Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment
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In early March, the Approve Leads team contacted us to tell us how they had been cheated out of $70k by DepLab representative Alexander Sokolov and to publicize the case. Since this was done not only to them but also to other arbitration teams, we began to investigate and look for proof. According to the data provided to us, DepLab owed them and other arbitration teams the amount of … drum roll … about one and a half million dollars😬. Trash! So, let’s get into the details and screenshots. Read to the end and share your feedback.

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Who are these DepLabs?

The company opened in 2022 with very favorable conditions on the market: payments once a week without a hold, free apps, free creos, and round-the-clock support. Under such conditions, during the first three months of operation, they have already recruited the first 1000 arbitrageurs among CIS teams.

DepLab positioned itself as an international affiliate program that offers the best gambling and betting offers for webmasters and gives advertisers only high-quality and verified traffic. They were featured at various affiliate events and were often praised in the media space of Sigma, CPA.Club, ProTraffic, and Traffic Cardinal.

When we started analyzing reviews of DepLab’s activities, the first comments in public search queries did not give a clear answer about the company’s work:

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

“But are TG’s publics a sufficient proof?”Not for us! We understand the possibility of commercial placements in the channels. That’s why we went to investigate further.

How did Sokolov dump Approve Leads and a bunch of other experienced webmasters with impunity?

The Approve Leads team members met Alexander Sokolov via video call before he decided to build his team. They had a certain trust in the man and considered him and the team not just acquaintances from the industry, but trusted friends.

Approve Leads explains their trust in this affiliate: “DepLab has been featured at affiliate conferences many times, and even had their booth at the Malta conference.”

DepLab had great reviews both on the official pages of affiliate media portals and in the Tinder chats. So the teams were ready to work with them without a guarantee. Approve Leads started driving traffic to Sokolov’s business in March 2023 and brought in a fairly solid amount of traffic, $70,000. At first, Sasha sent the first payments, but in June 2023, he started to freeze the Approve Leads team.

The team had the first serious conversation with the debtor in November 2023, namely on 27.11.23. Then Sokolov promised that he would close the entire amount by 12/15/23. But alas. He has paid off only $8k so far, and the balance of the debt is $62k. And every week he still makes promises – one thing or another.

Whether Sasha was ready to pay off his debts when it came to large sums – see for yourself. 👇🏻

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

The situation with promises to close all dice and reset payments was repeated week after week and continues now. Approve Leads say that they are not the only ones who were abandoned by Sokolov and provide proof with the channel of “their debtors”. In order not to write to everyone separately, he created a closed channel for 30 participants with everyone he owed. He promised to pay them as soon as possible and wished everyone a good day, even wishing them a Happy New Year. Sincere wishes or a well-thought-out NLP trick? Who are these 30 people and how much money does the Deplab operator owe them?

Scammer from FB: How Sasha Sokolov fooled the traffic arbitrage market for 1.5m dollars with no punishment

What Sokolov’s team says about working with him

We also got in touch with a DepLab employee, Dmitry (names changed for confidentiality purposes), who worked in his team. It turned out that Mr. Oleksandr deceived not only his partners but also people in his team. I wonder how people, without being paid their dice, sat in “standby mode” and continued to trust? Former colleagues say: “he was trusted, known in the market, and the team he showed confidence in the future.” So what went wrong and at what point?

For the first couple of months, Sokolov paid the team, albeit with a delay. And in September, his timelines were flooded with traffic without a salary. At that time, Sasha himself bought a house and changed 3 cars, according to his colleagues. Coincidence or financial literacy? The last time he sent 1000-2000 to his team was in December, owing them thousands. But he was so good at explaining the “hard times” to the team that no one in the team talked about the fact that Sasha owed them a payment. He continued to promise in a friendly way that he would close all the debts by the New Year and disappeared. Dmytro told us that Sasha owed him 5K. He doesn’t even hope to pay them anymore, but he would be happy if Sasha pays fairly for his scams, or if he has a conscience, he pays, albeit with a long delay.

We asked Dmitry why investors gave Sasha money, even though he did not return their investments. Dmytro says that Sasha is a very charismatic person, able to speak well and attract people to him. He was like a negative character in movies, you realize that he is an anti-hero, but you sympathize with him and want to support him.

We also talked to another of Sasha’s employees, Denys.

He says that their acquaintance began on Telegram, where they shared their work on FB. Later they met at Conversion in Warsaw, where Sasha offered him to work with him. They started working together in November 2022, and at first, everything looked very promising. Denis says: “We even went to a conference in Dubai, which brought us even closer as a team.” However, in August-September 2023, problems with salary payments began. In November, it became obvious that something had gone wrong with the company. We asked Denys what had kept him working for several months without getting paid. He also talked about Sokolov’s ability to psychologically adjust employees, that he was about to find an investor and pay for everything.

A couple of days before the article was released, we contacted Denis, who shared that SS had paid off his debt. However, they still haven’t paid the amount of his salary for his work from September to November. Will our media be able to give impetus to a case that has long been considered dead?

A strategic approach or a scheme involving an unofficial investor?

Exclusively for our investigation, we have reached not only a good friend but also an investor in the shadow of the DepLab team, who agreed to provide us with proof of cooperation with Sokolov.

Artem (name changed for privacy reasons) shared that he has known Sasha since his time at Pin Up. At the beginning of the war, Sokolov went to Riga and opened a partnership there. Artem started working with Sasha in April 2023, and Sasha earned a percentage, which he gave to him and said that he would throw the rest into the business. At first, Sokolov borrowed 8-15 thousand from Artem, which he returned. So when the amounts grew, it did not arouse suspicion.

However, at a certain point in this story, there is a similar turnover as in the story of Approve Leads. In May, Sokolov started having large-scale problems and could no longer make ends meet. He had borrowed a total of 85K from Artem, of which he still has 55K. Since the summer, he kept promising to pay back the money he had borrowed the previous week, but he hasn’t paid anything back yet. Over the past couple of months, they came to a preliminary agreement that Alexander would pour traffic for Artem, thereby repaying the debt. The traffic was shed for a couple of days and the situation was paused again. Will there be any progress?
Artem claims that he saw the luxurious life Sokolov was living – a new house, an apartment, a car – which did not match the state of the company. He once said to Artem“I know how to screw over a lot of people and not have to pay for it.” This already says a lot about Sasha’s attitude towards his colleagues.

Will Sasha be able to return the amount owed to the investor, at least with the interest he has earned? This is what he was most likely counting on when looking for a new investor. Or he could have poured in $55k worth of traffic to pay off the debt in full. Here, too, not everything is clear…

According to some sources, Alexander is currently in Moscow, according to others – in Dubai. But this is a secondary issue, the main question is whether Sokolov will pay all his debtors or continue to make promises every week on the channel with those who owe him substantial sums.

We hope this article will encourage you to choose reliable partners for cooperation and not to forget about guarantors to protect yourself from such cases and sleep better.

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