Can You Get Paid to Drive? Review of

Will Companies Really Pay Me to Drive My Car??

You’ve seen the ads online or maybe in your email inbox: Earn hundreds of dollars per month by driving your car! Or get a free car to drive! Companies pay good money to have you drive a car wrapped in their advertisements!

Just like you, we thought it sounded good. With the price of gas what it is, getting paid to drive would be sweet! I might even drive the weinermobile if it meant more money coming in to my pocket than going out.

If you search online for get paid to drive, you find lots of companies willing to sell you a list, or access to an exclusive member’s area, where you can learn all about the advertisers who will pay you to stick their ads on your car and do your normal driving. It’s simple, you learn. A no-brainer money making activity.

We Tried

So we forked over the $15 to Our $15 bought us a “membership,” which was actually access to the site’s directory of companies that are hungry for drivers. I was imagining what kind of awesome ads companies would rush to stick on my minivan. (Car seat ads? Children’s Book Club? Trojan condoms?)

What’s Inside

The membership area is a clean list of 14 US companies, three Canadian companies, and five UK companies that allegedly either give free ad cars to drive or pay you to drive an ad around on your car. The list looks good, but it isn’t what I would call high quality. The first link to the very first company is bad. The second link, to the same company’s sign up form, takes me to where I read this:

What if I PAID to find out about your company?
If you paid ANY fees to get information about FreeCar Media and our programs than you need to immediately ask for your money back. Registering with FreeCar Media is 100% FREE and always has been. There are many scams being run to capitalize on our name, so please do not be fooled.

The second company listed manufactures the vinyl wrap that goes on ad cars…it doesn’t actually hire drivers, as it states right on its website: “We do NOT offer compensation for driving ads.” Hmm…two pitches, two strikes.

And so on, and so on. I could give you a run down of each company in the directory (for one of which I need to own a semi), but it’s not necessary. I can already see the writing on the wall.

Can You Get Paid to Drive Ads on Cars?

In a word, No. Here’s why:

  • Simple numbers. How many people do you think have signed up for these get-paid-to-drive programs? Thousands, no doubt. Tens of thousands, maybe. Have you seen tens of thousands of ad cars on the road? That means the odds are not in your favor.
  • Demise of the medium. Ads on cars peaked in popularity in the 90s. They are now the domain of very specialized niche advertising campaigns, so fewer drivers are needed.
  • Demographics. Imagine yourself as an advertiser. Say you’re the ad executive for I’ve Tried That and you have a fixed budget to spend on advertising each quarter. You decide you’re going to wrap someone’s car in I’ve Tried That ads and pay the owner to drive it around. To get the most bang for your buck, you want to reach the largest possible number of people in the target demographic. That means you’re looking for a car and driver only in densely populated urban areas with lots of stay-at-home moms and others looking to supplement their income by working from home. With that in mind, are you interested in a driver living in Casper, Wyoming? Of course not. How about a driver who owns a 2000 Ford Taurus? No way. (Because Steve and Joe only want their ads on really sexy cars.)

If you don’t:

  1. live in a large city
  2. drive a cool car
  3. AND drive lots of miles every month

forget about it. Your lottery-like chances have just been reduced to zip.

Don’t Pay for Get-Paid-to-Drive Information!

Also, the common denominator I found in all the companies I looked at that actually do hire drivers was this: it is free to sign up for them, and you can find them on your own. There’s no need to pay for “an exclusive list.” There are no exclusive lists because the information is available everywhere. That’s like paying for “an exclusive list of McDonald’s restaurants in your area!” Why buy that list when the phone book is free?

One of those loooooong-shot applications could take you up to 10 minutes to fill out. In the same 10 mintues, you could respond to legitimate job ads that our ebook teaches you how to find. And your chances of being hired for those jobs are much MUCH better than the chances that Fox TV will pay you to drive an American Idol-wrapped PT Cruzer around Podunk, Iowa.

How Does PaidRide 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.

Angela Penbrook? Angel Stevens? A Scam by Any Other Name…

Hey, you! “Angela Penbrook!” We’re calling you out. You are deliberately misleading people desperate for legitimate work so you can sell your “rebate processing program.” We’re gonna expose you.

When we said we were going to review the “rebate processing jobs” that have become popular over the last year, one of the first commenters asked if we were going to look at Angela Penbrook’s system at or Or is it “Angel Stevens?” It doesn’t really matter because both “women” and their claims are equally misleading.

[Update March 10, 2009: ABC News’s 20/20 program featured this scam on March 6. Click here to watch the segment.]

We didn’t sign up for her program because it was $197, while other sites are offering the exact same “opportunity” for as little as $29.95. And because we didn’t sign up, this is not a full review. It’s merely my opinion based on experience and based on the claims on “Angela’s” own website.

Read All About “Rebate Processing Jobs”
If you’re new to I’ve Tried That, you’ll want to click over to our full review of rebate processor jobs. We signed up for one of them and tell you all about what they’re really offering.

After you’ve read that original review, this one will make a lot more sense. It’s the same pig, just with different lipstick.

It’s Not a Job. They’re Barely Rebates
What Penbrook is offering you is not a job. You’re not going to get batches of work from Home Depot of Blockbuster or Netflix. It is internet marketing. And to call what you would be doing “rebate processing” is deliberately misleading. Here’s how the program is supposed to work:

  • The forms you fill out are used to create Internet advertisements for companies selling products through Clickbank, a large Internet marketing clearing house.
  • After you create an ad, you have to get lots of people to see it. You do this by spreading your ads all over the ‘Net. (Psst! That’s called “spam” and is frowned upon in polite societies.)
  • When lots of people see it, some will click on it.
  • When lots of people click on it, some will purchase whatever your ad is selling.
  • Then, and only then, will you get paid.
  • The “rebate” is you sending part of your commission back to the buyer.
  • Lots of Hype, Little Substance
    Here’s a clue you can use to spot misleading “job” advertisements every time: look for the sales tactics. Why are sales tactics a clue that you’re about to be taken to the cleaners? Because the scammer led you to believe that you’re learning about a job. But if you read the whole page, do you have a good idea of what you will be doing?

