Weekly Scam Roundup – 5/31/2013

Here are the latest submissions for my weekly scam roundup. If you have received any similar emails, PLEASE post them in the comments below. By posting the emails, you will directly be helping other people by exposing scam artists!

If you’re researching a “job offer” and it is listed on this page, it is 100% absolutely guaranteed to be a scam. Stop talking with your “employer” AT ONCE. You are at risk of losing thousands of dollars and your identity. You could even end up with a criminal record if the authorities get involved. Do NOT do work for them and click on the links below to find out what to do next.

Scam Email #1

We have received your resume from totaljobs.com. We are pleased to extend an offer to join Titan Advisers Ltd as a Financial Support Agent.

The compensation for the position includes 27600 on annual base salary; 8% commission for each complete transaction.

Job Title for F.S. Agent.: You’ll be submitting and receiving funds from our clients, insuring that every transaction executed in timely manner.

The offer is contingent on a successful background check. In addition, you will be required to register in our online system.

Please let me know if you have any questions, I will gladly guide through the registrations process.

Titan Advisers Ltd offers a comprehensive approach and unified platform that helps IT organizations cut cost, reduce risk, and drive business profit. We understand that business thrives when IT runs smarter, faster, and stronger.

Great Benefits, Comfortable Work Environment.

Titan Advisers Ltd fosters a diverse and inclusive environment in two primary ways: recognition of the unique strengths and value that people from all over the world bring to the company and the creation of strategic alliances with community organizations and businesses that help to contribute to employee growth and success. Titan Advisers Ltd values skills and experience, and we offer benefits and compensation that are competitive with other IT companies. In addition, we reward performance – by the company, the team, and the individual.

With over 100 employees worldwide, Titan Advisers Ltd provides employees with career advancement opportunities, great benefits, and a comfortable work environment. In some positions and locations, we offer the opportunity to have flexible work hours and to work from home.

The position being offered is for Financial Support Agent.

Job requirements:
– Minimum 18 y.o.;
– constant internet access;
– home or mobile phone number;
– regular bank account (current/savings) or a Verified Premier or Business PayPal account.

Base salary 1,500 GBP is paid at the end of probationary period (once employed on the regular basis, base salary 1,800 GBP is paid on the last business day of the month) via wire transfer directly to your bank account. Your 8 commission will be deposited along with every transfer. We will let you know how much of the amount deposited is your commission and how much needs to be transferred, all fees are paid from money received, you won’t have to invest your own money.

Employment benefits (upon completion of 30 days trial period):
– Paid holidays;
– Dental and Health;
– Professional development programs

Refer to the links below for additional information.

Vacancy description: http://www.titan-advisers-ltd.com/job/finance2?lang=uk

Frequently Asked Question: http://www.titan-advisers-ltd.com/job/finance/faq

Key points:
– No investment of funds on your part;
– Not a sales position, base pay along with commission is guaranteed;

For further information and inquiries you may contact us at job@titan-advisers-ltd.com

Best Regards,

Thomas Toner
HR Coordinator
Titan Advisers Ltd
Phone: 011 7230 7727
Fax: 087 2352 7716
e-mail: job@titan-advisers-ltd.com

Scam Email #2

Based on your resume which you submitted on Learn4good, we are happy to acknowledge it. We hereby declare interest to have you as one of our staff at MARTINIQUE GENERAL HOSPITAL in accordance with our
recruiting process. We confirm to you that you have been given a conditional job offer letter attached to this email for your careful perusal.

However, in order to complete your Employment Offer Formalities, carefully read the (Authorization to work) section of our website at http://www.martiniquegeneralhospital.com. You are strictly required to follow the guidelines as outlined on our website and complete the process before the required time and date. Failure to complete your employment formalities before the required date outlined in our website will automatically result to your job offer being revoked and transferred to another job seeker.

Your job contract document has to be finally approved and recognized by the administration department of MARTINIQUE GENERAL HOSPITAL. In this area, you are required to sign and accept the contract documents or decline it and forward it accordingly to the administration department for further action:

Note that this formality procedure must be followed and completed as the completion of this procedure confirms you as an official staff of MARTINIQUE GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Bear in mind the fact that the procedures outlined in our website mustnbe carried out immediately due to time factor.

