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Ken

Gumtree is defrauding advertisers

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A week ago I noticed something funny happening when using Gumtree, when I click on a Gumtree listing it was as if I was clicking on third-party adverts (like Google ads) to external websites. Twice I noticed I went to Pick n Pay's Fathers Day landing page and another a ad-infested viral site when I wanted to view a Gumtree listing.

I thought I had perhaps not waited for the page to load properly and accidentally clicked on an advert, after all Gumtree is plastered with adverts on the top, bottom and sides of page.  But it was happening too often, I wrote to them and they asked for the ads URL which I did not save, all I remembered that there was "taboola" (an advertising company) in the URL.

As I was using Gumtree I became more and more conscious as what was happening, tonight I clicked on an home page listing for an car. And it opened some Section 12J investment company in a new page. Hmmm... I tried again but normal listings was opened, then I hovered my mouse over the Gumtree listings slowly to see the URL in the browser bar. And I caught them in the act: a Gumtree linting for a Audi Q7 was actually linked to a advert for thetopfivevpn.com with the title "Restriction Free Netflix With This Simple Tool".

gumtree-fraud.jpg


Not "if", but "how".

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Oh wow! The wholesome Gumtree resorting to porn and pirate tactics to make a quick buck. I never thought I'd see the day.

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20 hours ago, Ramon BuySell said:

Oh wow! The wholesome Gumtree resorting to porn and pirate tactics to make a quick buck. I never thought I'd see the day.

Even worse than porn and piracy sites, this is external content masquerading as local content and when the person clicks on a listing it goes to an external site and Gumtree gets money. I wonder if its sanctioned by Gumtree's parent eBay to fatten up their classifieds business before sale or its of its rogue elements or even accidental like maybe the ads were to be shown below that and is instead showing above and invisible. But can wan we expert such incompetence from eBay/Gumtree ? Unless locals are doing the design and development :D Though I read that at big companies extensive testing gets done for even the smallest changes to websites.

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2 hours ago, MP Agent said:

Even worse than porn and piracy sites, this is external content masquerading as local content and when the person clicks on a listing it goes to an external site and Gumtree gets money. I wonder if its sanctioned by Gumtree's parent eBay to fatten up their classifieds business before sale or its of its rogue elements or even accidental like maybe the ads were to be shown below that and is instead showing above and invisible. But can wan we expert such incompetence from eBay/Gumtree ? Unless locals are doing the design and development :D Though I read that at big companies extensive testing gets done for even the smallest changes to websites.

I took a web design course there is an element in CSS (that deals with the cosmetics of a web page) where you can stack an element called a z-index. And you can hide elements both removing it completely and removing it but it still takes up space. That being said I think the porn and piracy sites use a more "interactive" technique where if you right click or move the mouse over a certain point and it will open an ad and they use popups as well.

@Ken did this just happen on one place or on different places on the Gumtree website. 

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5 hours ago, mr nobody said:

@Ken did this just happen on one place or on different places on the Gumtree website. 

It happens all over on every page: home, search page and on the listing page. When I initially contacted Gumtree they asked me for the ad URL's it was leading to.
So I took some down:

Quote

Those come from the home page top ad listing and from clicking the member name.

There were also ads from corporategifts.co.za and CorelDRAW that showed up when I hovered over clicked on Gumtree listings.

coreldraw-gumtree.jpg

Not sure what shenanigans are going on over there. It appears that this is normal now. I can't speak for Taboola but I know this is in violation of Google Ads terms of service and advertisers are being ripped off by paying for unintentional clicks. 


Not "if", but "how".

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On 6/25/2020 at 10:00 AM, MP Agent said:

Even worse than porn and piracy sites, this is external content masquerading as local content and when the person clicks on a listing it goes to an external site and Gumtree gets money. I wonder if its sanctioned by Gumtree's parent eBay to fatten up their classifieds business before sale or its of its rogue elements or even accidental like maybe the ads were to be shown below that and is instead showing above and invisible. But can wan we expert such incompetence from eBay/Gumtree ? Unless locals are doing the design and development :D Though I read that at big companies extensive testing gets done for even the smallest changes to websites.

Very interesting that they are resorting to this kind of unscrupulous tactics, it is certainly possible that eBay is feeding their classifieds business hormones to fatten them up before a sale. Naspers/Prosus is moving so fast that they are slipping up, look at how easily the Nigerians ripped them off with Konga.com .


Price is what you pay, value is what you get.

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Gumtree has gotten significant worse to use. The page loads forever and every time you hover something to click then it goes to a site off Gumtree. Even if you click on the Gumtree logo you can end up on the Vodacom website.


“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” - Milton Friedman

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