Report thread for mobile ads that redirect

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#1 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

Updated by @LarkAnderson and stickied: To summarize, we have a zero tolerance policy towards mobile ads that automatically redirect you to another page or to the App Store. If you encounter any such ad, please post here, @ mention me (@LarkAnderson), and add as many of the following details as you can to help us track them down and remove them ASAP:

  • A screenshot of the ad
  • The URL of the page the ad appeared on
  • The date and time you saw the ad
  • The product advertised
  • The page or app that you were redirected to

Thanks!

This site's mobile ads are very intrusive and keep redirecting my browser to pages where I don't have time to close the page without it taking over my browser and re-directing me to the Android store to download something (it never initiates a download, just takes me to store pages), or try to prevent me from closing the page. Just the fact it will re-direct me off the page I was viewing is bad enough. My PC and laptop browsing is fine, but mobile browsing no, and it's just this site it's an issue, not sure why.

Anyhow, since it would be too much of a problem to create a new thread for every advertisement that gives me trouble, we should create a sticky thread here in Bug Reporting & Feedback to name the ads that keep doing this so you can identify the ads that do this and take action against them, or put pressure on the ad services that allow for virus filled spam ads and browser re-directs that to go through their system. Also, that way we can report it on just one thread and not create a new topic every time the issue arises.

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#2 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

Today's awful advertisement goes to whatever ad takes to:

www.fasterandroid.com

I'm getting re-direct from mobile pages and taken here, where it tells me either I can increase my mobile browsing speed by downloading such and such software, or other times tells me I have a virus but can remove it by installing software.

Can't you guys do your ad system through companies that prohibit such behavior and vet those they do business with? Other websites don't have this problem when I mobile browse, just you guys. The main website here does fine too, just on mobile not so much.

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#3 Posted by TJDMHEM (1871 posts) -

I have the same problem with my mobile phone when is this going to be fixed @digitaldame?

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#4 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -
@TJDMHEM said:

I have the same problem with my mobile phone when is this going to be fixed @digitaldame?

yes, seriously, this place has the mobile browser safety of a shady porn website

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#5 Edited by zassimick (10421 posts) -

Running into a similar issue on my IPhone. I've been getting a lot of ads with a pop-up saying I won a free IPad and stuff, then it redirects me away from Gamespot.

I mean, if an ad is going to keep me away from Gamespot on mobile I suppose that's that.

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#6 Edited by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

Hey all,

Thanks for posting about these ads here. This type of ad unit that automatically redirects you to the App Store or to another page is strictly prohibited by our rules, and we take these reports very seriously. I know that we took down a couple of ads that behaved this way the other day, and so this specific issue should be resolved.

That said, I'll convert this thread into a sticky for use in reporting this type of issue.

Thanks again!

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#7 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson - here's another that just randomly popped up, went to...

http://track.celtra.com/

...which re-rediected me to some article about breastfeeding, little odd as far as intrusive redirects go. Smite them please in the name of all that is holy.

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#8 Edited by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: Thanks for sending this over! Do you remember what page you saw it on?

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#9 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: I got redirected from System Wars main page I believe

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#10 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

Another unsolicited redirect from... http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/pc-upgrades/6th-gen-core-processor-family.html ...but thankfully less restrictive from backing up, from System Wars forum like "Best PS+ games of 2015..."

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#11 Posted by Gnilsia (6 posts) -

I have this issue on every gamespot page i try to access, I never needed an account before but found i had to make one because of this. The ads are seriously intrusive, back button just recycles the link and makes reading the website IMPOSSIBLE on mobile. I am not providing a screenshot because i am not leaving the ad on my screen long enough to read it or take a screenshot. Instead of asking us to provide the ad link that is causing it how about just disabling all ads until the ad provider can sort it out, ads are supposed to be screened before they go public and the providers are supposed to do this. There are countless other sources for the information i enjoy reading and i will just go to them instead until it is sorted. Even this bug reporting page for intrusive ads is not viewable on mobile phones because of these ads!!!

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#12 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: Thanks for reporting these, by the way! I forgot to follow up here but I reported those.

