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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

One scam down



It would seem that Carol T. didn’t like yesterday’s blog post.  Nope, she didn’t like it at all and oh dear was she mad.

On her scheming blog site she was polite and informed her members that I was “the worst troll she ever had” (does that mean she had other trolls?), but in the email she sent me later on the gloves came off and she showed her claws.

Boy oh boy did she let fly.  How dare I blog about her … Did I know how much money I cost her … Did I realize that I had damaged her credibility, and blah, blah, blah.  She used some rather colourful language that would make a sailor blush.  With some her profanities I was familiar, others were rather new. 

She was of course mad that I had called her “operation” a scam and tried to convince me that it was quite legit.   Some of her minions joined in and defended her actions.  I guess they couldn’t quite admit that they’d been scammed.  Although some were quite honest, saying that even though they had made a little money, the revenue was not nearly what was promised and the so called seminars rather worthless.

So I did a little digging whether or not Carol T.’s tips were helpful or not.  I came across the following …

“As an entrepreneur you should always advertise your goods with photographs.  A visual is always better than mere words.”

“Create a page on Facebook and make friends to “Like” you.”

“Be active on Twitter and make friends to re-tweet your posts.”

“Involve family and friends to advertise your goods.”

That’s it?  Advertise with photographs, Facebook, Twitter and involving those you know?  People have to pay $25 for that!!!  A five year old could have told them that.

Another of her complaints to me was that I asked too many questions.  Euh da-a, before I fork out $25 I want to know what I’m paying for. 

Her answer was “My services”.  Okay, but what involved her services.  Carol T.’s reply “To give you access to my contacts”. 

Call me crazy but I’m a little hesitant when I see the word contacts.  A few months ago I responded to a similar ad and was put in touch with a gentleman from Russia.  He was looking for someone to handle his accounts.  All I needed was a bank account.  I would receive his clients’ money and then transfer it to him via Western Union.  For each transaction I would receive $50.

$50 for simply sending money via Western Union?  Okay, I saw nothing wrong with that.  Turns out, I was wrong.  After only one transaction my bank called me and asked for details.  Turned out I was involved in something illegal.

More digging revealed that advice for entrepreneurs, legitimate advice that is, happens a little differently than how Carol T. goes about it.

Richard M. runs such a business and informed me that his clients join his operation free of charge.  Whenever they land a client, he takes 2, 5, 10 or 12% of their commission.  “When asked for money, prospective investors should proceed with extreme caution,” he said.  “Hardly any legitimate business will charge money up front.  Why do you ask?”

When I told him about Carol T.’s entrepreneur blog he responded with “Oh her”.  Apparently, he is familiar with her scamming blog and calls it a joke.

To protect others, I reporting Carol T. to the BBB (Better Business Bureau).  As it turned out Carol T. is no stranger there either.  Within the hour someone of the BBB sent me an email asking for more details.  Did I perhaps have an email address?  Other complaints have been received about Carol T.’s blog scheme, but what the BBB really needed is an email address.  Did I have that?  No, unfortunately at the time I didn’t.  But I knew how to get it.

I posted yesterday blog post on her blog site for all to see.  Initially nothing happened.  If at first you don’t succeed, try again, which I did.  This time Carol T. sent me the above mentioned email, swearing blue murder and banning me from the site. 

Bingo, I had her, or rather, I had her email address.  Am I good or what :-) 

P.S.  She called my blog “an itty bitty blog that nobody reads”.  I beg to differ.  Since posting yesterday, "Under the Toronto Sun"  received 236 hits.  I consider my work done, those are 236 people who won't fall for her little scheme.  With any luck those 236 (and counting) will share what they learned, forcing Carol T. to rethink her scheme.  That will really make her angry. 

Either that or the BBB will step in and shut her down.  Unfortunately, as quick as one scheme goes down, another pops up.  Be warned.

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