It’s past time we wrote a review of review sites—those blogs and other web sites that claim, “we’ve signed up for a million programs and 99% of them are scams. We’ll show you the ones that aren’t!”
We actually did take a short look at some review sites a few months back, and we stand by what we said then. (Click here to read “Scam pitching web sites to avoid.”) But this issue has new urgency because our readers are being scammed after being sent to a rebate processing site recommended by sitereviewauthority.org, one of these review sites. (They’re also being referred to scams by ads on sites that should know better, such as Careerbuilder, but that’s a different post.) One reader writes:
I am ashamed I fell for this BS also. I am very suspicious of anything and normally would never ever do one of these dumb work at home things. What got me was that darn website saying they investigated all the scams and then listed off the ones that WERE NOT scams, yea sure. Process at home with Angel Stevens was the number one NOT A SCAM that was listed.
And then a follow up comment a month later:
Like Wendy (March 28th) I read about “Angel Stevens” and her #1 “work from home” rebate processing business from SiteReviewAuthority.org. This website touted itself as being a “watchdog” group that actually bought these offers and had weeded through the scams for us (how very kind of them!)
There’s no better way for shady sites to call down the wrath of Steve and Joe than to pitch B.S. programs to people while claiming to do objective reviews.
The reader trusts the review site and then loses money to a program the reviewer recommended. It gives the whole idea of program reviews a bad name, and then people who don’t know any better lump us in with all the rest of the review sites that are just out to make a buck, or lots of them.
Why you can’t trust SiteReviewAuthority.org
In an effort to distance ourselves from those other review sites, we’ll demonstrate using just one of them why you shouldn’t trust them.
As you read above, this site recommends rebate processing, the biggest scam of the last two years. That in itself is proof that you shouldn’t trust what the site tells you. Well, that and this line from its paid surveys review: “Only 3 have received our world renewed seal of approval that means 98.3% of them are not recommended.” If you’re gonna pitch scams, at least try to hide your stupidity. And the fact that all the paid survey programs they recommend require a fee to “register.” But there’s more.
This site goes to great lengths to convince you of its impartiality and legitimacy. It was (allegedly) founded by a doctor (of what, he doesn’t say), it allegedly employs a staff of program testers who sign up for everything under the sun. The site has five “bulletproof” criteria to decide which opportunities to recommend.
The good doctor and his staff trash most of the programs to convince you that the ones they recommend are in some way different from all the others. They do a good job of it, too. Their “analyses” are pretty convincing. But beneath the veneer of legitimacy, it’s nothing but a collection of affiliate links (or hoplinks). The apparently objective reviews are just dressed up sales pages, and sitereviewauthority.org makes a commission from everyone who clicks on a link and signs up for a program. That’s what they’re about—making money, not telling you the hard truth about online scams.
Nothing against commission sales
My objection is not that they get a commission when someone signs up using their link. That’s affiliate sales, and it fuels the Internet today. We here at I’ve Tried That are big fans of affiliate sales, and we’ve recommended things to our readers that we profit from.
But I have a big problem with “reviews” that recommend trash and convince people to spend money on misleading programs that can never deliver what they promise. We’ve never done that. Sitereviewauthority.org does it routinely.
Jeri, the second commenter above, gives a pretty good description of more of this site’s shenanigans:
Knowing how grateful we would all be for their hard work they even had a link at the bottom of the page where you could contribute to their company via paypal! They also had a 1-800# that you could call to report online scams. Having been “scammed” in the past I decided to call their 800# just to see what I got and lo and behold the first red flag was raised.
The “scam reporting” number required an “access code” to go further. I was going to go to their website to report their 800# problem but went first to Angel Stevens #1 “non scamming” site to see what it was all about (making money being a higher priority than reporting a bad 800#). I must admit she had me going. I did find it interesting that she used her “SiteReviewAuthority” #1 ranking to further validate her “legitimate business” and I will admit to thinking that that seemed fishy to me.
See how it works? Sitereviewauthority.org recommends a site as “scam free.” You go to the site and it displays its “SiteReviewAuthority” rank as some kind of stamp of legitimacy. That’s like me sending you to a “Pay Joe $100” site and displaying a fancy seal that says “This Site Ranked #1 by JOE!”
Stay away from SiteReviewAuthority.org.