Warrior Forum and the "Ambiguous" Scam

by Simon_Sezs 11 replies
Over the past month, I have seen numerous threads in which certain "scammers" were outed by senior warrior members OR there were allegations of shenanigans going on. Now, I know that I am fairly new here and pardon me for my ignorance but have to ask one question.....

When is a "scam" a scam?

Now obviously the most apparent scam would be if you hired someone for a service (copywriting, article writing, design....ect.) and they didn't fulfill their part of the bargain.

But other than that, what qualifies in your mind as a "scammer"?

  • When a product is delivered but the ad copy is misleading? (a secret that really isn't much of a secret....ect)- If so, a lot of warriors could be considered at fault here.
  • When you take a method, try to make it work and it doesn't work as described?
  • When clickbank/ebay/cpa/traffic stats are inflated for the purpose of selling (fake it till you make it)?
  • When the author's picture is not the author at all but a picture yanked from a stock photo catalog?
  • When the author uses a pen name/persona as their online "entity"?
  • When you promote a product that you can't attest to b/c you haven't seen it?
  • When you review a product in the hopes for a sale that you haven't used?
  • When you take an ezine article, change it up a bit and then resubmit it with your link in the hopes of a sale/backlink/content for your site?
  • When you misrepresent yourself as an authority in the niche that you are in because keyword research shows that their is a potential for money?
  • When you offer something for "$1" but in fine fine print at the bottom of the page, they are really signing up for a monthly service?
  • When your headline reads "high school dropout makes a fortune from a secret he found under a rock" when in actuality, you have a master's degree in business?
  • When you get your sister/friend/wife/husband/2nd cousin to write up a "review" for your product?
  • When you buy a fleshed out product and place your name on it (which makes you an instant authority in the eyes of the consumer) although you have no idea what is what?
The reason why I ask is because it seems that most people have different definitions as to what qualifies as a scam and what doesn't, aside from non-delivery of a product.

And there have been a lot of witch hunts that I have seen going on in here (although they may or may not be justified) very recently with people patting each other on the back for "outing" a person (once again, it could be justified or could not).

From my perspective, I think that most warriors have a very dim view on what self-regulated actually means. To many, it bothers them that they can't come outright and say that so and so is scamming, ect. But the implications and what is implied can be equally damaging if they are wrong, even if it is merely implied.

I haven't bought any high dollar products via the warrior forum so aside from getting some rather shoddy >$37 products, I can't say that I have ever been scammed...at least from my definition of what I think a scam is.

And if I was going to purchase a "service", I would probably want to have a little information on them (with a downloadable product, who cares? After all, the delivery in most cases in either instantaneous or within a couple hours).

But aside from that, it would seem to me that the easiest way to self-regulate would be to actually do a review on the product that you felt didn't deliver on the WSO forum itself. After all, isn't the warrior forum a social site? Wouldn't it be easy for the first person who never recieved the product/service simply just write it up in the WSO itself? Or is that breaking a rule as well?

Once again, I am not an "advanced" or "veteran" warrior but I think that this scammer witch hunt is ridiculous because most warriors have a different definition of what a scam actually is.

And to accuse someone of being a scammer without solid proof is walking on very dangerous ground because aside from not actually recieving a product the definitions vary from person to person.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #ambiguous #forum #scam #warrior
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  • Profile picture of the author Khemal
    On a side note, I would LOVE to see EVERY person buying a WSO coming back and RATING it as is now easily made possible. This way, the good WSOs will be easy to spot and the bad ones too.

    I see a few threads with ratings but I'd love to see many more. I think feedback, be it good or bad should be made if you bought the product. Do the forum some good by casting your vote and helping other's here.

    Just my observation.
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    • Originally Posted by Khemal View Post

      On a side note, I would LOVE to see EVERY person buying a WSO coming back and RATING it as is now easily made possible. This way, the good WSOs will be easy to spot and the bad ones too.

      I see a few threads with ratings but I'd love to see many more. I think feedback, be it good or bad should be made if you bought the product. Do the forum some good by casting your vote and helping other's here.

      Just my observation.
      I don't agree; WSOs can be "rated" by people with competitive products. I have NEVER scammed anyone and I would quit IM before I would ever resort to scamming anyone, yet one of my WSOs was 'rated' with a low rating. No one came on to the thread to say anything bad about it...as a matter of fact, ALL of the responses were GREAT. And there were many responses, too. Yet, someone came along and rated it badly.

      I personally don't believe that WSOs should be allowed to be "rated". I think if someone who purchased the product has something to say about it, they should say it on the thread itself.
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      • Profile picture of the author Khemal
        Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

        I don't agree; WSOs can be "rated" by people with competitive products. I have NEVER scammed anyone and I would quit IM before I would ever resort to scamming anyone, yet one of my WSOs was 'rated' with a low rating. No one came on to the thread to say anything bad about it...as a matter of fact, ALL of the responses were GREAT. And there were many responses, too. Yet, someone came along and rated it badly.

