Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
31st October 2014
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Warning — Ben @ 10:48 pm

Lucky me I’m being spammed by Gary Ambrose.

At some point in the long distant past I stupidly let Gary know one of my email addresses and now I am simply unable to prevent him emailing me through his “Email Aces” service.

He puts a link at the bottom of each email underneath some text that says “you can use the following link to unsubscribe, or update your contact details”.

I click on the link and another page opens which says:

“If you would like to remove this email address from this autoresponder please click the appropriate link below. Your email address will not be removed until you click the link below.”

I then click that link:

“The email address, ben***@*****.com, has been removed from this list.

You may receive one or two additional emails from this account over the next 24-48 if there are messages currently in the queue.

Please take note that you have removed yourself from one Email Aces account, not from the entire system. If you are subscribed to other Email Aces accounts, you may continue to receive email from those accounts. “

Now please tell me if I’m being stupid but surely I’ve just followed the instructions and had myself removed from Gary’s email list?

So by this time next week I should be fully cleared from his system and I should never receive any Gary Ambrose emails again. How I’ll live without receiving the emails about such wonderful junk like “Income Black Box” I don’t know but I’m willing to take the chance.

For the record, these were the variables in the unsubscribe link in the email I got today:

ee=10773021
ii=792
p=1370593185
m=b275270

I will update when I recieve more email from Gary. I’m confident that I will receive more email from him simply because I’ve got screenshots of when I clicked on the unsubscribe links in June 2013 and January 2014. Nothing changed then and I doubt it will now.

If emails continue to come I’ll start posting the email replies I’ve sent to Gary previously, which I doubt he ever read. On the Warrior Forum he even admits that he doesn’t bother answering 99% of the support tickets placed on his Listwire site.

“I’ll make no bones about it, our support desk is answered rarely because 99.9% of the questions that come in are already answered on our support forum, and in the support manual.”

Does not surprise me whatsoever. Let’s not forget that Gary teamed up with Keith Wellman for years. He obviously learned a great deal about customer service from Keith.

Keith, of course, is now long gone from internet marketing after his business seemingly collapsed. I discovered he sold his house at a considerable loss, this being the house he used to brag about in sales letters and videos.

Time has not been kind to many of these people who used to call themselves “internet marketing experts”. Some have gone back to working 9 to 5 – Keith Wellman is now a shop assistant for Apple.

Others, like Gary, cling to the internet marketing affiliate link email dream. One can only speculate about how well he’s doing but he certainly seems confident that his unsubscribe links work when he is trying to defend himself on the Warrior Forum.

I must strongly disagree and I’m not alone (link opens in new window):

Gary Ambrose: Spammer

There are others on the Warrior Forum who complain about the spam but you’ll have to find that link yourself because I refuse to link to that particular forum.

More to come…

*Update 24/11/2014*

Spam received today from Gary. Subject: “Fastest – Results – Ever”. The unsubscribe link states that I signed up for Gary’s junk on March 6th 2013. I can guarantee that I didn’t sign up for any email lists on that day because it has been years since I subscribed to any list aside from “Sportsure” and we all know how that turned out…

Gary’s plight almost makes me want to send him a few dollars via PayPal. He’s obvious desperate to make money.

12th October 2011
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Warning — Ben @ 9:59 am

Willie Crawford’s Internet Marketing Inner Circle site was a membership site which contained downloadable interviews with experts as well as other material that promised to help those who were trying to sell products online.

It also contained a small forum which was popular with a handful of members who would post semi-regularly.

A few weeks ago the whole site – theinternetmarketinginnercircle.com – just disappeared. It no longer resolves to a website and trying it from my home PCs I just get a Virgin Media error page saying that the website “may not exist”.

Internet Marketing Inner Circle site does not exist

As a lifetime member, I never received any warning that this site was going to be taken down.

Then again, this doesn’t surprise me whatsoever as Willie Crawford is not the most talkative of people.

He has constantly ignored my requests for a payment of the affiliate commissions I have earned. More here:

Willie Crawford and the Internet Marketing Inner Circle

The URL is due to expire on the 13th October 2011 (tomorrow) so I imagine we’ll know then if this is just a glitch or if Willie just decided to close up shop and not tell the members…

Paul Lynch – Honest Work From Home Success Forum

Just a few days ago Paul Lynch ran a reasonably successful and populated forum called “HonestWorkFromHomeSuccess.com“.

In the past the forum had various “experts” as guest members such as Tim Lowe, Holly Mann, Kevin Potts, Mark Lyford and Nick James.

Almost all these names deserted the forum months ago, Lyford it seemed within minutes of arriving as “co-owner”.

Earlier this week the forum disappeared with no word.

When you try to access the website now it shows a plain, out-of-the-box template site that’s trying to sell PLR products.

The URL it is showing (7PLR.com) is owned by someone in “AE” which I assume is Arab Emirates?

Judging by the amount of time Lynch actually spent on the forum, this could simply be a mistake that he hasn’t spotted yet and the forum may well be back online shortly.

Time will tell.

However, with Willie Crawford’s site, it looks like it’s curtains. That means no lifetime membership for those who paid and no affiliate commissions for those who promoted Willie’s site.

More fool me for doing both!

** UPDATE 25th October 2011 **

Paul Lynch’s forum is now back online. It turns out that a hacker got into his GoDaddy account and several of his domains were stolen. The forum is back up and running so he obviously got the domain back somehow.

Willie Crawford’s site remains down. It looks like it might be safe to assume that the Internet Marketing Inner Circle website isn’t coming back.

6th April 2011
Filed under: Direct Mail,General Opportunities,Warning — Ben @ 8:06 pm

It has been difficult to keep a straight face this week whilst watching the pretty ridiculous goings-on of a big, well-known business opportunity publisher.

This company – which here I’ll call “ABCD” – have built a reputation over the years of always offering a no nonsense, no questions asked money back guarantee on all of their products.

And they’ve been very successful.

Several years ago they sold a very expensive financial trading product and brought in millions of pounds in orders. It set of a bit of a trend.

There have been many other manuals, newsletters and courses over the years. Some good, some poor but each one with a solid money back guarantee.

For some reason ABCD have recently released a brand new product with one of those “mystery” opp sales letters. This is where the promotional letter gives very few details about what the opportunity involves.

The buyers still ordered – many who were probably previous customers and trusted ABCD with their money, assuming that they’d be able to get their money back without any fuss if it turned out to be a poor product.

Some found the product to be poor and sent it back to request a refund.

Here’s where it got silly.

ABCD apparently aren’t issuing refunds without a fight, claiming that the guarantee only applies if the product “doesn’t work”.

As you can imagine, this has enraged the buyers who have been refused refunds.

Of course in this day and age it is easy to find other people who aren’t happy with a product. All you need to do is go to a business opportunity forum or a review site that allows comments.

So that’s what the buyers did, congregated on forums and blogs, discussing the way they’d been treated by ABCD.

And the discussions went on with each comparing the various silly excuses they’d been given why they couldn’t have a refund.

Until…

ABCD appeared to get their lawyers involved.

Yes, ABCD have allegedly been issuing threats to the forum and blog owners about these supposed “defamatory” remarks about this new product.

The discussions have now been severely edited.

One forum owner has even stated that the forum will shortly be removed because he is tired of being threatened and of having to moderate the posts.

All in all it’s farcical.

The internet has been a blessing for consumers as it can be used to compare products and give reviews and warnings to others.

Biz opp publishers who want to write “blind” sales letters – letters where the opportunity isn’t outlined – no longer have the advantage they used to because the subject of their product is now revealed quickly.

And that’s a good thing.

10 years ago this wasn’t possible but now if you can’t figure out what a sales letter is saying you can simply wait a week or so and someone will review it online.

In this case ABCD, instead of creating a good product with a reasonable no-risk guarantee, are refusing refunds to unhappy buyers.

And they are damaging their reputation at the same time.

So instead of simply pacifying customers by giving them their money back, they appear to send legal threats to any website owners who carry unfavourable reviews of their products.

There are rumours that ABCD are having financial issues. Maybe this is true, maybe not, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence.

However, behaviour like this i.e. desperately holding on to customers’ cash when they aren’t happy, certainly makes it look like something is very wrong.

29th April 2010
Filed under: HYIPs,Internet Marketing,Warning — Ben @ 10:56 am

It must be wonderful to have a friend/business partner like Simon Stepsys when he is willing to shamefully shill for you.

Stepsys has published two poorly written articles on “articlebase.com” to try and rank for the term “Shaun Smith Scam“. Looks like he is trying to help out Shaun as they appear to be working together in order to sell a product.

The product is called “How to Market Experts” and promises £70,000 per month. In fact, Shaun and Simon are, according to their adverts, “Two of the Top UK Internet Marketing Experts“.

Not sure I could agree with that description. I’m not even sure I could find anyone other than those two who would agree with the description either.

Shaun is facing problems as some of his customers aren’t altogether happy with their purchases and his poor guarantee.

For example, there is this site:

Shaun Smith Scam

According to that report Shaun is only prepared to give a refund on his “700 per day” product if the purchaser follows Shaun’s step by step instructions. Also Shaun warns that should the purchaser “miss use” (nice spelling) the system, no refund will be given.

