I’ve been having this strange thought recently…What if websites with pay-per-click advertising were committing fraud? Bear with me for a minute. What if Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google were all paying someone far away overseas and under-the-table to scroll through pages and click on every sponsored link? Illegal? I’m not a lawyer but I’m pretty sure the sole transgression would be misleading shareholders. Of course, I am not, in any way, insinuating that these companies are manipulating their revenues. However, mulling it around in my head for a while, I am realizing that this task could be done in a relatively simple fashion. For example, get a room of ten or so people in a remote location and have them sit at computers, with rerouted or hidden I.P.s, clicking on links for an hourly rate. The amount of revenue generated by the clicks would be significantly higher than costs and, if permitted by executives, could go undetected for a long time. Once again, I am not saying that anyone is doing this…but it’s very possible.
Doing a quick Google search, I found that this is already a reality for some entities.