For further clarifications, you may wish to contact the Hiring Coordinator of MARTINIQUE GENERAL HOSPITAL with the information below:

Name of Contact: Jerry Lewis
Email: admin@martiniquegeneralhospital.com
Tel: +1 586 207 7590
Fax: +1 586 207 7591

Best wishes,

Administration Department
Jerry Lewis- Hiring Coordinator

The Attached Contract:

Martinique General Hospital
CHU de Fort-de-France Service Ses Urgences,
Fort-de-France 97261
Website: http://www.martiniquegeneralhospital.com
Telephone: +1 5862077590
Fax: +1 5862077591

Scam Email #3


Here is more information about the job position with Infinity Plus One Inc.

Our main goal, within the company, is to match our clients needs with the best freelancers available, world wide.

The position being offered is for Financial Support Agent.

This is an on-line, home based position. The application process is distant yet vary rigorous. We screen all possible applicants to ensure that long term employment is possible.

Job requirements:
– Minimum 18 y.o.;
– constant internet access;
– home or mobile phone number;
– regular bank account (checking/savings) or a Verified Premier or Business PayPal account.

Employment benefits (upon completion of 30 days trial period):
– Paid holidays;
– Dental and Health;
– Professional development programs

Job description:
The main job responsibility is to stay logged on-line for about 2 hours per day, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 11 am. Receiving specific instructions from a supervisor and following prompt assignments is of most importance. The position deals directly with processing funds from our clients. For security reasons a personal bank account is required during the trial period of 30 days. Once your trial is completed, we will assign you a business account through one of our branches in your area.

During your trial period you will receive between 2 and 3 transfers per week. Invoices are provided for each operation. Along with every operation, you automatically receive the senders, and further the receivers names that the funds belong to.


Base salary is $2,300 per month during the Trial Period (is paid at the end of each month) + 8 commission from each successfully handled payment (should be deducted from the money received per task). Total income is about $4,500 per month. After the first 30 days your base salary will be increased up to $3,000 a month.

Refer to the links below for additional information: http://www.infinityplus-one.org/job/finance2?lang=us

Frequently Asked Question: http://www.infinityplus-one.org/job/finance/faq

Key points:
– No investment of funds on your part;
– Not a sales position, base pay along with commission is guaranteed;

For further information and inquiries you may contact us at j.williams@infinityplus-one.org

Limited Time Offer with a Sign On Bonus! Please follow the link: http://www.infinityplus-one.org/job/fin … us?lang=us

If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, in order to secure the position and get started with probationary period, you need to create a Task Manager Account on http://www.infinityplus-one.org/registration/1

Thank you for your time and interest with our company.

Best Regards,

Janell Williams
Phone: 1-914-618-5020
Fax: 1-585-410-6004

Scam Email #4

1) Hello dear hope you are not offended by my unexpected message to you. Am Mr JONATHAN GAUNT QC , working with The Queens Chambers London, i am looking for a person or couple to live with us and assist my delightful Grand child Vanessa, I NEED NANNIES/DRIVER/SECURITY/COOK/PERSONAL ASSISTANCE EXPERIENCED OR NOT, I just need someone who is god fearing,loving and natural. we just relocated from American to UK…..I am willing to pay £1,500 per month and allowance of 100 pounds every week,you will have free accommodation and food, so if you are interested you can

reply me back….email:


Thanks a lot


2) I received your email,am a very busy man,Am an ATTORNEY working with the falcon chambers as head of operation in UK and also in the Queens Council . Your service as either a baby sitter,house maid,security,driver ,only the personal assistance is excluded is to look after my grand-children whose parent passed on in an auto crash not quite long before i relocated to to settle in UK.Other nannies will divide the house work, to men applying ,one will be my driver and the other security over the house,The personal assistance will do the work of my sec in my office plus represent me in local meetings or occasions .If there is any question you want to ask as regard this employment,you are free to ask if you need to see more pictures of the families and baby feel free to ask.

Will pay 1,500 British pounds each every month and an allowance of 100 pounds every week,you can also tell any interested applicant to send resume and required document in my email.I will direct you to an agency here in UK were you can sign the contract form between,they can also process your traveling visa and work permit.You will be contacting them through scan email or visit the agency site.

Note:that as regards your work permit and visa,security deposit,agency overhead,medical,documentation etc will be shared among the two of us,it will not be a toll free processing.

