Beware of Marketing a Scam. I was and didn't know it.

25 replies
For the past few months I have been making tons of money off of a CPA product

It was for a pet photo contest.

People would sign up and submit a photo of their pet and enter a monthly contest to win $1,000

When people would do that, I would get money.

What I didn't know...........

Every person who enters gets an email saying their pet made the finals... They are then told to pay $69 and S/H for a photo book of the finalists (with their pet included)

There is more to this scam.... But I had no idea all this was going on behind the scenes.

I guess we should all do more research before promoting something...
#beware #marketing #scam
  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    Absolutely do due diligence before promoting something.

    I am on page one of Google for a certain well known berry and I refuse to promote the high paying products that over charge consumers, make false claims and are low quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Babbs
    ALOT of CPA offers are scams....I fell into the same trap with penny auctions when they first came out and got an advertising account banned because the site was a complete scam....since then I have always tested products first...
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  • Profile picture of the author Avery Berman
    I promoted something like that a while ago.

    In CPA especially, it is much harder to review EVERYTHING you are going to promote... ESPECIALLY when you are split-testing lots of offers!

    Many times you have to just assume that the CPA network reviewed it and that the advertiser is running an ethical business. (Even just to keep your own sanity.)

    A lot comes down to opinion on ethics.

    The CPA world is a different IM sub-culture much different than the WF marketing world, and the overall attitude is focused much much more on profits than quality.

    "Everyone's out to screw you, so you gotta screw 'em first!"
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  • Profile picture of the author Wonderful Warrior
    How is penny auction a scam? That's another one of the offers I'm promoting?
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    Don't start breaking the rules of marketing until you know them first!
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Kenny
      There's been a few scams concerning CPA and some are real unethnical, try and talk to your affiliate manager if you have concerns about the product.
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      • Profile picture of the author simonbuzz
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Ross Kenny View Post

        There's been a few scams concerning CPA and some are real unethnical, try and talk to your affiliate manager if you have concerns about the product.
        Yes he is right....
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    • Profile picture of the author Joey Babbs
      How is penny auction a scam? That's another one of the offers I'm promoting?
      Maybe it was one of the sites I was promoting but whatever it was it got my account banned at MS adcenter
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      I MADE OVER $3,000,000 ON CPA LAST YEAR

      CLICK HERE & SEE MY EXACT CAMPAIGNS!
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    • Profile picture of the author Avery Berman
      Originally Posted by Wonderful Warrior View Post

      How is penny auction a scam? That's another one of the offers I'm promoting?
      This is one of those topics that falls under ethical opinion.

      Many of these penny auction sites have bots built in that will continually snipe the price up until they are profiting, making people bid and bid and bid, forcing them to spend more.

      Is that unethical? Can people still get deals? Will less people get great deals?

      It's the same as **** and the same as google biz ops and the same as everything else... some ADVERTISERS will be unethical, and they ruin it for everyone.

      Not all the **** products were crap! I had a friend running one that was completely legitimate, giving great products and making DAMNS SURE everyone knew they were going to be rebilled.

      But because of the unethical marketers trying to bleed a market for all it's worth, the good marketers get screwed over with new rules and regulations, making it much harder to profit at all. (Not to mention their entire market gets labeled as a "scam.")
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      • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
        Technically, that pet offer isn't a scam IF they are actually awarding the $1000 each month. It is deceptive because guaranteed every entry gets that email and the book only is comprised of those that fork over the money for the book.

        There is a big poetry "contest" site that does the same thing - I got suckered in by that when I first got online. Thought it was so cool that my poem was a finalist and going to be published but I didn't have the money to buy the book, so I wasn't out anything. Found out later that everyone got that email... LOL.

        Anyway, I think we need to be careful what we call scam. It may be unethical marketing but it's not a scam as long as they do award the prize and the buyers actually get the book.
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        • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          There is a big poetry "contest" site that does the same thing - I got suckered in by that when I first got online. Thought it was so cool that my poem was a finalist and going to be published but I didn't have the money to buy the book, so I wasn't out anything. Found out later that everyone got that email... LOL.
          Ohhh maybe a dozen years or so ago I had an employee who fell for that one. She would not listen to reason, and none of us could convince her it was all a ploy to get her to buy expensive books, and that everyone who submitted poems was probably in the book.

          BTW the "poetry" she wrote was sooooo trite, but it was her creation. She spent a small fortune buying books for all her family. TDTL

          :-Don
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        • Profile picture of the author magnates
          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          Technically, that pet offer isn't a scam IF they are actually awarding the $1000 each month. It is deceptive because guaranteed every entry gets that email and the book only is comprised of those that fork over the money for the book.

          There is a big poetry "contest" site that does the same thing - I got suckered in by that when I first got online. Thought it was so cool that my poem was a finalist and going to be published but I didn't have the money to buy the book, so I wasn't out anything. Found out later that everyone got that email... LOL.

          Anyway, I think we need to be careful what we call scam. It may be unethical marketing but it's not a scam as long as they do award the prize and the buyers actually get the book.

          I got suckered by the poetry contest website as well .I think it is deceptive to mail everyone and tell them they made it to the final even though not everybody poetry is amazing . got to do your due diligence
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          • Profile picture of the author JamieSEO
            Originally Posted by magnates View Post

            I got suckered by the poetry contest website as well .I think it is deceptive to mail everyone and tell them they made it to the final even though not everybody poetry is amazing . got to do your due diligence
            Variations of this scam is pretty common - mainly because it works well.

