Need money now? My secret to Internet millions!
By: Dennis Yu
A guest post by Dennis Yu
Got your attention, didn’t I? Well that line got my attention earlier today, when some guy sent me this email:
“I noticed that you work in helping people get traffic from SEO and social media. I used to work for a company that did mentoring to help people learn how to do that. I have an opportunity that is really exciting and great. I am only looking for one person to join my team. I am looking for someone who is business oriented and can see an opportunity when the details are placed before them. If you are interested I would like to talk to you more about this next week.”
So I asked him what exactly this business opportunity was — as these pitches never seem to discuss what I’d actually do. I point-blanked him to not give me that breathless sales talk, but tell me exactly what is being sold here and why would he choose me to be the only one person to join his team. He dodged the questions, but did admit that it was something to do with MLM and that he wanted me to watch a webinar.
Last time I checked, MLM was not about recruiting only ONE person, but selling yourself out to everyone you know. At least Send Out Cards is explicit about what they’re selling — greeting cards. By the way, Almighty Dad ranks #2 on Google for Send Out Cards Scam. Given the state of the economy, these schemes are proliferating. So let’s dissect how some of them work and prey upon stay at home dads and moms or others looking to work from home.
Have you seen those late night infomercials — you know, the ones where the guy is holding wads of cash, while seated in a sports car, hot chicks draped over him and a mansion in the background? One is run by “Jeff Paul”, Peter John, or some other guy with two first names you can’t remember after you’ve given your credit card to someone on the phone. You don’t even remember the name of the program — Shortcut to Internet Millions, Make Lots of Money Online with No Effort and Hot Chicks Walking Around with You Wherever You Go, or something like that. Don’t laugh, since there’s a good chance that you or a friend have fallen for this, but don’t want to admit it.
A couple years ago, I got an excited call from my mother. Sounded like she had just won the lottery. She attended one of those “free” informational seminars that would show you how you, too, could cash in on the millions being made on the Internet. While companies like Google, Yahoo!, and Ebay have made billions, certainly it’s your turn now. In just 3 clicks you can have your own website — no programming required — and be making money even while you’re sleeping or having sex with those Hot Chicks that seem to want to be around you for whatever reason.
I reminded her that I used to work at Yahoo! and ran a good chunk of their online marketing. Call me skeptical, but I just didn’t believe it was possible to start making millions in just 3 clicks with no other effort required. She didn’t believe me — the guy on stage was too charismatic and his suit looked just too good. But I asked if she could do me a favor and just ask 3 questions before she pulled out her credit card:
- Can we see just ONE website? If thousands have made millions online, can we see just ONE of the websites? Forget about trying to understand search engine rankings, keyword conversion rates, or anything like that. I just want to see ONE website or maybe even the website of the company pushing this miracle product.
- What is the name of the company putting on the show? No kidding. You’re in a hotel ballroom eating a “free” meal. And when you wake up tomorrow morning, $2,500 poorer, you’ll wonder what exactly happened yesterday. What was the name of the company? Is there an office I can go visit? Do I have any paperwork or a receipt to show for this? Nope, nope, and nope. Try going back to the hotel ballroom and you’ll find it either deserted or being set up for somebody’s wedding reception. Poof!
- What is the name of the charismatic speaker? He sounded so good, was so convincing. You really wanted to believe what he said. He is a “con man” because he played to your confidence. But with two first names, he might as well be like porn stars that have generic stage names. Can you Google him or his company? After all, if they make money online, they ought to have a high ranking website, right?
The good news is that my mom ultimately didn’t sign up for the program. At the end of the emotional sales pitch, strong-armed men sealed off the exits and began passing around clipboards, not allowing anyone to leave until they filled out the forms. Intimidating. High pressure. Certainly. Illegal? Nope.
An Internet-savvy friend of mine told me he attended one of these events — “Why would you do that?” is what crossed my mind — the hotel food isn’t THAT good. But it was the fun of watching skillful con men practice their art and throw a wrench in their well-orchestrated theatrical production. At one point he stood up and asked if they could show just ONE of the sites that have been built via this program. Excuses — the hotel Internet is not working too well, we’ll answer your questions afterwards, etc… And when he asked the guy what his name was or what the name of his company was, the strong-armed men came from the back and threw him out. I hope that he chose to at least eat the catered meal before opening his mouth.
You probably have your own favorite get rich quick scam that you’d like to bring up here in the comments — I’d encourage you to do so, since your sharing will help make the world a better place. Maybe somebody who would otherwise sign up for their “free credit report” (yes, even though you see that guy play guitar on TV, it’s a scam), send in their cash for gold, buy real estate no money down, or get ripped abs in just 7 weeks of working out 10 minutes per day — maybe they’ll hear your story and you’ll save them from the grief that comes later.
The moral of the story is simple. Be wary of people who want your money or who promises you something that seems too good to be true, because it is. There are honest options out there, but they probably won’t make you rich. Being a stay at home parent is reward enough in itself. To make money on top of that is bonus.