Spam comments from a con

I just love getting comments on my blog and I like it even more when I get comments that lead me to the opportunity to call out another work at home con job.  This comment showed up in my blog:


Now as most of you know, I can pass up anything but I always want to take a chance on a potentially lucrative site. So I decided to type in the link and go and have a look for myself.   Now the first thing that struck me was why would someone spam a comment on a website that was inactive. In fact, this particular web site has been inactive for almost 3 years!  The last post can be seen here (2009)


That's ok let's take a closer look at what they are "promoting". The first thing I discovered was that they have linked to a potential money maker. The first "warning" sign that this is not a legit opportunity is that it links to ClickBank which automatically sets my teeth on edge since 99.9% of the crap on ClickBank is just that - crap.  So this "opportunity" is supposedly "4 Day Money Making Blueprint". When you go to that site, you get the usual hoopla that is found on most spammy looking sites, bright colors, fake photographs and of course a thousand reasons why you should get sucked into this bogus offer.  So let's look at the "intro page" and lo and behold this is what you'll find:


Let's get something straight: No one gives a rats fanny whether you make money online or not. They are INTERESTED IN LINING THEIR OWN POCKETS.  For the dirt cheap price of $30 which you might as well flush down the toilet, they offer you all kinds of "hints" about how to make money online. What a frigging joke.
  1. Anyone can use any free keyword tool to find keywords
  2. Anyone can read any one of a million blogs, books, articles about how to write an article
  3. Ezine is USELESS
  4. Squidoo is fine but unless you're prepared to write hundreds of lenses a month don't expect to get rich this way!
You don't have to pay this clown $30 for this crappy material.  His website is registered to him but when you take a few minutes to scour around the Internet (as I'm prone to doing) you'll find that he's not just promoting ONE program, instead he promotes countless schemes all with the intent of separating you from a few dollars to line his pockets:

In addition to his "4 day plan" you can also find him promoting the "Power 3 Marketing" plan along with 
someone else here:

This guys big claim to fame is that he has written the book "The Original Bum Marketer" (conversations with Travis Sago) -- it's interesting that "Travis Sago" is a fictional character - he was so interested in promoting this he was too much of a coward to use his own name. Seriously folks run, don't walk away from this "Opportunity".  Good way to lose $30 buying information you can largely get for free - most of which is outdated now thanks to Panda and Penguin updates.  The only thing that stops this from being a scam is that if you do pay the $30 you actually get products but my opinion is that you'll be wasting your money.

Calling attention to your own scam

It's pretty amusing when a con artist outs themselves. In fact, I have to admit that I am always amused when I find them doing this. This also goes to show that con artists just spam away with no idea of what they are doing (and they most likely use some sort of script for linking).

Over the last two weeks as I've been reviewing the "twin scams" that I like to dub them, namely scam Work at Home Digest and scam Work at Home Business Opportunities, I have noticed an increase in "ping backs" on  my posts.  Now it's fortunate that my spam filter works really well, but I thought I'd share this one as it's so darned amusing.  Here's the comment:


Now it's important to note that I don't click through on links that I'm unsure of (as we all should do) so instead, I typed in the name of the website (I did skip the articles directory), and lo and behold I find yet another site that is promising that I can make hundreds of dollars a day (doing nearly nothing!).  Now what I find so fascinating about this is that they make all of these high-end claims and they cannot even find images of fake earnings without stealing them from other sites :)

Now interestingly enough, I can no longer find the link from the other two sites to this one but that didn't stop me from snooping around. The WhoIs record has been altered so you can no longer see who actually owns the site.  But that being neither here nor there, the one thing that stands out most here is that the images are nearly all duplicated from other sites, including the images of earnings.

Now, before you get all excited about earning money processing rebates, you might want to check out the article from the BBB which has the title: BBB Warns Job Hunters to Steer Clear of Rebate Processing Job Scams.  Now one fascinating thing that I also found was a site that claimed to have some "leads" for rebate processing so I thought I'd follow along. 

