A few months back, I came across an ad in the Gigs section of my local Craigslist. The ad indicated that you could get paid for “reading articles.” As a freelance audio producer, my first thought was that this ad was looking for voiceover talent. I was intrigued by that idea so I figured I’d investigate further. The link in the ad was for a website called Multi Trendo. I could tell that the URL had some trailing stuff on it that looked like an affiliate code. Not knowing exactly what I was clicking, I decided to just manually enter the top level domain for Multi Trendo into my browser’s address bar instead of just using the link that was posted in the ad.
I discovered at the Multi Trendo site that the service has nothing to do with recording audio. Multi Trendo requires users to create an account. From there, they can read a certain number of “news articles” every day and then Multi Trendo will “pay” users for each article they read. Once users have reached a minimum balance of earnings, they can make a request for a payout from Multi Trendo. It was pretty obvious that this website was doing something shady. But it didn’t ask for any sensitive personal information (name, e-mail address only) so I figured there was little to lose in trying it out.
The “articles” available on Multi Trendo are mostly excerpts pulled in thru Google News. Sometimes, you’ll see a complete piece of writing. Other times, it’ll only be partial stories, sometimes with a link back to the source material. Multi Trendo runs a short timer before it’ll let you complete a CAPTCHA and press a submit button as proof that you’ve actually read the article. Each article has a prominent banner ad that hangs over the content you’re supposed to read. Presumably, displaying these ads is the reason for Multi Trendo’s existence.
I viewed enough Multi Trendo articles over the course of a month to slightly exceed the minimum amount that’s required to request a payout. Multi Trendo claims it processes payments thru PayPal, Payza, and Scrill. Having never heard of those last two, I asked Multi Trendo to send my first payment via PayPal. You can probably guess what happened (or, didn’t happen) next.
Nothing. It’s been at least two months. And I haven’t been paid by Multi Trendo, nor have I received any updates on my request. I’m not surprised by this, and I’m not disappointed. Overall, it took only a few minutes every day to look at Multi Trendo’s articles and complete the CAPTCHA’s. But in the end, it really was just a waste of time.