Fake news in Canada

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In Canada, political fake news is mostly American-related (owing to the longest continuous land border), and most fake news is the type created to promote shady products (remember the FTC acai berry settlement?)

Types of products advertised by Canadian fake news[edit]

Currently[edit]

These are the current campaigns that Canadian fake news artists are involved in.

  • Skin care products (SKI) ("Kate Middleton Leaving Royal Family", "Abby Says Farewell to NCIS", etc.)
  • Online casinos (CAS) ("Better Odds Than The Lottery", "Guy leaves girlfriend in TEARS!", etc.)
  • Weight loss supplements (WLO) ("Drink This Every Day", "As Seen on Dr. 0z", etc.)

Formerly[edit]

These used to be popular with Canadian fake news artists, but not anymore.

  • Muscle-building supplements (MSC) ("Gretsky Calls Out Crosby", "Fans Disappointed in Him", etc.)
  • Brain-boosting pills (BBP) ("Steven Hawkings Discovers New Smart Pill", "Why This Brain-Booster is Making Universities Nervous", etc.)
  • Prostate supplements (PRS) ("Men Over 40 Are Loving This Prostate Solution", etc.)
  • Sexual supplements (SXL) ("Better Than Viagra?", etc.)

Ancient[edit]

These died out a long time ago. (This is stuff that died out before this Snopes article was published.)

  • Work-from-home programs (WFH)
  • Forex robots (FRX)

The Big Guys[edit]

  • "checkout" scammers (CHK): These are the guys behind most of the skin care fake news (Kate Middleton, Abby Sciuto, Melania Trump, etc.), and, before that, the "Cornell University student" weight loss scam. I use this name because most of their scam pages are hosted on "checkout" (or in one case, "checkou"; oops) subdomains.
  • Casino Rewards affilate fake news (CRW): Most of the casino fake news links to sites operated by "Casino Rewards". However, CR appears to be a legitimate online gambling operator with a vast affiliate promotion program; the fake news is probably the work of rogue affiliates.
  • Com Spammers of Canada (COM): This is a skincare scam group advertising via services such as Outbrain and Taboola. The name comes from their similar URL scheme to a group of American weight-loss scammers shut down by the FTC in 2015, nicknamed the "Com Spammers".

Former Big Guys[edit]

  • Fake ESPN Scammers (ESP): Started with muscle-building scams involving Sidney Crosby (pretending to be ESPN, hence the name). Later branched out to Conor McGregor and even started getting involved in the Kate Middleton skin care scam. Mysteriously disappeared from Google Adsense around mid-September 2017, but are still putting up fake news on their domains, and is trying to make a comeback.

News[edit]

