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When “Scam” Is A Scam Of Sorts

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011

Last weekend I finished reading a book by a guy named Brendon Burchard called the Millionaire Messenger, which was recommended by Mitchell Allen of Morpho Designs. It’s a wonderful book with great ideas on how to earn money by promoting yourself as an expert.

I was curious as to what Brendon looked like because he’s a fairly young guy; actually it turns out he’s around 38, but I had the feeling he was much younger. I go to Google and start typing in his name, and you know how it starts listing topics. The second thing that pops up with his name is followed by the word “scam”. I was curious so I decided to click on that link to see what I got.

There were a lot of links under that topic, more than 60,000 to be precise. A lot of the links had his name and “scam” in the topic line. A few asked if it was a scam, and a few mentioned it in the description of what we might see.

Y’all know me; it was time for some research. I clicked on about 10 of these things. I discovered that none of these people actually believed he or his books or ideas were a scam. Indeed, all of them praised the book and the man, even though some didn’t believe it was the type of thing for everyone.

Suddenly I felt scammed by all these people and all the other people that had the word “scam” and “Brendon Burchard” associated with each other. And yet, I know this type of thing isn’t the first time I’ve seen it.

Tell the truth, doesn’t it bother you when a headline totally misleads you? I see this type of marketing all the time; as a matter of fact, many of the so-called online marketing gurus tell you this is a great tactic to increase sales, whether you believe a product is a scam or not. Yeah, it got me to go check out these sites, but I think that kind of thing is disingenuous, hence my calling it a scam in and of itself.

For the record, this guy’s very legitimate, and he’s got a lot of energy. He’s written some other books as well. He talks about how he’s made millions and talks about pricing and marketing and getting the money you deserve to get. He gives you both pointers and motivation. True, it’s really not for everyone, but what book or program is?

This had to follow up my post about not falling for scams, didn’t it? Well, it’s something else to look at, that being people who purport something as a scam only to find out it’s not a scam. Personally, I wouldn’t buy anything from these people; I’d find someone else who was talking about that product legitimately and buy from them instead. I can’t imagine supporting anyone that tricked me in such a fashion; can you?

Or am I being too sensitive about this type of thing because I wouldn’t do it? What do you think?

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Interesting, I’ve never heard of that before – still, i have to agree with you Mitch, I’d buy from someone else too.

June 27th, 2011 | 11:37 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Sarah, it’s pretty easy to see on Google if you try typing in a program of some sort being talked about online.

June 27th, 2011 | 4:16 PM

“It’s a wonderful book with great ideas on how to earn money by promoting yourself as an expert.” If I understand correctly and this is the main theme of this book so…I think this is scam. Firstly – you must become an expert and than promote it.

June 27th, 2011 | 11:56 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Dan, this guy’s legit, and the book is legit. The “scam” is people calling it a scam. He is an expert; trust me on this one.

June 27th, 2011 | 4:15 PM

I think I have to read this book, but one thing is for sure. I have mention this previous through my career I have worked for companies and some of the customers have been gurus of writing, self improvement and business coaching. The keyword that they wanted to promote was their name and the name have to appear in every article or domain.

June 27th, 2011 | 10:03 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, this is a very good book. And promotion is one thing; scamming people by lying in the title is another.

June 27th, 2011 | 11:19 PM

When I started doing SEO, Google didn’t exist. Many SEO practitioners at that time, used to target keywords like “Pamela Anderson bla bla”, this was driving insane levels of traffic. 100% scam, now there is Google and this technique is banned. Scam ~= Marketing, you tell people promotion 40% off price, but the price is already 100% higher. “Make money online blog”, but by the way, I have never tested any of this systems. Scam is everywhere.

June 29th, 2011 | 6:49 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, I remember the days before Google as well; I used AltaVista. And it was always amazing how you’d end up on sites that had nothing to do with what you were searching for because of all that hidden keyword stuffing; I still see some of that today. What hasn’t been banned is the use of salacious headlines to get people to your site only to discover that’s not what’s being talked about or having someone go in a different direction. I think it’s okay with some headlines, but if I were marketing a product I wouldn’t do it.

June 29th, 2011 | 1:19 PM

Hi Mitch.
I’m with you in this. I really hate it when there’s a headline that’s not sync with the content. It’s really misleading and bothering me.

