Last week, Steve warned you about a growing trend in online sales of scammy programs, such as Google Treasure Chest.
It seems scammers have discovered that personal accounts in blogs sell, so they’re launching fake blogs like crazy. They put up a first-person post about finding the good life and add a few comments thanking the “author” for sharing the “secret” to earning $5,000/day at home. Then the comments are mysteriously closed, always due to spam. See joshmadecash.com for a very typical example. See this post for our smackdown of these types of “blogs.”
Alert reader Jane brought our attention to an article in the Los Angeles Tribune about working at home called “Jobs: Is Working Online from Home the Next Gold Rush?” The article interviews Mary Steadman, who makes $5,500 each month from home. It claims:
In a matter of weeks Mary and Kevin had a steady stream of income coming in via checks that were delivered to their home. They happened upon a system called “Easy Google Profit” that taught them how to make money posting links online.
So by now, the reader is thinking, “How?? Tell me how they did it, Los Angeles Tribune!” Then the readers stops and goes, “Wait. Los Angeles Tribune? I thought the paper in L.A. was called the Times.”
As in fact it is. There is no Los Angeles Tribune, except in the domain name of this sales funnel page. (The domain is: losangeles-tribune.com.) It’s a very clever sales strategy and goes one better than the fake blog post—a fake news story set up to look like an online newspaper page.
Like most online news stories today, this one even has a comments section. The comments are absolutely glowing, of course. Here’s a sample:
That’s my favorite part. If you’ve spent any time reading comments on news stories, you know that there’s no way all the comments would be positive. Heh. It’s so cute. And naturally, the comments section was closed due to spam.
So what is Easy Google Profit? More negative option marketing. You sign up for a “free kit” for $1 in shipping and handling. But you’re also signing up for two trial memberships, which you’re told about only in the Terms and Conditions document. The free trial memberships expire in seven days, after which you will be charged $24.87 for one and $77.82 for the other. Ouch. That’s a nasty surprise.
We expect these fake news stories to become more common, so stay alert. Stay sharp.