    Imagine going to a job interview and your potential boss tells you a sob story about how broke he was, how he finally “made it” and how you can make thousands of dollars a day. Wouldn’t you be suspicious he didn’t tell you what work you would be doing? The same principle applies to Internet “job” advertisements.

    Here are the sales tactics Angela Penbrook uses at See the looooong page that starts out with emotional hype? See the clock ticking down until your chance to buy expires? Those are designed to sell you something, not to get you to do legitimate work. Do you really think the positions are almost full and that “today might be the last day?” It’s a sales tactic. See the testimonials? See the pictures of riches and happy people? All are designed to push your emotional buttons to get you to click and buy.

    The Full Truth About Some of Her Lies
    $15 per rebate? If you make a sale from your Internet ads AND the commission is more than $15 AND you decide to send all but $15 back to the purchaser as a “rebate,” then yes, you made $15. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of “if.”

    Three easy steps? Yes, you can sign up at Clickbank, create ads, and see who has made purchases that are eligible for refunds. I guess those are three steps. But they are NOT easy steps. They’re categories of steps, each one requiring countless hours and clicks. You’ll spend many hours just to get started, let alone the complex steps involved in getting people to see and click on your ads.

    The reasons processing rebates is profitable. These reasons are about halfway down her page, after the table showing how much money you can make. They are deliberately written to make you think companies are dieing to “hire” you to work from home processing their rebates. I hope it’s clear by now that nothing could be further from the truth.

    If You Don’t Believe Me, How About the Better Business Bureau?
    The BBB report has this to say about

    Complainants allege false advertising, misrepresentation, inability to obtain refunds, and failure to honor their money back guarantee. Some customers complain that instead of receiving an employment opportunity, they received only instructions on internet sales tactics. Other complainants report they are unable to speak with anyone at the company or that company personnel is rude or fails to resolve their concerns. Most complainants allege the company fails to provide any information or instructions on obtaining refunds. All complaints are pending at this time.

    And this:

    We believe this company’s advertising is deceptive and misleading. They are not directly offering employment. They sell information, not viable work opportunities. In our experience, the only one collecting any money will be this company collecting your $197.00. We know of no work at home offer that has ever generated the amount of income implied or advertised in the offer.

    Scrubbing the Ick Off
    I could go on, but I’ve spent enough time with Angela Penbrook. I need to go take a shower now. I’m so thoroughly disgusted with her deception, I can’t even tell you. Here at I’ve Tried That, we hear from lots of people who are just trying to make a little extra working from home, and they get taken in by lying pages like this one. They usually spend money they don’t have to sign up for programs they don’t understand. Angela Penbrook knows this and plays your fears to make herself rich.

    We’ve written a book that tells you how to find real jobs online and how to spot deceptive advertising like rebate processing sites use.

    [Update: April 5, 2008]
    This is very revealing. Connie in the comments called “Angela’s” 1-800 number to demand a refund. The rep on the other end of the line took her name and information, put her on hold, and then came back and said her refund was being processed. But Connie never signed up to begin with! “Angela Penbrook’s” operation is probably being run from a kitchen table somewhere with a pencil and paper.

Coming Soon: Mortgage Refunds Processing

Can you make money by processing FHA and HUD mortgage insurance premium refunds? I’ve Tried That is about to find out. Or rather, one of our Secret Agents is about to find out. (Note to self: It’s hardly “secret” if you’re publishing it on a blog. Response from self: So?)

According to the people who are pitching this opportunity online, there are hundreds of millions of dollars sitting in HUD and FHA accounts waiting for people like you to find the rightful owners. The money comes from mortgage insurance premiums that are due to be refunded to the signer of the mortgage, but he or she can’t be found. If you find the owner and put them in touch with their money, you get a cut of the refund.

At least, that’s how the story goes. A number of sites are ready to sell you software and instructions to help you get started in your own HUD/FHA Mortgage Insurance Refund business—for a price, of course. and are among them.

But what do we always say? “No legitimate job will charge you before you can start working.” We still believe that’s true. But we also know there are some companies out there selling legitimate products that will help you do a job or establish a business.

Fany is our new Secret Agent. She writes:

I replied to this one that I found on craigslist and they contacted me back but they are charging a fee for the software. It sounds legit and I did some research on the HUD site and it states, “Other ‘tracer’ companies are legal. But they do not represent HUD, and they will charge you a fee. You do not have to use a tracer to get your refund, if you are owed one.” The program I want to try is I found some forums in which it states that some of these programs are legit and some that say this is a rip off selling you old lists from HUD. I could not locate anything on I’ve Tried That.
—Da Fanster, Private Eye

Doing her own research…bought our ebook, but one of the leads she found is charging her…searched I’ve Tried That for info first. Sounds like a winner! We’re going to sign her up, she’ll give the program a full trial, and we’ll post our results here! That’s what we do here at I’ve Tried That.

Update: Read the full review here.

How to Find Real Jobs Online
Until we get the word back on this program from Da Fanster, why not check out our ebook? It gives you the best information we know about how to find real jobs online. They won’t make you rich, but a couple hundred bucks per month can sure reduce the stress levels.

Rebate Processor Jobs Are Scams!

[See our analysis of Angela Penbrook’s rebate processing offer here.]

Steve is in the shower washing the scam off, so I get to write the full review of Like absolute suckers, we had to spend $39 of our hard-earned dollars, signed up and prepared to make tons of money. However—surprise, surprise—it’s not what the sales page led us to believe. Here’s the short review: to say that these are “jobs” is a bald-faced lie. It’s affiliate marketing. The sales page says you’ll make $15 per rebate processed. What it doesn’t tell you is that the $15 is what’s left of your sales commission after you send a rebate—from your own money—to your buyer.

