I received a note from my friend Jennifer that included a website URL and the question “Have you heard of this – is it legit?“
After a brief look at the site which is promoting a product called “Easy Google Profit”, I could tell why she thought it might have been a legitimate online business opportunity. The site looks very professional. With the title Canada Job Journal and a newpaper-like appearance (see screenshot below), most business opportunity seekers would want to trust that the information is both authoritative and objective.
Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth, in this particular case.
To weed out legitimate online business opportunities from scams, you need to fortify yourself with a healthy dose of skepticism and be prepared to dig deeper to discover the truth before you lay out your hard-earned money on such offers.
In cases such as this one – you'll quickly discover that the writer is less than honest.
Immediately below the article title “Jobs: Is Working Online At Home The Next Gold Rush?” was a line that read “Posted by Anthony on March 15th, 2009 and filed under Finance“, yet there are no links to this supposed journal's categories, Finance or otherwise.
The next item is a graphic stating “As seen on ABC, AOL, CNN, MSNBC and USA Today”, along with each of those companies logos. You might think “WOW! This must REALLY be good if CNN is endorsing it“, however, if you do a search for the product name and any one of those company names, you'll come up with a bunch of Google search results about what a scam this product is.
My B.S. meter went into High Alert while reading the second line of the first paragraph, “Mary, a mother from Penticton, BC is thriving…“
ANY time you see the name of your hometown on a business opportunity website, you should be alert to the fact that the webmaster is probably using a little programming trick.
Sure enough, when I used WorldProxy202 to see what surfers from both the U.S. and the U.K. would see when reading the same page, the sentence changed to “Mary, a mother from ,is thriving…“
If that isn't sufficient proof, do a View > Page Source on the page and you'll see the javascipt coding as follows:
If that little bit of trickery doesn't convince you to close the page, then this next discovery definitely should have you running away.
You've seen ads on websites thousands of times, right?
Normally, clicking on the different headlines will take you to DIFFERENT sites. Well, in this case, they AREN'T ads. It's a picture that leads to only ONE link which is easy enough to discern if you see the ‘hand' come up on your cursor everywhere within the ad area, and not just when you cursor over a link.
As a matter of fact, if you take the time to cursor over every link on the page, you would notice that each one is exactly the same – and they all go to the same offer.
If you need MORE incentive to reject the offer, take a look at what appear to be comments from site visitors.
Each one is either favorable to the offer, or there is a question that someone answers with a ‘proof of earnings' graphic – because of course a professional journal wouldn't be posting images from inside someone's Google account.
Moreover, the comments are always ‘closed due to spam', (see bottom of the screenshot) because the webmaster wouldn't want REAL visitors posting REAL comments or asking REAL questions.
To up the ante, the webmaster adds an article from the Vancouver Sun (CanWest Publishing) about the current state of the economy as it relates to employment. Of course, the news is pretty dire and therefore gives visitors incentive to WANT to make ‘Easy Google Profit' working from home on their computers.
However, the Copyright Permission and Rules on Canada.com pertaining to Canwest newspaper Web sites clearly specify that “commercial uses including publication, retransmission, broadcast, posting to newsgroups, mail lists or electronic bulletin boards, circulation, selling, reproduction or redistribution in any medium are prohibited, except with the prior written approval of the copyright owner“.
Here's what Google actually had to say about these systems…:
Of late, we've received a few emails from new AdSense applicants about not being accepted into the program despite paying a specific amount of money or buying a CD package.
We'd like to take this opportunity to state that we're not affiliated with any third-parties that solicit payment to join the AdSense program or that sell CDs with money-back guarantee offers. AdSense is a free product offered to publishers by Google Inc., and there’s no cost or obligation involved. As a result, we recommend that prospective publishers exercise caution when presented with such offers.
Bottom line – scammers exist only because there are legions of people who still believe in “overnight riches” with no work involved – aka “suckers”.
Don't be a sucker – do your homework!
