About two weeks ago, I heard a story about a 13 year old stealing his Dad’s credit card to buy XBoxes and Hookers on a morning radio show. After seeing the story surface on several mainstream media outlets, I even wrote the Police Chief of the town (Newark, Texas) where it allegedly happened because it sounded a little too bizarre to be true.

Maybe it was the part of the story, where the escorts were conned into believing the boys were suffering from a disability (restricted growth) and State law dictated they couldn’t be discriminated against? Perhaps it was because the escorts were not arrested because the boys were more interested in playing computer games??

The Police Chief never replied and I gave up on the story. Now, just as I thought in the beginning, the entire thing was nothing more than a hoax. Of course, the hoax had a purpose, which was to build backlinks to hawk credit cards by a company called money.co.uk.

It’s ironic that a company selling financial products would use fraud as a marketing tool (my opinion).

JD Rucker wrote about this on NowPublic:

What a virtual world we travel through sometimes. A (relatively) innocent marketing ploy designed to draw in backlinks for a financial services comparison website in London has stirred up media attention ranging from the front page of Digg to coverage on Fox News.

When money.co.uk posted a story titled 13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers, the idea was that it could be read as a humorous parody piece that could get attention from social media sites, yield quality backlinks, and draw in hundreds of thousands of visitors. The backlinks would help the site achieve higher rankings on search engines, especially for the target keyword phrases that would include the words “Credit Card”.

JD Rucker summed up his article with a rationalization on why this occurred:

With the heavy emphasis that search engines place on inbound links, many websites are desperate for any form of viral link-building. It may not be “ethical” through some perspectives, but it is arguably justifiable in the competitive Internet marketplace.

Until the search engines come up with a better ranking system, we can expect sensationalized parodies to continue to pop up.

I’m probably going to be a little less kind when I say this appears to have been a marketing scam designed to sell credit cards.

I wonder what Bill O’Reilly will have to say? Fox picked up the story and Jeanine Pirro made a passionate argument for the prostitutes’ arrest,” according to a story about this in Wired News.

Bill is often fond of accusing the blogosphere of spreading not very well founded rumors. I guess one shoe doesn’t fit all and it’s never wise for people who live in glass houses to throw stones?

Now that is what I consider a rather “piffy” comment.

Sorry Bill, I do watch your show from time to time, but being a blogger, who “sometimes” tries to be thoughtful about what I write — I couldn’t resist making a point! I also agree with Jeanine that if this story were true, the hookers should have been arrested.

Now saying that, I do agree with you that an awful lot of “spinned yarns” and “malicious garbage” is plastered across the electronic universe. In fact, last time I checked, the more “malicious garbage” is a current theme of this blog.

Full story on NowPublic, here.

Original Digg submission, which was “dug” 2507 times, here.

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