From my own information and observation ,is either the agency handles every processing here or you contact the UK embassy in your country,now what ever way you choose to go about it, money is very much involved,but processing your application with the UK embassy in your country after you sign the contract form they will be needing the sponsorship certificate from me,then my bank account statement,also charges will be paid to the embassy to processing your visa and work permit at the end of the day you stand a 50% chance of getting the visa from the UK embassy in your country,but when applying with the agency here in UK,they process traveling documents direct from the British Home office here in UK,the British home office has higher autonomy than any UK embassies in the world,if traveling documents are processed with them there is nothing like denial.In this regards i will like you to go for the agency.

you can send the following document when contacting with the agency.
A scan copy of you photograph(passport size)
A scan copy of your international passport
your resume or what you know as CV
The above should be emailed to




For more information or inquiries about the agency,you can visit their website


Note:Am not employing you to come work in my chambers,my work to you is personal and is limited to my home,I need five applicant,three nannies, a driver, and a security

Will TwoDollarClick.com Really Pay You $2 Per Click? Not a Chance.

If I said to you that I will pay you $2 bucks to click a link, would you do it?

What if I said that you can keep clicking links and I will keep paying you $2 every time?

That’s sounds pretty awesome doesn’t it? Well, TwoDollarClick.com promises you pretty much that, easy money for anyone.

Joining the site is free, and relatively easy to do so. After logging in you are faced with a variety of menus and so the first thing to do is click some links!

Clicking a link will open up a new window where you need to mindlessly stare at the advert for 30 seconds, and then click a number.

My first roadblock came with clicking the number, it said I had clicked the wrong one, but I have no clue which I needed to click. It refreshed, another 30 seconds of my life gone, and I clicked another number. This time an error, accusing me of viewing more than one advert at a time (well there goes that plan!).

Really not off to a good start here.

Next time around it gave me the number I needed to click and I was able to successfully complete it, phew! Heading back to my account page I could see that $2 bucks is now in my account, awesome.

Feeling a little greedy and wondering what I could buy for those two dollars I decided to cash them out.

Oh, wait. I need $1000 in the account before I can cash out! That’s like, 500 clicks! Ok, no pressure.

How it works

Two Dollar Click generates money from advertisers by guaranteeing views and clicks. Then it pays you to click the advertiser’s links. This works well for Two Dollar Clicks as they get money from the advertisers (I believe it is $5+ per click) and only pay out $2 per click. I’m not sure the advertisers get a good deal on this though, as there is less than targeted traffic, but that’s another story.

The Anti Cheating System

The site boasts it has an anti cheating system, but I found nowhere that explained the dos’s and don’ts which is a little worrying, as I can imagine a situation where you have $998 in your account and you make a mistake and wham! they invalidate your account.

The Hidden MLM?

Though I couldn’t get much information on this, one of my pet hates seemed to raise its ugly head, in the form of a potential Multi Level Marketing scheme. In short, you can get referrals (other people) to join using your special link and you get a cut of each click. There is no clarification as to whether or not this is deducted from the persons clicks or if they still receive the $2 dollars.

The site also allows you to purchase referrals (weird) and to upgrade your membership to receive better paid adverts and increased commissions from your referrals. The upgrade also costs a fair sum at $19.95 or $39.95 per month, and unlike the payouts which take 60 days to arrive after requesting it, these fees are taken out of your bank account on time, every time each month.

Is TwoDollarClick.com a Scam?

The most concerning thing about Two Dollar Click is what I have heard on the grapevine. As the payouts only occur at the $1000 mark, it seems there is a tendency to reduce or even stop access to new adverts when an account is getting close to the 1000 threshold.

Their “payment proof” isn’t very heartening either as it’s just a list of usernames (real or fake, who knows) with some data. It simply doesn’t look genuine.

Not only that, but there are numerous complaints about those who reached the threshold still not being paid out.

The Bottom Line

Two Dollar Click looks pretty good until you start getting close to the payout threshold, and at that point the realization comes that this is in fact a scam!

The very lack of detailed information, the fact that it is know that adverts dry up and the subtle MLM system in place makes me advise you that this is most likely a scam and to avoid at all costs!

Sites like these are never going to pay out. No advertiser is going to pay $5 per click for untargeted traffic. It’s just an absolute awful business strategy. The people behind this site (any many other similar sites) are only interested in using you for quick ad revenue. You will never see a dime from them.

If it’s too good to be true…

How Does Two Dollar Click Compare?

