It happened on June 23, 2015.
I was travelling down to Abeokuta from Lagos, when I got stuck in a serious traffic jam.
Out of boredom, I pulled out my phone and “Googled” my name (Abass Toriola). I do that on occasions just to see which websites are ranking in Google for my name. (Childish as it might seem, it’s fun to me.)
After glancing through the first results page, I kept clicking the “Next page” link below each page to see the following page.
I got the shocker of my life when I reached the third page (or probably the fourth).
My eyes caught a link that read: “Abass Toriola is a Nigerian Internet Scam – PROOFS here!”
One faceless, unfortunate fellow had created a Blogger blog solely for the purpose of labelling me a scammer! Me?
I couldn’t believe it. Several thoughts ran through my head as I curiously clicked the link.
And this is what I saw:
Immediately after reading the contents of the page, I tried all I could to figure out the author’s identity. But he’d cleverly hid everything that could be a giveaway. Coward!
Now, I want to address everything the author mentioned in the malicious post, and then point out one important lesson you should learn from this.
In case you couldn’t figure it out from the screenshot above, here’s what the anonymous author wrote:
Let’s face it. So many people are quick to call others scammers in Nigeria but this time, its a truth.
Abass Toriola is a Nigerian Internet Scam and Scammer!
He claims he is an affiliate marketer, a freelancer and makes a living using his laptop. Then like all the leeching Nigerian internet marketers he writes a miserly ebook on Konga claiming
How to Get Your Dream Job in Nigeria’ by Abass Toriola and priced it at N2,000
If this is not the biggest scam in Nigeria, then I don’t know what is.
He claims to teach you how to get a dream job in Nigeria but works his arse off as a freelancer earning peanuts and then goes about claiming he’s an affiliate marketer, information marketer and online strategist.
Abass Toriola is a BIG scam.
The Internet Business Watch
The author started by coming out straight that I’m an Internet scam and scammer. Well, that would have been fine if he had solid reasons to buttress this point. (And, as you can see, he even went ahead to add my picture.)
Now, what was his reason for calling me a scammer? His stunted brain couldn’t comprehend the fact that an internet marketer could write an e-book that teaches job seekers how to boost their chances of getting their dream jobs. In his warped mindset, I’m not in a position to write such an e-book.
Well, his thoughts would have been valid if any of the following had happened:
- I made outrageous claims that are too good to be true (such as saying the e-book will surely help anyone get a job).
- He bought a copy of the e-book (or had seen it somehow) and found it to be a load of crap.
- He or someone he knew ordered a copy of the e-book, but I didn’t deliver it as promised.
- I’m widely known to be a scammer.
In this case, I’m sure the fool doesn’t even know what the pages of the e-book looked like, let alone going through it. Yet, he was quick to label me a scammer.
And I’m sure that NOTHING on the e-book sales page represents an implied guarantee that anyone who buys and reads the e-book will get a job, let alone being a frank guarantee to that same effect.
Furthermore, the faceless fool used the words, “…like all the leeching Nigerian internet marketers he writes a miserly ebook on Konga…”
Now, if I’m truly like other dubious Nigerian Internet marketers, how come he couldn’t pick out a single red flag on this blog (Web Income Plus) to attack me with? (After all, he must have known that I’m an affiliate marketer and freelance writer by visiting this blog, since I didn’t state that on Konga.com where he saw the job search e-book).
Is this blog not about internet marketing? If I’m like “the others” he referred to, how come my blog isn’t indicating that?
So, all he could cite to label me as a scammer was an e-book I wrote on job search in Nigeria.
Is anything wrong with observing a need and filling it? I noticed that many job seekers in Nigeria are jobless not just because there are no jobs, but because they do a lot of things wrongly during the job search process. And I decided to write a detailed book on all of that.
Of course, I’m not a job search expert. I know. And I don’t like to write on things I know little or nothing about. But I wanted to be of help (and at the same time profit from the job search market). So, I conducted thorough research and consulted seasoned Nigerian recruiters and other job search experts (I’m not allowed to mention their names here).
