Avoid the scams, find out which Business Opportunities actually work
28th September 2007
Filed under: General Opportunities,HYIPs — Ben @ 7:59 pm

Just over a year ago I spent a great deal of time investigating an extremely dodgy pyramid scheme called the Prosperity Automated System or “PAS” for short.

Shortly after I wrote a couple of articles about the scheme, it was shutdown by the SEC and the organiser found himself in a legal nightmare that is probably still ongoing. In addition, thousands of people were left nursing extremely heavy losses after ploughing money into PAS which promptly disappeared along with the “sponsors” who introduced them to the pyramid scheme.

Anyway, PAS died a messy death and is pretty much forgotten now on the message boards. When one pyramid scheme dies, another soon takes its place and there are always plenty of suckers ready to join up and max out their credit cards.

One dodgy HYIP which has just recently been shut down by the SEC goes by the name “Colon End Parenthesis” which stands for 🙂 – a smiley face.

Warning signs in this one were typical of these unsustainable schemes….

Firstly, it was promised you could earn 2% per day on your so-called investment – always a big, big danger sign. NOTHING pays 2% a day, absolutely nothing and anything that claims to is almost certainly a scam.

Then it was hyped that the owner of this particular scheme was a Christian pastor or something similar. For some reason, people really trust people who say they are christian when, in reality, it doesn’t matter what race, religion, colour, sex, nationality, height, weight or hair colour someone is. ANYONE can scam you out of money. ANYONE can make fraudulant promises.

Thirdly, there were very few, if any, negative reviews of this scheme – mostly because everyone who had joined had an agenda. They had to promote it and say it was the best thing since sliced bread in order to draw more investment into the scheme.

Also, the promoter (the “Christian” fella) was very cagey about how the money was being made. He wouldn’t divulge exactly how he could pay all investors between 2% and 10% per day. No real surprise there!

In the end, the SEC stepped in to close down Colon End Parenthesis and bring an end to the cycle of investor’s money.

What was found was that all money invested was basically being paid back out to early investors to give them the “2%” return.

The promoter was also ploughing money in autosurfs and other dodgy internet investment schemes and HYIPs – not the real, offline business that he claimed.

So, in reality, when the SEC stepped in, there were no real records of how the money was distributed and it was revealed to be a complete financial mess.

As it turns out, the official receivers are now contacting people who made money from CEP with the aim of clawing back all the money invested.

It’s fair to say that the “winners” are going to be forced to give all the money back so that the “losers” have a small chance of getting a small percentage of their losses back.

You can read more on the huge thread on the “Money Maker Group” forums. I’m am not going to link to that site from this site because I do not want to promote those forums, they are full of dodgy HYIP promoters and people with Vested Interests in seeing you buy into a range of dubious pyramid and ponzi schemes.

Search them out on Google (and be very, very wary of a very dodgy female Moderator who heavily promoted the PAS scam).


19th September 2007
Filed under: Internet Marketing — Ben @ 6:39 pm

A newsletter subscriber has took it upon herself to start sending me emails about some dodgy US-based scheme.

I don’t think she understands how it works – that she double opted-in to MY email newsletter, not the other way round.

I certainly didn’t request any information about her:

“24-7 system [that] can promote your business AND create a secondary six-figure profit stream”

She obviously has not done any research whatsoever about what I might be interested in. This crappy scheme is an MLM – something I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole…

Anyway, I have clicked on three different links in her email to remove myself from whichever lists she signed me up for.

Now I need to decide whether to kick her off my list or not… Decisions, decisions…

8th September 2007
Filed under: General Opportunities,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 5:37 pm

A subscriber to the my newsletter recently sent an email to me asking for advice about an opportunity called “Stores Online”.

Now, I haven’t come across this one before so I can’t comment but I though I would write a post giving some details to see if anyone knows more about them.

Have you had any experience with StoresOnline (storesonline.com)? Could you shed any light about whether their sites can bring in a good income?

Here is the email I received (I have removed some details to protect the identity of the sender):

“Could you advise me on the following:

My colleague purchased a package from a company called www.storesonline.com based in Utah, USA. Purchased after attending a workshop here in the UK.

