Is The ‘Noobing’ Autosurf Beginning To Tank?

UPDATED 12:37 P.M. EST (U.S.A.) Members of an autosurf named “Noobing” are beginning to complain about “low” rates of return. Is the surf trying to horde cash?

Noobing members are complaining publicly about “bait and switch.” They were attracted to the program by suggestions of returns of up to 3 percent a day, but the returns now are generating a fraction of 1 percent.

Members also are miffed that Noobing introduced a “prize” program funded by members. The prizes are paid out of the same fund used to pay what Noobing calls “incentives” for “reviewing” other websites, which means even less money is available for paying “incentives.”

Noobing has the same problem as all autosurfs: It can’t control how members promote the company, which means it faces liability issues for excessive claims made by members. At the same time, it doesn’t really know if its “advertisers” are promoting legitimate businesses. One forum poster acknowledged in public that he didn’t have a business to advertise, so just threw up a page.

This triggered a sarcastic reprimand from a Noobing staffer.

“You joined an advertising network and didn’t have a site to advertise? Why?” the staffer blared. “Wanting to break even without sales from a website? Really? REALLY? Wow!”

The same Noobing staffer now is blaming the government for the surf’s need to reduce incentive payments. He also is asserting that Noobing learned from the ASD case that “it became clear that any system that is not SEC registered as an investment that returns more than 100% risks getting shut down and everyone loses everything.”

What he did not explain is why Noobing chose even to operate in the post-ASD environment. And he also didn’t explain why only surfs that advertised more than a 100 percent return would fall under the purview of the SEC or other regulatory bodies/investigative agencies.

Any advertised rate of return — even amounts below 100 percent — can trigger an investigation by federal and state regulators and law-enforcement agencies.

The issue in virtually all autosurf prosecutions to date has been the sale of unregistered securities and the Ponzi nature of such operations. Any firm that engages in the sale of securities is subject to policing by state and federal authorities. The argument that an investment program can be dressed up as an “advertising” program to skirt securities laws is well known by the government — and it’s a dog that won’t hunt.

Assertions by many autosurf purveyors that the government doesn’t understand the new technology of the Web and should be attacked for destroying small business and the entrepreneurial spirit are just plain absurd.

More ‘Surf’s Up’ Theater

As Noobing reports were circulating around the Web, for a brief time yesterday at least one member of AdGateWorld raised a similar concern about the surf’s ability to pay. The AdGateWorld concern was raised on the Surf’s Up Pro-ASD forum, and was quickly deleted.

The deletion at Surf’s Up was just one of many deletions. Threads — and even members — are routinely deleted for asking tough questions. The forum is accepting paid advertising for AdGateWorld. “Surf’s Up” is only shorthand for the site; its official name is the ASD Member Advocates forum, and it was given the stamp of approval by ASD itself on Nov. 27.

Surf’s Up also is associated with a surf named AdViewGlobal (AVG), which has management, members and promoters in common with ASD. Despite this, AVG has made the Clintonian assertion that it is not affiliated with ASD.

It all comes down to the meaning of the word “affiliated.”

We think a jury won’t be swayed by an argument that AVG and ASD aren’t affiliated. The chief executive officer of AVG, Gary Talbert, is a former ASD executive. Meantime, Chuck Osmin, who has served as a spokesman for AVG, was employed by ASD and testified on its behalf at a Sept. 30-Oct. 1 evidentiary hearing.

As it awaited a court ruling on Oct. 20, ASD disclaimed AdGateWorld — again by using a form of the word “affiliate” — but did not mention the surf by name.

“It has come to our attention that there is a new internet company out of Panama City, Panama that is similar to ASD,” the ASD Breaking News site said. “In their web page announcements they are using verbiage that is similar to ASD’s and even going so far as to mention names of people that you may know.

“Please be assured that this is not an ASD Company or Affiliate Company,” the Breaking News site said. The announcement was signed, “Thank You ASD Management Team.”

