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How Does A Rookie Know A Scam From A Great Gift?

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I’ve got to ask you, how does a rookie, as so many of us are, know a scam from a great gift, and for nothing? Smells like an elephant to many of us, high and stinky. How do you know wats great or con?

I’ve got to ask you, how does a rookie, as so many of us are, know a scam from a great gift, and for nothing? Smells like an elephant to many of us, high and stinky. How do you know wats great or con?

That’s the specific question one of my readers asked me via email.

Now, it’s not usual that I reprint anything form emails word for word, but in this case I thought it necessary.

You see, for a long time I resisted writing a post like this… and… even if I did write one I tended to delete it almost immediately after.

The reason for that is there seems to be an almost unwritten rule that no one writes negative things about other marketers no matter what… or suffer the consequences.

And, being only human, that kinda made me a little nervous.

However, after receiving numerous emails similar to the one above, I figure I owe it to my readers to say something.

The good thing is, the scam artists are fewer than I originally believed.

The bad news is, the ones who do exist are… how can I put it… scum.

And they probably deserve to get locked up, not for just conning people, but for the hardship they put those people through.

Not everyone who gets conned suffers as they probably do have enough cash, jobs, etc. which means they’re still okay.

There are those, however, who don’t have backup and tend to dive into something through desperation.

Believe me I know… I was one of them.

Anyway, I’m going to describe one incident which really made me think about internet marketers, and which initially led me to believe they were all scum.

Of course, I don’t think that any more as I’ve educated myself and know a little more than I did.

It was in 2005, when I saw an advert by a very prominent internet marketer promoting their coaching and promising much, with amazing testimonials.

These testimonials were written and video… of real people… or so I thought.

I found out later, when it was too late and by accident, that those same people in those videos were working for a number of other people.

Some of them even had their pictures on various other sites advertising myriad other things.

In effect, their testimonials were outright lies and they were probably paid to do them.

Anyway, going back to the coaching…

This coaching cost me $4,000.

The thing is, once I was on there, I realised it wasn’t being run by the internet marketer promoting it…

It was outsourced to a different company.

I couldn’t believe it.

However, being fairly new to the industry I figured maybe this is how it’s done.

Cutting a long story short, I knew I’d been totally conned when I sent a specific email asking for advice, and received a generalised reply.

In fact, here’s a few excerpts from those emails…

Hello *****,

I’m sorry I feel that I am not getting the service that I signed up for. I realise that this is a coaching program but, the first session consisted of a recorded video telling me how to get myself set up as a business/sole trader, in my case, when I was expecting to be coached on how to start and internet business. I was told that after each session I just need to be patient until the next session.

I feel that I have paid a lot of money for this and “to be patient” is not something I was expecting to be told. When I spoke to you guys (not you particularly) I did mention that I really need to get going with this as I was paying for it with a credit card and I do not have a job to make the repayments. As a result, I need to be earning rapidly. I was told by the person who called regarding the coaching that I will not even be setting up a web site for at least two months. In fact, I would not even start working on one until then.

I cannot wait that long. I am in a lot of trouble right now if I can’t make these payments to my card. I would really appreciate it if you would please issue me with a refund as I have a family to feed as well as making these rapayments.

Thank you,
Marko

Hello *****,

I’m sorry I feel that I am not getting the service that I signed up for. I realise that this is a coaching program but, the first session consisted of a recorded video telling me how to get myself set up as a business/sole trader, in my case, when I was expecting to be coached on how to start and internet business. I was told that after each session I just need to be patient until the next session.

I feel that I have paid a lot of money for this and “to be patient” is not something I was expecting to be told. When I spoke to you guys (not you particularly) I did mention that I really need to get going with this as I was paying for it with a credit card and I do not have a job to make the repayments. As a result, I need to be earning rapidly. I was told by the person who called regarding the coaching that I will not even be setting up a web site for at least two months. In fact, I would not even start working on one until then.

I cannot wait that long. I am in a lot of trouble right now if I can’t make these payments to my card. I would really appreciate it if you would please issue me with a refund as I have a family to feed as well as making these rapayments.

Thank you,
Marko

They knew my situation before I got on their ‘coaching’ course.