It consists of:

Six websites, which you then customise from all the tools supplied.
Reverse Search facilities, Keyword reports, Online Tutorials, in fact it seems about everything that would be required to make them successful.

Unfortunately my colleague is [not a computer expert] and like myself clueless where the net and web design and web mastering is concerned.

The only thing not included are products. I wonder if you know of any people in your organisation who may be interested in helping for a percentage of the income from these sites?

It cost about $19,000 and she has had no luck at all in getting them going. I hope you can help.”

Now, my personal thoughts on this matter are that for $19,000 this person should have 6 singing and dancing websites online and making money. If they are not then there is something seriously wrong with the opportunity.

$19,000 (just under £10,000) is a hell of a lot of money to pay for a few websites and so if this kind of money is being spent, it is not out of the question to expect excellent, problem-free service.

My reply was as follows:


The short answer for your problem about the websites is:

Your colleague should go back to StoresOnline and get help from them until she has all of her websites up and running.

If she has paid out $19k she should at least have the sites working. And if not, she should push for a full refund because this is not good value.

Ask her to go back to them and explain the problems she is having – she should not stop until everything is working for her.



Now, I haven’t heard anything further about this problem yet but it has only been 5 days.

In the meantime, if you have any information about StoresOnline that you would like to share, please do let me know. You can leave a comment on this blog post or send me an email to the usual address.

By the way, don’t forget to check out the forthcoming seminar in Coventry – more details can be found here:


Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

6th September 2007
Filed under: Blogging,Internet Marketing — Ben @ 1:13 pm

This blog attracts a lot of comment spam, possibly because it ranks quite highly for some good business-related keywords.

Also, I suspect, because lots of idiot blog spammers just randomly target ANY WordPress blog they can find.

Last month I came across one comment which had been held for moderation and had been left under a post on the subject of Mike Filsaime.

It said:

“Discover The Most Viral Replicating Website
Online That Literally Blows Away Instant Buzz,
Banner Exchanges, Traffic Exchanges, And
Even Pay Per Click! Submit Your Link For Proof!

Guaranteed Viral Visitors!
==> [URL was here but has been removed]

Now, the person who left this comment didn’t hide either his name or his email address – he obviously WANTED to be recognised, perhaps he is trying to brand his name.

I’m not going to mention who it was as I don’t want to give him any credit or lead anyone to go looking for his products.

I’ve said before many times, this is not a free advertising blog and it gets on my nerves that people like this think that they can come and leave adverts on my blog.

Worse still, the advert is not even related to the content of the post he was commenting on.

It was irrelevant junk.

Still a bit mad and annoyed, I fired off an email to him:

“I’m not particularly happy that you consider my blog a dumping ground for adverts for your site.

I received this junk on my blog last night:

[I repeated the advert here]

It didn’t appear on the blog and this morning it was deleted from the moderation list.

I have now added your name, email address and URL to the blacklist on my blog.

Although you claim to be a “master marketer”, advertising via blog comment spam suggests you are desperate for sales.

This is pretty pathetic, certainly not the way to make friends.

I’m disappointed.”

Happy and sufficiently calmed from venting my spleen, I went about my day.

About an hour later I got a reply from Mr Comment Spammer:

“You have a comment section on your blog. I placed a comment you are not particularly happy about, fine. The stuff you call junk is what every million dollar earner online uses to create traffic and affiliate sales.

Desperate for sales?

The answer to that is no way.

Do you even know who I am?

Every successful marketer utilizes every tool at his or her disposal and that is why they’re successful beyond measure.

Whether it be black hat or white hat methods it’s all about one thing… Money.

That’s what markering is all about and a GOOD marketer, a MASTER marketer knows this.

He doesn’t give a damn about what others think or what the guru crowd does, or what is permissible or not. He only does one thing… makes money.

How long have you been in this game?

Do you even know who I am?

Been here for 6 yrs marketing online successfully and have done joint ventures with Mark Joyner, Mike Filsaime, Mike Chen, Gary Ambrose, etc… I can go on and on…

Dissapointed? why?

You should be more dissapointed that you’re using a blog.

How many millionaires online utilize blogs?

I’ll tell you… None that I know of.