            By appealing to a persons ego they make it so the writer/model/etc WANTS to believe them. It is very easy to sell something when a potential buyer is in that mindset.
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by Wonderful Warrior View Post

          Every person who enters gets an email saying their pet made the finals... They are then told to pay $69 and S/H for a photo book of the finalists (with their pet included)

          If their pet's photo is in the book whether they buy or not, and the prizes are awarded fairly, this isn't a scam.


          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          the book only is comprised of those that fork over the money for the book.
          Actually, if they send you the email, your pet's picture has to be in the book whether you buy or not. If you made the finals, then when your roommate or sister or mother who also entered orders the book... they should see your pet listed as a finalist. A lot of companies have been bitten by that.

          I didn't have the money to buy the book, so I wasn't out anything.
          My wife bought six of them. One for her mother, one for each of her sibling, one for herself, and one for me.

          Mine is the only one that hasn't been thrown out.

          Her poem is on page 108.

          I still open it and find that poem there.

          The publisher might not have cared whether it was any good, but I think it is, and I like it.

          Nothing has changed.
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          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            If their pet's photo is in the book whether they buy or not, and the prizes are awarded fairly, this isn't a scam.




            Actually, if they send you the email, your pet's picture has to be in the book whether you buy or not. If you made the finals, then when your roommate or sister or mother who also entered orders the book... they should see your pet listed as a finalist. A lot of companies have been bitten by that.



            My wife bought six of them. One for her mother, one for each of her sibling, one for herself, and one for me.

            Mine is the only one that hasn't been thrown out.

            Her poem is on page 108.

            I still open it and find that poem there.

            The publisher might not have cared whether it was any good, but I think it is, and I like it.

            Nothing has changed.

            Awesome post! Just wanted to say that.


            Also props to the OP for starting this thread.

            I think that 99.99999% of the members here are GREAT! Happy Friday!
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        • Profile picture of the author Sathia Seelan
          Wonderful Warrior, good to know that you stopped short before pursuing this 'scam' type of offers.

          To me, although Tina above me has a point why it should not be called as scam, if EVERY person who entered the contest was getting email saying they are the winner, then there is absolutely something not right there.

          Nowadays, whenever having the chance to make profit online, most of the time it would be with the involvement of some unethical element although some will debate saying it as merely a 'marketing trick'.

          The simple way is this, if you feel it is WRONG, then just stop, forget and move on. There are plenty of ways to make a living than cheating others.
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Tina Golden View Post

          Technically, that pet offer isn't a scam IF they are actually awarding the $1000 each month. It is deceptive because guaranteed every entry gets that email and the book only is comprised of those that fork over the money for the book.

          There is a big poetry "contest" site that does the same thing - I got suckered in by that when I first got online. Thought it was so cool that my poem was a finalist and going to be published but I didn't have the money to buy the book, so I wasn't out anything. Found out later that everyone got that email... LOL.

          Anyway, I think we need to be careful what we call scam. It may be unethical marketing but it's not a scam as long as they do award the prize and the buyers actually get the book.

          It is called Vanity Publishing, and the reason it works is that people are vain enough to want to see their pictures, poetry and writing in print.

          If you want to know more about this, look up Vanity Publishing. It has been going on for decades, and people are getting what they want for their $69... To see their dogs picture in a book.

          Yeah, it is deceptive advertising, but the reason people buy is well understood, and it helps drive sales.

          Why should we be upset about this anyway?

          It goes with what the school systems are teaching our children now...

          There are no winners or losers... Only participants...

          The most important thing is that you play the game, not whether you win or lose...

          If there is something wrong with Vanity Publishing, then there is something wrong with our school systems.

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          Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
          Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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  • Profile picture of the author Wonderful Warrior
    I think the biggest problem was that I assumed that the company who provided me with the service did their due diligence.

    I never imagined they would have let me advertise something that was (cough, cough) unethical.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tina Golden
      Originally Posted by Wonderful Warrior View Post

      I think the biggest problem was that I assumed that the company who provided me with the service did their due diligence.

      I never imagined they would have let me advertise something that was (cough, cough) unethical.
      You are almost guaranteed to never find a network that vets the offers like that. It's kind of like the Yellow Pages... anyone who pays can post their business in there. No one is screening those businesses. Or by advertising in a magazine or newspaper... those periodicals aren't screening those ads, they're just selling the ad space.

      Always check out the offer, the product and the company yourself first, if you're concerned about what you promote. Which, by the way, is a very good quality - it's good that you care what you are promoting to people.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    It is called vanity press and has been going on since the dawn of printing.
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    Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
    Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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    • Profile picture of the author PatrickP
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      It is called vanity press and has been going on since the dawn of printing.
      VERY true!

      Like the Who's who is US Colleges, or Who's Who is . . .

      Pay the money for the book and you are in. Or in some cases they put a TON of people in and then contact them asking if they want to buy the book.
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    • Profile picture of the author Buxx
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      It is called vanity press and has been going on since the dawn of printing.
      I was wondering if I was the only person to have heard of "Who's who among american high school students"
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    • Profile picture of the author kctang
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      It is called vanity press and has been going on since the dawn of printing.
      Reminds me of Rebecca Black. And she got to be a celebrity.

      What day of the week is it today, by the way?
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  • Profile picture of the author AnonymouS12
    Oh, thank you for warning us. I'll be sure to do good research in a product that I'm promoting when I'm going to do it again.
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Wonderful Warrior View Post

    What I didn't know...........

    Every person who enters gets an email saying their pet made the finals... They are then told to pay $69 and S/H for a photo book of the finalists (with their pet included)
    Ahhh ... I would feel so bad if I found out something I was promoting was ripping people off like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author TxJohn
    Are all of the Photo Contest like that?
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