Tony Ortega: Internet Beggar


Internet begging has been around almost as long as the internet itself. The scam usually works like this:

Step 1: Set up a PayPal account so as to make the process of sending you money as quick and easy as possible for your marks.

Step 2: Share your sad sack story on your blog, trying to make the appeal seem as urgent and important as you can.

Step 3: Sit back and wait for the suckers to take the bait.

At least, this is how Tony Ortega seems to have done it the last time he tried to pull this con on the Internet.

Tony writes:

Most of you are probably fully aware of how the journalism industry has been decimated by the Internet. But the ‘net has also given rise to amazing new opportunities, like this singular website. We’d like to keep it going, but in order to do so, and in order to make plans that will help us keep it going for the indefinite future, we have decided to post a Paypal Donate button.

Now that’s a sad-sack story if ever we’ve heard one. Journalism has been decimated by the Internet? (News flash Tony Ortega, real journalism is alive and well — fake, gossip-fueled, hate commentary disguised as journalism, however, has oversaturated the web, so we understand how you must feel it has ‘decimated’ your market.)

Scott Pilutik, Tony’s webmaster and discount-bin lawyer, then made the plea on Tony’s blog himself saying adding an interest twist to the age old scam:

I’m the Bunker’s attorney and its webmaster. At Tony’s request, I’ve created a Paypal account that will receive all donations. For each donation, you’ll receive a confirmation and a thank you from me… I’ll point out that PayPal deducts a small percentage if you pay without a PayPal account of your own. Please contact me for more information about how to make a direct transfer to avoid deductions from Paypal.

Ah yes, why go through PayPal. It’s such a hassle. Tell you what, why don’t you just send the money directly to my account, it’s so much easier! Trust us, it’s not a scam at all.

We’re serious about journalism at the Bunker,” Tony says elsewhere in his desperate plea to wring whatever pocket change he can from his readers. Serious about journalism? Never mind the begging, this might be the biggest scam of all.

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