I’ve Tried That has been reviewing ways to make money from home since 2007. In that time, there’s one program that stands above the rest. It’s free to get started, has no ridiculous hidden charges, and will help you build a sustainable income from home.

Let’s see how Two Dollar Click compares…

Breaking Freelance Rule #4: You Gotta Be An Expert

Back when I was hired to do technical support for a major biotech firm here in town, I was really worried about being exposed as a fraud. Sure, I knew a thing or two about science, but to knowledgeably discuss and (gulp!) troubleshoot through nearly 2,000 biological products, assays and even instruments? C’mon! You had to be an expert to do that.

And yet, just a few weeks later, I was doing exactly that. And just a few months later, I was even getting bored because the questions weren’t challenging enough. That’s not to say that certain customers didn’t stump me- but the work became easier and more predictable even after a month of time. I stayed in that company for over five years until I went full-time with my freelance writing career.

So, what did I learn from my time as technical support scientist that can apply to any freelancer who does not consider himself/herself a “subject matter expert”?

Stop thinking of yourself as not an expert.

Unless you’ve been living under the rock, you already have expertise in a wide range of topics. Do you think you know nothing about retail business? If you’ve worked as a cashier at Walmart, you’ve had some exposure to business topics like inventory control, branding, sales cycles, etc.

If you’ve worked part-time as a line cook at McDonald’s or as a waitress at Applebee’s, you probably know a thing or two about the restaurant business. I myself started becoming very knowledgeable about work-at-home job opportunities and making an online income because I was always hustling to make some side cash while in grad school.

If you keep your eyes peeled and ears open, you will hear all kinds of expert topics discussed by your bosses, colleagues and customers. All you need to do is look, listen and learn. For example, here’s how I became an expert in crowdfunding.

Master the Pareto Principle

Known also as the 80-20 rule, the Pareto Principle proposes that 80% of the outcomes are the result of only 20% of all possible causes. Thus, if you can pinpoint and learn about that vital 20% of expert information, you will be able to resolve 80% of the questions, issues, etc. that you encounter as a bonified “expert.”

I saw this occur during my own tenure in biotech technical support; although my company sold numerous products, most of my calls were on 20% of them. As a result, I became very proficient on those 20% of products.

Know just a little bit more…

I currently do a lot of SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) work with several of my clients. Between keeping track of the Google zoo (e.g. Penguin, Panda) and figuring out how to tighten my ad groups, there’s a lot to absorb. I still don’t know everything about the e-commerce world- and I doubt I ever will.

However, as I’ve learned, I don’t need to know it all; I just need to be one step ahead of my clients. Thus, when I pick up on the latest news about corporate blogging, I’ll casually mention to my clients how blog posts need to “soft-sell” a company’s products. And you know what? Everyone thinks I’m a genius for making that suggestion, despite the many published articles on the topic.

If you’re about to teach a class on a given subject or just meet someone over lunch to talk about X, Y and Z, don’t sweat it that you don’t know everything. Just read up on the latest news surrounding that topic and carefully incorporate the newest and snazziest buzzwords that the “real experts” are using. Adopt a “niche-within-your-niche” that you can learn about and know quite well; this narrowed expertise can help you if you are suddenly called upon to provide an example.

Control your exposure

I noticed long ago how many subject matter experts rarely teach “live” classes where students can just ask any question and obtain an immediate response. Many courses, especially those offered online, are prerecorded, and the submitted questions have often been hand-picked (and answered) ahead of time. It’s not that these experts are faking it; however, crafting careful and insightful responses to questions on a range of topics is a challenge. And it’s a challenge that’s far better addressed if the expert has had some time to think of and look up additional resources.

If you are concerned about being asked a question that you don’t know the answer to, consider providing your audience with written and/or recorded information ahead of time. Have your audience submit its questions to you so you have the time needed to formulate a good answer. Once you’re more confident and know what kind of questions to expect given the Pareto Principle, going “live” won’t be as intimidating for you as before.

Craft your message

Most of us are experts at something if we examine ourselves carefully enough. And typically, our expertise is in a very defined subject matter. As such, if you are going to tout yourself as an expert in warm water fly fishing in ponds and lakes, don’t start talking about salmon. In fact, don’t even answer questions about salmon because that’s not your niche. Knowing what you don’t know is just as important as talking about what you do know.