While Google Adsense is one way to make money online, you'll earn only pennies for each person that clicks on those links. To make dollars instead, learn how to sell real products and services from your website as an affiliate marketer – read the Super Affiliate Handbook – a real step-by-step guide that teaches you how to build a real and sustainable online business in affiliate marketing.
I so desperately need to buy your handbook to guide my way because I’m in information melt-down trying to learn my through the affiliate maze but for right now I just can’t afford it.
Anyways I want to thank you for the information you do post for free. Wish me luck, I think I need it.
Rosalind Gardner says
You are most welcome, my pleasure indeed and I wish you much success!
As to the scammers, if everyone were as thorough as you (and they should be!) then there wouldn’t be any get-rich-quick schemes at all!
Jaime Edwards says
Help!! After looking at countless online businesses, I found your name on a scam review site. They spoke very highly of you. So, here I am, with no experience, and having no idea how to get started. I purchased your handbook gold.
I’m a salesman that drives about 200 miles a day covering a 14 county area in Illinois. Things aren’t going so well and I want to work for myself. I’m hoping and praying this is the one.
Larry from Singapore says
It took me a while to understand what Geo-targeting means. I used a Thai proxy server and it displayed “Mary, a mother from Bangkok, Thailand”.
Larry from Singapore says
Hi Rosalind, thanks for posting this. I’m from the Philippines and been living in Singapore since 2000.
I read the article and just reading the first paragraph sounded like a scam. The sentence is already a scam alert – “Jennifer, a mother from Singapore, 00 is thriving”. This looked like a product of an article writing software. There is no such thing like “Singapore, 00”. The software may have taken a city and a state (e.g. CA, NY, etc) from a database. In this case, there is no state for Singapore, obviously so a default value of “00” appeared.
If the article is talking about Singapore – the city-state in Southeast Asia – then, Jennifer Pallin is an expatriate (on Employment Pass or as a Permanent Resident). If Jennifer lost her job, her Employment Pass should have been cancelled and she cannot stay in Singapore as a self-employed mother. One cannot work here (self-employed or employee) in Singapore without a legal Employment Pass or a Dependant’s Pass.
Jennifer may have a Dependant’s Pass, through her husband’s Employment Pass. However, the image caption that says “Jennifer Pallin worked 4 years as a manager in the local hardware store”, tells us that she was on Employment Pass. Managerial jobs are not for Dependant’s Pass holders.
Again, the article says she worked as a “manager in the local hardware store” is a joke. This is a job that a local Singaporean can do. Just looking at the picture, Jennifer is 99.9% non-Singaporean.
Oh well, this is not the first article that I have read about many online Job Opportunities with a testimonial from someone who doesn’t look like they are from the place they said they were.
What a great post. Even I also got that website once and looking website only I came to know it’s a GREAT SCAM. lol..They are showing as it is very easy to make money through Google and anybody can become rich overnight..
I learned few new tips to find a SCAM site. Thanks for sharing.
Wedding Cake Toppers says
ya, u pointed out really an important issue. I also once came across such fraud, a company which sold me CD package on the name of Google ad sense program. thank for posting such a informative blog and making people aware. i have also visited Super Affiliate Handbook site which contains lots of information. thank you very much!
Funny. I wrote about the exact same scam in my blog, except in my example its called The Daily Herald. Pretty funny. Greats stuff
Kit Elliott says
Yep! And you’d be surprised who’s posting these all over the place. It’s advertising fraud. However, this is a great trick because you could spin this in a “truthful” way and make it work. For example, take any testimonial from a program and create the page about that person if you can find details.. You can take this newspaper example and make it your own and make it truthful and it could generate affiliate commissions.
HPV Treatment says
Nice and very useful article for the people who are beginner or who wants to start the business.
Reminds of the ad.. Christian mom makes $5400 in 60 days, learn how..blah, blah, blah… very similar to this scam. Actually, might be same one just a different ad ploy to it. This is one time i dont mind the FTC involvement.