Here’s the long review:
Why you’re here
What the site leads you to believe
The truth
Other rebate processor “jobs” sites
But Joe, don’t some people make money with affiliate marketing?
Together we can put misleading Web sites out of business

Why you’re here
You’re probably here because you’ve searched for ways to earn money online. The Google gods sent you to sites saying they would help you get a job processing rebates at home. You thought, “Hmmm…that sounds pretty good. I can do that.” But you decided to look around a little to see if the site is legit. You searched some more and that brought you to us.

You came to the right place. Unlike other sites that say “we’ve tried them all and THESE are the legitimate ones,” we are not an affiliate of We try stuff out and give you the straight truth.

What the site leads you to believe targets people who are searching for online jobs or other ways to earn money from the Internet. It counts on you being a little bit desperate and it appeals to your emotions by telling you that your money problems can be over and you can have the lifestyle you’ve always wanted.

It claims that you can make a lot of money by processing rebates at home, and it leads you to believe that this processing is “a job.” Well, it kind of depends on the meaning of the word “job.” If it means “work in which you throw up advertisements all over the Web in hopes that someone will buy from your ad,” then yeah, I guess it’s a job. But knows that you don’t think of a job that way, so it’s lying by intent. Note to Hey! Yeah, you, “Cindy Dalton!” Here’s what “job” means: An agreement with an employer in which you exchange your time and skill for an agreed-upon amount of money. Of course, they already know that. They’re counting on you thinking that. The sales page is expressly written to lead you to believe this.

The site leads you to believe that you’ll get a job processing rebates. You think, like I did, that such a job would involve companies telling you which customer have made a qualifying purchase, and then paying you to do the necessary typing and stuff. This is not the case. The “company” making the sale is you through your Clickbank ads. The “forms” you’ll fill out to “process” the rebates are the fields necessary to send your money to the buyer from your PayPal account. also claims:

  • “Make money simply by filling out online forms”
  • Enter the data into the forms that we provide you, click submit, sit back and collect the money
  • You’ll earn $15 per rebate processed
  • You can make this much money:
    2 a day @ $15 each=$210 per week or $840 month or $10,080 a year.
    6 a day @ $15 each=$630 per week or $2520 month or $30,240 a year.
    15 a day @ $15 each=$1575 per week or $6300 month or $75,600 a year.
  • Opportunities like this do not come by every day.

The truth
All of these claims have kernels of truth to them, but they are intentionally misleading.

  • “Make money simply by filling out online forms.” This is a lie. You won’t make money by filling out the forms like you would if it were a real job. You make money IF someone clicks on the ad you created by filling out the form AND THEN buys the product!
  • Enter the data into the forms that we provide you, click submit, sit back and collect the money. Again, it’s far from that simple. The forms are not “provided” for you by this site. They are part of the process of creating a Clickbank ad. And you can’t just create the ad (i.e., “click submit”) and expect to make money. You have to somehow get that ad in front of LOTS of people so that someone will click and buy. There’s no “sitting back” involved.
  • You’ll earn $15 per rebate processed. Yeah, and my grandma’s a super model. Here’s how they came up with that number. IF you sell a $37 product from Clickbank and IF the commission is $23.50, and IF you offered a rebate in your ad for $8.50, the difference of $15 is yours to keep! Woo-hoo! What about the bajillion products in Clickbank that are not $37, and for which the commission is not $23.50? doesn’t say.
  • You can make this much money:
    2 a day @ $15 each=$210 per week or $840 month or $10,080 a year.
    6 a day @ $15 each=$630 per week or $2520 month or $30,240 a year.
    15 a day @ $15 each=$1575 per week or $6300 month or $75,600 a year.
    This is utter nonsense. As you know by now, you won’t make $15 for each form you fill out, so all of these numbers are purely theoretical. They are only possible IF you put your ads in front of enough people AND enough people click on your ads AND enough of those who click make a purchase AND you’ve chosen Clickbank products with a commission of $15 or more.
  • Opportunities like this do not come by every day. Yes they do. Hundreds of them, day after day after day.

Once you’ve paid your money (which is nonrefundable), you learn the full story. Here’s how it all goes down:

  1. You sign up at Clickbank, an online clearing house of thousands of products
  2. You choose products you want to sell
  3. You create ads for those products
  4. You plaster those ads all over the ‘Net (this step could cost you money)
  5. You somehow get people to see your ads. (the site doesn’t tell you this, nor how to do it)
  6. You somehow get them to click on your ads, not the dozens hundreds thousands of other ads from your competitors (the site doesn’t tell you how to do this)
  7. You only earn a commission IF someone buys the product you’re selling after clicking on the ad you created. Read that again!
  8. You send part of your commission back to the buyer

Wait…where’s the rebate? Where’s the processing? You see the last step? That’s the rebate. The “processing” is when you look at the email addresses of your buyers and manually send them money through PayPal. Not quite the “job” you were expecting, is it?

When you pay your $37, you get instant access to the member’s area of Virtual Training Solutions. The first page you’ll see in the “members area” is a list of other money making scamsopportunities. The generous folks at Virtual Training Solutions (which is the “members area” of give you access to all of these for no additional charge! The links below are to I’ve Tried That reviews on each topic:

If you click on the links in the members area, you’ll be taken down an endless road of the site’s affiliate links: things they are trying to sell you so they can earn the commission.

Continue to the Rebate Processing section and you’ll get full instructions on the steps I numbered for you above. The steps they outline are true, and the instructions are reasonable, but by now, a buyer will have realized that this is not a job like they were promised. There’s no way in hell you’re going to sign up for this bullshit “opportunity” and start pulling in money right away.

