Deceptive advertising (informally coined as Game Fraud) is a controversial bait-and-switch act of using polished game thumbnail, misleading game titles, and clickbait advertisements to lure players into a builder's place when the game itself is often unrelated, poor quality, or malicious. Most often, the builder's goal is to become notable and popular. With the thumbs up/down update, many deceptive advertisers incentivize users into playing and highly rating their game in exchange for game admin or ROBLOX currency.
False Advertising Methods
Different tactics have been used to lure players to their places which have no connection to the content advertised.
- Main article: Misleading place images
Thumbnails are made for players to preview the creator's place and/or present game art, logos, and video previews via YouTube. However, some places have images that might be misleading and possibly may not represent the actual game. Deceptive advertisers very often use famous YouTubers like DanTDM and Denis which makes their game get instantly to the front page. These games have a low rating and get deleted by ROBLOX after a few days.
Misleading TitleThe game's title represents what the place is about. Deceptive builders often utilize the title space to attract users into their game, such as having a title of "Fall 9,999,999 Feet to your Death" when the game is actually an obstacle course. Many builders advertise their game through reverse psychology, often times writing "Don't play my game" as a way to lure players into playing it.
With the release of inter-game teleporters, builders can utilize alternate accounts to attract players into multiple games, with those games ultimately teleporting the players into the main builder's game. These games are typically one-player servers that use deceptive advertising techniques such as misleading place images and titles and are often on the Top Rated section of the games page. Inter-game teleporters occasionally can crash a player's ROBLOX client.
Like-Bots are bots that automatically thumbs up a place to hit the top area of Top Rated. Often, places that use Like-Bots are Game Teleporters. An easy way to find them is to look at the visits compared to likes + dislikes. If the visits are lower than likes + dislikes, then the owner has used a Like-Bot. However, as of April, the web team adjusted the algorithm for calculating the Top Rated section, which caused this method to not get onto the Top Rated section, as well as some of the bot accounts that had their places botted permanently deleted.
At the top or sides of the webpage, a deceptive advertisement would appear for a place or group within ROBLOX. Most advertisements are legitimate, and shows users a small glance of what is to come, while others are clickbait, misleading or lie.
Infamous False Advertisers
Jaredvaldez4 is disputably the most notable deceptive builder. Through his advertising, he has gained tens of millions of place visits over three accounts. He is recognized for stealing other builder's games, and using false advertising with them in order to get plays and tickets of his own. In the past, he has stolen a number of games, including Paintball, The Undead Coming, and Welcome to the Town of Robloxia. People assume jaredvaldez4 quit ROBLOX after his last account; jared2valdez4 was banned in April 2013.
PabloAndJuan's game rose to the front page in less than one hour, which was a generic building survival game, the title and images on her place change often between descriptions that are designed to coerce players to visit the place. As well as the deceptive advertising; she has also sold overpriced VIP T-shirts to her places. However, they were ineffective and did not benefit the player well.
Tactics to finding a false game
Players can reduce their odds of joining a deceptive game by using the following techniques:
- Look at the game's thumbnails. Oftentimes, misleading places will not have thumbnails related to ROBLOX, or they will have multiple thumbnails that aren't related to each other. Modern clickbait games have thumbnails that were taken from the thumbnails of ROBLOX-related YouTube videos from famous ROBLOX YouTubers.
- Compare the game's thumbs ups vs thumbs downs, and assume that any game with a disproportionate amount of thumbs downs is most likely misleading.
- If the game has a bunch of unrelated tags, it is likely a scam.
- The titles are something you should spot because if the text in it is all caps or says "Do not play!!" or something else. If it's like this then don’t click on the play button.
- Most clickbait games use their group name as the game's creator. The groups name would usually end with "Fan Club" or "Studios".
- Look at the advertisement for the game, if it seems too good to be true, then it's ok to report the advert, then it will get taken down for good.
As of April 14, 2016, tickets along with Trade Currency were removed. This made users which use deceptive advertising not to get money as they got before, and they no longer can convert tickets into ROBUX. But the deceptive advertising still continues, and users can still get ROBUX from fake game passes.
Nowadays, it's really common to find clickbait games. These types of games have improved rapidly throughout 2016 all the way to today. Scam groups, such as ones named after popular ROBLOX YouTubers, have been creating a lot of false advertisement games. This can easily appeal to younger ROBLOX users due to their inexperience.