You basically wind up in an endless circle claiming the same site over and over is legit. The irony is that there is very little information about what you actually do and they just expect you to blindly pay them a fee to take advantage of this offer. If you search a little deeper on this site what you'll find is that they make most of their money by conning others into conning others.

There is no company in Arizona that is the same name, the person who claims to own the site is invisible and has nothing online except at Affiliate sites.  Con job!

Dumb way to learn how to use coupons

Now for those of you who follow this blog regularly, you'll remember that my research over the last several posts has been focused on two sites that are offering work at home opportunities that are supposedly "pre-screened" according to their own tagline "The Work At Home & Home Business Opportunities Outlined Below Are Presented Only After Careful & Strict Review".

What we're finding is that these are about as screened as the sand on the beach.  My dog could do a better job "reviewing" these because if this is their idea of "careful and strict review" they certainly missed the boat! In particular, these sites are called scam Work at Home Digest and scam Work at Home Business Opportunities (which is by the way up for sale).  As part of my continued insistence that SOMETHING on one of these sites might be legitimate, I continued to plow through their "offers". So, today, I found this one:



Hey let's face it, we ALL spend

too much money on  groceries right? So why not take advantage of this and see what happens right? Well I clicked through and something rang bells in my brain. You see the site name is Coupon Queens and I knew I had seen that name before. But where?  Well it took me a few minutes, but sure enough, I found that the company "Information Net Source" which has this stellar F rating from the BBB has that listed under their list of scam money making sites.  You can see that here:


 

Now I don't know how many people get sucked into this one every month but let me say this about that: Once you "click through" this site you wind up on yet another site called Smart Couponing System.

Now frankly, if you are keeping house, doing regular grocery shopping  and have Internet access WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU NEED TO PAY ANYONE $37 TO LEARN HOW TO USE COUPONS. Honestly, are people that STUPID or is this con artist stupid enough to think that we don't know where to find free coupons. Honestly people if you WANT coupons you DO HAVE OPTIONS that are FREE (ya imagine that free). In addition to checking out your local store you can check out these sites:
  • http://www.Coupons.com
  • http://www.CouponNetwork.com
  • http://www.generalmills.com/en/Company/our_web_sites/Coupons_and_promotions_websites.aspx
  • http://www.smartsource.com/
  • http://www.valpak.com/coupons/home
  • http://www.retailmenot.com
Read about Couponing Scams as well.  Avoid this program, you don't have to pay anyone $37 to learn how to use coupons, you can learn to do it yourself for free.

Credit repair scams

I find it totally fascinating when a work at home website is promoting other "opportunities". In my ongoing quest to find any single item on scam Work at Home Digest or scam Work at Home Business Opportunities, I continue to review some of the posts on there. So far, things do not look so good for these sites. In spite of the fact that one of them claims to have a "turnkey" business venture that is up for sale, what she fails to disclose is that this "business" is in the business of promoting one scam after another. We've exposed several of them and today, things are no different. In spite of their promise that things are "fully-vetted and researched" I've so far done ten times as much research as they have done (clearly since my "findings" are completely different).

Let's face it, the economy sucks. Lots of people have lost their jobs, some are in the process of losing their homes and still others have been divorced, are facing mounting medical bills, etc. This means their credit isn't so hot either. That makes an advertisement like this particularly appealing:

My teeth always jangle when I see advertisements like this, I've written countless articles about how to get free credit reports over the years and yes, they are free and you do not have to submit any type of a credit card and sign up for some service that you do not need to get them.  Enough of that. Let's go through this link and see where they go. Keep in mind that the sites both go to the same websites so we only have to review them one time!