If you know just one area of a really large topic, establish your expertise in that niche and take advantage of it. That’s what your clients will be looking for anyway. Also, by establishing yourself in a very defined area, you won’t have to worry too much about competition. Your clients, though small in number, will know whom to reach out to for additional work, information and products.

The Bottom Line

As a freelancer, every new project or client you take on puts you in a “non-expert” position, forcing you to learn and grow. I was trained to be a scientist, not a writer. I have no journalism degree, yet somehow I’ve become a newspaper reporter. I didn’t even know what SEO stood for back when I started talking about it.

Face it: if you wanted to be comfortable and do only what you’re good at, you would’ve stayed at your old (employed) job. In the process of becoming an expert, you must dive into the discomfort of not knowing. To grow (as an expert, a person, or just about anything else) is to be uncomfortable. And when you’re too comfortable, you’ve stopped growing.

Easy Cash Code Does Not Equal Money²

Easy Cash Code is another one of those systems that promise you the earth with their slick video and marketing, but in essence it is yet another cash maker for the owners and a waste of money for the buyers.

Undeniable Garbage at EasyCashCode.com

The promotional video starts with plenty of genuine looking testimonials, all spouting their love for the system and how they rake in thousands per day.

Antonio, the promoter of on the video, states he will provide undeniable proof that the system works. No proof is supplied of course; just the usual generic earnings reports that could be from anyone, anywhere, that could be selling something completely different. Just as likely it will be the system maker’s profits from the last rip off product they sold.

However, the testimonials are fake; it clearly says so at the bottom that they are actors. That just proves to me to be wary of this product.

I love that the video says it will be removed soon, a generic emotional fear tactic to heighten your anxiety. It’s been up at least 6 months and won’t ever get pulled down unless there are enough complaints about it.

This is perhaps a sideways way of looking at things, but I always think to myself, if they can afford an expensive mansion and an expensive super-fast car, why can’t they afford decent video production that will stop the wind blowing into the microphone? My answer is that it is probably because the house and car are rented. Fake it till you make it guys!

From Broke to Millionaire in Days

The blatant lies and half-truths keep coming with this system sales pitch.  The fake French lady who Antonio helped out of the gutter, who went from “broke to millionaire in days” is just appalling in how blatant a lie it is.

The “evidence” that the guy pushes in your face, “cannot be faked” according to him, but it looks very easily faked to me.

What’s the Cost?

The Easy Cash Code system, no matter the repeated usage of the word free, costs $49 bucks.

I’ll let you in on a little secret about how can find out a lot about a system and whether it is likely to be one that could be genuine and worthwhile or one that is there to try and suck money out of you.

At the bottom of a page if there is a link that says affiliate, click it and have a read.

Affiliate systems are great, you can genuinely make money from them, I do. However, when you get push button money making systems like this, the affiliate scheme often shows the truth behind them.

This is from Easy Cash Code’s affiliate page.

How Easy Cash Code will take your money

What do you make of that? Does it make sense? Just in case let me explain. This system is designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible, between $396.00 and $686.00 in fact. Once you have made that initial purchase it will try to upsell more products to you which as you can see are a lot more expensive than the initial product.

Often products like these are not event necessary, pretty much like the initial product…

The makers of these systems, offer a high affiliate commission, 60% here, because to them its free money, so it doesn’t matter that they give 60% away, so long as they get visitors who equal potential buyers.

It is that information alone which make me very wary of the Easy Cash Code system.

What’s Included?

Well apart from the big upsells, the actual system is a few guides on how to set up a WordPress website and install the plugin software that you get from Easy Cash Code.

The plugin isn’t too bad but it doesn’t deserve the hype of the sales pitch, it is just a plugin to create squeeze pages, which are sales letters on the internet designed to do a sole act (get someone’s email address, credit card details, etc). The thing is with squeeze pages is that you really need to know how to word them and what to actually do with them. A squeeze page alone will not rake in money, there has to be something behind it, whether it be a product or to build a list to promote products to.

The training isn’t so much training as 3 pdf files from other systems, which have been around for some time. Yes you could learn some stuff from them, but there will be upsells and recommendations to buy other products.

The 6 week coaching is 6 webinars, now recorded which go through the basics and upsell some more.

The Bottom Line: Is Easy Cash Code a Scam?

