According to the SEC, “Auto-surfing” is a form of online advertising that purportedly generates advertising revenue for companies that want to increase traffic to their websites. The idea behind auto-surfing is that companies that advertise on the Internet are willing to pay to increase traffic to their web sites.
These companies hire an auto-surf firm or “host,” which in turn pays individual web surfers to view certain websites on an automatically rotating basis. The more sites the individual visits, the more money he or she stands to earn.
While auto-surfing may sound risk-free some auto-surf programs require their surfers to pay to participate, although perhaps not initially. When you first sign up to auto-surf, the firm might assign a limited number of sites for you to visit and pay you accordingly.
Once you’ve made a modest amount of money, the firm might encourage ask you to purchase a “membership” so that you can maximize your earnings. The program will promise high returns on your investment in the program, often within days or weeks of joining.
Unfortunately any scheme that requires you to pay to participate and offers “free money” with no effort on your part is very similar to a “Ponzi” or pyramid scheme. Eventually the pyramid will collapse when it gets too big.
4 Tips to protect yourself from “Auto-Surfing” scams:
- Compare promised yields with current returns on well-known stock indexes.
- Research the company before you invest. The SEC recommends you contact the secretary of state where the company is incorporated to find out whether the company is a corporation in good standing. Also call your state securities regulator to see whether the company, its officers, or the promoters of the opportunity have a history of complaints or fraud.
- Beware of promotional material and “Testimonials”.
- Question the promise of “Guaranteed Returns”. Every investment carries some degree of risk, and the level of risk typically correlates with the return you can expect to receive. Low risk generally means low yields, and high yields typically involve high risk. Most scammers spend a lot of time trying to convince investors that extremely high returns are “guaranteed” or “can’t miss.”
The foregoing information is being provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida. For more information on the firm and it’s representation of investors, visit http://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.
For more information http://sec.gov.
For a free consultation with a securities attorney, please call the firm at 1-888-637-5510.
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