        I personally don't believe that WSOs should be allowed to be "rated". I think if someone who purchased the product has something to say about it, they should say it on the thread itself.
        I see your point. Perhaps the rating system must accompany a reason and the user rating it (or list of users) should be visible publicly. I think accountability for the rating you make should be visible so that people don't just rate it like they did with your thread. If someone rates it, then they have to say WHY and that way everyone knows that person's intention.
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        • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
          As far as I'm concerned, a scam is a conscious effort to defraud people, the following are strictly my opinions:
          • When a product is delivered but the ad copy is misleading? (a secret that really isn't much of a secret....ect)- If so, a lot of warriors could be considered at fault here.
          Not necessarily a scam, maybe dishonest, poor understanding of their product etc. A refund guarantee should sort this one out.
          • When you take a method, try to make it work and it doesn't work as described?
          The method may have worked for the publisher, things might have changed. In a sense, the publisher should update or cease publishing. If they KNOW it doesn't work, then yes, we're on the lines of dishonesty.
          • When clickbank/ebay/cpa/traffic stats are inflated for the purpose of selling (fake it till you make it)?
          Very unethical... I can see the temptation to do this, especially if you're not confident or you feel the need to rush a product to market. Again, not a scam in itself - although some would say it is.
          • When the author's picture is not the author at all but a picture yanked from a stock photo catalog?
          If you're going to put up a photo, claiming it to be the author - then I think it's dishonest, but not a scam - unless we're referring to a weight-loss/hair replacement/beauty type product and the picture is relevant.
          • When the author uses a pen name/persona as their online "entity"?
          Depends on what relevance it has to the product... pen names are popular with authors in traditional print books.
          • When you promote a product that you can't attest to b/c you haven't seen it?
          Depends on what you say about it... if you claim to use it, you had better make sure you have. If you review it based on hearsay, then that's dishonest. But simply promoting something doesn't constitute a scam - you don't have to claim that you've used it to promote it.
          • When you review a product in the hopes for a sale that you haven't used?
          See above.
          • When you take an ezine article, change it up a bit and then resubmit it with your link in the hopes of a sale/backlink/content for your site?
          Grey area... a bit unfair, I believe. Recycling someone's article does devalue their work and put them at a disadvantage.
          • When you misrepresent yourself as an authority in the niche that you are in because keyword research shows that their is a potential for money?
          I think it's up to the market to decide what an authority is. If you're talking about medical advice, legal advice, tax advice etc. then I think that you should be qualified to give advice. If you're talking about 'researching' a niche, then it's fair to establish yourself as an authority IF you gain adequate knowledge in it.
          • When you offer something for "$1" but in fine fine print at the bottom of the page, they are really signing up for a monthly service?
          "Fine print" at the bottom of the page is in the perfect place TO BE SEEN, I don't see anything wrong with this. Just because you're in a dizzy state because you've seen the offer of the century, doesn't give you an excuse to cry "scam" when they realise their own mistake. If the "fine print" is not present, THEN there is an issue.
          • When your headline reads "high school dropout makes a fortune from a secret he found under a rock" when in actuality, you have a master's degree in business?
          Dishonest, unless you're talking in the third person about an actual person. I don't see the harm, unless a "high school dropout" stands no chance of following through with it.
          • When you get your sister/friend/wife/husband/2nd cousin to write up a "review" for your product?
          Dishonest, but, they are accountable for their review - so, it's between you and them - and the relevant authorities.
          • When you buy a fleshed out product and place your name on it (which makes you an instant authority in the eyes of the consumer) although you have no idea what is what?
          If you provide the info that the consumer wants, with no warranty that they will get additional information from you, then there is no harm in it. If you CLAIM to be an authority, then there could be an issue.

          Ultimately, a lot of "being scammed" could be avoided if the scamee (invented word) understood how to do a little basic due diligence and didn't take everything on face value.

          Very interesting discussion and lots of food for thought.

          Kindest regards,
          Karl.
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      • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
        Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

        I don't agree; WSOs can be "rated" by people with competitive products. I have NEVER scammed anyone and I would quit IM before I would ever resort to scamming anyone, yet one of my WSOs was 'rated' with a low rating. No one came on to the thread to say anything bad about it...as a matter of fact, ALL of the responses were GREAT. And there were many responses, too. Yet, someone came along and rated it badly.