The link goes to a site called The Attorney's Guide to Credit Repair. Like most con jobs, it blasts information in bright colors and fancy shiny objects to distract you from the truth.  So the good news is that their popup tells us exactly who the person that is sending out this crappy information is you can see it here:


Now the first thing that I did was scour the site for an address. I did find one with a PO Box in California. Since this guys big claim to fame is that he's an attorney, I decided to see if I could find him.   The address in the privacy policy shows:  PO Box 4655 Canoga Park, CA 91303. The only problem is I find no attorney David Shapiro in Canoga Park in the California Directory:


Now interestingly enough, there is a telephone number on the website that allows you to contact them if you have any problems. The number is 660-480-5363. What's so fascinating about this is that it's shared by another web marketing company called 1001 Killer Ebay Marketing Tactics  run by a person with a totally different name.  So clearly, this is a shared telephone number.  Both of the WhoIs records come up with no information and neither of these companies has any record with the Better Business Bureau that I can find.

I did go ahead and sign up for the "free" portion of the report. I will add here that I was not able to download it as the button wouldn't work. However, the email was signed and a company name was included which was "Applied Credit Repair Solutions, PO Box 4653, Canoga Park, CA 91303". What's fascinating about this is that when I put this address into Google, absolutely nothing comes up.  No company name, nothing. I was able to determine that Mr. Shapiro is a lousy writer here:


Two things I find disturbing: (1) he's incapable of removing code from his articles and (2) he's unwilling to put a photograph. The other fascinating thing is that while his email and the site refer to him as David Shapiro ESQ., I do not find any indication of that online.

So, what about the credit repair? 
First, let's see what Attorney Shapiro is offering:

 
So besides the fact that his script appears to be broken you can get this handy dandy credit repair guide for a low price of $37.  That being neither here nor there, let's take a look at the REAL way to deal with credit problems:


B) Understand that these websites are not "one ofs".  I deliberately went searching for PLRs that matched this and lo and behold look at what I was able to BUY for less than $5.  Note that the one on the bottom is the one that we're highlighting here:


If you really want to read the manual that he's offering you for $37, let me know by email and I'll be happy to run a "special" for everyone who signs up on my Facebook page since the license says I can't give them away :)  It does say I can use them for a bonus though.  So steer clear of this con job! As an aside, I am 100% uncertain as to what this has to do with working at home!

Update: May 28, 2012. As I was searching for information on another post. I found this important information from the BBB:  Consumers paying scammers for services they can do themselves.

Stunning Survey Stupidity

When will people ever learn? I received a comment on a not very flattering post calling out oDesk Customer Service on my other blog. The comment of course did land in my spam folder as it was riddled with links. Richard, Richard, Richard…before you spam websites with your comments you might want to make sure that you are not running the risk of getting called out as a con artist peddling some sort of bogus program.

Without showing you the entire stupid comment, I’ll just show you the beginning of it so you can see what I was seeing: “If you want to make $20-$50/hour and up to $3500/month of your time working at home part-time then this is the most important message you’re ever going to read…” Cool in 70 hours a month (that’s just about 2 weeks), I can earn that much money? Show me the way! (head slap).

Of course as most of you know by now I cannot resist going to these sites to see what phony program they are promoting and of course, this was not any different than most. Except you want to talk about morons. I have to admit that while I am not a grammar or punctuation cop, I do definitely look for blatant misspelled words. But this was worse than most….get a load of this puppy: I have a ton of faith in a work-at-home opportunity that cannot spell business correctly. Go figure.

But the point is that his “opportunity reviews” are full of scummy offers too. The first post is about a site that pays you for surveys. The site claims to belong to Jay Stiver. When I checked his photo in Tineye it’s on about 25 other sites (half of them are non-English sites) and he’s everything from an Affiliate Marketing Guru to a stock market trader; of course there’s something else too that we typically call a con artist . So I’m here to call out the immediate lie that I see on the site, namely “This is the only legit survey site online, so if you are interested in making hundreds per day just giving your opinions then make sure you check this out.“. 

Seriously? You knew I would have to check this out right? So off I go to the site that promises me all these wonderful things and hundreds of dollars daily (while I am swallowing my skepticism)….and as I read down their site I’m intrigued until I get to this spot:
That is why SurveysPaid.com is so special, we have direct relationships with hundreds of the top research companies all over the world and they’ve asked us to help find people in United States of America to start taking paid surveys right away.“ 
Wait a minute here, I know there are MANY legitimate survey sites and I’ve never heard of this company before….so what gives?