Here’s another…

Hello,

This is a message for S*** L***: I was told I should be receiving a call from, I think it was J***, on Monday regarding my particular situation. I have not received that call. Please let me know if he will still be calling.

I have been going through the lessons that are available online but they are quite limited. I am emailing my coach to see if there is anything further I can do meanwhile.

Thanks,
Marko

Hello,

This is a message for S*** L***: I was told I should be receiving a call from, I think it was J***, on Monday regarding my particular situation. I have not received that call. Please let me know if he will still be calling.

I have been going through the lessons that are available online but they are quite limited. I am emailing my coach to see if there is anything further I can do meanwhile.

Thanks,
Marko

You can see on the second one I was so angry I didn’t even feel like putting anyone’s name in the salutation.

Here’s a couple of others…

Hi,

I’ve sent emails before trying to get in touch with a coach with no luck and have tried phoning but can’t get through on the advisory line for some reason. Would someone please call me back ASAP. I am on **********.

Thanks,
Marko

Hi,

I’ve sent emails before trying to get in touch with a coach with no luck and have tried phoning but can’t get through on the advisory line for some reason. Would someone please call me back ASAP. I am on **********.

Thanks,
Marko

I don’t know about you, but for $4,000 I expect a teensy weensy little bit more.

And this is the once which really sealed it for me…

Hi,
If your product ideas fit the suggestions that we gave you in course 3 and you can find a supplier, then go with it.


J*** R***
ihelp@*****.com
8*******

—–Original Message—–
From: G N Marko [mailto:rezbi@feelinglazy.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 11:20 AM
To: J*** R***(icoach)
Subject: Re: Product

Hi J***,

Thanks for that, I’ll do that. Just wondering what your thought are regarding my ideas?

Thanks,
Marko

Hi,
If your product ideas fit the suggestions that we gave you in course 3 and you can find a supplier, then go with it.


J*** R***
ihelp@*****.com
8*******

—–Original Message—–
From: G N Marko [mailto:rezbi@feelinglazy.co.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 11:20 AM
To: J*** R***(icoach)
Subject: Re: Product

Hi J***,

Thanks for that, I’ll do that. Just wondering what your thought are regarding my ideas?

Thanks,
Marko

If my product ideas fit the suggestions!?

I was a complete beginner and all I was looking for was the guy to take a look and give me his ‘expert’ opinion on whether or not it was a good market to go into.

For $4,000 of ‘coaching’ was that too much to ask for?

Now, fast forward a couple of years and I’m looking at another internet marketer promoting something similar.

Just out of curiosity I decide to give them a call.

A guy answered the phone and mentioned the name of the promoting company – seemed fair.

However, something didn’t sound right, so I asked the guy straight if they were the same company I had been with before.

Obviously I didn’t use those words, they didn’t know who I was.

He replied that, indeed, they were.

I don’t know what happened, but I’m guessing they got found out, wound up their old company, and started a new one…

Doing the exact same thing.

Suffice to say I wouldn’t have gone with them even if I needed to.

The really funny thing is, the internet marketer promoting their ‘coaching’ is another very highly regarded company just like the first one.

Or, are all those testimonials for them lies, too?

Now, I can’t tell you for sure how you can know who’s out there to con you and who’s not.

What I can tell you is, the majority seem to be okay.

So, my suggestion is, get on a few lists and begin to build a relationship with those people – find out who you can trust through the way they ’speak’ to you through their emails.

See if their recommendations for products are any good.

You may end up getting some of those products, if you feel they’re something you need, but please don’t buy anything unless you’re sure…

Especially if they cost a lot of money.

Also, please, please, please… don’t buy anything if you don’t have the money.

If someone tells you to ‘leverage’ your credit cards to ‘invest’ in your business, just assume you’re leveraging your credit card to grow theirs… and run a mile.

Or, just delete the email or put the phone down.

Whatever it is you do to stop yourself getting scammed, do it.

Here’s what P. T. Barnum wrote in his excellent book ‘The Art of Money Getting’

Young men starting in life should avoid running into debt. There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt.

Young men starting in life should avoid running into debt. There is scarcely anything that drags a person down like debt.

I would advise you to heed those words.

Steve is a copyrighter working for several international advertising agencies and has an immense range of experience in marketing, digital advertising, and creating new branding concepts.