Don’t Fall For Affiliate Scams

Editor’s Note: Usually we don’t reprint articles from other sites but this one, written by affiliate industry veteran Vinny O’Hare, on his blog VinnyOHare.com, was so relevant to the type of ridiculous scams seen frequently in the industry that target unwary consumers who are interested in affiliate marketing. We felt it was important enough warning to share.  The stopping of such predatory practices has to be done at the Affiliate Manager level. AMs and OPMs should take note.

Being in the position I am in (as an opm) I get to see a lot of affiliate websites when they apply into our programs. I see a lot of bad affiliate sites but what pisses me off is when I see people getting scammed. I can usually tell when these “Make money online” events happen the minute they are over.

The latest variation of scammers have infomercials on late at night where they will not only give you 1 website they will give you 3 if you call right away. Well I can tell you that these programs can give you a million sites for free but none of them will ever make you the money the infomercials promise you. Multiply anything by 0 and you still get 0. Doesn’t sound like sending them $27 for a DVD course is a good idea.

Two Guys Named Ben and Dave

There are a few guys named Ben Moskel and David Clabeaux that really get on my nerves because they are hurting good honest people. These guys hold actual seminars where they bring in a few people that are plants and they sit next to the new people and tell them things like “Yes we make good money.” While they are up in front of the room being all sincere and showing how to make money online with stuff that doesn’t work but sounds good.

They promise that for $27 a month they will give you the blogging software that made them millions and gets ranked on Google better than the rest. The first problem here is they register the web site for you so you don’t really own it. They string you along for about 6 months promising that you will make money soon. All that time you are paying web hosting fees to a company they recommend. Hmm I wonder if they get a cut of that?

By the time the average person realizes it is a scam they made like $150. They move on to the next guy and don’t care if you ever made money, which of course you haven’t. Oh and don’t try asking for a refund.

They also seem to change their name every six months. Always in a variation of the same name, just to start over again. After about 6 months people start going online in mass and post about how their system is a fraud. Most of the time while they are running these “Get rich quick” schemes they actually have the top 10 spots for the searches with their name + scam this way it looks legit. There will be videos from others that took the class and in the video they say it is not a scam. There is no way that after you watch the 3rd or 4th video you think it is a scam. It just sounds so good.

After 6 months they can no longer rank in the top 10 in the search engines due to all the people complaining and they switch their business name. Sixfigurekit – Sixfigureprogram – Now its called Ben and Dave’s program and I will not link to it. They just switched it last month. I don’t want to help give them link juice by providing a backlink.

If you still think this is a good thing just check with the Better Business Bureau. Just looking at the amount of complaints you can see you shouldn’t waste your money.

All Gloss No Substance

While their website looks very professional and has a video of them sounding sincere and they show a lot of things like “As seen on Fox News” and some other bullshit that makes them look credible. It is all a bunch of bullshit. Their “As seen on” was because they ran an infomercial at 3am. They were never featured as “news” if they were don’t you think they would have videos of that on their website?

On their site they show a picture of them being interviewed by “an international company”  at an affiliate event. They don’t even mention the name of the company that interviewed them. Sad just sad! I also saw the company interviewing people at this event. It was set up in a hallway outside the event just grabbing people as they walked by for interviews.

What’s worse is that they claim to have “negotiated” contracts with big name companies in “your name”. I guess by negotiating they mean applying to any affiliate program willing to take them.

Oh and the blogging software they give you has been recognized by Google as a thin site. Any new site is usually penalized for it. As soon as Google sees Sixfigureprogram in the css it knows that the site isn’t nothing but a thin affiliate site. So even if you did the work they tell you to, odds are you still won’t make a dime. At least not through the search engines. The name in the blogging software changes every 6 months also.

As I was doing research for this scam I accidentally found a page that features their whole program without having to log in. What I found was they recommend what programs to run and odds are they are all second tier so if you do accidentally sell something they get a profit. I read their PDF (link is to a free version identical to the one on their site) and it has old information and is as basic as you can get. I wouldn’t even waste paper to print it out.

The only thing I would believe from them is their claim that they eat nachos. Which they let everyone know in order to put potential targets at ease.

The nice people that fall for scam usually get an email from me after I decline them out of the program they applied to. I explain to them what is actually happening and every single one of them sends me back an email saying they guys are so sincere! Yes they are sincere. They have probably both had classes on body movement also. What cracks me up is the guys claim to make millions on the internet but every video you see of them they are wearing the same clothes. Too bad they are hurting honest people trying to make a living.

  • James Martell

    Vinny you rock! …thanks for having the Brooklyn balls for telling the way it is.

  • http://lostpr.es/ David Iwanow

    Damn right more needs to be done about highlighting stupid schemes that take peoples money in the hope they too can be rich in 30 days or their money back!

  • Billy Kay

    “Multiply anything by 0 and you still get 0.” LOL Classic!

  • Sarah Bundy

    Vinny, if you’re ok with me using some of this content (as in quoting you) I can put up a post on Small Biz Trends as a heads up to more people who might get scammed by this. Let me know if you want me to pass it on and hopefully save a few more people from these guys…

    • http://twitter.com/vinnyohare Vinny O’Hare

      Yes that is fine by me :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/wadetonkin Wade M. Tonkin

    Love this Vinny, I know these guys have been the source of a ton of grumbling with us for a long time. Way to call them out.

  • Tony Trump

    Vinny you are the BEST!!!Now try some free advertising!!

  • Terri

    Thank you so much-I almost bought it!!

  • knowledgenotebook

    Ok, this is my very first time on this site, from what I read it sounds like you guys are decent fellows in affiliate marketing space, in which I have no knowledge but I need to because we’re a small education software publisher, looking for means of e-commerce such as affiliate marketing. Here’s my deeply held belief: product must deliver value to user/customer, parties all benefit from deals, each party contributes, sound fair? Thanks.

  • Business venture

    This is really good information I’ve found some scams also. The biggest problem with these offers is that they are the one’s who come out on top. Not the weary consumers who are rally in need of something which works.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jamesnardell James Nardell

    Like you [as an OPM], I have seen an insane amount of affiliate applications over the past year or so from people using this system. I’ll be referring them to this page…

  • stacy

    What about Empower Network is this a scam as well?

  • Jennifer

    How can you tell if an affiliate applying to your program is part of this scheme? And how if they have applied to an advertisers program would they be promoting their product?

  • Jennifer

    Also looks like you are no longer able to access the PDF. Does anyone have a copy of it by chance that they could share?

  • David Price

    Thanks Mr Ohare I was thinking of getting this program ,cause they sounded so sincere,but my wife reminded me about another guy RUSS DALBEY that scammed me for 2,49.50.I wished i would have checked on him.They say you know its a scam when they try to rush you.Thank for your blog and being there for us gullable types.

  • bernie

    If you want to get into the internet jungle go daddy is the only safe place. I have 25 domains with them. they are first class

  • Pingback: The Top 20 Affiliate Marketing Posts of 2012 | Affiliate Programs Directory Blog - Twist Directory