Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
18th March 2008
Filed under: General Opportunities,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 2:29 pm

I don’t mind people acting as joint venture brokers – matching seller with promoter – and taking a percentage of the sale for arranging it all.

In fact, I could see it as a pretty good earner if you do it correctly.

What I don’t like is this new trend of finding a series of sites in a particular niche and then spamming the email addresses listed in the WHOIS with an affiliate link for a 2-tier affiliate program.

Take, for example, this email I got to the address I have listed in the WHOIS on one of my domains:

Subject: A Quick Question About [My Website URL]

Hi there,

My name is James Max.

I was recently reviewing forex trading sites in some of the major search engines and I came across your web site: [My Website URL]

Out of all the sites I came across yours really stood out for me and If you could please spare me just two minutes I have a business proposition for you as you are in the same market as I am. After reviewing your site I found that we are both targeting the exact same market, though we are not in competition with each other. I have been studying this target market for quite some time and would like to present you with the opportunity to increase your income for five minutes work. You will be provided with the marketing materials, all you need do is sending out an email to your ezine list or adding a graphic to your web site, and you can make money!

You can do this by signing up to the affiliate program found here: [affiliate link masked using TinyURL]. By promoting this product you can earn a commission without ever having to handle customer service or ship any products. It’s a fantastic way to make money pretty much out of thin air! By working together, we have the potential to create an additional revenue source for both of us — without investing any money or even any time. Because we share the same target market, your customers are guaranteed to be interested in the product. An affiliate arrangement is a sure-fire way to make that interest work to our mutual benefit. To sign up to this affiliate program visit: [affiliate link masked using TinyURL]

I offer this partnership very selectively, so please do act fast if you wish to go ahead with this. Also please feel free to email me if you have any questions. Finally I know you’re a busy person and I’d like to thank you for reading this email whether you choose to promote and make some extra cash or not. Keep up the good work! By the way, you’ll be paid by 10th business day of every month, for the preceding month’s earnings. [affiliate link masked using TinyURL]

Sincerely, James Max

P.S. I hope you don’t mind me emailing you it’s just your forex trading web site really stood out from the others I came across during my research.”

Unfortunately for “James Max”, I very much did mind that he sent me this email.

What really got on my nerves is that it was completely obvious that this was either an automated email or a quick edit of a template email to stuff in my email address and website address.

He couldn’t even be bothered to take 5 minutes to rewrite the email slightly to include my name or anything else even slightly personal.

I don’t actively ask for people to suggest products to promote anywhere on this website and I certainly do not expect people to just pluck my name from the WHOIS records and send this junk. It is unsolicited commercial email – it is spam.

Sadly I think that this practice is going to get worse and more and more of these emails will be received by webmasters who simply aren’t interested in the slightest.

Just last month this “technique” was provided in detail as a suggested business blueprint by a UK marketer in his new monthly “snail mail” newsletter.

I used to respect him as a good guy before he suggested to all his readers that they go out and spam people with affiliate links for 2 tier programs.

Anyway, to wrap up this rant, here’s the reply I sent to “James Max”:

Nice “template” email.

I’d appreciate it if you didn’t try and treat me like a complete idiot. This is a well known “technique” which is likely to mark you out as somebody not to be trusted.

Have a word with whoever urged you to send emails like this and ask them why they suggested you ruin your reputation by spamming email addresses you find via WHOIS.

Tip: If you want to be taken seriously in this business, don’t try to trick people, don’t use privacy protected WHOIS records and offer value – not dodgy 2 tier affiliate programs.

Oh, and don’t use template emails.”

Just another example of so-called internet marketers trying to trick people.

Is it just me or is the whole business opportunity/internet marketing field becoming more and more seedy and dishonest?

I’ve already had:

(a) Keith Wellman go back on his promise of bonuses (see Keith Wellman of FX Marketing Inc and Everyday Wealth LLC),

(b) the Global Pension Plan slowly disappearing (bizoppsuk.com/global_pension_plan.php) and

(c) another marketer has yet to send out some DVDs I ordered from him over a month ago.

Is it any wonder that the general public sees internet marketers as a bunch of scammers?


