Health insurance companies using social games to fake grass-roots support


TrialPay and Offerpal are not exactly known for being completely legitimate with their offers. Zynga got slapped with a lawsuit over these scam offers that charge users without their knowledge. It seems, though, that the scam offers want more than just your money. They want your (fake) political support.

Drumming up a fake grassroots campaign by paying people is known as astroturfing in political circles. It's not illegal, although it's debatably ethical. An organization known as Get Health Reform Right has taken this astroturfing practice to the next level by offering free virtual currency through the offer services. It seems innocent enough at first. You just have to take a survey. However, upon completing the survey, the site automatically sends a letter to your congressional representative opposing the new health care bill.

"I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have."

If this is your political viewpoint, you may as well take advantage of this offer to get some free virtual currency. If not, avoid it like the plague. Also watch for astroturfing offers in the future, as they will undoubtedly be springing up over time.

[via Silicon Alley Insider]

Originally published