        I personally don't believe that WSOs should be allowed to be "rated". I think if someone who purchased the product has something to say about it, they should say it on the thread itself.
        I'd have to agree with this. WSOs are an animal un-to themselves. If someone needs to "rate" a WSO they received, then they should do it with words, in a post, within that WSO's thread.

        As for products/services outside of WSO's, that is a shakier ground to walk on. It would be good to come to the WF and say "I recently went through an experience with ABC Company. They didn't deliver the product, and would not issue a refund" etc etc. But then you run into those that cry "scam" at the drop of a hat and that can lead to a whole slew of problems as we all know.

        There's got to be a way to warn fellow WF members, but without hurting the innocent and mis-labeled individuals and companies. Hmmmmm.
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    • Profile picture of the author Monetize
      I've been wondering the same thing. I think it should be
      against forum policy for people to make posts about other
      "scammers," I also think that some of these posters must
      have entirely too much time on their hands to peruse the
      WSO section to verify each offer's integrity. I especially
      disagree with the posting of a "suspected" scam. If you've
      been scammed, take action and report it, if you are not
      a victim yet, then give the benefit of the doubt and/or
      don't buy the thing. Anyone can come along and accuse
      someone else of perpetrating a scam and this practice is
      getting out of hand around here.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Another side effect of the ambiguous scam talk is it makes you resistant to buying any WSO.

      In some cases, the alleged scammer is never named. Take, for example, the PLR sold in WSOs. Let's say that John Doe buys some PLR from Jane Smith. Resale rights were not given. But, John Doe turned around and offers the PLR as a WSO. He gets busted, maybe booted from WF and his WSO deleted.

      But, what of the people that purchased his WSO? Will they ever find out that they bought PLR they may not even be able to use because the rights they purchased weren't rights the seller had any rights to sell?

      And if John Doe is called out, and his name gets lost in a thread somewhere, the purchasers are still none the wiser.

      But, back to the original point, just the talk of scammers and alleged scammers in the WSOs or the Classifieds just steers people away from buying, I think. Compound that with the OP's thoughts on the variability of the definition of "scam" and you just discourage people from buying from other Warriors. And, that sort of thing can not be good for the long term.
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      • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post


        But, back to the original point, just the talk of scammers and alleged scammers in the WSOs or the Classifieds just steers people away from buying, I think. Compound that with the OP's thoughts on the variability of the definition of "scam" and you just discourage people from buying from other Warriors. And, that sort of thing can not be good for the long term.
        Well, most rational people would agree that 98% of the general marketing public isn't out to screw anyone. Those that out and out steal are such a small segment of the community that it is really negligible.

        However, when something happens, it seems that all the attention shifts from marketing and work (which is what we should be doing) to the person in question.

        And if the person making the accusations is wrong or simply insinuating something then the damage is done because they got their 15 minutes of fame under the bright lights of the warrior forum lynch mob. Very damaging to the person in question, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    While I agree in a sense to what you are saying. It's definitely not good to cry "scam", if the definition isn't clear. BUT - that's why you find it coming from "senior" warriors. Many of them have seen plenty of scams posted here and elsewhere (And I'd be willing to wager that a few of them have even posted some of them) So they know for the most part - if an item is a scam.

    If they make a few mistakes, I think that it's an acceptable cost to keep the real scammers at bay. If you've ever been to a forum that is not policed, then you'll know that there's great potential for the scams to take over the forums and ruin it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Simon_Sezs
      Originally Posted by garyv View Post

      While I agree in a sense to what you are saying. It's definitely not good to cry "scam", if the definition isn't clear. BUT - that's why you find it coming from "senior" warriors. Many of them have seen plenty of scams posted here and elsewhere (And I'd be willing to wager that a few of them have even posted some of them) So they know for the most part - if an item is a scam.

      If they make a few mistakes, I think that it's an acceptable cost to keep the real scammers at bay. If you've ever been to a forum that is not policed, then you'll know that there's great potential for the scams to take over the forums and ruin it.
      Understood....but you are looking at it from a narcissistic viewpoint (collateral damage is okay as long as it keeps you from losing money from the real people who steal).

      But what if a senior warrior accidentally mislabeled you as a scammer? (like someone with a similar name happened to have been involved in something?) Would you still take this stand?
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      • Profile picture of the author garyv
        Originally Posted by Simon_Sezs View Post

        Understood....but you are looking at it from a narcissistic viewpoint (collateral damage is okay as long as it keeps you from losing money from the real people who steal).

        But what if a senior warrior accidentally mislabeled you as a scammer? (like someone with a similar name happened to have been involved in something?) Would you still take this stand?
        I can see where you are coming from - and yes it would make me upset. There may be a better way to handle scammers. But I don't think there will ever be a perfect way to handle them. There will probably always be some collateral damage - especially when the word "scam" can't always be defined the same by everyone.
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