Barry recently came across a site that he pointed out to me — and it caused us both to scoff and shake our heads so much that I had to put on my Unwrapper hat and do some digging.
Funny thing is, the day he tried to show me the site, it was down. Now I know for sure that it was just a technical glitch, but at the time I thought it could be karma at work…
Because Wendy Webbe’s Scam Detective is either one of those cases of a misdirected internet marketing wannabe who’s been following bad advice… or an experienced marketer who’s scamming others under the guise of doing the opposite (how ironic, huh?)
I think I have to lay the initial blame on Kelly Felix and The Rich Jerk, who advised people to be controversial and talk about scams in their AdWords ads and reviews. But other teachers have taken those tactics and pushed them even further, and now it’s almost an epidemic.
These “experts” encourage new marketers to instill fear in their readers and capitalize on pain through the use of over-the-top hype… while claiming to be saving you from other over-the-top hypers.
It’s all done by preying on thoughts you’ve probably already had (“How do I know what’s a scam online?”), pretending to have the only answers, and attempting to make you feel like this fake person is “just like you.”
“What?” I hear some of you asking, “How can you put down a mother of young children — just like you — who only wants to make a living online for her family while protecting others from the scammers who already victimized her?”
I, yi, yi… where do I begin?…
First, let’s start with the psychology behind this type of site.
On her home page, Wendy tells a heart-wrenching story (by design, as you’ll soon see) about having to quit her job because she got pregnant and just couldn’t bear the thought of “handing (her) baby off to a stranger” at a daycare center. Then, while trying to make an income to replace her job, she kept getting “scammed” and “stung”.
The last time, it was allegedly a $997 program put out by a “big-name guru”, and she describes it this way:
“I couldn’t believe I was stung again with another loser program. No strategy, no support and no real way to make money. Nothing but an overpriced invitation to a sleazy MLM.”
Now if Wendy truly were a real person, all this would indicate victimitis thinking gone awry… not only does she make a rash decision based on an unfounded fear about her baby (she admits she has “some really great Day Care centers close by, staffed with top professionals,” yet describes is as “handing her baby off to a stranger”), but she brings the same preconceived fear into her entrepreneurial ventures:
“And eventually I was sucked into a promising online internet business. Did You See This Coming? Ha … I think you already know how that turned out. I was scammed.”
Look, as Barry likes to say, “the inter-rant attracts anti-scam zealots like flies.” And you’ll either find a bunch of poverty-conscious people playing the victim on sites like Scam.com, or you’ll find fake reviewers like Wendy claiming to be your savior.
People adore saviors, and therefore they’ll believe this crap if it’s presented in the right way.
By trying to avoid being a “victim”, and thinking about nothing but becoming a “victim”, they… you guessed it… become a “victim”.
Don’t let that “victim” be you!
Let’s think about this critically.
I’ve interviewed many of the “big name gurus,” and none of their products have been anything close to an invitation to join an MLM. Those who are involved in MLM do it very selectively, and any product costing $1,000 is going to have a lot of value in it (as long as you’re actually interested in that topic or strategy), even if it does also contain an upsell or invitation to something else.
Then again, since the Scam Detective domain name was registered in 2003, perhaps we’re to believe Wendy’s story all happened a long time ago, during the internet’s Wild West phase (but who the heck was selling $997 products back in 2002?)
Nonetheless, if you take a step back, you’ll realize that the story is meant to prey on your fears, or even small niggling thoughts, that the same thing could happen to you without the help of someone like Wendy.
Now, on to the complete sham:
Yes, it’s a sham about scams — or a scam about shams. It’s a scam sham about sham scams (and I do not like green eggs and ham)! 😉
The “Scam Detective” claims to be a young mother named Wendy Webbe, and her angle is that she’s helping you figure out where legitimate money-making opportunities are online.
But Wendy Webbe is not a real person, and her story holds no water.
First of all, come on… Wendy Webbe? For a woman who works on the web? That name is so obviously fabricated it’s shameful. I half expect her to have a sidekick named Nancy Nette.
Turns out there’s another fake woman cast from the same mold, a Dani Mendez of Guru Busters — she’s not as obviously made-up, but another website reviewer wrote this about them:
Beware of “pretend” scam reviewers who criticize anyone and everyone and then aggressively hawk their own products on the very same websites.
Guru Buster Dani Mendez and Scam Detective Wendy Webbe both do exactly that. I included these two because, 1) I stumbled upon their websites at about the same time; 2) their reviews are almost word-for-word, in some cases they are word-for-word; and, 3) they both hawk the same product.
That description is very apt, by the way. Wendy’s “review” of Nanacast, the e-commerce platform we use, is so biased it’s ridiculous. If the review writer ever did see the back end of the system, it was only for a quick peek around — not to actually play with or utilize the features. And don’t be fooled by the fact that she gives “disclosure” about being paid through affiliate links regardless of whether she gives a positive or negative review; there’s no link to Nanacast at all, which gives a clue as to why she’s not recommending it.
Secondly, there are no pictures of Wendy, just some royalty-free photos of various women (some blonde, some brunette).
Third, “she” is associated with a whole bunch of sites in the “make money online,” black hat marketing, investments, sports, poker, and even porn industries, who are involved in some type of Craigslist phishing scam.
Fourth, male “marketers” are notoriously behind sites that claim to be written by women but leave all these holes in them. Real female online entrepreneurs can be found on social media, with various photos in various scenarios; the only supposedly real photo Wendy Webbe has online is with her Ezine Articles bio, and it looks more like a teenaged Victoria Beckham than a mother who’s been a “professional online reviewer” for the past 8 years.
Fifth… I mean, can you truly take somebody seriously who uses this as her page footer?
Before You Get Scammed By Another “Online Scam Artist”, Let Me Tell You About The GUARANTEED BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY I Found That Finally Allowed Me To Quit My Job And Work From The Comfort Of My Own Home. Now I Work When I Want And How I Want. I’m Finally Living The Lifestyle I’ve Always Dreamed Of… And Now You Can Too!
CLICK HERE – TO DISCOVER HOW EASY IT TRULY IS
And Don’t Worry, I’ll Keep You One Step Ahead Of The “SCAMMERS AND HYPSTERS“, Never Fall Prey To One Of These Clowns Again!
Yeah, right… that’s convincing.
The irony is that the people who think they’re being scammed by others are exactly the same people who get sucked in by this hypey language, and therefore WILL fall for “Wendy Webbe” and her unhelpful, unfounded and unreal reviews.
Here’s the bottom line:
I have nothing against people making money online, and I have nothing against people reviewing products that they promote through affiliate links.
I DO have a problem with distorted, blatantly biased reviews — either all negative or all positive — and I do have a problem with out-and-out lies and over-the-top hype (please, waiter, give me some steak with that sizzle!)
I also don’t have a problem with real people using fake names for privacy purposes.
But I DO have a problem with fake people using fake names for profit purposes.
There are a lot of entrepreneurs online who work hard to bring you valuable information based on their skills, talents, passions, research, and trial-and-error journeys.
There are also some fakers who pretend to be all that just to earn your trust, and then push you into doing and buying what they want you to do and buy by making you feel like a lamb left out for slaughter if you don’t.
So who preys on lambs?
Wolves do… and if you come across one in sheep’s clothing, be sure to look for the great big teeth.
Keep Unwrapping Your Success!