Other rebate processor “jobs” sites
Seen one, seen ’em all. Folks, they’re all the same. I don’t care what the url is or what the sales page says. If they promise you big money processing rebates, they’re selling you the same stinky cheese. EZrebateprocessing uses identical images to show you how the program works, so I know the program is the sam. But it charges $197!! If you must throw your money away, I suggest flushing $37 rather than $197. Or better yet, send it to me via PayPal at joe[at]ivetriedthat[dot]com. I’ll at least say, “Thank you” and will still be here in the morning!

Be wary of the following individuals and sites:
Angela Pembrook (or Penbrook) at (BBB Report: F) (Also see our write-up of Penbrook here.)
Cindy Dalton and Rebate Processor Jobs at (BBB Report: F.)
Virtual Training Solutions at (BBB Report: None.)
Angel Stevens and Process At Home at (BBB Report: F.)
EZ Rebate Processing at

But Joe, don’t people make money with affiliate marketing?
Of course they do. A lot of people make some money. Some people make a lot and you can too. If you’re interested in learning how to make money through affiliate marketing, you need the proper guidance. That’s why we highly recommend the Wealthy Affiliate to every beginner who is looking to learn how to make money from home. Read our review on the Wealthy Affiliate by clicking here.

Together we can put misleading Web sites out of business
Scams like this one thrive on ignorance and emotional appeal. You can help put these guys out of business by spreading the word about this post and the dirty tricks of scammers that want to kick you when you’re down.

War on Data Entry Jobs

Way back in June of 2007 , I’ve Tried That declared war on data entry jobs as they’re pitched on the ‘Net. I’m ashamed to say it’s been a rather uneventful war. We looked at a few companies but got tired of it because they were all the same schtick. Meet the new Rambo in the War on Data Entry Jobs: Laz Rojas. He truly puts us to shame with his excellent homework, which shows that they’re indeed much the same—even more so than Steve and I suspected. This post is a compilation of his comments (lightly edited by yours truly) on another data entry jobs thread. Words in italics are mine.

This is a great site, and you do a terrific job of unmasking these scams for what they really are and spelling out what’s really going on in black and white. In just a couple of sentences, you described exactly what these “data entry” programs actually are, while the scammers who sell them write paragraphs and paragraphs describing what they aren’t at all.

Seen One, Seen ’em All
I actually came across your site while checking up on another company. When I first read through its site, I was nearly sucked in. Then I decided to explore some of the other sites that also offered “data entry” work at home. Not because I suspected it was a scam, but because I wanted to see what other options were out there. The red flags went up, though, when nearly every site I went to sounded the same as the one I looked at. The wording on the pages, the claims made, the assurances offered… it all sounded like the same company had put up multiple websites under different names. Even the pop-up windows with the 50% off coupon that expires at 11:59 PM tonight… every site had this. Or the regular $99 price being slashed to $49 for just a short time. So what initially sounded like a great opportunity on the first site I went to, started screaming “SCAM!” when I encountered the exact same thing on other sites. Every site seemed to have been created using the same template and following the same blueprint; every site made the same sales pitch in the same way. More about this below.

Can You Really Find Data Entry Jobs This Way?
Data entry? I don’t think so. What these companies offer has nothing to do with what most people think of when they think of data entry. This is affiliate marketing, plain and simple. And for those people who understand what this is and want to try their luck at it, that’s fine. But telling people who are looking for actual data entry jobs that this is for them is deceptive and just plain cruel. Someone who actually wants to try affiliate marketing might be able to be successful at it, knowing what’s involved and what the risks are. But someone looking for data entry won’t succeed at it, especially since they don’t even know the true nature of what they’re doing and can’t appreciate what’s actually involved.

What Your “Job” Will Really Entail
The bottom line is, the companies that are supposedly providing you with data entry work for which they’ll pay you are doing nothing more than tricking you into doing their advertising for them and tricking you into paying for that advertising. They write their little ads, and then instead of submitting them to Google and paying Google to run them, they get YOU to submit them to Google and pay Google to run them. And all under the guise of “data entry” work! Then they sit back and reap the profits from any products sold without spending a dime on advertising. [Joe’s note: Google Adwords is just one form of “data entry” in this deceptive advertising. You might also fill out affiliate applications and data fields that allow bots to spew spam ads all over the Internet in forums and blogs.]

What really gets me is this: if they were honest and up-front about what they’re actually selling you, and if they were teaching you how to use Google and affiliate ads to advertise and market your OWN products or services to make your OWN business successful, they might actually do something legitimate and helpful. But instead, they are teaching you to make someone ELSE’S business successful and conning you into not realizing that. “We’ll hook you up with thousands of companies ready to employ you and who won’t turn you down” is really “We’ll hand you over to companies ready to use you for their own gain and who won’t turn down the chance to do so.”

Don’t Encourage These Scammers by Clicking or *gasp!* Buying
Open your eyes, people. The only ones benefiting from these so-called “data entry” jobs at home are: 1) the people selling the programs; and 2) the companies they “hook you up with” who simply take advantage of you while pretending to employ you. The system they’ve created certainly works, for THEM. YOU get caught in between them, and get screwed from both sides.

One Template, Many Sites
On two different sites belonging to two supposedly different companies, the same exact text appeared in the testimonials. WORD FOR WORD. Only the photos, names, and locations of the so-called “satisfied customers” were different. What they said on one site was repeated verbatim on the other. The testimonials were even in the same order on both sites!

As soon as I saw this, that was it. There was no way this couldn’t be a scam. And I couldn’t believe how lazy and unoriginal the scam was. Worse than the 50% coupon shtick. With the coupon, you might convince yourself that a site is simply copying another site’s tactic in order to be competitive. But the exact same testimonials from different people? Don’t they realize that someone looking around the web for a data entry job is going to visit various sites and sooner or later encounter this? Or do they really think that once you visit their site, you’ll swallow their pitch and sign up on the spot and not visit any other sites? They think you’re stupid. Don’t prove them right by signing up.

