Beware Of Essay Mill Spam Marketing Techniques In 2018

hi this is dr. Thomas Lancaster and welcome to this presentation on essay mill spam this is some work I’ve been doing as part of my research into contract cheating which i think is worth sharing because some really interesting ideas now about how essay mills are using spam techniques to get themselves more customers now does it matter well of course this matters because this is causing people to cheat who wouldn’t otherwise be doing so so what am I going to look at in this video well I don’t really want to see what kind of techniques the essay mills the custom essay writing providers are using now in 2018 to advertise their services to more students and I can say it’s not just legitimate the type of marketing all right so the word legitimate as much as you can say that any essay mill helping students to cheat is legitimate here’s a definition of spam from the merriam-webster dictionary and it’s unsolicited usually commercial messages including emails text messages or Internet postings these messages are sent to a large number of recipients at once or post in a large number of places well this is very much the definition of the type of spam that essay mills are using and in the examples I’m going to show you that it can be messages that have sent a lots of people mainly students and it can also be very similar messages sent out well again similar messages lots of people perhaps slightly personalised but they’re all I’ve wanted they’re all commercial and the rule generally sent and automated matter as you’ll see there there really is language about them that makes it looks like they’ve been particularly well personalised and I can say this is coming from my background researching academic integrity a field I’ve been in since the year 2000 completed my PhD looking at the student plagiarism and more recently looking at contract cheating which is the area about students buying essays of assignments or getting them done for them so a lot of experience in this area and I mean for me really this is a companion video to oppose to put my blog at Thomas Lancaster dot code at UK there are some different examples in the video – some of the examples on the blog post by all means look at both of them if you prefer the reads and by all means go straight over to the blog and leave your comments on there well let’s go straight on and look at a few examples so I’m going to start off with the site that I use I’ve got Twitter account at dr. Lancaster it’s very popular site very well used by people talking about essays and plenty of examples the type of thing going on with SNL spam on these sites so it’s just a really standard type of request a student first request here someone saying I will pay someone to write my philosophy paper now we don’t know if this person is being serious or not or if they’re just quite frustrated can’t quite tell with that frowny face there but very quickly gets back 29 responses within a matter of hours there’s probably a load more of them been made by now since I put this slide together and and no doubt a lot more private messages sent to this student that we just can’t observe as people involved in the contract cheating detection world and you can see the kind of things is saying we’ve got the and they’re almost the same so I’ve just picked down five examples I’m willing to write your essay direct message me with the instructions don’t let this stress of school get you down your essay written by a real professional writer visit this site turn around in three hours so incredibly quick advertise time for some what it really is frustrated so as I’m so down to work on the paper we’ve got get an awesome deal naught percent played here in the level and top grade you notice advertising Dobson played you’re in them because student then doesn’t need to be worried them I get caught another one done on time it also might notice from these the kind of thing that stand out to me the word right is very common in the username the word essay the word papers quite a common term also coming to new UK but used overseas but they’re all very blatant and they’re all really standardized messages you can well imagine these same messages are being sent different people and that’s a very definition of spam here’s another example a student talked about essays and I can’t remember for this particular case if they said they wanted the essay writing for them I suspect they just have something like it’s hard work right to this essay or worse than that effect but the response they got back as a standard one we will be glad to write the essay but it said no scam well that’s a question is these are spammers are they also scammers and there’s something I’ll come back to at the end of this video I did say these bots don’t discriminate they just target anyone and here’s a frustrated student here I said I wonder if I’m cursed to have a bot offered me it’s played using the services every time I tweet about essays because of course these are just purely unintelligent automatch tweets they just look for the word essay and they look for the word right and then they send out a standard response to advertise their services which presumably are getting the boarders through the more traditional methods of marketing now some good news are the student sound really not all of a with this matter spam so these responses to an absolutely terrific account which contact anyone who mentions essays and four of them within a very short time period that loads more with student responses saying things like go away I’ve done I’d rather die than pay you $200 I wrote it a month early that one just shows you how badly targeted this is and I’m not paying anyone to write my essay I’m more than capable so little good sign is that really it most of these people do want to act with academic integrity whatever this might suggest let’s move on to the Civic B which is blog posts and these also get a load of spam so here is a blog post I wrote for the conversation which is like academic news site where you share details about your news stories and I’m surprised about contract cheating so it was about essay it’s very quickly about lower their SNL spam you’ll see most of it it’s been removed because I asked for that to be removed automatically one of NSA mil comment is still there which doesn’t come across quite like spam although obviously there’s marketing but at least a little bit more intelligence has gone into that post compared to some of the other ones but of course it’ll have links to their services so they’re kind of thing you risk as soon as you now put foreign posts online or you put videos online here’s another example this was Sara Hill this was her blog and her posts from way back in 2008 had spam posted on it in 2016 and the post would nothing to do with essays they were just about writing has a very standard spam there in fact I think these posts were nothing even if you write you just write in comments earlier and elsewhere on the blog and a very obvious spam because there’s a link there with the words writing service I don’t know where it goes to have no intention of finding out and in fact these posts is what we removed because this from Sara’s blog there but saying essentially the student should write but you cannot write your essay this writing service may help you so very obvious spam and a second example from a post in 2008 again very similar probably the similar kind of response you’ll notice these companies are trying to link keywords so the first ones link the keywords writing service the second one has linked the words custom writing company they’re all things presumably I think the students might be searching for you’ll see they also use the term academic writing rather than essay writing it makes it sound very slightly more professional whether it actually is or not is anyone’s guess so that’s a post on previous Penn and there’s all these comments spam as I said YouTube videos I post videos they get saml spell on