They promise mouthwatering offers of money when you read posts, visit the website daily, click on adverts, refer a friend etc. Websites like these have been popping up on the internet for the past 4 years.

Back in 2018, Nigeria News Update (NNU) was the “bomb” in Nigeria. They recorded over 500k users in less than one year.
At one time they took the number 5 spot on Alexa’s ranking as one of the most visited websites in Nigeria.
They promised that when you read a news item, you get 100 naira, login, you get 50 naira per day, share a sponsored post, you get 100 naira, contribute an article, you get 200 naira, etc. Just pay a one-off fee of 1, 700 naira.
If you convert the traffic of the above listed activities to money (based on advert clicks and page views) you won’t generate up to 20 cents. 20 cents at that time was about 72 naira.

Let me talk about the internet for a while.
The internet is the most advanced market place in the World. There is no universal currency to buy and sell on the internet.
Currencies range from physical to electronic monies, cryptocurrencies and even to “your data”. The data I am talking about here are your contact details, search history, browser history, social media friends, personal conversations, etc.
Whenever you are online surfing a website you are doing either of two things;
1. Creating Content (selling)
2. Consuming Content (buying)

Now, review these questions. I’ll answer them just to give you clarity;
1. Between one and two, who has the potential of making money if at all?
Answer: one (with a lot of hard work and consistency)

2. Between one and two, who has the highest population?
Answer: two

3. Does a consumer of food make money from eating?
If no, how do you now expect to make money off the content that someone else created just by reading it?
If content writers decide to pay all the people reading their content, where will they make money from to pay themselves?

Now let’s look at one of the power houses in the advertising business, Facebook.

Facebook generated a net profit of 18.5 billion dollars in 2019.
Now, imagine they decide to ignore all their shareholders (if they want trouble) and share that money with all their 2 Billion active users. It means every user will get approximately 9 dollars. That’s about 3,780 naira a year. This means every user gets 10 naira 36 kobo per day for using Facebook at the detriment of the shareholders. Isn’t that ridiculous?

Now, someone tells you that you can make up to 30,000 naira in less than one month by reading news and clicking adverts and you quickly subscribe to it. Probably, because they promised that registration is free or you just pay a one-off fee of 1,700 naira. They also forcefully or subtly manipulate you to refer people by sending them referral links and making short videos to convince them to come onboard.

If a multi-billion dollar company like Facebook can only afford to give you 3,780 naira in a year why haven’t the owners of those “Read news and get paid” websites appear on Forbes list of billionaires?
Those guys with all the noise and hype can’t even generate up to a million dollars from adverts in a month.

Back then, NNU will charge an organization 100 thousand naira for advert and instruct it’s users to share the advert on their Facebook wall to make 100 naira each.
In less than 24 hours over 40k NNU users can share that advert and get an increment of 100 naira on their NNU profiles.

40k times 100 naira is 4,000,000 naira.
So, when I pay NNU 100k to tell you to post my advert, NNU will have to raise 3.9M from Oblivion to pay the rest of you right?
Wow!!! 😊😊

They will promise that when you click/view adverts, probably read and share news and reach an income of 30,000 naira you’ll get paid.

The truth is that some of the people running these “read news and get and paid” schemes have no idea of the financial viability of online advertisement, clicks and impressions or they are just outright scammers. Most times they are the latter.

Now, they pay a few users in the beginning, those people convince you and you convince others to join, ad infinitum. So, while you guys are clicking/viewing/sharing adverts, reading news and generating some outrageous amount on your profiles, those guys are making some small bucks (from organisations and advert networks) less than what they promised you.
Having all those small bucks to themselves is actually big money though. It’s not as if the websites will live long enough for you to get paid that mouthwatering amount you’ve been promised.

In a nutshell, while you guys are busy reading and sharing news, clicking adverts, and generating some fake money on your profiles (money that you’ll never get), those guys are leveraging your activities to generate advert revenue for themselves.

Of cause they’ll, shut down the website or just abandon it when people start complaining of delayed payouts. As of May 28th 2020, NNU’s Alexa Rank in Nigeria was 108,996 compared to number 4 in 2018. That is to tell you that people no longer visit the website unlike before.

Also note that, during the operation of these websites, they will definitely archive your contact details and passwords and probably sell them to marketers and fraudsters, as most people use the same passwords on multiple accounts.

The simple statement;
“There is no harm in trying” is the reason cyber criminals are still thriving.

Please stay woke!!!


Jovworie Tanshi

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