You’ll see that they both use the very same graphic to show their Clickbank accounts. So, both Laura Kauth and Donna Richards made the exact same amount of money on the exact same dates during the second half of May, 2006. :) Both of these sites also use the very same image of a blue iMac with a dollar sign on its screen, and the text following this image is nearly identical on both sites. Indeed, much of the text on both sites, and the arrangement of topics throughout, is nearly identical.

The Enablers: Sites that Promote These Deceptive Programs
Something else I wanted to talk about are the so-called “review” sites which claim to steer you toward companies that are legit, a bunch of which I explored last night. They come right out and say that most of the work-at-home opportunities are scams, and then they claim they’ve done research and found the scant few that are not. And they’re willing to steer you in the right direction because of the goodness of their hearts.

This is nothing but a very clever and deceptive tactic which is in reality an extension of the original scam. These folks know that some people are wise enough to think, to analyze, to investigate, and that these people will figure it out on their own that the so-called job opportunity is a scam. The scammers can’t afford to let such people figure it out. They can’t afford to let people confirm their doubts on their own, because once the people do, that’s it, they’re gone. So they step in and short circuit this by admitting there are many scams, and confirm the people’s suspicion FOR them. They count on the people thinking, “Aha! I KNEW they were scams! I suspected it, and this guy has confirmed it! He’s fighting for truth, he’s trying to save me from falling for the scams. So if he recommends a site, he must be telling me the truth.” The scammer knows that once he’s got you thinking he’s on your side by confirming what you already suspected and rescuing you, he’ll have your trust. And once he has your trust, he can scam you to his heart’s content. Saving you from falling into the hole in front of you, he can steer you right into the hole next to you.

These review sites are all over the place. One guy proclaimed he could prove he wasn’t a scammer because he wasn’t asking for money. He was steering you to the “legit” opportunities and asking nothing in return. Why would he lie, if there’s nothing in it for him? There’s no reason to lie if there’s no incentive, right? So he must be telling the truth. That makes sense, doesn’t it? WRONG. Asking for money is not the only component of a scam. When I read this guy’s assurance that he was on the level because he wasn’t asking for money, I immediately thought, “Yeah, but how do I know you’re not getting money from scammers you’re steering victims to? You can refrain from asking ME for money because you’re getting money from THEM. And how do I know you’re not the scammer yourself, pretending to be someone else professing to have found a legit site and steering me to your own site?” [These promotional “review” sites are affiliates of the “data entry” programs, and they make a commission every time one of their readers clicks a link and signs up.]

This trick can work because people equate “scam” with someone taking their money. The assumption is: If no taking of money is involved, it must be on the level. You need to realize that no taking of money is involved in this trick because this trick is basically just Part One of the scam. The taking of money happens in Part Two, and the only purpose of Part One is to lead you right into Part Two. It’s like the game of three card monte, which is run by TWO con artists working in concert. One guy plays the game and wins to make you think YOU can win, but he’s in on the scam all along.

Thanks for the terrific points, Laz Rojas. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Let me add, however, that there ARE legitimate data entry jobs to be found online. I know because I had one. Entered subscription information from cards into an Excel spreadsheet. But I didn’t find it by searching for “data entry jobs” through Google. I found it at Craig’s List.

Is Colon Cleansing a Scam?

Tell you what, YOU try it and let us know. I’m not gonna be trying that anytime soon.

Never heard of colon cleansing? You’re in for a treat. It can make you younger! Give you energy! Improve your health! You see, apparently, your colon becomes coated with gunk that it can’t get rid of through normal processes. When your insides are covered with this nasty layer, vitamins and nutrients can’t get through, and it throws your whole body out of whack. In fact, you have no chance in hell of being normal if you allow your colon to keep its impacted layer of unpoopable sediment. You’re doing a great disservice to your body and should be ashamed of yourself.

Fortunately, there is a solution, which can be yours for a low, low price from the online affiliate marketer of your choice. The solution is amazingly simple. You take these pills or drink a mixture for a few days to loosen that evil coating. At the end of the treatment, you… expel the rope-like contents of your colon—that coating that was keeing you from a fulfilled life. Your entire colon. You’ll almost literally poop your guts out. There it is in the toilet bowl to amaze and astound your friends.

But that’s only half the story

It’s not enough to take the treatment and fill your toilet bowl with what never should have seen the light of day. You are now obliged to (I’m not making this up) fish it out and take a picture of it! You have now entered the Twilight Zone, where Internet scams meet medical quackery and closet fetishism.

You will not only take a picture of it, but you’ll distribute that picture to the blogs, bulletin boards, and purveyors of MagicColon all over the Net. You’ll have discussions about it, compare it to others’, and will be judged by the quality of your deposit. “It looks short. What is it, one meter?”
“Nice form…you can actually see the polyps and diverticula. It’s a near perfect mold. How was the bouquet?”
“Oh, it smelled like shit!”
“I’ll bet. Good thing you caught it when you did.”
Seriously, folks, it’s unbeLIEVEable. Google “colon cleansing” and see for yourself.

But Joe, heart surgery is gross and that has health benefits!
True, but most people don’t distribute photos of their aortic plaque. Still, might there be some truth to the dirty colon claims? In a word, No. The pills you take and the stuff you drink leaves lots of undigestible fiber in your colon and your body naturally gets rid of it in a few days. It’s not cleansing something unhealthy that was already there.

Here’s some more.

He has created a cleansing product that produces what the product is claimed to cleanse. I’m tempted to call it a brilliant scam, but I’ll leave that decision up to the courts, in case (hopefully) he ever gets sued by those who decide to do so. He’s earned millions by marketing this false idea, and the spreading of false ideas should be punished.

Here’s how this possible scam works:

Sell people a product that creates a condition, then claim that the product is curing the condition, without any proof that the condition was there before taking the product. (Mucus only becomes “plaque” *after* using his product.)

