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April 28, 2009: Truth in Advertising

So I was poking around on my Facebook account today, and an ad along the righthand side of the page caught my eye, as the graphic accompanying it was, shall we say, GRAPHIC!

In fact, it really looked like Roger Clemens and Derek Jeter in a really compromising, or at least suggestive, position.

This was suspicious for a couple of reasons, including the fact that it looks a lot like a Photoshop manipulation job, and not the least of which being that the ad is supposed to be attracting those that “LOVE THE YANKEES?”

You’d think a photo of A-rod hitting a home run, or Jeter making the jump pass, would be what they’d choose, no?

I clicked the ad, wondering just what kind of “survey question” an image like that was supposed to lead to.

Of course, where did I land, but at what is patently a scammer’s “blog” page:

I was amused to look at the “bio” of the person whose page it supposedly was, to read the following:

“Originally from the Somerville, MA area” it says. Of course my Facebook profile locates me in the Boston area. And if you look at the chatter that was going on at the time the ad came up on my wall, you’ll see my Red Sox loving friends are trash talking the Yankees:

In other words, this ad isn’t aimed at people who LOVE THE YANKEES? at all — it’s aimed at people in the Boston area who are supposed to hate the Yankees.

I looked up some info about these “Google Cash Kit” scams. Yes, they are scams, and one of the hallmarks of them is that whoever’s “blog” you get sent to always changes where it says the guy is from so it makes it look like he’s a regular guy who lives Right In Your Neighborhood! And nothing says “we’re practically brothers!” like “We all hate the Yankees here in the Boston Area!”

But, we don’t. I’d say about 10% of the baseball fans here are “out” about being Yankees fans. And maybe up to 25% (not born here) are Yankees fans, but won’t show it because they don’t want to risk harassment and bodily harm.

Still, it’s amusing that this is actually being used as a ploy to make their scam more convincing. I don’t know why Facebook allows this kind of trashy scamming in the first place, much less with images that are clearly meant to imply the whole “Yankees Suck (Jeter Swallows)” ethos, to quote a T-shirt I saw once outside Fenway Park.

Perhaps I’ll drop Facebook a line about it.

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