Regarding this, from the conclusion of my post a week ago Lowlife con-artist uses internet to fleece Kiwis (quoting myself, sorry):
But can I suggest you look at the track records of these guys and their previous ‘enterprises’? Do some due diligence and don’t believe the hype.
… yesterday someone I don’t know called Larry Miles was singing from the same song sheet over at PropertyTalk …
I don’t post much these days but mostly lurk but I had to post in this thread [Internet Marketing Consultants – suddenly there are so many…. starts here] as I have been stung by an internet marketer and wanted to share with you some tips on how to spot a con.
1) First and foremost use google and search for the all speakers names with “scam” on the end. For example “larrymiles scam” do not search for just “larrymiles” as most marketers with any skill will have control of the first page of search results by having numerous web sites with their marketer BS on it.
2) If you click on a search result that looks interesting and you end up at a web page with the content removed treat that as a red flag – either the internet marketer has threatened the poster with legal action to take it down or possibly the poster is wrong. If you get more than 2-3 websites with the content removed then assume something is going on. In any case within the search results look for a cached version and you will sometimes get the post anyway.
3) Search for the product/strategy they are selling as sometimes the people selling are not the original makers and have a “clean profile” – for now.
4) Always ask yourself “why are they selling this if its so fantastic‘ – wouldn’t they keep it to themselves? There is no product/strategy out there that is smart enough not be caught out if many people are using it. Some internet software products are designed to go into social media/SEO tricks and thats when they get detected as spamming.
5) Use facebook – look for the groups that are anti the person/product. Facebook is a great meeting place of people who are too scared to post on their own sites.
6) Always read the contract in detail before signing and if you are spending 1000’s I would pay a couple 100 to get a lawyer to review it.
And lastly – if you are willing to fork out $1000’s for a product/strategy that sounds too good to be true, uses spammy looking landing pages and you have not done any research then maybe you are too stupid and should lose your money.
Larry Miles’s point (2) — alerting punters to legal threats by spruikers is a remarkable coincidence, given that my introduction to the Dean Letfus-annointed (first warning?) ‘internet marketing’ boy-wonder (second?) was Shaun Stenning’s marginally coherent threats of legal action against another blogger (third?) over sharing his personal experience and expressing his opinion after attending the NZ Property Guru’s [sic] hard-sell, sales-fest (fourth!) featuring Kieran Trass as ‘guest’.
Also, as noted, the demise of Shaun Stenning’s previous incarnation of a ‘You-can-get-really-rich-really-fast-through-internet-marketing’ um, scheme, Geekversity, doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. It was short-lived, reportedly closing down with a loss of $5.5m after being hounded for refunds under legal threats from dissatisfied ‘customers’.
Reviews are also mixed, apparently, re the Stenning gang’s earlier ‘product’ twa.lk, a shallow-looking ‘influence’ building scheme(?) making big promises … on which, according to some observers, the ‘new’ Letfus-Stenning-marketed sni.pr model is based. (i.e. ‘internet marketing’ = how-to-shallowly-exploit-social-media-search-engines-and-web-traffic-ka-ching!!!)
Shaun Stenning’s business partner (prior to Dean Letfus, I guess) Geekdom former chief executive Troy Rushton, I think wisely, summed up Geekversity this way:
“It was far too difficult to take the average person and make them an internet marketer. I probably underestimated the challenge,’‘ he said.
Of course, that won’t stop the Letfus-Stenning roadshow …
your chance to help them get rich really fast by giving them your money.
If you so choose.
Read through Larry Miles’ list again.
These supposedly millionaires — hyped-up cowboys with a trail of broken promises and disappointment — are so completely different (in my view) to genuine internet entrepreneurs … such as the Kiwis behind the AllTeams sports websites featured in the latest Idealog magazine I was reading recently for the interview with TradeMe founder Sam Morgan … who is another prime example of a genuine achiever. Tall poppy? Damn right, and deservedly celebrated for the effort, intelligence and money he invested in building TradeMe from humble beginnings.
REAL web entrepreneurs, like these anti-hype, Let’s Deliver! examples, build something that offers real value, not vapour. It seems to me they seek to connect people for a genuine purpose — not attempting to parasitically clip the ticket for ‘traffic’ generated using dubious spam-like ‘niche’ and ‘keyword’ tricks to construct an enterprise with a life-cycle shorter than a fruit fly’s.
To be frank, all I see when I look at Dean Letfus and the Stenning gang is a sales operation.
Apropos my earlier post about Building trust — through deceit? here’s an insight into Shaun Stenning’s model of what he calls ‘creating credibility’ from one of his current ‘internet marketing’ schemes.
How Quickly Should I Set Up My Social Arm?
When dealing with any Social Media platform it’s important to do it slowly as creating too many accounts at once will result in you being banned. Social Media platforms are designed to allow individuals to interact with each other so building too many quickly breaches those guidelines. We would suggest that you follow these guidelines:
A) Social Arm Growth: Please do not build more than 1 social arm every 14 days
B) Social Account Creation: Please do not build more than 15 new social accounts every 7 days, also when creating multiple accounts on the same social network please do it from different IP addresses
C) Social Profile Building: Please build the profiles on each of the social networks once you have created them to create more credibility [Emphasis added]
Is it just me, or does this process (e.g. time-staggered, multiple ‘social accounts’ using different IP addresses!?!?) sound like deviously manipulating a system to exploit it for things it wasn’t intended to do?
Covering your true intentions? Is THAT what their money-making machine is built on?
What happened to ‘Ethical Investing Strategy’ Dean? And this?:
As a committed Christian Dean [Letfus] brings his integrity and love of truth alongside his investing and communication skills to inspire people to live lives above the line without hypocrisy and dishonesty.
(Thanks to M for the info.)
Facts are stated to the best of my knowledge and commentary is my honest opinion. Corrections or clarifications are always welcome by email. Comments are open.
– Best wishes, Peter Aranyi © 2010 All rights reserved.