For even more thorough discussion and documentation of the bogus claims, check this out.

On second thought, if you’ve tried it, don’t tell us. We don’t wanna know. And we really don’t want to see the pictures!

Global Trade Company is a Scam

Oh, what a surprise. The opportunity that landed in my email yesterday turns out to be an elaborate fake check scam. Richard Williams received the following response to his note yesterday:

Thank you for your reply. We need more employees at this time in United States and other countries for
part time job from your home.
For more information please visit our web site
Once you register in our web site, you will get automated reply with instruction about how to get
Work activation takes 2 days.
Global Trade Company

If alarms aren’t going off in your head already, you haven’t been paying attention! The language errors are a dead giveaway that this “company” is not based in Texas, as it claims. These scammers have gone to great lengths to make themselves look like a legitimate international business. Stupidly, those lengths don’t include a proofread by a native English speaker. Well, we never claimed they were smart. Only that they were criminals.

If you go to the website and look at the “jobs” they’re hiring for, you’ll see where it’s leading:

Cheques Processing Manager is responsible for receiving and processing of cheques from participants of deals and further transfer of money in accordance with the specified method. The detailed operational scheme is available at request.

Competent management of payments and transfers between the company and our clients;
Knowledge of the main payment systems;
Working schedule optimization skills;
Commit to be available to work 3-4 hours per day ;
PC, Internet, E-mail advanced skills;
Maturity age.

Richard Williams applied, and as you might imagine, is very excited! But oddly, the site still accepted his application, even when he filled out only 2 of the 10 (or so) “required” fields: email and name. Red flags are popping up all over the place. Anyone who falls for this has to be color blind.

The “job”
So here’s what you’ll do as a “Checques Processing Manager” for Global Trade Company.

  1. Receive a cashier’s check in the mail.
  2. Cash it through your bank.
  3. Wire the cash to Global Trade Company.
  4. Keep a 10% commission for your trouble. If you cash, say a $10,000 check, you keep $1,000.

Not bad, eh? Run a couple of errands, make a cool Grand. Then repeat the process. You could make as much as $37,000 per month, like the “Leaders” listed on their site.

The catch
But your bank will soon notice that the checks you’re cashing are fake. They’ll hold you liable for ALL of the money from every check you’ve cashed. “Mark Hillard,” from the “Leaders” list, is looking at $373,000 he will have to pay back to his bank. That’s not just the end of your financial life. That’s prison time.

We’re on the case
I’ve Tried That is doing some more sleuthing. We have the Whois data, the email address and phone number of the domain name’s owner. Maybe Richard Williams, intrepid go-getter that he is, will contact the owner and cut out the middle man. Whatever happens, we’ll keep you posted.

What YOU can do
Scams like this one thrive on ignorance and emotional appeal. You can help put these guys out of business by spreading the word about this post and the dirty tricks of scammers that want to kick you when you’re down. Help us get the word out:

  1. Share this post by clicking on the “Share This” link below
  2. Learn more about this and other online scams by reading the Related Posts below
  3. Report fraudulent activity at Scam Victims United and to your local police

Overdue final update: Financial Peace University Review

Hi, my name is Joe and I’m a slacker. I promised regular updates to my review of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU), in which I am enrolled, but have failed to deliver.

I am ashamed.

To make it up to you, I’m offering a bonus: until the end of July, all new RSS subscriptions are free. That’s right, free, as in zilch. Sign up quick and take advantage of my remorse. Subscriptions after the bonus period will be at least triple the bonus price!

If you found us through a search engine and are looking for the full Monty on Ramsey’s FPU, you’ll want to start here. The 13-week course is almost half over and I can say with a straight face that I’m happy with the content and the price we paid. I’d do it again, and recommend it to others. In fact, I will do it again because my membership fee entitles me to attend refresher courses anywhere, anytime, at no additional charge. It will be good to go back again later and brush up on the things I’m less interested in right now, such as college and estate planning.

My interest wanes
The first few weeks of FPU courses were very good for me: the importance of saving, how men and women think about money differently, how to plan cash flow (or how to make a budget that works), the evil of debt and how to get out of it (not necessarily in that order). But now that we’re moving on to more advanced topics, such as insurance, investments, and estate planning, I am less engaged in the content. Don’t get me wrong—the information is just as good and just as well presented, but my personal investment in it (my motivation) is smaller. There are reasons for this, and I understand the reasons, and it’s not a fault in the course itself.

The members areaFPU members area
I should have mentioned in an earlier post about the Members Area that those enrolled in FPU get access to (image used with permission). It’s full of good resources to supplement your reading and course content, such as budget spreadsheets, debt reduction calculators, discussion forums, and so on. There is a downside: you only have access to it for as long as your course lasts and then you have to convert to a paid membership if you want to keep getting in. It would suck to do all of your budgeting and debt-reduction planning online, only to lose that work when your free access is cut.

I recommend it
My results have not been as dramatic as those in FPU’s marketing, but they are positive results. We are saving money now (weren’t before) and have a workable plan to get out of debt. No magic unicorns that poop $100 bills, but good information that will serve us well for a lifetime. In my opinion, you can head over to Financial Peace University and sign up with confidence that you’ll get your money’s worth.

Got Independence? 3 things you should do this July 4th

Ahh, summertime! Watermelon, cherries, peaches, apricots, diarrhea. Long days at the lake, backyard grilling. And of course, the 4th of July-the only holiday to break up summer monotony between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Here are three things I’ve tried and recommend to you to enrich your July 4th experience.

1. Read the Declaration of Independence. In it, Thomas Jefferson lays out for all the world to see the colonists’ gripes with King George III that made them want to pick up their toys and go home. The guy was always drinking the beer in the fridge, but never bought beer, apparently. He laughed at his own jokes, and was always leaving the damn toilet seat up (according to Betsy Ross). But more importantly, Jefferson crystallized the vision for a new age and a new way of looking at ourselves as humans:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

Read it. Get inspired.

