I wondered for a moment if I’d been signed up to some sort of political taskforce when I opened up the spamtraps, but as it turns out spammers are just jumping on the Donald Trump bandwagon with the following missive:
Claiming to be from “D. Trump”, the mail is titled “$ Trump reveals groundbreaking secrets to triple your income fast $” and reads as follows:
Click here - Trump reveals groundbreaking secrets to triple incomes fast Stop working for someone else's dreams! Stop building someone else's empire and become your own boss. Learn about legitimate opportunities. Enjoy the benefits of working at home and become financially independent.
Wow! That does sound good, even if I’m reading it the whole time thinking that if Donald Trump is supposed to have sent this then he’s referring to himself in the third person which is faintly distracting.
The email leads to
Imagine my surprise when, instead of seeing a fast track route to wealth beyond my wildest dreams, I see this:
HD movies survey Congratulations! You've been personally selected to take part in our 2016 HD Movies survey! Answer our short questionnaire and to say "Thank you" you'll receive a chance to get a free Blockless account
After clicking through some hugely generic questions about your age and what kind of things you watch online you’re told that they’ve “reserved one free account just for you” on Blockless (a VPN service), and the offer is only available today. If you hit the “Claim now” button, you can get the “today only” price of $0 instead of $49.95.
Clicking the button sends us to the Blockless website:
Thing is…they offer a free week’s trial to visitors regardless of whether you arrive via the ludicrous Trump megabucks spam or not. Essentially, the email and and questionnaire are entirely redundant – if you want to try their VPN service, you can do it anyway. It would be fair to say that the “Today only” price of zero on the advert page is more like “Everyday” if you go down the front-page offered free trial route.
The movie survey page doesn’t ask for any personally identifiable information, so the spammer behind the email / movie landing page aren’t harvesting anything before sending you to the entirely unrelated VPN site. It’s possible the spam affiliate money is being made through pure clicks instead. It’s also possible that the initial email spam link would send you to entirely different offers and adverts depending on region, but the link stopped working for us shortly after beginning testing so we can’t say for certain.
One thing is for certain – you won’t make any cash from this one, and if you like whatever product or service you see at the end of the daisy chain and decide to stick with it, you’ll technically have less money than when you started.
I’m not sure that’s the kind of dream you may have had in mind when first setting eyes on the spam mail…