@gnilsia: Yes, our ad networks are supposed to filter these types of ads out, but some do slip through. Without knowing what the offending ads are, however, we are unable to report the issue to them. Your assistance in providing specifics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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#13 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

https://www.google.com/intl/en_us/chromecast/tv/?utm_source=en-offnet-na-site_1350956&utm_medium=mob-banner&utm_content=pid_124224980-cid_65645991-aid_297223857&utm_campaign=chromecast-tv

Another force redirect.

Got this one halfway down a systen wars page, pretty sure the banner ad at top was for Shovel Knight or Nights and Dragons and didn't click It either. This is for Chromrcast, from what appears to be a Google ad network to boot, well that's dandy, I'd of hoped they'd be above such shinanigans.

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#14 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

A very aggressive redirect has happened multiple times hard to pinpoint source...

http://www.congratulations-lottery.com/ip6/eng/lp3/congrats.html?model=Samsung,Galaxy%20Avant&voluumdata=vid..00000001-b263-4c6e-8000-000000000000__vpid..6bc23800-a9ea-11e5-875e-b46db736e65a__caid..de8aed21-8bd9-4b54-be04-34454872e810__rt..DJ__lid..ed960d59-f11e-4df3-9564-203c6c73df8d__oid1..5178ecff-6741-400f-ae03-db63a552c7fa__var1..9100__rd..__aid..__sid..&pubid=9100&aff_sub=1450927411mb36845810502

And it keeps telling me a different site instigated the redirect, like last time it said Facebook.com and now it's congratulations lottery or whatever. Maybe you guys can make heads or tales of it.

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#15 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson got two more for you in two posts above

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#16 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

I just wanna note that the congratulations-lottery.com redirect (the "you won a free ipad" people) had been extra aggressive on here the last few days, seems to kick in when (I don't know why or how) but when I open a new browser window while leaving a suspended GS page open, then it auto-redirects the GS page I left open. Sometimes it will kick in too from a GS page but I caught on at it's ability to kick into gear while GS page suspended.

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#17 Edited by micky4889 (2650 posts) -

I get a redirect to facebook.com-prizes telling me I'v won ipads. It happens quite frequently and is very annoying. Google also gave me the full page red warning a few times telling me to go "back to safety" when clicking on the gamespot site telling me "facebook.com-prizes" has been marked as a phishing site so you could be losing traffic over this site as well.

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#18 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: keep getting that "You won a free iPad" but this last time popped up three times in two minutes please get rid of this ad in all its forms, it keeps masking the address source between several site names but it's same ad this is by far one of the more aggressive ads that you probably don't want ruining the user experience...

http://facebook.com-dm123s.space/r/l/d855be22959f5ff72086760df3d67bd0/?cn=iphone_us_spec_2_new_imcdn&model=Galaxy%20Avant&brand=Samsung&target=1&voluumdata=vid..00000000-e13b-42d0-8000-000000000000__vpid..5fb08000-b3c5-11e5-8f24-3374705b661b__caid..b5629eeb-c525-4d27-a277-49d1489e0263__rt..DJ__lid..1b7bb5b7-6898-4d0e-9f82-156c78d4ba40__oid1..38349de0-ad17-42dd-8c0b-6ec58299c9e5__var1..9100__var2..m__var10..1452012709mb95002224289__rd..__aid..__sid..&pubid=9100&src=m&clickid=1452012709mb95002224289&ln=iphone_us_spec_2_new_imcdn

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#19 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: Thanks for the reports! I was out on holiday break but now that I'm back I've sent this info over to the ads team so they can investigate.

Any chance you can tell me which URLs or sections of the site you're seeing these malicious ads appear on?

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#20 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -
@LarkAnderson said:

@lamprey263: Thanks for the reports! I was out on holiday break but now that I'm back I've sent this info over to the ads team so they can investigate.

Any chance you can tell me which URLs or sections of the site you're seeing these malicious ads appear on?

I'm always getting them in the forums, mostly in System Wars but Off-Topic as well, I never navigated any of the other areas while on my cellphone like front page and articles and videos and such, just the forums. Like 90% system wars, 5% off topic, 4% Xbox forums, 1% bug-reporting.