The issue at the time was that AdGateWorld had posted its Terms of Service. The acronym “ASD,” which stands for “AdSurfDaily,” was used in the AdGateWord terms.

On Nov. 6, still awaiting a court ruling, the ASD Breaking News site sought to bat down reports that ASD’s database had been sold.

“There have been rumors that suggest that our database has been sold. These rumors are unequivocally not true,” the Breaking News site said. “In fact the ASD corporate office has not had access to the database since the government seizure occurred on August 5, when the government shut down our offices.  The government itself is in possession of our database.”

The problem with the assertion, however, was that it conflicted with what ASD President Andy Bowdoin had said in a previous conference call. During the call, Bowdoin raised the issue of the database, suggesting that government tricksters had erased it.

But Bowdoin went on to tell listeners that ASD kept a copy of the database in a secret location. Why Bowdoin even raised the question of the database is unclear. But his words — and ASD’s subsequent actions on the Breaking News site — have the quality of preemption: planting a cover story in case tough questions get asked later.

In any event, we believe there is a high probability of trouble at AVG and AdGateWorld, and that this trouble will be due to what purveyors awkwardly are trying to sell as a sort of nonaffiliation affiliation with ASD.

See this previous post.

And this one.

We also believe it highly likely that the government and private lawyers know precisely what is going on with respect to the ties among the autosurf firms.

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5 Responses to “Is The ‘Noobing’ Autosurf Beginning To Tank?”

  1. for around a month the Mods allowed good and open threads about the leagality of the auto-surf. But when AVG opened up that was over. The mods and anybody who has a brain in there head know, that being involed with another auto-surf company is wrong, greedy and illegal. They can’t say “I didn’t know it was illegal” this time around,and I hope the goverment go after all of them one at a time. That will be the only way to stop this scam. Until the IRS calls it advdertising and not an investment,then count me out!!!

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  2. Hi Mark,

    It seems as if most of the rank-and-file ASD membership assigns Surf’s Up no credibility at all. But it also seems that ASD members who have seen the light return to Surf’s Up just so they can keep track of all of the absurdities.

    Some of these folks probably also are in Noobing, which is bailing water. The new surfs — AVG and AdGateWorld — also will be taking on water.

    The “I hate the government card” plays only to a limited audience. Most people don’t hate the government — they question it, but they don’t hate it.

    But another driving force in all of this is Madoff. The public is enraged by his actions, and now wants the government to nuke every Ponzi or possible Ponzi it becomes aware of.

    Sentiments at Surf’s Up couldn’t possibly be more at odds with where the public is on the issue of Ponzis, which demonstrates that the ardent ASD supporters are tone deaf.

    They also have a tin ear for politics — and are only serving to shine an even brighter light on ASD and other surfs.

    There are about four motivations left that explain Surf’s Up:

    1.) Pathology.
    2.) Greed.
    3.) Criminality.
    4.) All of the above or combinations of the above.

    Patrick

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  3. Patrick:

    I respectfully suggest your list is missing one key motivation: Laziness.

    A) I’ve never heard people shy away from and denigrate having a job the way they do on the Surf’s Up site. I’ve seen it spelled out as J.O.B. (apparently too horrible a word to speak out loud), and equated with “flipping hamburgers” (perhaps all they’re trained for, and their only prior employment). Getting an education and working for a living is totally anathema to many posters.

    B) The websites for these “surfs” are designed to appeal to people who think its possible to get rich without working. Getting paid for working l5 minutes a day (or less) is the key selling point, second only to guaranteed riches.

    (Although laziness is a first cousin to greed in the autosurf world, in the workplace we wouldn’t label a person “greedy” if he worked 3 jobs to earn enough to live his chosen lifestyle. )

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  4. Hi Marci,

    Yes, laziness could be a factor — and you’ve said nothing above that I’d disagree with.

    Patrick

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