Thankyou for the extra tips an inexperienced person can be on the look-out for in ads such as these. Having fallen once for this type of thing, and realizing 5 minutes later too late that it appeared I had just locked myself into a huge subscription payment for the rest of my life, I can only tell you the advice I got from my credit card company.
I received a confirmation email of which I was to reply, and this looked to me like it would trigger “something.” The credit card company told me to not open that email. Always create a new one if you wish to correspond with the company you have just signed up for. In my case, this company gave me 5 days from acceptance of their product (and I am assuming opening the email would have triggered that officially) to back out. I was advised, in the newly created email, to repeat those terms back to them as you decline membership.
Send them a newly created email every day, and title it “notice #2”, “notice #3” and so on, and clearly repeat the terms right back at them. Clearly state that as per “their terms” you are exercising your right to back out.
Print your emails and keep them. If you can get in touch with them by phone, do it and talk like you mean business. If they tell you “ok, you are un-subscribed,” demand an email to that effect. When you get it, copy it and keep it. Send an email verifying that you have received their notice. I put on the bottom of all of my emails to them, that it appeared that copies of these emails were always going to my financial institution as well.
You are building, if nothing else, documented efforts to challenge future credit card billings. And though I demanded my credit card number be cancelled and changed, (which the bank did not want to do at first, until I begged and pleaded repeatedly), be aware that charges can still be made on the old number and applied to the new card. Still, it made me feel better.
And as per the advice of my credit card company, I had sufficient documentation to show that at least I made every effort to cancel. And that’s what counts…my credit card. What they told me to do, I did.
So, I lost 6 dollars because of my stupidity, and for not doing my homework, but that’s ok. My credit card company is happy, and that’s the main thing.
I hope this helps someone.
I read about “Easy Google Profit” product in a newspaper article. But after a simple search on Google found that it is a completely scam. People complain and that said that you just will lose your money. They even charge their cards without permission.
Rosalind Gardner says
Doing a search on the product name like you did is probably the best way to quickly determine the validity of a product. Thanks for your comment!
Dave Arthur says
Thanks for pointing out your thought process in uncovering what this person is up to. You describe several things to look for that I would have never noticed.
Unfortunately, scams are as plentiful as ever and the scammers are getting ever more sophisticated.
I’ve been following up on several internet offers in the green business sector so that I can write about legitimate ones. I’ve managed to get a few of the people responsible for questionable offers on the phone. It’s amazing how they scramble once they face a few simple questions regarding track record and experience. I’ve had two hang up on me when I asked if it would be possible to interview current clients.
Be careful out there!
Rosalind Gardner says
Thanks kindly for your comment. I really appreciate your mention of the example of really doing your due diligence with merchants… get them on the phone. Yes!
Here’s a GREAT idea…why don’t you create a SPECIAL REPORT to go alongside your SAH or use it as a PRE-SELL item with small, bum marketing headstart tips before anyone purchasing SAH
Great work Ros as ever, I think this type of scam-ads have really burned on people minds and you done a great job bring more awareness for more online ethical W@H practices.
I think your message is not get rich quick…its get rich with ‘ethical dilligence’.
Rosalind what great information and insider tips that can help us all to become more aware and not get scammed. Desperate people or impatient and don’t want to do their homework. None of us want to believe the old adage, “If it looks to good to be true, it usually is.” In these challenging economic times it’s easy to let our guards down and ignore signs of a scam or deals that offer quick and easy money. Thanks for reminding us to be cauctious and aware of all “deals” that may come our way.
Rosalind Gardner says
I like that you mentioned “Desperate people or impatient and don’t want to do their homework“.
Perhaps it’s the ex air traffic controller in me, but it would seem that when times get incredibly tough (or stressful) that’s when we MOST need to take a deep breath and focus harder on making sound decisions — less emotion (certainly no feelings of desperation allowed), more thought.
Like Rosalind says, its better to sell real products, that you stand behind
I have little to ZERO sympathy on any member of the public who gets stung by ads like this (this being one of the very worst!)