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#21 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: New waves of intrusive ads, again it's that giveaway site this time under fb.com-lotto-giveaway or something to that effect, and more that keep sending me straight to Google store. Improvements have been made to prevent redirection on mobile site, for instance I stay on my original GS pages but it doesn't stop a pop up overlay that usually precedes redirects like the "you have won, brought to you by fb.com-lotto-givaway... blah blah blah", since I don't get redirected it makes it hard to copy paste ad source. You need to have a long chat with the ad group about this supposed prize site that keeps popping up, you keep having to put out fires but they're the ones that allow for them to keep popping up under various names.

Also, still getting redirects to Google Play store, since GS prevents browser redirect I can't find offending ad page but I can tell you on the store where it takes me, the one that's up now is for the app...

letgo: buy and sell used stuff

episode + mean girls sr year

check back I will keep updating as there's lots more

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#22 Posted by Boerew0rs (96 posts) -

It took me literally 10 tries to get here to post this: these new ads are ridiculous! I get redirected to some fake FB site immediately on my iPhone and all CBS owned sites like Metacritic and GB have it....damn Adsense. I'll check again later this week and if you still insist on bombarding people with these ads, I'll find my gamefix elsewhere.

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#23 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@boerew0rs: @lamprey263:Thanks for the reports! I've filed issues with our ads team so they can track down these offenders.

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#24 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: iphone6-winner.com, it's same prize pop-up redirect as the others, how about instead of focusing on them as they pop up, go after the source, isn't there a domain registration for each, how about petitioning ad source to go after the person making these intrusive ads under different domains?

Also, getting directed more and more to that letgo app

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#25 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: I've tried doing a WHOIS search on the domains for the same intrusive ads we keep getting, usually the "Congratulations! You won a free (iPad, iPhone, etc)", and they keep coming back as the WHOIS info is protected by a service called "WhoIsGuard". How about in your dealings with Google AdSense you can specifically request that that they not circulate ads that use this feature as it seems to be nothing more than a shield for nefarious activity.

WhoIsGuard.com also has a complaint form for spam domains so it would be nice if when the team that deals with the bad ads takes action that they also refer a complaint to WhoIsGuard.com, from http://www.whoisguard.com/report-spam.asp, I'd do it myself though if they're involved in protecting spammers then I don't want to incur the wrath of hackers by reporting them, though I figure a big site like yourselves are more insulated than your users that maybe you should poke from that end.

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#26 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: Unfortunately, it's not that easy :(

I've reported this latest batch, and am escalating the issue with our ad teams to find a more permanent solution.

Thanks again for your help. I know it's frustrating but we really are doing what we can to eliminate these.

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#27 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson said:

@lamprey263: Unfortunately, it's not that easy :(

I've reported this latest batch, and am escalating the issue with our ad teams to find a more permanent solution.

Thanks again for your help. I know it's frustrating but we really are doing what we can to eliminate these.

at the very least, you should be able to address it not just with the ad source but also WhoIsGuard, after all they say on their page they don't support support spam and urge people to report it, so probably better it comes from you guys

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#28 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: If it's at all possible, could you list the dates and times that you've encountered any of these redirects? Even estimates are helpful. Thanks!

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#29 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson:no, I don't keep a detailed log of any of that, I will try

however, I can assure you that that all the ads have been the same scams as congratulations-lottery.com, have the same message pop up, take me to the same layout prize page, has the same aggressive redirect, it just uses a different domain

  • congratulations-lottery.com - the only one I wrote down from the "congratulations" message, the other two I copied and pasted from their redirect address in the mobile browser itself which doesn't seem to match whatever actual domain it is
  • http://facebook.com-dm123s.space...
  • facebook.com-prizes...

However, I can assure you these are all the same scam using exactly the same format under exact same format juggling various domains, I'll try to browse some later tonight from my cellphone, I'll also try to figure out how to acquire snap shots of the page if possible.

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#30 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson:went fishing for one last night, got...

On the System Wars forum, in the "Let's play a game" thread, at 6:31PM PST, 2/12/2015...

