Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Scam alert

16 Apr 2024

Just a reminder... there are no free lunches, not even on the internet.

While watching a YouTube video this morning my viewing was interrupted by an ad promoting a streaming TV service that, it was claimed, gave you access to Disney+, HBO, Netflix, Hulu and all the other subscription-based services for free.

Apparently, according to the AI-generated voice, the maker of this device has purchased access to all those services for you and you can have a lifetime of free access for just the purchase price of the device which is a mere NZ$87.71

Sounds legit eh?

I mean, it must be real, it was advertised on YouTube via Google Ads!

I'm sorry but this is just another example of YouTube and Google's hypocrisy.

Those of us who create content for YouTube know all-too-well that the company will heavily penalize anyone who they even think may be involved in "deceptive practices" -- to the extent that entire channels have been deleted on nothing more than allegations without proof.

They claim that this is to ensure the platform remains safe and "trustworthy".

Yet, here they are, allowing scammers to flog this device with ridiculous claims made in the accompanying video ad. I note that the website is fare more careful than the video advertisement when it comes to the claims being made about free access to major streaming platforms.

Now YT/Google can't claim ignorance on this one because the scam has been running for quite some time now and has been repeatedly reported. I found this video showing the scam being exposed when operated under the "LEFUN" branding:

The bottom line is that this is simply an Android-based streaming box that allows you to cast your phone or other device onto any HDMI-capable display device. It's no different to Google's Chromecast/TV offerings and does not give any special free access to Netflix or any other subscription-based service.

No doubt the ad will have already been reported countless times to YouTube but, based on previous experience, they'll just keep running it until the advertiser exhausts their balance. After all, money trumps "trustworthy" every time in the land of corporate America.

What a train wreck YouTube remains.

Carpe Diem folks!

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