Even after writing the e-book, I had it further reviewed by other experts, including Mr Moruf Kolawole Nasir, a seasoned HR manager for an oil and gas company; Mr Suraj Oyewale (CEO, Jarushub.com), a seasoned career blogger who I respect so much for his vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the Nigerian job market; and two other HR managers in big firms here in Nigeria.
In his review of the e-book, this is what Mr Oyewale had to say:
As a respected Nigerian career blogger, I receive emails from time to time from people on job and career matters. When I received an email from one Abass Toriola couple of months back, hinting me on a book he was writing on getting jobs in Nigeria, I must confess I dismissed it as just another book to be added to the thousands that existed on the subject. Not even his excellent use of English that immediately caught my attention in the long email made me give him benefit of doubt.
Fast-forward to two months later and Abass got back to me with a copy of the book. Flipping through the pages, I was dazed. It is an excellent work. It was different from the run-of-the-mill materials that litter the blogosphere on the subject. My problem with many materials on jobs in Nigeria is inability of the authors to localize the content. Rather, what we have are outright regurgitation of foreign system. I set out to pick this hole in Abass’ work as a critic, but it was an exercise in futility. He did his homework well.
The book is rich in local examples. He buttresses his points with practical examples, a breakaway from theories that dominate many such efforts in the past. He fully demonstrated knowledge of Nigerian job markets, which he must have gotten through thorough research. He also spoke with top recruiters of labour. In fact, it was in the course of reaching out to top Nigerian career consultants that he got in touch with me. I never knew him before.
HOW TO GET YOUR DREAM JOB IN NIGERIA is indeed a material I will recommend to students, job seekers and even those with jobs already.
Suraj Oyewale (Jarus), ACA
Founder, Jarushub.com – Nigeria’s most influential career portal
So, why should that faceless fool jump into conclusions? Why should he have problems with the fact that I put up the book for sale on Konga and priced it at N2,000? When did that become an unethical practice?
I was particularly amused at the part where he wrote, “He claims to teach you how to get a dream job in Nigeria but works his arse off as a freelancer earning peanuts and then goes about claiming he’s an affiliate marketer, information marketer and online strategist.”
Does this faceless fool know how much I earn monthly from freelance writing? While I hate to brag, I can state it confidently that my monthly income from writing alone would be enough to feed him and his immediate family every month.
So, if he or other people he knows have failed woefully at freelance writing or have only earned peanuts from it, he needs to get it into his shrunken brain that some people are earning huge figures from the same venture. And my own earnings are even meagre when compared with what the likes of Bamidele Onibalusi are earning.
I couldn’t but conclude that this guy is one unfortunate element who is just not happy with either my successes or my zero tolerance for snake oil internet marketers. And the fact that he included “webincomeplus” in the domain name is enough proof that he set out solely to attack my personality and cast aspersions on my reputation.
But he failed — woefully.
May God bless those loyal readers of this blog who had been calling me lately to inform me of the malicious blog. I told them I’d seen it myself and that I’ll publish a post addressing it very soon. The fact that people are calling my attention to the blog is enough proof that they didn’t believe the crap written by that fool and coward who calls himself “The Internet Business Watch”.
So, anyone who reads it with a plain mind will understand that it’s just cheap blackmail.
Here’s the big lesson for you
The more good things you do, the more enemies you will have. The more you try to change a flawed system for the better, the more attacks you’ll suffer from people who prefer the status quo. And the more you try to stand for the truth, the more enemies you will have among those who benefit from the previously existing falsehood.
Even the world’s most successful internet marketers have had similar experiences. So, as you gradually progress on your journey to the world of online business, expect attacks from disgruntled elements. In as much as you remain honest, none of their attacks will harm you.
Only very lately, my good friend Akaahan Terungwa suffered a similar experience. His own case was even more interesting; one fool copied his posts and still went ahead to call him a scammer! (Read more about it here.) Just imagine that.
So, don’t be surprised if you discover that some people are out to attack you for doing things right. Prophet Muhammad had haters among his own people. Jesus Christ had haters among his own people. Same goes for Martin Luther King, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, and other influential people who tried to effect positive changes.
Now, say something!
What do you think about the whole issue? Have you had any similar experience? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.