I have zero tolerance for snake-oil internet marketers. I mean, those guys out there who present themselves as experts at making money online, but are only out to milk unsuspecting newbies of their hard-earned cash.
In some of my previous posts on this blog, I’ve tried to expose these con artists and their various dubious tactics.
But some things I recently saw and heard have prompted me to write this post, in which I’ve gone into deeper details of how these desperadoes operate, with instances to prove my points.
I would have gone as far as mentioning names in this post, but I don’t want to defame anyone. So, I’d stay put with the methodology of “attacking the act, and not the actor”.
Some of these names have become so popular in Nigeria as online millionaires. And if I told you to start mentioning them, you’ll most likely mention some of those I intend to criticize with this post.
But, my friend, the truth is, most of these people aren’t what they claim to be. They’re only leveraging the power of the internet and capitalizing on people’s ignorance or craving for overnight riches.
And here are some of the tactics these snake oil marketers use to lure victims into their dens.
1. Claims that are too-good-to-be-true
While browsing through a website owned by one notorious snake oil internet marketer whose credibility has been widely bashed online, my eyes caught the lines that read:
I’ll show you water tight proofs and also show you how to prevent falling for them starting from NOW. I won’t even stop at that, I’ll also show you the same business you can do online in Nigeria here to make a minimum of N150,000 monthly.
Yes, N150k, if you are too lazy…. but if you work a little bit harder, you can quadruple that amount.
Download this free report and see how a young Nigerian guy does it.
How ridiculous! To make as much as N150,000 from ANY online business, you must be really hard working and determined. See how this desperado guarantees without disclaimers that you’ll make a minimum of N150,000 monthly. And in his words, that’s even “if you’re too lazy”.
Well, my friend, don’t be deceived! Laziness will never fetch you a dime online. So, anyone promising to teach you how to make N150,000 out of sheer laziness is a pure scammer!
As if that wasn’t enough, I glanced through the website’s sidebar, and I saw another advert that reads:
Need A PayPal Account? Click HERE To Get A Verified One Plus How To Make $60 Daily Into It…
And I was like, what the heck! Another guarantee of $60 daily income? Coming from this same guy? This guy must be an unrepentant con artist!
Then I decided to do a Google search for the guy’s name. And I found a thread on Nairaland in which someone clearly called him a scam. This is what the poster wrote:
Nigerians, it’s time to shine your eyes oo, this so called internet marketers are reaping us of our hard earn money all in the name of seminars and ebooks,one of the acclaim importer is called “[Name withheld]” he is a scammer, the last seminar he organized in Lagos was total rubbish, it was a waste of time and money, and I heard he’s planning another one in Lagos, Abuja and Portharcourt
Now ask yourself, if truly he makes millions as he claims, why is he charging that high for seminars and ebooks?
I was personally at the last one he organized at Allen Avenue there in Ikeja, trust me, it was organize to make money from us, not even a soul benefited from it, this guys have long taken us for a fool, it’s time to say NO to them
[Name withheld]’s WORKSHOP IS A PURE SCAM……….. BEWARE
As you can see, the poster described a seminar organized by this guy as something arranged just to make money, with no benefits whatsoever coming from it.
Enough said about this guy. Let’s move on.
2. Unverifiable testimonials
There’s another woman who parades herself as Nigeria’s “queen of information marketing”. (I wonder who wore her the crown.)
If you download any of her so-called free reports, all you’d see are a bunch of unverifiable testimonials and bank reports. What value does that give? And how does that establish trust? All that won’t sway anyone but those who are looking for get-rich-quick schemes.
This woman has multiple websites, on which she claims to be different things. And she makes many bogus claims that cannot be verified (that’s my euphemistic way of calling those claims lies!).
I scoured Nairaland and found a thread, where someone at the brink of buying one of her shitty products was asking for advice from people who have dealt with her before. Of course, there were many responses.
Interestingly, two or three responders didn’t waste words before saying she’s credible or affirming they’ve bought her product or attended her seminar in the past. But none of them testified to making any money, even after someone clearly asked them about this.
Scrolling down the thread, I saw a post that confirms my suspicion. The post read:
She is a bit.ch, a fat greedy leech.
Yes, those words were harsh, but the truth is, the poster wouldn’t have used those words for no reason.
So, no matter how popular an individual might be, don’t ever be deceived by what they call themselves, what they claim to have achieved, or what they promise to help you achieve.
If you don’t double check before taking a plunge, you’ll get burned! Serious and credible internet marketers don’t go about marketing big figures and testimonials. They prove their expertise by offering valuable stuff.
3. Fake proofs of earnings
In one post I read on NaijaWritersCoach.com, Muhammed Tosin Abdullahi, narrated how he once conversed with a self-proclaimed make money online guru who sells an e-book on “How to Make 150k Monthly”.
When Muhammed asked how much he makes monthly, he said he makes less than N5,000. Muhammed was surprised at his reply because the same guy has mouth-watering screenshots on his sales page — obviously meant to deceive readers into buying the useless e-book.
Because he couldn’t hide his surprise, Muhammed asked him how he got the screenshots he has on his sales page. Then he gave a shocking reply:
It’s Photoshop. That’s what everybody is doing now!
