Saturday, December 20, 2008

HomePages Friends scam

A few months ago, I signed up at HomePages Friends (, which says it will pay you for "searching in your normal way".

If you go to its website, you will find the following: "HomePages Friends gives you, free of charge, an Ask internet search box from which we generate advertising income which we split 50:50 with our partners. This service is 100% branded and promoted under our partner's name and the HomePages Friends involvement remains invisible. You use the search box just as normal and get precisely the same results."

After clicking for a while, I checked my earnings – and found that I had made more than £2. Great! Searching on my HomePages Friends "homepage" seemed like an excellent way to make a little extra money. In fact, I was so impressed by the service, I put several of the outfit's banners on two of my websites.

Then, out of the blue, I received the following email yesterday:

Disallowed searches

Dear Customer,

ID. 180282 - Alan Ireland

As part of our ongoing review of search traffic through our service it is apparent that your search activity is in breach of our terms and conditions or those of our partners at Yahoo! Search Marketing.

We are receiving from you a type of traffic of which the quality is less than that which we determine, in our absolute discretion, to be acceptable.

If this situation continues we will be obliged to terminate the service.

Review Department

I immediately clicked "Reply", and sent off the following message:

Dear HomePages Friends Review Dept.

I am an editor at a daily newspaper in New Zealand. I have been searching from my office computer to verify information in submitted articles. If these searches are not to your liking, I suggest you go ahead and cancel my account. I will not, in any event, use your service again.

Alan Ireland
ID 180282

Within seconds, my email bounced back. I then tried emailing (the email address on the website) and In both instances, the result was the same.

I also did a (Google!) search for "HomePages Friends scam", and got some interesting results. If you, too, have been taken in by HomePages Friends, you might like to do the same thing.


Anonymous said...

very crazy how new zealand's economy differs from ours. very good blog! FinanceTrail

leo said...

yes, I do agree with you. It owes my earning 35 pounds. totally a waste time there.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Homepages friends is a SCAM

Anonymous said...

Maybe they need this: