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Tech by VICE

We Talked to Phone Farmers Who Use Ad Fraud to Earn Beer Money

The inside story of the sketchy, gray market world of zombie phone armies making money simulating trailer views.

by Ben Makuch
Aug 5 2019, 11:00am

Did you know you could make money watching Netflix trailers on your phone? Did you know that people have earned close to $2,000 a month programming dozens or hundreds of phones to watch Netflix trailers, video game trailers, celebrity gossip shows, and sports?

But the trick is, no one is really watching.

This is what’s called phone farming. Just imagine rows upon rows of phones, automatically clicking through ad after ad.

On this week’s episode of CYBER, Motherboard’s Joseph Cox dove into this world by making his own mini phone farm, talking to the real farmers who made the cash creating them to give us the inside story on how this bizarre phenomenon actually works.