June 28th, 2011 | 1:38 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Andrew, I guess we have to live with it for awhile, but I really don’t like it.

June 28th, 2011 | 7:01 PM
Ned Carey:

Mitch I see this for a lot of real estate guru programs. The part I don’t get is is ceases to be a good marketing ploy if everyone uses it. Why can’t people come up with their own Unique Selling Position.

June 28th, 2011 | 9:30 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ned, I wish I knew. I hate the misdirection and immediately don’t trust the people selling whatever it is. You’re right, real estate is one of those industries doing this mess all the time.

June 28th, 2011 | 10:45 PM
 James K. Trent:

That is correct Mitch!!I too would not risk to buy something I know I am not sure if it is legitimate or not…We should be careul in doing so…

June 29th, 2011 | 12:33 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks James. The products are often legit, but the way they’re marketed will make you question the person selling it.

June 29th, 2011 | 1:17 PM

Oh my gosh, another book I just have to read 🙂

Thanks for the heads-up!

June 29th, 2011 | 7:10 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

No problem Carolee; enjoy it, and of course if you’re feeling really generous, click on the link & buy from me. lol

June 29th, 2011 | 10:30 PM

That is really misleading and I don’t understand why you are the only one I see writing about this. I hate seeing titles in the search engine that don’t match the content. That’s as bad as these misleading titles you see in your email box.

June 29th, 2011 | 7:32 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Thanks for agreeing DeAnna. I think others don’t write about it because then it forces them into the topic of their own headlines, which can be name-grabbing without delivering the goods. I know I have one headline like that out of all my posts, but it was political and satirical; not trying to make any money off it at all.

June 29th, 2011 | 10:31 PM

Putting the word “scam” next to a product or a people’s name is a common marketing trick. If you’re searching for something and you see the word “scam” in the results, that’s the one you’re going to click for the first time.

We are morbid creatures indeed.

June 30th, 2011 | 1:23 PM

I agree with you Mitch.
There should be truth in advertising!

July 1st, 2011 | 6:27 AM

I know that when doing a search to see whether or not a product is legit I will use the word scam alongside the product name. I’m sure I’m not the only person to do this and I’m pretty sure these people know this and are capitalising on the fact.

July 15th, 2011 | 8:14 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I actually never put it in Sire because I know that once I start typing it’ll come up.

July 15th, 2011 | 8:16 PM

So, does that make you a glass half full or a glass half empty type of guy 😉

July 15th, 2011 | 11:06 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Man, I’m almost always a half full type of guy. If I’m thinking half empty, it’s because I know what’s coming and don’t like it. lol

July 15th, 2011 | 11:17 PM
Ned Carey:

Some say half full, some say half empty. I say “Are you going to finish that?”

July 17th, 2011 | 11:30 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Are you going to finish that; classic Ned. Then again, me being me, I’ve never asked anyone that; I hate eating after people (that only child thing again lol).

July 17th, 2011 | 6:47 PM

Well, I’ll be. Commenting nearly four years later. I’m glad you got the millionaire’s message to us. Now, about the misleading Scam Headline…

A sharp knife can cut away fat. If you’re not careful, you can cut away the meat, too. Using “Is X a scam” is such a common search term that marketers can’t resist. But, if you pay attention to the SOURCE and, if you trust that source, then the search did you some good.

For example, without quotes, type this into your search engine: is SkinnyMe Tea a scam?

The word “scam” doesn’t appear anywhere in the TITLES, that I could see, but Google turns up some useful links, including Cosmo (if you can trust that source, LOL).


Mitchell Allen recently posted…Bye-bye PeoplePerHour.comMy Profile

March 2nd, 2015 | 11:41 PM

You mean Cosmo, the women’s magazine? lol Personally I think it’s disingenuous, but you saw that already. I’d never do it; weasels… 🙂

March 2nd, 2015 | 11:54 PM


You’re absolutely correct on this. It’s quite strange that so many marketers don’t see the connection between trust and conversion rate. There is a great book called “The Speed of Trust” that deals with this very topic. The more trust you generate, the easier your job is as a marketer.
Jack Duncan recently posted…Keyword Grouper: How To Group Keywords For Keyword Clustering & MappingMy Profile

August 3rd, 2016 | 1:22 AM

Thanks Jack. I hate this kind of bait and switch because it’s quite deceiving, and when I remember I never go back.

August 3rd, 2016 | 3:37 PM