Burzmali over at Quatloos posted a link to a fantastic article on The Verge Blog:
Scamworld: 'Get rich quick' schemes mutate into an online monster
A network of pitchmen have used the internet and fear of a failing economy to play the ultimate long con
By Joseph L. Flatley on May 10, 2012 10:32 am
(Link to the Article)
A few random quotes:
What Joseph didn't know was that Martino was part of a vast criminal organization run by Los Angeles resident John Paul Raygoza.
Raygoza is an Internet Marketer — a 21st century snake oil salesman.
The term Internet Marketing in this context describes both a particular business model used to sell fraudulent products and services online, and the community or subculture that embraces it. It operates out in the open — with poorly designed websites, tacky infomercials, and outrageous claims designed to scare off the wary and draw in the curious, desperate, and naive. The Internet Marketer positions himself as a marketing “guru” with a product or coaching services guaranteed to generate income.
The path to internet riches begins with an introductory product, such as a book or DVD. This is often a loss leader: the real value for the Internet Marketer is that it allows him to capture your contact information. Once you’re in the system, your inbox will be flooded with offers for software, DVD sets, and coaching programs costing several hundreds or thousands of dollars.
This is what happened to Richard Joseph: after requesting free information online, some unscrupulous Internet Marketer sold his name to Raygoza’s company, PushTraffic, who ripped Joseph off.Another link to the article."The basic objective of all boiler rooms is the same. Find out how much credit is available on the victim’s credit card [and] take all of it."
PushTraffic was what is known as a boiler room. As Dan Thies, an SEO professional and former employee of an Internet Marketing company called StomperNet, explains, Internet Marketers often "sell super-cheap products so they can get the names and phone numbers, and turn people over" to boiler room companies who try to sell the unsuspecting consumer fraudulent goods.
By way of example, Thies tells me a story about an employer sold a customer list "to some operation in Nevada... you know, it was supposed to be business setup services, but when they called people up on the phone they weren't offering stuff like that, they were pitching this thing that was a guaranteed business grant which, as far as I can tell, it basically involves you take out a second mortgage on your house. To me, that's just indescribably ******* evil."
The Verge obtained a number of these recordings for this story, one in which a salesman places a call to a lead and identifies himself as Brent Austin. He's just checking in with Leigh*, who bought a "make money off the internet" e-book called Power Cash Secret. The book probably cost her around $50, but the purchase got her on a lead list, and soon she received a call from the boiler room.