Luke and Maya, prior to today’s cotton candy dose.

2. Eat some cotton candy. The stuff is vile. I mean, can you believe we liked that junk as kids? I need to take an insulin shot just thinking about it! I used to smash it into little balls and chew it. The thought of it hurts my teeth. It seemed to last longer that way, but then I had sticky hands and no way to clean them. Licking them didn’t work so well cause my tongue was sticky and my hands tasted like a subway hand rail. I was a sickly child. But eat some anyway because it will prepare you for number 3.

3. Go see fireworks with a child. If you’re like me, you figure, “I’ve seen one fireworks show, I’ve seen them all.” And that’s probably true…unless you watch it through the eyes of a child. Preferably one between 1.5 and 8 years old. You’ll have more fun watching them than you’ve had at a fireworks show for a long time (not counting that one year you took a joint along). I remember taking our first daughter, Dani, to the fireworks one 4th of July when she was 2. It was 10:00, past her bedtime, and she lay quietly in the stroller not quite asleep. The show started and we tipped her back so she wouldn’t have to hold her head up, and I watched the fireworks reflected in her eyes. No “oohs” or “ahhs” from her, just quiet absorption. I have it, the secret to immortality: it’s the capacity for wonder that keeps us young. Lose it, and we’re toast.

Happy 4th, y’all. Happy Birthday, Idealism. Review: It’s a really small crate!

I’ve Tried That reader Alfa, who recently profiled our site on her blog, Flood of Dollars, suggested that we take a look at Cash Crate, another site claiming to pay you for trying companies’ products and services. I signed up. Here’s what I found out. functions on the same premise as Inbox Dollars and Fusion Cash: sign up for promotional memberships and offers and get paid a small fee per sign-up. It also has a referral program so that you can get paid for the offers and memberships of people who sign up “under” you.

Cash Crate shotI like cashcrate better than Fusion Cash just because it is less obnoxious in its promotional graphics and text and because the site is faster loading. You go to the members area and can choose from offers using simple text, not full-on logos like Fusion Cash uses. The screen shot shows only the first nine of many, many offers. The site also warns you which offers require a credit card to sign up for, a nice feature.

I spent an hour taking surveys and signing up for offers at Cash Crate and have earned about $3.50. At that rate, it would take me a lifetime to earn a crate full of cash unless it’s the size of a Tic-Tac box. Cash Crate pays out at $10, so I’m sure someone with more time and patience for advertising than I have could make some pizza money. Good for students, maybe? It could definitely supplement the Taco Bell fund. If you spent enough time with it, you could probably learn to work its system faster than I did and therefore make more than $3.50/hour. If you’re looking to make more than just pocket change, though, I suggest spending your time elsewhere.

How Does Cash Crate Compare?

I did a review of a program called SwagBucks a few months back and just wanted to give you guys a little update on my progress, show you how much I’ve actually made with the program, and give some tips on how to quickly start making some money with them.

A quick overview: the concept behind SwagBucks is that they’d pay you for using their search page to browse the web. They make money through Google’s sponsored results and then pass some of their earnings on to you in the form of SwagBucks. You can also make money by filling out surveys, shopping online, watching videos, and many many more ways.

All you have to do is use their search page and every so often, you’ll be awarded SwagBucks which you can redeem for cash or gift cards.

The best part is the SwagBucks search bar uses Google, so you’ll get the same results you’re used to, but now you have a chance to make some extra money. It takes no extra effort on your part either. It’s a fun way to make some extra money each month.

And you can join today and see for yourself why I rate this program so highly, absolutely for free. Plus, you get a free $5 bonus just for signing up.

There are a lot more ways to earn, but searching is by far the easiest and the quickest. You’ll see the other ways in just a minute, but first…

Proof SwagBucks Actually Pays

Here’s an inside look at most of the orders that I’ve placed with SwagBucks since I’ve joined. This is a look inside my own personal account. I’ve cashed out and received $890.00 worth of gift cards so far.

Now, there are thousands of items you can spend your SwagBucks on or you can even redeem them for cash. I chose the giftcards because they’re a little bit cheaper than the cash redemption so you get more value for your SwagBuck, so to speak. Plus, I shop at Amazon often and this really helped cut down on costs.

Here’s a look at my total earnings so far: SB earnings

1 SwagBuck roughly equals 1 penny. So I’ve made approximately $928.78 since joining!

And here’s a look at just some of my rewards so far!

SB Cashed Out

Oh, and did I mention this was all free?

The Bottom Line

SwagBucks is a scam free way to make extra money online. It’s an excellent alternative to Cash Crate and you’ll make money much faster. I’ve been a member for about six months now and I’ve been paid over $890. It’s completely free to join and will help you bring in some extra cash by doing things you already do online. What more could you want from a program?!

SwagBucks is awesome and I highly recommend you click here an create an account right now. You get a $5 bonus offer just for signing up.

Data entry jobs: Stay Away from

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Another one bites the dust. I keep hoping for a legitimate data entry job, but this one is not it. cannot possibly fulfill its promises. It’s heavily promoted by, which should be ashamed of itself. It won’t, of course, because such people have no shame.

The long review: What are the claims? and its promoters claim it leads you to legitimate data entry jobs. All you have to do is pay the $49.00 “membership fee,” and you’ll get access to the “Members’ Area” containing all the secrets you need to rake in $200 per day or more for 45 minutes of daily work. Data entry jobs like this, and specifically either directly claim or imply the following:

  • Companies pay you for filling out forms; this outfit even lists specific numbers:

    If you complete 2 forms a day = $448 per week! (thats $1792/Month and $21,503 a Year!)
    If you complete 4 forms a day = $896 per week! (thats $3584/Month and $43,008 a Year!)
    If you complete 8 forms a day = $1792 per week! (thats $7168/Month and $86,016 a Year!)

  • You do the work in some sort of proprietary system, which you gain access to by paying your membership fee
  • “We provide an online catalog of companies, organised into relevant categories (health, money, employment etc).

What is the truth?
Don’t be fooled by the hype, the testimonials, the pictures of cash, or the yellow highlighter. Here is the truth about those claims:

  • This is a lie. Companies don’t pay you to fill out forms (at least not in this scenario.) They pay you IF someone clicks an ad you create AND THEN buys the product your ad is selling. Whether the clicker buys or not, YOU PAY a fee to Google for the click, if the ad is based in Google Adwords.
  • You are not using a system that the company has hooked you up with. You’re using Google’s Adwords system and choosing companies from Clickbank, both of which everyone has access to for free.
  • This is another lie. They don’t provide you anything except for instructions on how to set yourself up with clickbank and Adwords accounts—information freely available if you know where to look.

Here’s what’s really going on: You are filling out Google Adwords forms or affiliate links for businesses listed in Clickbank. There’s a lot the program promoters don’t tell you:

  • If it’s based in Google Adwords, you’ll have to PAY for each form you fill out because you’re creating an ad to go in Google’s database. You pay Google to list your ad on sites like this one, in search results (that’s what “sponsored links” are), in Gmail screens, and elsewhere.
  • You pay a per-click fee every time someone clicks on your ad.
  • You only get paid if someone makes a purchase after clicking on your ad.

How many times have you clicked on an ad and not made a purchase? Yeah, me too. So now you can see how this “data entry job” is going to suck money from your wallet faster than you can say, “I want my money back.”

“But Joe, look at all the news outlets that have done stories on them. It must be legitimate if MSNBC is reporting on it.” See, the promoters are hoping you’ll see those news logos and think that. They think you’re as dumb as a box of rocks. I did detailed searches at 4/5 of the news organizations listed, NONE OF THEM did stories on this outfit. More about that later.

Numbers don’t prove anything
The part of this page that really gets my goat is the image claiming to show “how much you can earn completing forms.” Fill out 2 forms per day and make $448 per week? The world just doesn’t work that way. Maybe you could make that much with two forms, IF a given number of people clicked on it each day that week AND purchased whatever that ad is selling. And even then, it depends on you choosing the right company to create ads for. Make ads for strawberry-scented butt-rash cream and you might be stuck with a 10-cent commission per sale. How many tubes of cream do you have to sell to make $448 per week at that rate?

I’m so disgusted by these guys that I felt I had to take action. I wrote to the legal departments of,, Wired News, and the New York Times online and gave them a heads-up that someone is using their logos as endorsements. It felt really good, too.

You know what felt even better? Finding the dirt on them at the Better Business Bureau. Read the whole report; I can’t do it justice here:

Complainants allege false or deceptive advertising practices, dissatisfaction with the offer which resulted in refund requests, or failure to honor their money back guarantee. Some buyers complain the company misrepresents the income potential, or fails to disclose that there are additional costs after the membership is purchased. All complainants claim they experience difficulty contacting the company in regards to their refunds.

Were you considering and read this review as part of your research? Have I saved you from flushing $50 down the loo? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Come to think of it, we’d love to hear from you in the comments, anyway.

Looking for a real way to make money online?
Then purchase our book. We break down the steps you need to take to find a real, paying job that you can do from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you set the price you can afford to pay. Stop dealing with scams and find the best way to legitimately work from home. Click here to learn more about our book.

What YOU can do
Scams like this one thrive on ignorance and emotional appeal. You can help put these guys out of business by spreading the word about this post and the dirty tricks of scammers that want to kick you when you’re down. Help us get the word out:

  1. Share this post by clicking on the “Share This” link below
  2. Learn more about this and other online scams by reading the Related Posts below
  3. Report fraudulent activity at Scam Victims United and to your local police

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (Update 2)

Financial Peace University’s promotional website claims that its participants have on average saved $2700 and paid off $5300 in debt by the end of the 3-month course. Having nothing to lose (except money, and I lose that all the time), I paid my $90 to enroll in Financial Peace University and will tell you all about it here at I’ve Tried That. To read prior posts and updates in the Financial Peace University review, click here.

The second class last night covered cash flow planning. It’s budgeting, but Ramsey calls it “cash flow planning” to give the process a business flavor so that people will take it more seriously. For people like me, that slight change in mindset makes a big difference. Dave Ramsey puts it bluntly:

If you were in charge of managing the finances for the Corporation of You, and you managed money for the Corporation of You like you do for you, would you fire you?

I have to say that I would fire me. It’s the same idea Sabrinasmoneymatters was getting at when she said, “You are the CFO of your Household Corporation.” So, yeah, little shifts.

Last night’s lesson included something that is as close as I ever expect to get to a magic elixir for those with chronic diarrhea of the wallet: a practical system for tracking and controlling money. A way to actually make the budget work, and maybe even to get me to stick to it (the jury’s still out on that one). It’s not a new plan, and it may be a no-brainer for folks who already discipline their money (rather than it disciplining them). The super secret anti-diarrhea system? Envelopes.

It’s simple, really. At the beginning of every month, you plan out when money comes in and give every dollar a name by deciding beforehand where it will go. Straightforward budgeting stuff so far, right? But here’s the magic part: when the money comes in, you take the cash out of the bank and put it in envelopes labeled with your budget categories. The FPU kit included a booklet with envelopes, and my household budget has enough categories that we needed to use some regular ones from our closet. The effect is, for me, magical because it takes the budget out of the realm of the abstract and theoretical and puts it in the realm of the real and practical: I have envelopes and cash in my hands. I can smell it and touch it and watch it as it flows out of the envelopes in the directions we have designated. We no longer wonder where the money went; we now tell it where to go. And that’s a powerful difference. I’m optimistic about the prospects. If we can get this system to work for us, that alone will have been worth the $90. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Update 1 | Update 2 | Final update