  1. Hi,Ben!

    In the light of the GPP’s slowly disappearance and how hot topic it has become, I wonder if at this point in time you have a moment to take a look at another project similar to it called HCI25? Not only have I signed up for the $45 administrative fee to get approx $78,000 at completion of their 27K membership target, but I also enrolled in the LDTP Trading project that is giving me .6% daily interest on the share I bought for a locked period of 410 trading days.

    I thought they’re really one to be trusted until I read their Disclaimer. It states that:

    “The foregoing memorandum is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer to sell nor a solicitation to buy a Bank Credit Instrument trading program nor an offer to sell nor a solicitation to purchase a Bank Credit Instrument. It is highly recommended that the readers rely solely on their own judgment and experience as they utilize any of the ideas contained herein.

    This memorandum was designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is presented with the understanding that the author is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If legal advice or other professional assistance is required the services of a competent professional person should be sought.

    The above information is given in good faith and has been derived form different sources believed to be accurate and reliable. This page is for information purposes only and does not constitute an offer, or an invitation to receive offers to purchase or sell any security or other financial instrument or to engage in any form of business or dealing in any jurisdiction.”

    Your Blog includes this important subtitle “Avoid the scams, find out which Business actually works”. If you uncover another one, I am sure you are on the right track of earning a place in heaven for saving so many gullible people like me from falling into the preys of fraudsters.

    If HCI25 will be proven to be authentic, then maybe it will also serve as a saving grace for honest people out there who’s trying to do this kind of business.

    Thank you very much.


    Comment by Kitz — 21st March 2008 @ 2:31 pm

  2. Hi Kitz,

    HCI25 sounds just like GPP unfortunately – over-the-top claims of huge rewards for very little payment.

    The domain is privacy protected and registered at NameCheap – hardly known for having lots of high-calibre investment clients.

    A few warning signs from the site:

    You need to proof Your identity with valid ID (passport or drivers license) before any withdrawals will be processed.

    Oh dear, I wouldn’t dream of sending any kind of identity to someone trying his best to stay anonymous.

    You invest at your own risk, and you can always lose your funds in full.

    This sentence doesn’t need explaining.


    Hmmm, what odds would you give me if I bet that this is what happens?

    Also, I went to contact them but put some gibberish in the “Email address” field. I got the following error message:

    You did not enter a valid e-mailadress!

    Very professional.

    The two people running this “program” claim to be called Gregory Stallings-Blash and Wolfgang Steinbad-Holst. Gregory is the person who was listed as the registrant of the domain hci25.com until he put a WHOIS guard on it on the 7th October 2007.

    They claim:

    We both went to Johnson & Wales University in Florida and we both graduated with honours in the field of Bachelor of Science in Financial Management

    If somebody could check that it would be very interesting to see if it was true or not.

    Both also claim to live in New York but Gregory’s address is listed as
    “Whistler, SE”.

    I’m no geography expert but Whistler seems to be a Canadian resort town and his phone number is based in Sweden.

    Add to all this that they only take payments (sorry, “investments”) via an irreversible payment system (e-Gold) and this doesn’t look very legit to me.



    Comment by Ben — 21st March 2008 @ 4:55 pm

  3. Well, From all of the RPP’s out there & with GPP being my first i’m in 10 with HCI25 being the one I thought might be the one if any that might be the closest to being fr real. They also claim to refund the $$ if it don’t same with the LDTP that I just bought 7 units last month.
    I thought since HCI has had other projects that have done well & paid that this would aswell. Has anyone confirmed that these others have paid ? Russian/China projects along with the contests sre they for real? Sure would be nice to be able to check out some of these facts & why not be open if they’re legit wouldn’t this improve their business. Mybe I messed up but its to late now > GPP I have lost faith in them as they just can’t act like someone should with this kinda of membership. The delays & lack of contact, which is ty-ical in this world.
    Although Euclid did respond to my requst about the referal of $175 to my sponser & said they would pay that direct to his e-bullion acct. but won’t answer his email yet.
    I have recieved over $1K from EXCEL Prestige in instant bonuses that I have funded most all my RPP venture the funds for LDTP came from a another interest compounding daily program that boast 1% a day which has quite met that but has been very successful for the last year where we have tripled our $$ and its paid it members on request.

    Comment by Da C. — 15th June 2008 @ 8:28 pm

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