Is Easy Cash Code a scam? No, I cannot say it is a scam, it does offer something in return for your money. There have even been reports that money has been made with the system, though nowhere near the hyped up figures in the sales video, at most a few hundred a week.

I would advise you to be careful with this though, ideally avoid it if you can as it is certainly a borderline scam.

As a product it seems to be put together haphazardly, with poor quality and very basic information that can be found pretty much anywhere online for free.

If you do decide to put your cash on the line, make sure you don’t end up following the “funnel” or in other words being suckered into buying the additional products.

How Does Easy Cash Code Compare?

I’ve Tried That has been reviewing products since 2007. In that time, there’s one program that stands above the rest. It’s free to get started, has no ridiculous hidden charges, and will help you build a sustainable income from home.

Click here to see our top recommendation.

Interview with Carol Tice: How to Make an Online Income as a Writer

My inglorious beginning as a low-paid content mill writer

When I first started writing online, I was ecstatic when one of my clients paid me 5 cents/word to generate e-commerce content that kept me up until 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. I’d turn in my 1,000 word article and beam at the $50 I’d made for literally 2 straight days of work. Then, I’d “punch in” a few hours at Associated Content (now Yahoo! Content Network) and eek out another $20 for expert content that would take me 3-4 hours to write.

Back then, I had no idea that my e-commerce content would’ve easily fetched 10 times the amount I was earning had I started marketing my expertise and querying companies. I didn’t even know what the words “content mill” meant, although I was writing for at least three of them on a weekly basis. Over the years, this ignorance cost me an untold number of dollars. Even worse, the hours upon hours I spent generating low-paid content prevented me from learning how to find better paying “real world” clients, networking, or simply enjoying myself with my friends.

My Introduction to Make A Living Writing

Luckily, while surfing the Web one day I came across a freelance writing blog called Make A Living Writing. The blog’s owner, Carol Tice, stated in many of her posts how writers get sucked into low paying or otherwise disadvantageous work situations with their clients. Perhaps what struck me the most about why writers need to stop writing for low paying clients was Carol’s following statement:

“If that’s all I’m going to make, I’d rather go out on the lawn and play Frisbee with my kids.”

Time is an asset and, unlike money, you can’t make more of it. Thus, at least in my mind, time is more valuable than money. And if a writer is going to spend his time writing for someone else, that someone else should pay a living wage.

Because time is not replaceable, it’s imperative that aspiring writers do what they can now to obtain the training and resources needed to succeed in this business. Sure, if a writer stays in the business for 10 years, eventually she’ll figure out that content mill writing is a dead end. Or that negotiating for better rates is not only normal, it’s expected. Or that a query letter should include a call-to-action. But is it wise waiting those 10 years and losing out on high paying clients, notoriety and career advancement?

To help writers achieve their writing ambitions and grow their income quickly, Carol Tice started The Freelance Writers Den. In this den, writers can take e-courses like Break Into Business Writing and How to be a Well Paid Blogger. They can post questions on the den’s forum and have them answered by a team of established freelance writers, including Carol Tice herself. They can scour writing gigs on the den’s junk-free job board. They can also participate in weekly live trainings that feature bloggers, journalists, book authors, copywriters, etc.

My interview with Carol Tice, owner of Make A Living Writing

Recently, I interviewed Carol Tice about what writers can do to make more money writing. Carol explained how she got her own start in writing and how much she made as a full-time freelance writer (spoiler alert: it’s a six figure amount). For I’ve Tried That readers, Carol and I discussed the following topics that are critical in the success or failure of any would-be writer who wishes to make an actual living from his writing:

  • Why content mills don’t pay well- and why they never will.
  • Why content mills don’t lead to better paying work.
  • Four places where you can easily gain clips to show to editors, bloggers, publishers, etc.
  • How you can use your own blog to win clients.
  • Which industries/topics pay writers well- and which ones don’t.

Carol also talked about some of the major psychological stumbling blocks of many writers- and how to get over these hurdles:

  • Not being “good enough”
  • Not being an “expert”
  • Query letter rejection

Carol’s interview is posted below as a video file that she was kind enough to generate for me during our recorded Skype call. Carol’s voice comes through crisp and clear; my own voice, unfortunately, is too loud for the call. I apologize for that technical boo-boo. Fortunately, I edited most of my yelling out of the file, so you’ll hear Carol the majority of the time.

For those of you who would prefer reading the interview, I’ve posted the transcript of my interview with Carol Tice here.

