The next time you come across an Infolinks contest that seems too good to be true… remember, that’s probably because it is.

A few months ago, I heard that Infolinks, an ad network that I had tried a while back, was holding this awesome contest where they were giving away a five day trip to Kenya, Africa including an African Safari, a hot air balloon ride, and accommodations in a 5 star hotel. All you had to do to enter was ‘Like’ their Facebook page, have had at least 1 payout with Infolinks, and e-mail them about it.

Why wouldn’t I enter?

Anyway, I didn’t think about it for a while but yesterday I got curious to see who ended up winning so I went to the Infolinks blog and couldn’t believe what I found. Not only was there never an announcement of who the winner was, but the original blog post announcing the contest had been removed.  I took a look at the Infolinks Facebook page and it was the same deal, no winner was ever named, in fact every previous mention of the contest had been completely erased from their Facebook wall. WTF?

Then, I found in an old press release the Terms and Conditions of the contest, which explained the scam. Here’s what they were hiding in the small print:

So basically, they’re saying they’re giving away a two person trip to Africa, unless they decide for an arbitrary reason that they’re not. LOL. Are these guys for real?

Just for fun, I decided to see how successful their contest actually was. This is publically available information; you can track the Facebook ‘Like’ history of any company using the website Wildfire.

So on the day contest started, March 23rd; the Infolinks Facbook page had 19,705 Likes. By the time the contest was scheduled to end on June 25th they had 23,855. That’s 4,150 additional Likes, but I guess for the promotion to be deemed successful they needed to receive at least 4,151.

This was not a low key contest. For two months, Infolinks incorporated a hot air balloon into all of their artwork. They got respected bloggers such as John Chow and Zac Johnson to write about it. They even hired an African dance troupe to perform at the BlogWorld Expo in New York; you can still see the video from it here.

But the second they have nothing more to gain from the contest, they canceled it without publically telling anyone.

Here’s the thing Infolinks: If you want to be taken seriously, when you say you’re sending two people on an African Safari, you have to actually send two people on an African Safari. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.