How is Internet Advertising Group (IAG Interactive) Still in Business?


It’s almost like an Internet advertising legend of sorts. There’s this story of this company out of Florida, called IAG Interactive that seems to go by a dozen or so different names. They are accused of scamming network out of network over and over again by providing fake or duplicated leads for EDU (Education) companies and then suing people when they don’t pay for the scams. When you hear the story the first time, or see a mention of it on Facebook or some forum, you have to think that the stories must be completely false, as they seem to weird to be true. How is this company still in business, if its true?

Dozens of network owners claim that they have been taken for thousand of dollars in EDU leads by this company that, if you are to believe the stories. Internet Advertising Group, known simply by IAG Interactive  is owned by Michael E Weisoff, who is considered the mastermind behind the group of companies. If you run his name on Google, there are stories that describe the purported scam.

Whether or not the stories are true, is up to the reader to decide. There is enough information on the net to do your own research on them and the businesses they go under. However, the real question is how does this company continue to do business, if they are indeed this huge underground fraud ring, as some claim?

I think there are two main reasons for this, and the reasons question the very basis of some of the CPA networks and companies in our industry.

The first reason is simple: Some people just don’t have any fraud protection out there and accept anyone as an affiliate.  Without having a fraud protection system on their network, there is basically nothing they can do proactively to prevent fraud. Fraud will continue to happen on their network, and they have basically accepted it as part of the business.  Brian McLevis, of ScrubKit told me that they catch EDU fraud on a regular basis of this type. “Education fraud is a common occurrence in the industry,” said McLevis. ” Thankfully if you have a robust fraud management system like ScrubKit this type of fraud is easily detected.”

Read that part again, it’s EASILY detected.

The second reason is probably more nefarious and is ignored way too much by the industry. There are dozens of networks on the fringe of the industry that don’t care about fraud and actively accept fraud into their network. We’re not talking about those networks that allow their affiliates to spam Facebook, or scam people out on Cragislist, but instead networks those actively seek and work with scammers to defraud other networks.

These networks must know they are working with EDU scammers and they must know that they have affiliates that are driving fraudulent leads and they just don’t care. Advertisers wouldn’t work with them, right?  In most cases would be correct, but that’s where the problem becomes worse.

These networks often work with other networks, what I would call second tier networks that aren’t actively accepting fraud, but are the networks that don’t have any fraud protection. These guys take in these other small networks, that are active fraudsters, and since they are often mixing the leads with good leads, the bad stuff goes under the radar of the advertiser. In fact, they are often also brokering from a larger network, and when mixed and brokered three times, sometimes the bad leads account for less than 1% and are never noticed.

I can run offer searches on OfferInspector for several well-known fraud networks, and continually find the offers being brokered from other networks. These are networks that everyone has said is heavily involved in fraud (check out these reviews) and has been terminated from every network. Still, how do they get the offers?

We must start being honest here about what is going on in the industry and how some companies are enabling fraud to continue to exist. There is no other way that companies that are involved with fraud, that are known to push fraud would continue to do business when there are more than a few groups that expose these scams and everyone knows everyone else in our industry. There is no reason whatsoever any company that is actively engaged in fraud should still be doing business. If it is still doing business, it’s because there are still people who pretend to be our friends, our colleagues that are still working with them and helping them to continue to hurt your company, your business and your affiliates.

What's your opinion?