A critical question that many I’ve Tried That readers might have is, can I be a freelance writer and work from home? Absolutely. In her interview, Carol Tice mentions how she currently has no in-town clients and does all her work online with the help of her phone, email and Skype. So yes, it is possible.

If any of you would like to learn more about The Freelance Writers Den or even sign up for it, you can go to it directly by clicking here. Please note that, at this time, you will need to get on a waiting list in order to eventually join the den. Den openings occur roughly every few weeks.

Vemma: A Healthy Scam?

We all want to be healthy, to eat right, to exercise plenty and to feel good in our own skin. Sometimes though, it is hard work to stay fit and healthy, and having supplements can help us out.

Enter Vemma. They sell a vitamin & mineral supplement drink.

I bet you are thinking, “OK Dean, why are you talking about health drinks?” The reason is because Vemma is also an MLM company, and while I will state right now that it is not a scam or illegal, please read on to find out why you should think carefully about signing up or even avoid this one at all costs.

Vemma the MLM

Just a refresher for those that don’t know, MLM stands for Multi Level Marketing but is also known as Network Marketing.

The basic premise is that you sell the products and recruit other people underneath you to also sell the products of which you get a small commission.

The general rule of thumb with MLM systems though is it’s only the people at the top (the owners) that make any money or any real money.

You can sign up to Vemma and get a bunch of different products from them:

  • 4 bottles of Vemma® (32-oz bottles, 30-day supply for 2 people)
  • 1 V2 Fridge Brick (30 – 2-oz bottles)
  • 2 bottles of Vemma NEXT® (32-oz bottles)
  • 24 cans of Verve® Energy Drink (8.3-oz cans)
  • 12 cans of Verve Zero Sugar Energy Drink (8.3-oz cans)
  • 12 cans of Verve Bold Energy Drink (8.3-oz cans)
  • 1 bag of Bod•ē Shake Vanilla Ice Cream flavor (16 meals/bag)
  • 1 bag of Bod•ē Shake Chocolate Ice Cream flavor (16 meals/bag)
  • 1 Vemma Success Kit

On top of that you will get a Business Builder Pack, which consists of:

  • A FREE marketing website which utilizes social media to help you tell your story like never before.
  • A FREE mobile app with innovative text videos and cutting-edge tracking to manage your business activity.
  • A FREE success kit with the necessary tools every new Brand Partner should have to help you jump-start your business.
  • A variety of Vemma products to share with others.
  • A proven system of training tools and field leadership support.
  • Full eligibility for the Rewards & Recognition Program, including a brand-new BMW paid for by Vemma.
  • Freedom and flexibility to be in control of your business, your time and your success.
  • A supportive upline and a corporate Home Office team of industry-experienced professionals dedicated to your success.
  • A lucrative income from products you never have to ship or exchange money for. No merchant accounts, shipping, processing, customer service or other tedious tasks.

The Downside

I listed everything you get because all of this costs a fortune! To get started with Vemma, the basic package (outlined above) costs $499.95 or $999.95 for a bigger pack.

48 drinks, 32 portions of icecream and a marketing kit for $500 bucks? WOW!

Not only that but after purchase you are set up automatically to pay $126 a month for 2 32oz bottles.

Edit: You can actually get started with Vemma without buying anything, but it is so hard to find this information I bet virtually no one does.

This is a lot of money to pay for out of pocket on a product that is expensive to sell, with no guarantee of selling it. Most of Vemma’s competing products can be bought at a supermarket for half the price, and there is no solid evidence that Vemma’s products will actually improve fitness or health.

The site makes bold claims that you can make a full time wage with a part time job by selling Vemma. In order to do that, you would need an awful lot of marketing and face-to-face sales, and some competency with online marketing.

The company does provide basic websites for those members who are buying into their products but realistically speaking these sites are cookie cutter sites, and you would be better off with your own.

The reality of Vemma, just like with any other MLM system, is that in order to make a profit and to regain money spent on purchasing the product (as you will have to give at least some of it away as testers) you need to sell a LOT and you need to recruit a LOT.

The company doesn’t pay you for selling though they do give you reward points for hiring new sellers. You have to make the money back by selling an already over priced product.

I would love to know how much Vemma earns from the distributors buying the product compared to how much the distributors earn.

Something tells me Vemma gets the better end of the deal.