Get the pop up overlay that reads:

The page at www-gamezone.com says: Congratulations, you are today's lucky user! You have (1) redeemable gift. Click OK for the opportunity to claim your prize now.

I don't click okay but instead the back button and it forcefully redirects me anyways. I took a photo of where it took me, it looks the exact same every time regardless of domain. A WHOIS.ICANN.ORG search shows them again it's a WHOISGUARD shielded domain.

I took a photo on my cellphone, given GameSpot is compressing the file I might have to email it to someone...

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#31 Edited by RoseFlambe169 (11700 posts) -

Help, I can't even post comments anymore. I know I'm posting one now, but once the page loads, I have to reach the "Stop loading this page" button in time, or an ad sticks itself into the message box every time and doesn't let me type. Even with an ad blocker. All I wanted to do was reply to a comment, but if I hit the "Reply" button at the bottom of the page, I can't move my mouse fast enough to hit the Stop button before the ad wiggles its way in there! D; Oh, and if I leave the site alone for too long, I always get redirected to an ad site. Why have you fallen so far GameSpot?

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#32 Posted by elheber (2895 posts) -

Just got a nasty one.

http://mobfactory.info/r/a9911ea0-e197-11e5-858c-112035081dfa/0/

Took me to:

https://pkiconcurlms.com/h/a8acb940-e197-11e5-a22f-0120350d1709/c/39b50955-984b-11e5-b565-02f6361de079/?_i=4&_s=bdeb498e-df21-11e5-b9e2-11203564616c&_r=pkiconcurlms.com&transaction_id=10298ea666543feda33118edd8f6c7&pubid=7215&_d=2%7C1%7C480%7C0%7C1%7C1%7C%7C%7C320x534%7C0%7C74-8b9586a0%7C1%7C0%7C2

Took me to:

http://global.msmtrakk06c.com/?utm_term=6839040118&utm_content=e6c2c6dcd68fcddfcfd597cda696a496888bb88c8d8bbc8d1a

Which opened up a dialogue box and made my phone vibrate. Couldn't back out of course. I was reading this article at the time:

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/six-flags-virtual-reality-coasters-coming-this-yea/1100-6435321/

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#33 Posted by zassimick (10421 posts) -

Just got a NSFW redirect. If I run across it again, I'll screen cap and send it to the proper channels. The redirects in general have picked up in frequency though.

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#34 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: www-gamezone.com just force redirected me just a few minutes ago in System Wars, I already reported it here 3 weeks ago

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#35 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: just now, today, March 6th at 6:02pm Pacific Standard Time, I was in System Wars thread, in the thread about "The Order cost $60 right" (paraphrased title), first page in thread, got aggressive force redirect to Google Play Store to the Panda Pop game/app, twice. The redirect to play store happened after browser redirect to here:

https://control.kochava.com/v1/cpi/click?campaign_id=kopanda-pop-android558c716da955f81f4ea26f07d2&network_id=290&click_id=1188483841320182&device_id=device_id&site_id=138314&append_app_conv_trk_params=1

I can't take screen shot because it forces me to Google Play Store when I select the tab in mobile browser.

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#36 Posted by zassimick (10421 posts) -

Second time I received the NSFW redirect. Link I was sent to is below. Time of day was Monday, March 7th at 8:20 am. Was browsing the System Wars forum, don't remember which thread specifically. I did get a screenshot of it before closing out, so if that will help at all please let me know who I can send that to.

http://indextrck.com/uk22/11/campaign14373c3a3.html?voluumdata=vid..00000002-b5cc-4488-8000-000000000000__vpid..e1c43000-e46c-11e5-8b19-a32ed1461e3a__caid..c6c504ca-2e25-47d5-9ffe-e3f856a76909__rt..H__lid..1fae52ec-47d3-4cda-a343-947ad4ddf340__oid1..1d13b898-ee10-4e63-b1b0-4198aaf4172f__var1..mobusi__var2..4421__var5..usa%5C_%5Ccarrier%5C_%5Crod__var7..1__rd..r%5C.%5Cleadzu%5C.%5Ccom__aid..__sid..&tsource=mobusi&domain=4421&ad=&category=&campaign=usa_carrier_rod&domainname=&unique=1

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#37 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@RoseFlambe169: Thanks for reporting this, and sorry about the issues that you're experiencing! Can you provide me with anymore details, including any URLs of pages that are affected by this, any specific times, and any screenshots of what you're seeing? If you're unable to post them here, please send me a PM or email me at lark.anderson [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

Anything you can provide can help. Thanks!