So, you can see how far these desperate people can go to deceive others. Imagine someone who in reality makes less than N5,000 monthly claiming to be earning N150,000 monthly — and even claiming you’ll earn the same figures once you start applying the tips in his e-book. Isn’t that crazy?
Here’s the lesson you should learn at this point: don’t ever be swayed by extensive display of proofs of earnings.
Now, I’m not saying all payment proofs you see online are fake. But it’s just difficult to tell the genuine ones from the fakes (I think the developers of Adobe Photoshop deserve some spanking for this). So, you need to look beyond payment proofs as your criterion for telling who is credible or not.
4. No value offered
One of the best ways to establish your expertise as someone who makes money online is to offer value. I mean, free stuff that people will find helpful. This way, people will come to trust you and even take any action you recommend that will put money into your pocket.
But most snake oil internet marketers don’t understand this. Even when they offer a free report, it’s either a volume of testimonials and proofs of earnings or a gateway to some shitty “internet cash system”. Alternatively, they deliver all that through a series of emails that ends with a sales pitch.
If there’s one thing common to successful internet marketers all over the world, it’s the fact that they’re widely trusted because they’ve demonstrated through the free information they give out that they really know their stuff. And that’s why they make a lot of money online.
Don’t get me wrong, genuine internet marketers sell products, too. But they do that only after they’ve offered value enough to be trusted as gurus in their respective fields.
So, trust only a genuine internet marketer who offers value consistently to be your mentor.
Another tactic Nigerian snake-oil internet marketers use to swindle unsuspecting newbies is to misrepresent facts, either deliberately or out ignorance.
Going through one of the free reports published by the self-proclaimed “Nigeria’s queen of information marketing”, I quickly discovered that what she calls information marketing is actually a joint venture scheme by one of her colleagues in business.
The screenshots I saw first raised my suspicion. Which reputable affiliate marketing program uses a gmail.com email address? It was on further probing that I discovered that she gets a commission by selling certain information products by her colleague. And she wants to also teach other people how to make money by selling her colleague’s products. To her, that’s affiliate marketing.
Interestingly, she painted the outside picture as though she wanted to teach how to make money from reputable affiliate programs like Amazon and Markethealth. Is she unaware that those are more accessible than her colleague is?
Similarly, there are many others out there who claim to be making money from affiliate marketing, but when you take you closer look, you discover that they’re actually into network marketing — one of the useless, time wasting ventures I warned against in this article.
There are also the information marketers — those who will package products by other people and sell to you. I mean, a bunch of products that will leave you more confused than enlightened. And what they actually want to teach you is how to become experts at swindling other people by selling such useless products to them, plus the various tactics you can adopt to compel them to buy.
All I’ll say again is, beware!
6. Unethical practices
Another hallmark of snake oil internet marketers is that their “cash formula” involves some unethical stuff. You could have to change your IP address. You could have to change your name or country. You could have to use another person’s picture as yours. And all that nonsense!
Truth is, the fact that some people have made away with such unethical practices doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be as lucky. Besides, what’s the essence of doing things that could put all the money and time you’ve invested on the line?
I believe one of the ways to have rest of mind in online business (and in life in general) is to approach everything the ethical way. Any online business that involves some unethical fine-tuning is a no-no for me. And it should be a no-no for you, too. If you heed that, you’ll sleep better, and you won’t have unnecessary palpitations.
7. No disclaimers
I use every opportunity to state the fact that there’s no magic bullet in online business. What works for someone else might not work for you, even if you follow that person’s exact footsteps. Conversely, what failed for someone else might work wonderfully for you.
One problem I have with most Nigerian internet marketers is the blanket guarantee they slap on their information products. How can you assure everyone with certitude that your model will work for them, when the truth is that it won’t work for some, or most, or even any of them?
So, run away from any internet marketer who tries to be too confident of his or her offer. I mean, those who don’t state clearly that their products won’t work for everyone.
Never be deceived by those money-back guarantees. They are only there to deceive people; nobody ever gets their money back from those scumbags.
And that’s it!
Now you’ve just learned seven foolproof hallmarks of fake Nigerian internet marketers and their products. Now, I expect you to be more careful.
Whenever you stumble on any make-money-online product with any of these hallmarks, just pass. Don’t be deceived by those lengthy sales pages that throw big fonts and multiple colors in your face.
And… let me tell you something: I’ve never come across anyone in real life who has made money online by buying products from these people and adopting their tactics. The only proofs they have to this effect are the names and pictures in their bunch of testimonials (which are unverifiable).
And if you’ll ever find someone who’s making money online with their tactics, such a person won’t make anything near the figures they promise.
But on the other hand, I’ve seen many people who have bought their products and tried their strategies, and yet didn’t make a kobo.
Most of the victims of these scams are either innocent newbies who genuinely want to learn how to make money online or greedy ones who are desperately looking for ways to become a millionaire within four days. If you fall within the second category, then you’ll be scammed many times over if you don’t drop that mindset.
On a final note, I remind you that online business is will not make you rich overnight. It’s unpredictable. And it won’t work for everyone. Nobody can guarantee how much an online business model can fetch you. Nobody!
Please save some souls…
There are many people out there who don’t know all these you just learned. Save your friends and loved ones from being scammed by these desperadoes. How? By sharing the post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks you use.
Do you have any questions, contributions, objections, or other thoughts? Then share them by leaving a comment. I’ll reply.
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