The Bottom Line

Regular readers will know that I am not fond of MLM schemes, whether there is a product to sell like with Vemma or MLM’s evil brother the Pyramid scheme.

However, as mentioned at the start, Vemma is not a scam. It is a large, international company that’s uses an MLM system to sell products. If nothing else, you do get something for your cash even if it is an overpriced health drink.

Generally speaking, 97-99% of people who sell products under an MLM system will not make any money; many of those will in fact lose money.

So unless you want the product for yourself with the possibility of offsetting the cost by selling some from time to time, or unless you are an amazing marketing who could sell snow to Eskimos then MLM programs like Vemma should be avoided.

Generating a Second Income as a Poor Graduate Student: Free E-Book!

Young, bright….and broke

If you’ve gone to graduate school or college, you know that money can get pretty tight during your years as a student. Even with careful budgeting, you can end up living on Ramen or macaroni and cheese- and that’s on a good day. The plights of poor students are well noted, from Marie Sklodowska-Curie, who frequently fainted from hunger while studying at the Sorbonne, down to Lindsay Milgroom, who advises readers to fill up on free food samples at the local mall food court and give up on shopping at Whole Foods because “this is about budgeting, not living a healthy lifestyle.”

An unhealthy lifestyle, credit card bills, growing student loan debt- these are just a few of the issues plaguing today’s college and graduate students, increasing their chances of suffering from depression or just dropping out of school altogether. Many of these issues are caused by a lack of money. However, most hard-core college and grad students don’t have the time to work a full-time or even part-time job. Strapped for both time and money, many students languish or go into serious debt. However, there is hope.

What if you could generate a second income without spending a lot of time and money?

What if, instead of being broke and hungry, you could make a second income while still in school? What if, instead of wondering what food you might steal from the communal fridge, you were making money online and being able to afford that pizza- with extra cheese and even pepperoni? And more importantly, what if, instead of being worried about employment post-graduation, you had job prospects already lined up thanks to the real world marketing and sales skills you had acquired while making a second income online?

Meet Ryan, the owner of and blogger at The Grad Student Way.


Ryan, like many graduate students, was chronically broke. He had a small stipend coming in but that wasn’t enough; on a month-to-month basis, Ryan would find himself “caught short.” While asking his parents for money got him by in the short-term, Ryan knew he had to become more proactive about his cash flow problem. He also wanted to help out his fellow graduate students solve their cash flow problems. This led to Ryan publishing the e-book “Generating a Second Income for the Poor Graduate Student”.

I had the opportunity to talk with Ryan in lovely downtown Madison last week. Ryan is currently hustling to finish up his thesis, but he was gracious enough to grant me an interview. In this interview, Ryan noted a couple of key factors that hold many promising would-be entrepreneurs back and how to work around them. He also shared some pertinent financial information with me, including how much it cost to create his e-book and how much money the e-book generated for him upon its initial release.

In short, writing and selling an informational product (in this case, an e-book) that relates to your particular situation and helps others solve a problem is a good way to make extra money. Doing this over and over can even become your livelihood.

There was something else that I learned from my interview with Ryan: By creating and marketing his own e-book, Ryan opened up a very unique job opportunity. This job opportunity would never have materialized if not for Ryan’s initiative and drive in creating his e-book.

But, you don’t have to take my word for it: Here is Ryan’s story in his own words:

This podcast opens up as an MP3 file. If you would rather read Ryan’s story, I’ve included the transcript of his interview here.

Does Ryan’s story get you all revved up to create your own product and generate a second income? Then read on…

“Generating a Second Income for the Poor Graduate Student” teaches students several valuable lessons including:

  • How you can capitalize on the knowledge and information you already possess.
  • How you can test your market before ever releasing your e-book, thus ensuring its success.
  • How you can save time and create your product quickly and easily by outsourcing certain tasks.

It also provides poor college and graduate students with the following resources:

  • A 10-day plan for creating and putting your e-book up for online sale.
  • A compilation of free and paid resources for marketing your e-book online.
  • A list of 5 income streams that you can tap into and multiply your product’s earnings.

Ryan’s e-book normally runs for $4.99 on Amazon. However, for a limited time, “Generating a Second Income for the Poor Graduate Student” can be downloaded absolutely free. Just lick on the book link below- and be a poor college student no more!


Generating a Second Income for the Poor Graduate Student