So I did a little more digging around and lo and behold this is what I found:
  • You have to pay for information (always a good sign you’re about to be scammed)
  • The wonderful earnings disclaimer (you might not make a red cent)
  • The affiliate program with the handy dandy banners that are set up to con get others to sign up
Wonderful! Only 15 positions open and thousands of victims people waiting to find legitimate opportunities.

So because I always try to balance scams out with something that is legitimate, I went scouring around and looked for someone who appears to know what they are doing. And you know what? The ONE real claim they made is that there ARE thousands of survey sites that WILL pay you money. I read a forum post recently from someone named who claimed there were FREE lists of REAL paid survey sites. In fairness he does disclose that he IS an affiliate for some of these. He claims his earnings are approximately $14k a year, and he does this only (he’s disabled).

In fairness, I’ve evaluated his site, I do not see any red flags, he is not asking for any money. He may receive residual earnings IF you register with one of the sites that he is an affiliate for but otherwise there are no outstanding bugs that I can find. He’s taken the time to evaluate various sites and assign them “star” ratings and if he has not worked with them they are unrated. But the information is there for you to decide for yourself. Since there are so many offers I have not gone through them, but watch out for the red flags (you know what they are!) and use caution when signing up. The name of the site for the free leads is Free Paid Surveys Net. THIS IS NOT an affiliate link!

Sorry I am not that stupid

So today was not one of my better days, it was largely non-productive (as was yesterday) but, I managed to tick a few folks off so all is not lost <grin>. And I am certain that once this blog post gets read that there will be a few MORE people ticked off so let’s get moving! I did get a message today in Gmail (which is not associated with this blog I might add!)….offering to “exchange links” with me. Basically, if I linked to their site, they would link to mine. Now the interesting thing is that they chose THIS blog to ask for a link on.

The reason I find this so surprising is that this particular blog, for whatever reason, has 0 PR. Not sure why, it simply does not. Course it’s also still relatively new and I haven’t exactly been working that hard on keyword rankings either. Given that I’m only getting 30 – 50 page views a day, that’s probably a factor. Whatever. Back to the point….

So, let’s get started: As I stated earlier – why would anyone want to link to a PR-0 site from a PR2 site? Mystery but whatever. Who is Leinka Mills? Well, we’re not so sure because if you do a Google search on her she comes up as a spammer who is well known for sending out this EXACT email for a variety of sites. OK so let’s see if she actually owns these sites….ummm not so much. According to Who is records, the sites are owned by someone who uses the email: neoblade2001@gmail.com (like that is so real *ugh*). …. So let’s take a quick look at these sites….first of all, I find it highly amusing even that she / he / it has not included an actual LINK to either of these sites in this email. Makes her look like less of a scammer/spammer I guess. Wait though, it does get better….Of course, this “person” is working on some freaky link building scheme. They’re not asking you to pay for linking but they are TRYING to suck link juice from you to make sure that their scams get promoted. Oh! Did I say scams? Yes, I found more than one. Let’s take a look at two links I picked out of their website <ready?> You can look at the others and determine for your self what the deal is there but the two with the red arrows intrigued me.

So tell me who buys a URL that reads like this? http://www.onlinemoneyme.com/ seriously? This is the “best way to make money online (not)” website. Of course all you will find on there is a link to the “instant payday” program that tells you how to attract other scammers suckers people to do the same thing and you of course will make thousands of dollars a day (same crap, different name)….so let’s look at the OTHER site that promises “Make Mass Money”…. +First of all, the site name actually matches this time. But the site will eat your eyes out of your head. It brings UGLY to a whole new level – because I don’t want people to have to click through to these scumbags, I’ll show you a quick clip: And, here’s the kind of English you can expect
Thanks For Coming To Are Site. Here Are Some Great Software. Tell Everyone So They To Can Get These Software For Free Why They Last. We Post New Software All The Time So Make Sure You Check Back. Thanks Agian
So I checked out their three links without clicking on them, I simply rolled over with my mouse and GUESS what I found:

