Before I get into the heart of this post, I would like to say that Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, is the main reason I got into the points and miles game. My continued following of his blog led to the formation of this very blog. Some of the tips and tricks learned through his website has allowed me to take cheap flights all over the world. One trip was to Australia for $250 in 2016, while another cheap trip was to Singapore for my birthday. The Points Guy has blown up over the years in regards to viewership and advertising. During this time, Brian has taken a step back and let others deal with the day to day operation of “his blog”. This is all fine and well until followers are misled by a product posted on the website.
In the late hours last night, I came across a post from Senior Editor Nick Ewen titled “How you can earn 10,000 Hilton Honors points by taking a short survey”. This caught my eye because I am slowly shifting my stays to Hilton properties. I will not include a link to the post, but its details how a Hilton Honors can earn 10,000 points by completing a few steps. Here are the screenshots:
I could not envision missing out on a quick 10,000 points so I followed the link in the post to the Guest Opinion Rewards website. Since I did not have an account, a requirement for the 10,000 points, I registered for the site. The site asked for the normal information such as name, email address, and password. There was nothing out of the ordinary until subsequent information was requested. Information that is usually reserved for secure websites and…surveys. The website asked for my birthday, zip code, and Hilton Honors number. While I was hesitant, I input all of the information…because 10,000 points, right?
Once registered and into the site, i was supposed to see a list of surveys under “My Surveys”, according to Nick, so I could get the 10,000 points and it would be over. Instead, I was met with the following:
Not only were there no surveys to be found, I scrolled down to find out that my profile was not complete.
There was nearly 20 items, showing various levels of completion, that need to be updated before my profile was at 100% completion. For Ss and Gs (“poops” and giggles), I clicked one to see what kind of information would be asked. The site asked specific questions such as, “how much money do you make a year?”, “What type of employment do you have?”, “What is your position in the company?”, “How many children are in your household?”, and “what are their ages?”. This easy 10,000 points survey had taken a turn.
It was at this point that I realized The Points Guy was promoting, a phishing scam? A PHISHING SCAM! The Points Guy’s website got paid by an advertiser to push out a phishing website to his millions of loyal followers. It is truly disheartening to see such a well respected website throw it away for a few dollars. I am sure The Points Guy’s team was compensated well for the post, but the lack of integrity from the Senior Editor and whomever else was involved is downright appalling.
I understand the need to have sponsored posts, ads, and credit card referral links, but to blatantly post this phishing scam degrades the integrity of The Points Guy website. Nick Ewen posted a farce about 10,000 points when it was not the main intent of the post. The post was designed to capture users demographics to be used for other means. In a sense, everyone who registered for Guest Opinion Rewards completed a survey by signing up, minus the compensation. The entire team at The Points Guy should be embarrassed such a post was allowed on their site, unless they have decided to care more about the bottom line than their followers.