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Why My Scam Meter Goes Up

Posted by on Sep 17, 2008

This morning I woke up early to take my wife to the train station, as she’s going on a little jaunt for a few days. When I got home, unable to go to sleep, I turned on the TV. There was this infomercial on, and it was touting this guy named Jeff Paul and his Shortcut To Internet Millions program (this is NOT a link to the program). In the commercial were numerous people telling their stories of how they got rich off the program, and all but one of them was purported to make more than $50,000 a month on the internet. Oh yeah, two of the sales people were young, “healthy” women, so of course eye candy was a big part of these commercials.

Of course my skeptic meter went up drastically, as this guy’s course was selling for only $39.99, plus supposedly they gave you 10 “money making” websites off the bat, and if you joined his monthly program (they didn’t say for how much) you could earn as many as 120 free websites within the first year.

I thought about this commercial in relation to a seminar I got talked into twice, of all things, the first time by my wife, then the second time by another friend of mine, and that second one was my fault because I hadn’t remembered the name of the company the first time around (and don’t remember the name now; isn’t that a shame?). Both times the room was literally packed, as in way over 200 people, and the sales went through the roof as they offered immediate financing for everyone, no questions asked (at 18%, no wonder), at a very high price for 6 websites, monthly maintenance, and of course a support group (but no guarantees; everyone is sure to state that up front). As someone who’s purchased domain names and has a hosting package, plus someone who builds websites for other businesses on the side, I can easily say that these folks were literally being robbed because none of them, well, maybe one or two, were going to ever come close to recouping their investment.

It’s one reason I get very skeptical with all the products that are out on the internet purporting that they’re going to teach me how to make millions. Not to name drop, but on Lynn Terry’s blog last week, and then through email conversations afterwards, I told her that it seems all of these things have some good ideas, but not a single one of them actually ever answers the big questions that most of us have, and thus it leaves us wanting in still not understanding how to get it done. Luckily, for most of us, it costs relatively little for us to give it a shot, only our time.

Just today, for instance, I was inundated by at least 7 websites offering to help me get wealthy on the internet; 3 of those came through Twitter, so I guess it was my choice to read them, but only one of them even mentioned getting rich on the internet, so they were sort of deceptive. And all of them have that same “scammy” looking template of big letters, seemingly “fast talk” language, standard testimonials, and the trick crossing out of one price so that, if I bought today, I’d be getting it for the low price of $_____, as long as I acted pretty fast since, after XX number sold, they were taking it off the market. Yeah, right; even StomperNet, which costs bucko bucks, came back on the market after saying they weren’t going to anymore.

You never really know who to believe anymore, which is why, for the most part, I don’t purchase any of these things. There are a few I have purchased that I’ve found pretty good, in that at least I learned something. One is on the right side there, from Rich Jerk. Another one some time back was Brad Callen’s Search Engine Optimization Made Easy. And one more was Joel Comm’s Adsense Secrets 4.0. By the way, the last one is the only one I’ve actually made money from, as my Adsense earnings have more than tripled, if that makes sense, since I put some of his ideas into place. Oh yeah, I also purchased 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, which was a very good read, and I got some pretty good ideas from there.

I’ve obviously got a couple of sales pages of products I’ve created myself, which I’m not going to pitch here (I’ll save that for another day), but I don’t promise riches, or anything above and beyond exactly what the products are specifically for. I don’t over-promise, and there’s nothing on any of my sales page that someone is going to call me on later and say “hey, this didn’t do what you said it was going to do”. Sure, my products aren’t that type, but even if they were, I don’t know that I’d want anyone claiming as many thousands as these people do, without any proof of it. It just feels and sounds icky.

How do the rest of you view these types of things? Am I the only one who not only senses scam, but has their skeptic level as high as I have mine?

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When I are confronted by these sorts of schemes, and I see them everyday, I always go by the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is!” In other words, save your money and give these schemes a wide berth.

Sires last blog post..What Do You Do To Promote Trust From Your Readers?

September 17th, 2008 | 11:53 PM

That’s a good way to go, Sire. I’m sure that there really is someone who actually did it, but not all these no-name people who say they only work 2 or 3 hours a week. Nope, just can’t happen.

September 18th, 2008 | 2:52 PM

Reminds me of the one and only infomercial I actually bought when I was a teenager. “You Will Make Money” “You Get A Free WebSite”

Blah.. now a days I dont even buy eBooks. Search hard enough you will find them.

September 18th, 2008 | 9:09 PM

I admit I also fell for one of those survey scams, for which I am eternally grateful as it sort of got me into blogging, in a roundabout way.

September 18th, 2008 | 9:56 PM

Hi BV; Course I’m a little older, but I remember the commercials of the early 90’s with the guys talking about all these easy real estate deals, and now we see the TV show on one of the cable stations where people learned those lessons, do it now, but most of them can’t get the houses sold. Scams are everywhere; still, I do like getting some information from time to time, and you’re right, with lots of effort you can find free stuff. But purchasing some things here and there isn’t a bad thing.

September 18th, 2008 | 10:35 PM

Hi James; thanks for the comment. I hope more people have the same types of typos and stop by for a visit. 🙂

September 20th, 2008 | 11:29 AM
Pozycjonowanie Poznan:

Testimonials are usualy a good indicator of products quality. If producer can’t sell the product based on its features and needs to back it up with obviously fake claims, you can be sure that the product is not worth your money.

March 18th, 2009 | 5:03 AM

That’s a good point, Pozy, and one thing I’m big on is researching something on the search engines as much as I can before purchasing it, although I’ll admit that if the price is low I’ll often take a shot at it.

March 18th, 2009 | 9:46 AM