Its really C-O-M-M-O-N-S-E-N-S-E…
1. if it is seen by AOL, CNN, MSN-NBC, USA Today, like, CONTACT THE NEWSBOARDS/NEWSPAPER DIRECT! People, we all know you need cash in this recession, but still, a little bit of time spent on simple Q&A investigation will not harm you…its your wallet after all
2. the interface and format of http://canadajobjournal.com/ content pages alone will tell you there ads do not correspond with the format of their main interface
3. let me even help you all. would you really want a clickthrough rate of 12% paying pennies per click or a 12% clickthrough rate paying anything from £10 bucks + per affiliate-based product?? get Rosalind Gardners Super Affiliate Handbook and suck up ALL her information on her blog and articles
If people are ‘nailed’ by these types of ads…its because they “really” do NOT want to (as a basic standard!) create original content, provide a service, generate and feed a customer base; its called good honest days work…stop thinking about having an ‘autopilot business’ where you can sit on your backside and push out money at a click of a button on some ‘automated plug and play website’ (live in a dreamworld if you really want to!)
These things will NEVER give affiliate marketing a bad name…ever, so people please don’t be concerned about this; its not really hard to make people see that being a ‘legitimate’ affiliate is an honest business to run and be part of
“Easy Google Profit”…shame on you all!
Rosalind Gardner says
Thanks much for your kind endorsement of the Super Affiliate Handbook and especially your good advice re doing a ‘good honest days work’. So VERY true. 🙂 Autopilot comes AFTER you’ve done the work.
also, can someone say LAWSUIT to Google Money Tree?
Michael Brown says
Most internet ads are bogus, lets all be wary because getting easy money is very enticing but working hard for money is more long term and it poses more opportunity to grow than making an easy buck but you’ll be stuck in a rut.
Lisa Zaslow says
I am SICK of people trying to sell me the next “get rich quick on the internet” scheme… Is ethical business dead? I hope not! Don’t these people have better things to do?
Thanks for listening…
Nail Lansang says
Yes, we all knew that there are a lot of scammers out there but you can trust your six sense before you join, and there are a lot of people who are earning thousands of dollars every day through white hat marketing and not scammers ablsolutely.
Stephen@Review Site Software says
I just saw that same ad (with the name of a “Mary” in my city) but a different publication name (World News something). It’s tedious, but I ALWAYS read the TOS. In this case, in the small print they tell you that your kit costs $1 for shipping & handling, but they will charge your credit card $77.82/mo. for your “membership”. This scam is also known as the “Google Money Tree”, which falsely states that it’s free – unless you read the small print, of course. I hate these scammers!
Trent Brownrigg says
Lots of obvious signs of a crappy business opportunity (or all out scam) when you are looking at it from the eyes of seasoned internet marketers like us. However, the average person would easily fall for it and that’s what they are banking on. The scams are always evolving and it really sucks for several reasons, including the fact that it gives us legitimate online business people a bad name because everyone lumps us in with the scammers.
Valerie B Bess says
You have definitely pointed out some fine points that I had not thought of in terms of doing my due diligence when reviewing business opportunity offers. The points about looking at the source code, and being skeptical about my home town appearing in a business opportunity ad really hit home. These are two more tools in my arsenal for spotting a scam.
Tyla Mac says
These bogus ads are all over the internet. I’ve even seen some experienced marketers posting in forums who have almost fallen for this scam thinking the ads are from real newspapers. The “newspapers” always have names like the Missouri Sun or some other traditional newspaper name. What’s really sad is that these ads are appearing on sites like Yahoo! and MSN. This seems to me to be a variation on the old “earn thousands of dollars for typing ads at home” scams. It’s in a prettier package this time but it’s the same tired old con.
Mikael @ Retire Rich says
What are normal people to do these days? There is no way that any normal online surfer would ever notice these things. Heck I’m not even sure I would have noticed them. I’m not for Internet policing but stopping these things will require something to change…
Google emplyee says…