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Sales Pages, Fake Blogs, and Now: Fake News

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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:

fake-comments

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.

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9 Comments

  1. […] 05/13/2009 (IveTriedThat.com): Sales Pages, Fake Blogs, and Now: Fake News […]

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  2. Spamming ads on Craigslist is a common “blackhat” (shady/illegal) technique used by affiliates of the CPA networks to try and get people to sign up for CPA offers.

    See: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/90402-congratulations-spammers-you-just-made-craigslist-useless.html

    Someone even setting up 1000 fake accounts to spam people with:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/91702-1000-accounts-craiglist.html

    Someone else asking “Whats The Best Way to Mass Email [Spam] Craigslist Addresses”!
    http://www.warriorforum.com/programming-talk/60523-whats-best-way-mass-email-craigslist-addresses-without-getting-banned-my-isp-craigslist.html

    Some really shady and unethical affiliates out there. Be careful.

    Reply
  3. I do understand where Wendy is comming from and have had similar people trying to contact me with an affiliate link thru Craigslist. Even got one of the Nigerian Scam artist trying to contact me off of Craigslist. Now I don’t read any reply’s to any of my post unless they can tell me specific details about what I’m offering. Lucky for us they do leave the users tag at the bottom of the reply, I maybe wrong but next time it happens copy paste the user name and report it to Craigslist. I do a good amount of business on Craigslist, why should we have to put up with idiots that waste our time? I say flag them and let their account get deleted, another thing I do is flag most any known scam that they generally try to post in the community section. I’ve recieved up to 5 junk replies from a single posting on Craigslist, that’s why I don’t do any more ads that say I’m looking for work. It seems that by doing this the moron gates open right up and everyone assumes that by work you want to get rich quick with their plan or link… get real, if I’m looking for work I expect to do just that WORK. This is some thing that has been getting to me for a while about Craigslist. I still use Craigslist and find a lot of solid leads thru their site even the job I’m doing now is thru them, but like I said I do get a lot of junk thru there as well. O.k. I’m done with my rant… it was kinda good to vent! Lol, now if made it thru my poor spelling then good on ya’. :)

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  4. I posted an ad to sell a garage door opener on CraigsList this morning and not long after that I received an email from someone trying to sell me on Easy Google Profit. The included a link to the same article, but from what looks like a local newspaper (that doesn’t exist). Fortunately for me, I have you guys on my side and I jumped to the ivetriedthat website and found out exactly what I needed to know. Man, these scammers will stop at nothing to make a buck! Thanks guys!

    Wendy

    Reply
    1. Wendy, that’s odd. I’ve never heard of them sending random messages in response to a Craigslist post. What garbage. I’m not surprised, though. In fact, I suspect the person who sent you the link is doing what “Easy Google Profit” tells them to do: sell the junk program they just bought by spamming as many people as possible.

  5. Here’s another one Miami Gazette News – miamigazettenews.com a one page website designed to look like a local newspaper page (weather, videoclip, fake adsense style ads) but every link goes to the Easy Google Profit scam site with it’s hidden continuity surprise.

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  6. Not too long ago ( a few weeks at best) I was speaking to… I guess you’d call him a advertiser or marketer? Any way my point is that “For the cheap price of $10 per blog” (lol, moron) he’d out source the work to India doing the same thing. The catch was, that to do it efficiently I’d be better off to do several at the same time. I could be wrong but I think the minimum was $100 per month, that was supposed to get me 10 blogs or articles as he put it per month. Nice catch guys, I wasn’t going to pay that much for advertising any way but it’s nice to have the back ground of what I was going to recieve. I pride myself on doing good work I don’t want my name tied to people that do this kind of thing. Keep it guys I look forward to your blogs!

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  7. Absolutely true. And it’s deceptive in offline advertising, too. And I’ll stay on my moral high ground until God himself kicks me off!

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  8. Wait, you mean just like advertisers offline have been doing forever? Seriously, get off of your moral high ground, take a look offline, and you’ll notice that, gasp, advertisment offline has been doing the same, it just took the online folks a while to catch on.

    Reply

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