How Exactly Noida Company Dupes INR 3700+ Crore ($550M) from 6.5 Lakh People?
Everyone wants to make as much money as they can. Many people go out of the way to ensure they make enough money. That’s fine as long as it is NOT illegal as well as unethical. Media have mentioned the “Like Scam” of the Noida Company, the quantum of the scam and the luxury life of the founder including the highlights on sunny leone (Lol Really?). But no media house has answered how it was the scam, what exactly was the fraud, why it is considered the scam. So I decided to write this piece. If you are a media house and interested in republishing this article, please reach out to me at [email protected].
I was aware of this company since last 2 months and advised some of the people in my network & Uber Drivers to not engage with this company. Yes, I generally engage Uber drivers in conversation on multiple topics and 3 of them have asked me about this. I told them that it is a pure scam & unethical. They should not do such business. Though it was a legal business.
Was it “Like” scam of “Click” Scam?
Media is completely wrong about the word Like here. It was a Click Scam. How was it a click Scam? Please continue reading to know more.
What exactly was the Scam?
Alice, a woman & Bob, gentlemen were two ordinary humans who wanted to make more & more money. They had some savings and wanted to use their savings to make more money. This is perfectly reasonable & is a very genuine way to grow your capital. Everyone should do that. Perfectly normal till this point. Then they met the Social Blaze, Noida company who scammed people.
Social Blaze informed the Alice that she needs to pay an amount between INR 5.5k to INR 55k into the company’s account and also provide one advertisement of anything they like to get the clicks on. In return, the company will give them a login portal (dashboard access) where they will see the other people & they will get INR 5/Click once they click on ads of other people (visible for 1 minute) on the dashboard. Using login ID & password Alice’s can have more parallel dashboard sessions (up to 10 initially) so that she can make more money. She will also be rewarded with more parallel sessions if she will add more people to the platform. (Incentive for referral, perfect for organic growth of the businesses)
Similarly, Social Blaze has taken money from Bob & given him the membership as it did with Alice (Login ID & Password). Now Bob is clicking on ads given by Alice+others & Alice is clicking on ads given by Bob+Others.
Here, neither Alice nor Bob was actually seeing anything on the screen; they were just waiting for the computer screen to be updated so that they can click again. Alice has in fact taken this to the next level, she hired 10 more people at INR 100/day and asked them to keep clicking on the ads as soon as it gets updated.
Hold on a sec dude, how it is a scam? This looks genuine? Well, the model looks attractive and comfortable as long as there is no upper limit on making money. But this is not how businesses are built.
For the sake of simplicity, I haven’t mentioned other features & restrictions based on a type of packages taken (Packages are from INR 5.5k to 55k ).
How was it the scam?
Well ask this question to yourself and answer it. Does this look genuine to you? Why not genuine? Read on.
First of all, the business was legal as per Indian law but it was completely unethical. That’s why it survived for 5 years. Dishonest because supply & demand of ads/clicks were created by paid members in-organically & no one was interested in looking at ads. Paid supply or demand is also ok in some context until the whole transaction is making any sense. Ads supposed to serve a purpose must have a Call-To-Action (like “Signup Now”, “Buy Now”, “Visit Now” etc.). If no one is interested in the CTA & just clicking to make money then it’s a fake click. Social Blaze was creating fake ads & asking people to give fake clicks in exchange for money.
Technically the company was taking money from one person and distributing the money to others in the name of ad clicks.
How exactly were they making money?
The model was designed in such a way that it didn’t make money initially but when hundreds of thousands of people will pay the money for membership, it will tweak the payout model or clicks allowed per day in such a way that it will make the money slow (but steady) for the people. In turn, making tons of money for the company. Don’t forget the FD’s interest the company is making even if they pay the entire money back to the junta.
Google Adsense has a very clear & highly strict policy around it. If Google found you clicking your own ads or clicking ads on your website they will suspend your account seize your money. Google is good. ?
What should we learn from this?
Businesses can be of four categories or group in this context:
- Legal & Ethical: Google, Facebook, TCS, Tata, All belongs to this group. Everyone must stick to such businesses.
- Legal & Unethical: A grey area where it’s hard to identify the right or wrong. Social Blaze belongs to this type.
- Illegal & Ethical: Again a grey area, examples include Robinhood, Batman, Pablo Escobar, all belongs to this space. Stay away from this type. Don’t be a superhero. Lol.
- Illegal & Unethical: Robbers & criminals belong to this space. Strictly stay away from this type also.
Due to dynamic & fast-evolving Internet space, there are tons of business model which are legal but unethical. Be careful when you engage with such businesses.
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