  • October 9, 2017: Start of project. We currently have 5 campaigns: two from CHK (Kate Middleton (CHK-KMI) and Abby Sciuto (CHK-ABB): the Melania Trump (CHK-MTR) one appears to have wound down after a few weeks), two from CRW ("casinos.exposed" (CRW-CXP) and "Viral Tribune" (CRW-VTR); another one involving a fake CBC News site (CRW-CBC) seems to have been shut down), and one from COM (I believe it involves a grandma discovering a magic wrinkle cream during a trip to Switzerland; COM-COM, as it's the only one that they operate). Let's see if any of the campaigns survive by Christmas.
    • And FakeESPN is back (ESP-CMD). That leaves us with 6.
      • And now 7; this (ZZX-SPA) (by an unknown scammer group, who I'll call "ZZX") is being advertised via Outbrain.
        • The FakeCBC campaign (CRW-CBC) is back, so now 8.
  • October 10, 2017: CRW-CBC is gone again, and so is ESP, but CHK launched a new campaign (CHK-SFD). However, I've been seeing CHK's ads less and less, they're having landing page redirection troubles with one of their scam sites, CHK-ABB is gone even more rare, and I think their Adsense budget is drying up; by Halloween, I think they'll be gone. (Landing page redirection troubles, a reduction in the number of scam campaigns, and other issues preceded the demise of the original FakeESPN scam group.) Total: 7.
    • CRW-CBC and CHK-MTR are back, and there's now another Abby Sciuto scam (ZZX-ABB) from the same people behind the Sarah Palin one. Now 10 or 9, depending on whether or not you count variants of the same scam campaign as separate scams.
      • For a while, there was this Adsense campaign (ZZX-GWS) from an unknown scammer group. However, that died pretty quickly, and so did most of the other Adsense scams (the ones that survived were CHK-KMI, CHK-ABB, CHK-MTR, CRW-CXP, and CRW-CBC). However, sadly, CHK appears to have acquired more cash, and are wasting it all on advertising a CHK-KMI site where they forgot to replace the pound sign (£) with the dollar sign ($); oops. The only Outbrain scam that survived was COM-COM. Total: 6.
        • COM-COM is MIA, so now 5.
          • The day is almost over, and CHK-KMI went bye-bye, so now 4.
  • October 11, 2017: Reports of CHK-KMI's death have been greatly exxagerated. Back to 5.
    • And it went MIA again, so now 4.
      • CHK-KMI is appearing VERY rarely, like the original FakeESPN campaign did near the end of its lifespan, so 5.
        • And CHK-MTR and both CRW campaigns are gone, so now 2.
          • CHK-MTR and CRW-CXP are back, so now 4.
            • CHK-KMI is everywhere again, and the version with the wrong currency symbol to boot. When will they realize that Adsense doesn't give you an infinite ad budget? When will they realize that this is a waste of money that could be used to ACTUALLY PAY KATE MIDDLETON TO ENDORSE THE DAMN WRINKLE CREAM?!
              • It's went MIA rare again.
                • And it's dissappeared again. So has CHK-MTR. 3 scams active. I think the CRW ones have also disappeared, so we might be down to 1.
                  • The CHK-KMI waste of valuable Adsense CA$ came back, so now 4 or 2 scams active.
                    • It almost immediately vanished again, so now 3 or 1.
                      • And now COM-COM is back, so 4 or 2.
                        • I'm now pretty sure that the CRW scams are gone, so 2 scams remaining.
                          • CHK-KMI has returned, so 3 scams remaining.
                            • Another Outbrain campaign from the Com Spammers (COM-DRD), so now 4. And CHK-MTR is back, so now 5.
                              • They've replaced both of their Outbrain campaigns with this (COM-WLO). 4 campaigns.
  • October 12, 2017: No change.
    • COM-COM returns; 5 campaigns active.
      • I think CHK is now deliberately trolling me; they're trying to bring back the Sidney Crosby scam, which was my most hated scam before the Kate Middleton one started. However, they messed up and forgot the redirect, so still 5.
  • October 13, 2017: No change.
    • It appears that all of the campaigns have been shut down.
  • October 14, 2017: No change.
    • CHK-KMI is back, so 1 active campaign.
      • And now CHK-SFD is also back, so 2 active.
        • CHK-ABB, CHK-MTR, and CRW-CXP are back, so 5.
  • October 15, 2017: No change.
    • CRW-CXP has disappeared again. 4 remaining.
      • COM-DRD is back, so 5.
        • CRW-CXP and ZZX-GWS are back, so 7.
  • October 16, 2017: No change.
  • October 17, 2017: No change.
    • CRW-VTR is back, so 8.
      • COM-COM is back, so 9.
  • October 18, 2017: No change.
  • October 19 skipped
  • October 20, 2017: No change from Oct. 18.
    • CHK-KMI is gone again, and so are ABB and MTR, so now 6.
  • October 21, 2017: No change.
    • CHK-SFD is gone, as well as ZZX-GWS and all the Outbrain/Taboola stuff, so 1 remaining.
      • ZZX-ABB and COM-WLO are back, so 3.
      • And now CHK-SFD and COM-DRD are back, and there's a new CRW Taboola campaign pretending to be BBC.com (CRW-BBC), so now 6.