I know a lot of traffic secrets and marketing secrets and the viral visitors script is one of them. I never pay for traffic, never had to for all the 6 yrs online.

So if you want to call that junk, I think you’re wrong.

[Name Removed]

Now, I found this reply quite fascinating for a couple of reasons…

Number 1: He says “Whether it be black hat or white hat methods it’s all about one thing… Money”

I’ve always suspected that there were a lot of people who don’t care who they step on or what they do online, as long as they manage to get people to take their credit card out.

Mr Comment Spammer here is obviously one of them, and he is even happy to boast that he uses black-hat techniques.

Number 2: He asks a very strange question “How many millionaires online utilize blogs?” then answers “I’ll tell you… None that I know of”

The problem is, a couple of paragraphs above that he is telling me that he is a great online marketer who JVs with a whole host of successful and well known internet marketers. And, forgive me if I am wrong but, don’t they all use blogs?

He’s attacking me for using a blog but he seems to forget that all his “best mates” use blogs too.

I don’t understand his point there… and don’t think he does either!

So, what can you take from this?

Well, the main message is, Mr Comment Spammer is a “Master Marketer” which means that he “doesn’t give a damn about what others think… He only does one thing… makes money”

Yep, sod morals, he’s only interested in cold, hard cash. And he’ll use you in any way possible to line his own pockets.

Sadly, this person isn’t the first internet marketer to think like this and he won’t be the last. There are some real low-lifes out there…

I’m certainly starting to feel a little jaded by some of the goings-on in the internet marketing world. Certain black-hat marketers giving everyone else a bad name.

Which is why I have been looking into alternative investments such as the domain name market. Check out the Domain Profit Guide for more on this fascinating subject…

4th September 2007
Filed under: Internet Marketing,Seminars — Ben @ 3:55 pm

In August of last year I made what I thought was quite a brave decision and bought a ticket for Robert Puddy’s Birmingham seminar.

Why did I think it was brave?

Well, for a number of reasons:

(a) I didn’t know who was going to be speaking

(b) I didn’t know anyone else who was going to be there

(c) I didn’t really know much about Robert Puddy and

(d) I didn’t have any real longing to attend a seminar

Looking back it was a pretty silly decision to buy a ticket!

As it happens, just a week before I was due to get the train to Birmingham I was seriously considering refunding my ticket and staying home.

However, come the Thursday evening I left work, went straight to the train station and caught the train down to Birmingham.

I’d decided to ‘bite the bullet’ and give it a go…

And what a great decision it was!

The three days flew by and I had a great time meeting lots of like-minded online entrepreneurs and listening to presentations by a handful of extremely successful marketers.

It was a real eye-opener…

And over the last year, the little nuggets of information that the speakers shared have really paid off for me:

Just one thing speaker number 2 said has ensured that all my new websites are indexed by Google within a couple of days.

A little snippet of information from speaker number 3 increased my AdSense earnings by 137%!

Speaker number 4 told the attendees something that I started using as soon as I got home. I reckon it has made me at least 5 figures over the last 12 months.

And that’s not all. I met several other “low key” marketers who were attending, not speaking. A few weeks after getting back, one got in contact and we did a JV.

It was by far the best and easiest JV I have done and netted me $1,200 from just one email.

This was only possible because we met over a beer and got talking.

The point of all this is:

Attending that inexpensive seminar has increased my earnings, increased my email list FIVE-fold and also allowed me to meet a bunch of other marketers with whom I can JV.

It was a superb weekend and so as soon as I heard that Robert was running another, I got my ticket.

The seminar is being held in Coventry this year, from:

Friday 5th October to Sunday 7th October

Obviously, I can’t promise that you’ll come away a millionaire but I highly recommend that you attend as these seminars are excellent in content and also in networking opportunities.

They aren’t massive 1,000+ attendee events, they are small 50-100 strong get-togethers where everybody is able to mingle and network and get face-to-face time with the speakers.

To find out more, go here:

[link no longer active]

And if you have any questions, let me know and I will do my best to get some answers directly from Robert.

I realise that you may be wary of attending seminars, and I was in the same position last year. However, the opportunities that open up when you turn off the PC, get on a train and get out there meeting people really are well worth the time and effort.