them I delete the spam but it’s a recurring cycle I know other researchers get the same thing and of course people who have nothing to do with contract cheating and essay love research get the same thing all the discussion forums now ready areas like that you’ve taken over from this social networks as well you find all kinds of spam examples on there and last been example is there BC probably what we think of when we heard word spam is email spam emails that unsolicited sent straight to people and here’s an example from a former student of mine that has a student account now I’m just not at the same university as him anymore and this is one that he was sent and the really interesting thing here is that he has never used this email account outside that university is not circulated but you notice the headline balance your fun and student life get assignment and dissertation help that would help me in something a lot more than a little bit of help why struggle and they’re really going for the student pain points talking about Simon’s dissertations presentations clear do the slides for students nowadays and editing proofreading those sort of gray areas where they probably end up rewriting it for the student but also their advertising SPSS physical software MATLAB and lost the skills needed now at this time of year per student trying to play the dissertation there or needed for a master’s project there’s high end researching areas that students struggle with and they need extra board so it’s really trying to jump in to that market further down in blue they talk about data analysis regression analysis so all the stats type of stuff and they also mentioned some of the universities they’ve worked for so some big names they’re both Coventry Durham UCL Manchester they claimed to have student clients war and something which I find quite worrying at the bottom there that they will give you a Turnitin Pro report for five pounds now interesting in two ways first of all that they got access to Turnitin and they’re able to smile at the port because really that should only be available to legitimate users whether they’re students R academics but also their advertising Turnitin Pro that I’m really not convinced as a service that anything at offer but I guess it makes it sound a bit better by calling it Turnitin Pro so that’s a message center student whether neither hacked into the accounts at guess the email addresses or perhaps someone a student had supplied a lot of email addresses who knows where that would come from here’s an example of something I got one of my university accounts there and I can’t read that I did translate that and it’s exactly what you think it might be advertising original custom writing being made for students and I’m sure you can guess the nationality of student that’s being aimed at based on the language now clearly it was went out fairly randomly just any email addresses they could get or guess because so many university email address is a completely formulaic and it’s quite hard often the differentiate between staff email addresses and student email addresses but some words in English they’re probably stand out turn it in again one hundred percent because you’ll beat Turnitin HND particular type of qualification they’re words like top and words like pass again it’s making it clear that this group of students can cheat and get away with it they can just outsource all that writing essay on assignment troubles to them so all this spam is getting out there to students is really worrying this is getting through I think I got about five different emails from this company they did end up after the first one in my spam account but I do check that spam account because it’s not always completely correct there but I’m sure they’re definitely getting through to students as well and who knows these techniques might be working well if you are a student and you are spammed or if an academic wanting to warn your students then certainly there is danger here it’s not as clear-cut as it might be I said these can be scams earlier on and here’s an example from the well-known s a scam forum where people do post details like the scams have been involved with in the SML world and some companies advertise as well that’s a lot of really interesting stuff for researchers on that site and the whole story behind this one is a student tweeted about needing an essay there no evidence they were purchased it but the scammer worked out who the student was they worked out which university are from and I sent an email to that student telling them to send some money or they’d report the student having bought assignments now there’s no evidence the student ever had board assignments but presumably these these black manners because really this is blackmail I was looking at people talking about essays with the idea that there’s a good chance they have or essays before and they might be able to convince these people to send the money across now I don’t think this student ended up paying but we don’t know how many people do pay because these students are not going to tell us and if they are getting five hundred dollars from students when who aren’t thinking about using essay mills or maybe have in the past and so may think the scanners can get access to their essay so of course some of them really do then we should be really concerned about this going on so there’s all kinds of scam growing out there linked to spam so we really need to say no to essay no spam we need to be really clear to students don’t risk using these services don’t risk using any essay mills because you’ll get caught but if they have to spam you then there’s something going on there so what do we know about the comment spam well we already knew the marketing techniques were really sophisticated being used by the essay mills I’ve got this big funnel as I’ve shown in previous work you to Matt’s money end up going to affiliates going to advertisers along the way but spamming techniques are getting really sophisticated as well because these companies now think they can get a part of the millions of pounds of business going through every year and I think we’ve decided we’re talking hundreds of million pounds of business now going back a few years and it seems like the market is getting larger and larger every year and the spammers are trying to use all the techniques used by these more legitimate companies whether we want to say they are legitimate or not but it’s all about building relationships through private discussions so they can use the private messages on Twitter it’s all about vulnerable groups of international students or the non-english speaking students are being targeted in that spam just they’re on notice boards and in other places and it’s using all the standard sales techniques have more fun plagiarism free you won’t get caught we will turn this around really quickly we will give you a discount we will give you a discount on Linux order refer your friends to us these sales techniques all about sales and marketing this is what the si Milt space is now so all I can really say is we need to say yes to academic integrity we need to promote academic integrity from the outset to our students and we need to move them away from si mills by all means say you know SM ELLs exist we know they do students know they do there’s no point being to try about it but promote positive believe the idea of academic integrity and if you want to know more about this you want to talk to me then I’ve always happy to come to speak about academic integrity to deliver training sessions to collaborate with the media do drop me an email my site is Tomas Lancaster Cody UK you can get me a twitter at that dr. Lancaster and you can email me at thomas at thomas lancaster code UK by all means find out more from international work on contract changing student plagiarism and academic integrity thanks for watching this video and saml spam i hope it’s been useful for you

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