Statistics[edit]

Beginning of October 9[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 2 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 3 SKI, 2 CAS (60% SKI, 40% CAS)

End of October 9[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 2 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto): 2 SKI, 0 CAS, 0 MSC
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 3 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune, CRW-CBC FakeCBC): 0 SKI, 3 CAS, 0 MSC
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream): 1 SKI, 0 CAS, 0 MSC
  • FakeESPN (ESP): 1 campaign (ESP-CMD Conner McDavid): 0 SKI, 0 CAS, 1 MSC
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-SPA Sarah Palin): 1 SKI, 0 CAS, 0 MSC
  • Total: 4 SKI, 3 CAS, 1 MSC (50% SKI, 37.5% CAS, 12.5% MSC)

Beginning of October 10[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 2 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-SPA Sarah Palin): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 4 SKI, 2 CAS (66.7% SKI, 33.3% CAS)

End of October 10[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 2 campaigns (CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-CBC FakeCBC): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Total: 2 SKI, 2 CAS (50% SKI, 50% CAS)

Beginning of October 11[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 3 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 3 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-CBC FakeCBC): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Total: 3 SKI, 2 CAS (60% SKI, 40% CAS)

End of October 11[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 3 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 3 SKI, 0 WLO
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-WLO Weight Loss Secret): 0 SKI, 1 WLO
  • Total: 3 SKI, 1 WLO (75% SKI, 25% WLO)

Beginning of October 12[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 3 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 3 SKI, 0 WLO
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-WLO Weight Loss Secret): 0 SKI, 1 WLO
  • Total: 3 SKI, 1 WLO (75% SKI, 25% WLO)

End of October 12[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 3 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 3 SKI, 0 WLO
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-WLO Weight Loss Secret): 1 SKI, 1 WLO
  • Total: 4 SKI, 1 WLO (80% SKI, 20% WLO)

Beginning of October 13[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 3 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump): 3 SKI, 0 WLO
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-WLO Weight Loss Secret): 1 SKI, 1 WLO
  • Total: 4 SKI, 1 WLO (80% SKI, 20% WLO)

End of October 13[edit]

No campaigns active.

Beginning of October 14[edit]

No campaigns active.

End of October 14[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Total: 4 SKI, 1 CAS (80% SKI, 20% CAS)

Beginning of October 15[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Total: 4 SKI, 1 CAS (80% SKI, 20% CAS)

End of October 15[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 6 SKI, 1 CAS (85.7% SKI, 14.3% CAS)

Beginning of October 16[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 6 SKI, 1 CAS (85.7% SKI, 14.3% CAS)

End of October 16[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 6 SKI, 1 CAS (85.7% SKI, 14.3% CAS)

Beginning of October 17[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 1 campaign (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed): 0 SKI, 1 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 1 campaign (COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 6 SKI, 1 CAS (85.7% SKI, 14.3% CAS)

End of October 17[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 7 SKI, 2 CAS (77.8% SKI, 22.2% CAS)

Beginning of October 18[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 7 SKI, 2 CAS (77.8% SKI, 22.2% CAS)

End of October 19[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 7 SKI, 2 CAS (77.8% SKI, 22.2% CAS)

Beginning of October 20[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 4 campaigns (CHK-KMI Kate Middleton, CHK-ABB Abby Sciuto, CHK-MTR Melania Trump, CHK-SFD Sally Field): 4 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 7 SKI, 2 CAS (77.8% SKI, 22.2% CAS)

End of October 20[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 1 campaign (CHK-SFD Sally Field): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 4 SKI, 2 CAS (66.7% SKI, 33.3% CAS)

Beginning of October 21[edit]

  • Checkout Scammers (CHK): 1 campaign (CHK-SFD Sally Field): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Casino Rewards Affiliates (CRW): 2 campaigns (CRW-CXP Casinos Exposed, CRW-VTR Viral Tribune): 0 SKI, 2 CAS
  • Com Spammers (COM): 2 campaigns (COM-COM Magic Swiss Wrinkle Cream, COM-DRD WE WUZ DRAGONZ DENZ): 2 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Unknown or other scammer (ZZX): 1 campaign (ZZX-GWS Gwen Stefani): 1 SKI, 0 CAS
  • Total: 4 SKI, 2 CAS (66.7% SKI, 33.3% CAS)