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#38 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@elheber: Thanks for the report!

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#39 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@Zassimick: Thanks for the report! Can you email me your screenshot of the offending ad unit at lark.anderson [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com?

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#40 Posted by Mr_Huggles_dog (7805 posts) -

This site has the worst mobile site other than deep dark internet porn sites.

I know it doesn't matter but i won't be coming here while I'm away from my PC.

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#41 Posted by schu (9914 posts) -

@elheber:

I've also been hit with this repeatedly for the last few days

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#42 Edited by elheber (2895 posts) -

Got a NSFW redirect that tried to get my location:

http://d.billypubcontent.com/nb?=....

Which sent me to:

mobile.naughtycheaters.com/?ainfo=...

I was on the main news article page at the time.

EDIT: This is the first NSFW ad that GameSpot has redirected me to, and I'm afraid if it happens one more time I'm going to look for an ad-blocking solution for my mobile phone. I did some research and I can tell those redirects are mostly out of your control, but I can't support a system that gathers revenue this way. I rarely use my phone to visit the site anyway.

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#43 Edited by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: I just got force redirected to a straight up pornographic site flashing vajayjay all over my screen from System Wars at 2:18am PDT, March 16th 2016, not sure if listing it will go against site policy but it happened, definitely a step too far than that other person above that got a NSFW dating site force redirect

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#44 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: got two more force redirects

March 11th 2016 a 6:20pm Pacific Time, in the GameSpot Off-Topic forum (I forget which one) got force redirected with a pop-up message first...

The page at "http://getiphonenews.com" says:

Congratulations, you are today's lucky user!

You have (1) redeemable gift

Click OK for the opportunity to claim your prize now

It looks just like the photo I submitted above from similar post

- - - -

On another date I got, from March 14, 2016, 1:17pm Pacific Time, from a System Wars thread...

The page at "http://facebook.com-winning.me" says:

*******

Congratulations!

You are 1 Lucky Visitor!

Click OK to continue.

********

Took me to prize page just like the rest. I have them saved on my phone if you want me to email them to you. Pages all look exactly the same though. I imagine from the same add source.

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#45 Posted by lamprey263 (35735 posts) -

@LarkAnderson: 3:02pm Pacific time, force redirected from System Wars forum to dating site... http://www.latinomeetup.com/

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#46 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@lamprey263: Thanks again for all of your help with this! I've filed more reports with these details.

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#47 Edited by fossbytes14 (6 posts) -

Hello @LarkAnderson,

I'm Adarsh Verma, co-founder of a technology news website fossbytes.com and a fan of GameSpot and its work. I'm encountering the same type of problem on my website and users are sending us screenshots -- I've attached one. We have tried many scans and different methods but we were unable to sort the problem and locate the issue. I was searching the web and I came across the same issue being reported on GameSpot. Can you please guide me about the problem and what was the cause of these popups on GameSport. Here's my email: admin@fossbytes.com
It'll be really helpful to us. Thanks in advance. :)

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#48 Posted by larkanderson (2227 posts) -

@fossbytes14: This sort of behavior is caused by malicious ads that slip in through ad exchange partners, and you have to escalate these reports with them as we do.

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#49 Posted by Kruiz_Bathory (4765 posts) -

http://aptrk.com/m/?q=LGb5BagmBwp1VzSjpS46pzjvB8Z1Zwx0BvWbqUEjpmbiYmVkZQxlZF0gMJSmqKWyoJIhqTSjnF0wo75ip7IlqzH%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%3D%3D

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#50 Edited by Kruiz_Bathory (4765 posts) -

I got that today but I don't remember how to insert screeshots on mobile. I'm rusty on forum posting :P