Sounds like a great excuse to use whenever he doesn’t want to refund unhappy customers.

Onto Simon’s articles…

The first one is called “The Truth Behind The Shaun Smith Scam Issue“.

Simon says: “Shaun Smith has started in the internet marketing business sometime in 2005

That’s probably true. From what I’ve read Shaun was in prison before that after being found guilty of fraud.

The remainder of the article is a poorly worded attempt to keyword stuff the term “Shaun Smith Scam” in as many times as possible. I guess Simon thinks that is the best way to rank high for a term – he should know, being one of the “Top UK Internet Marketing Experts”

Simon’s second article has the title “Why The Shaun Smith Scam Is A Lie“.

Apparently “a certain Shaun Smith have been accused of selling products that did not deliver what they are supposed to do“.

Simon even concedes that Shaun’s products could be considered “ineffective” and that Shaun really could be out to swindle his customers’ hard earned money. Don’t believe that Simon would say that? Here’s what he wrote:

You see, the Shaun Smith scam issues solely revolves on the fact that a couple of clients and customers are unsatisfied with the turnouts of their ventures with the marketer’s products, claiming that the whole product is ineffective and that the man is only out to swindle other people’s hard earned money. This could be the case“.

So, is “Shaun Smith Scam” a valid term to use?

On the internet people will tend to ask a question like “is [insert marketer’s name here] a scam?

It isn’t a valid question. A person can’t be described as a scam but their method of doing business can.

For example, let’s say someone purposely sold a poor product with inadequate advice but then refused to refund unhappy customers. Could that be considered a scam?

What about if a marketer openly promoted what is basically a thinly disguised pyramid scheme, could you legitimately call that a scam?

How about if that same marketer was caught copying proof of earnings from another marketer’s site and claiming them as his own?

What about if a marketer claimed to be “bringing in £20k a month” but was actually spending £19k on advertising to make £20k, leaving less than £1k profit?

I think you’d agree that those methods of doing business are pretty scummy and could probably be labelled as a scam.

Shaun Smith is very vocal about how much he likes YourNetBiz. That particular “opportunity” is covered on another blog post and the main website:

A Couple of Things That Worry Me About Shaun Smith and YourNetBiz

An Outsider’s Review of YourNetBiz aka MyInternetBusiness

Simon Stepsys spent a lot of time in 2006 promoting the illegal pyramid scheme “Prosperity Automated System” in the National papers (before the SEC shut it down).

I certainly can’t blame anyone for labelling what these two marketers do as a “scam” following their past behaviour. 

And I wouldn’t EVER recommend either of them, or their products.

—————–

As an amusing aside, Shaun has posted a video of himself on YouTube:

I’ve taken a copy for myself in case he tries to remove the video so I can re-upload it. Check it out around the 2:50 mark. He has one of his mentoring students, “Mick”, on the phone as he is driving:

Student: I’ve signed up for Twitter and all that now but it’s two weeks and I’ve had no-one. I’ve tried eight or nine places every morning and had no-one.

Shaun: So you’ve had no opt-ins at all or?

Student: Not a thing, not a single thing.

Shaun: Right, OK, errrrrmmmm…. OK…. we’ll have to… errrmmmm… are you doing any YouTube videos at all at the moment?

[some further conversation] 

Student: YouTube? I haven’t done that yet Shaun, just advertising in eight or nine places every morning doing it over and over again and I’m getting nothing…

There you have it folks, Shaun Smith’s mentoring student has been following his advice for two weeks and hasn’t had a single person opt-in to his newsletter.

I’m sure you can draw your own conclusions from that…

5th January 2010
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Warning — Ben @ 12:08 am

Keith Wellman has just released yet another product (the “Automated Sales Formula”) that is advertised using a lengthy sales video that you can’t fast forward.

Like several of his previous products it costs $500 and promises a lot but will it deliver?

Here’s a rundown of what Wellman promises – and what it is likely to actually be.

Wellman’s promise: “15 Completely Ready To Go Niche Sales Systems

Likely to be: A series of readily available PLR or “resale rights” products purchased from eBay or discount wholesale resale rights websites.

When Keith offered his “VIP AutoPilot Profits Plus System”, customers were promised “a product to sell that has proven conversions” but what they actually received was an old product that was proved to be an “in the rough” info product from Nicheology.

As it turned out, Keith didn’t even have the right to distribute these products but that made no difference – the products were extremely old and available across the web for pennies. Customers weren’t realistically going to be able to sell their products when they were for sale on hundreds of other websites at a fraction of the price.

Alternatively they could be videos created by Wellman i.e. a set of 15 videos with the same set provided to each and every customer.

The effectiveness of this material will be reduced heavily when they are distributed in any quantity.

Wellman’s promise: “Simply plugin your affiliate link”

Likely to be: Instructions showing how to “cookie stuff” to avoid Clickbank vendors’ sales pages. Sounds great but it’s against Clickbank’s Terms of Service and could result in the affiliate being banned. Not a tactic you want to employ if you’re looking for an ongoing income stream (or even an income stream that actually works!).

Wellman’s promise: “super secret in house Twitter Traffic Syphon software”

Likely to be: Goodness knows what this could be but Keith claims to use it himself to drive traffic because it works “super well”.

Funny that he hasn’t posted to Twitter for almost a month! His last post was on December 8th, 2009.

Surely if this “Twitter Traffic Syphon” software worked well he would be using it more often? Especially when he says that you could be “cashing in at $100,000 per month” after using it for 100 campaigns.

If it worked that well, why tout this Automated Sales Formula product?

He’d have to sell 200 copies of this per month (400 if he’s giving 50% commission to JV partners) just to match the efforts of his autopilot Twitter software.

Remember the old saying – if it sounds too good to be true…

Wellman’s promise: “You’ll get the sold out, highly sought after, $1997 Easy Sales Formula course”

Likely to be: The Easy Sales Formula product that Wellman released in June 2009 with a price-tag of $500 or thereabouts. Whether he “sold out” or just stopped selling it is something only Keith would know.

Wellman’s promise: “This is the same system responsible for over $20,000,000 in online sales in the last 8 months alone for my students”

Likely to be: Unknown but twenty million dollars in 8 months, wow! Some of his students must have been given copies of the course in April, two months before the release date in June. Sadly there’s no way to prove that these claims are accurate or not.

Wellman’s promise: “Midnight Paycheck Recordings – [worth] $197”

Likely to be: Possibly teleseminar recordings explaining how to set up forced continuity programs attached to one-time product purchases. Much like this purchase where all customers are automatically enrolled onto an ongoing monthly commitment – until they cancel, of course.

Wellman’s promise: “2 Tickets to my like Everyday Wealth events – [worth] $997”

Likely to be: Free tickets to one of Keith’s seminars – usually held in partnership with Gary Ambrose and usually free to attend for anybody. Gary even offers tickets on the Warrior Forum: link. Not sure if these can be described as being worth almost a grand if anyone is allowed to attend, free of charge…

Wellman’s promise: “order within the next 10 minutes, you’ll get access to our Automated Traffic Software Suite”

Likely to be: No real details given but apparently it is some secret software that can give anyone “massive amounts of traffic simply and easily”. Who needs Adwords! As Keith says “It’s really that easy”. I wonder if you can use it on top of the Twitter software to create double massive amounts of traffic?

Wellman’s promise: “you need to order in the next 10 minutes in order to get the bonus traffic software”

Likely to be: … still there in two weeks.

Come back tomorrow, next Tuesday or even next month and you’ll still get the software.

Ever seen the Simpsons episode where Homer rings up to ask if they have any microphones in stock? “A couple” answers the warehouseman with them stacked up to the roof behind him.

This software is just digital dust. It’ll still be available in 10 weeks, nevermind 10 minutes. Which gives you plenty to time to do some due diligence – which is probably why you are reading this…

So, no, I won’t be buying this product.

And with a lack of any kind of guarantee, coupled with Keith Wellman’s past behaviour, the Automated Sales Formula is something I could never possibly recommend.

Keith refused to provide a series of several bonuses that he promised to give me back in 2007, you can read about that episode by following this link:

Keith Wellman of FX Marketing Inc and Everyday Wealth LLC

Also, don’t forget to check out Ripoff Report where there are dozens of complaints from Keith’s past customers:

Ripoff Report Search Results: keith wellman

Once you’re read all those complaints, check out the other post on this blog where people have been kind enough to add their comments:

Keith Wellman Product Is A Scam or Not – The Video

* UPDATE 5th January 2010, 20:20 *

Keith Wellman has just been banned from the Warrior Forum for the FOURTH time! He had created a new username called “EverydayWealth”.

Also, in the short window in which he was allowed to post before being banned he made the following comment about the guarantee that comes with the Automated Sales Formula product:

“In the video I didn’t mention a guarantee because I want people who are serious and not just going to purchase and refund. You’ll see on the order form there are terms of service at the bottom which state that the guarantee is 72 hours.”

Keith also confirmed that every customer will be given the exact same 15 videos and sites and that it is all an original creation:

“Everything in this was created from scratch by us”

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