Monday, February 02, 2009

Swoopo is most probably a scam

So if you read Techcrunch via feed reader you will be noticing several ads for Swoopo. The auctions where for all sorts of devices at ridiculously low prices... Too low.

For instance check to following auction:

Not terribly interesting, but does make you wonder how they can give away $1000. I decided to watch the auction for a bit, as well I wanted to see the winner, and the mechanics; plus the auction was almost over anyway. Well the timer kept looping and I decided to read the fine print, circled in red. The final timer(?) starts when the auction gets to 20 dollars. I don't know what the auction started at, but if every bid raises the price $.01 and costs $.75 each the auction will raise about $150k to go from $.01 to $20. What makes it dastardly is they create the urgency with the looping timer that flashes auction ends soon, and no one has any chance of winning until the minimum threshold is met. Also they make it look a comparative deal as the auction previously went for $141.86.

While I do believe there is a sucker born every second, I just cannot believe that there are as many suckers as I watched bid on this auction in the 10 minutes I watched it. I would offer that Matthias Voigt likely gaming the system to induce micro-fraud. I assume that as you can pay with Paypal, the frictionless payment system the world over this gets more than a few hits a day.

Hope Techcrunch takes steps to stop promoting what looks like a full on scam.

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