HERE’S WHAT THE WORST PART OF THIS SCAM IS: Join these sites for free (supposedly tested sites right)
1. Zip Nada Zilch – proven scam
2. WAZZUB - another (unproven) scam
3. AW Surveys – and their TOS is fascinating with this clause (and I quote directly) “(L) Yearly Earnings: The maximum amount that can be claimed during 1 fiscal year (Jan 1st to Dec 31st), is $550. Amounts over this must be held to the next fiscal year to receive payout.” … which means they are scamming the IRS!

 So lady/sir whatever you are…. take your spam someplace else and when you are interested in getting links from legitimate sites you should vet your scamming buddies better. Important note: It appears that as of July 6, 2015 these sites have disappeared from search engines and now show as unused. This is GREAT news for those who are looking for legitimate work at home opportunities.  

Scamming those who want to earn

Today I got yet another email telling me how I can “Make Hundreds Per Day From Home”. That was the “subject”. Of course, I can’t help myself even though I am more than aware that this is yet another get rich scheme and I’m on another spammer’s email list. That of course didn’t stop me from opening the email only to have it say “Make Money While Drinking Coffee – Click Here”. Ya right! I never would “click through” because you know that can only get you onto yet another list so why take the chance. I simply hovered over and got the “primary” email address (minus the scumbags referral link) and went to see for myself. I found pretty much what I expected.

Here’s what I earned in my account today!

These sites are partly so insidious because they tell you just enough to fascinate you. As skeptical as I am, I still find myself fascinated with the hype that these guys spew and as you know I’m not quite that gullible. One of the things I pride myself on in fact is that I’ve never gotten caught in one of these traps online but that doesn’t mean that I’m smart necessarily, more persistent and more than a bit lucky. I am really tired of these sites that promise to tell people how they can make hundreds of dollars a day by setting up a website and loading it up with garbage and then selling products that they may know little (or nothing) about. It doesn’t quite work that way.

No joy in mud-ville

The problem with these sites is that there are so many of them that you could literally spend twenty or thirty hours a week tracking them down individually. Not only is it time consuming, it’s downright depressing! Years ago, someone told me that those who can do and those who can’t write about it ….. wonder what they’d think of me writing.... None-the-less I’m going to provide some “generic” tips for avoiding these types of scams because they are everywhere and while there is SOME legitimacy to their claims, the fact remains that much of the “information” they are claiming to sell you can be found for next to nothing. Not to mention, with some careful planning, you can create these income streams on your own without falling for these supposed “guru’s” techniques.

The problem with these sites

The biggest problem with these sites is that they are everywhere. Nearly all of them promise you a 30 or 60 day money back guarantee. One of the challenges with this is that (a) they almost never have a good contact name on them, (b) there is seldom a telephone number and (c) inevitably you are going to wind up being told that all refunds are processed through ClickBank. Unfortunately, what will ultimately wind up happening is that you’ll have waited too long!

The other big problem with these sites is that as I mentioned in a prior post, they are getting smarter. They now know that most of us are going to type “scam: name of scam” into the search engine. They are buying not only (name of scam.com) but they are also buying up “scamnameofscam.com” and “reviewofnameofscam.com” so that you definitely are going to get fed a line of bullshit garbage when you think you are getting a legitimate review.

The REAL bottom line, just don’t do it, do NOT buy these packages no matter how good they sound. When you try to leave the website you’ll probably see something like this: Yes, I deleted his name. Run, don’t walk – run quickly and don’t look back. At some point, I’ll show you some options for making money through affiliate marketing legitimately and it won’t cost you a dime to try any of them! I’ll show you some of the sites that offer free information, where you can learn how to do marketing on your own and while you probably WON’T earn $497 a day doing any of them, you can take satisfaction in knowing that some scumbag bogus guru didn’t get your money.