Recently, I have been checking out various blogs on the blogtopsites.com list, of which I am a member. Quite often, I am seeing sites proclaiming "Google Money Machine" and "Earn $150/day" in some of the top 50 finance sites. Obviously, this peaks my interest.
But I am always curious, so I kept clicking. Eventually, you land on the page in the second picture.
Here, a care-free cute female greets you with a pile of cash and an excited smile.
This should instantly cause warning bells to go off.
On the right side, they use two devices that advertisers use to confuse you.
First, they tell you in bold capital letters to "Take Control of Your Financial Future"; a call to action. Second, they create a false sense of urgency, by running a 15-minute countdown timer. Interestingly, as I was writing this post, a message box from this site (running in a different tab), opened up to ask me if I needed more time since the 15 minutes was up. When I clicked "no", the timer restarted, regardless.
That should be the second warning bell.
Now, how most scamming sites work, and how they avoid legal prosecution, is by having a terms and conditions set forth that prevent you from actually taking legal action.
I looked for it, and I reproduce it here, in bullet form, the most important parts of the scam (Full terms & Conditions reprinted at the bottom of this post).
- $69.90 a month after 7 day trial
- You agree to be billed monthly
- $2.95 for setup of 'Home Business Kit'
- They will never send any billing notifications and you agree that this is okay
- No refunds will be given if you don't use the services
Finally, the address of this company is:
4240 West Flamingo Rd. Suite #201
Las Vegas, NV 89103
And their phone number: 1-800-497-4988
When you Google that address, two interesting points pop up:
- The location houses an "At Home Consulting Group"
- A Rip-Off report describing the same address: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/433/RipOff0433555.htm
I don't know how these guys get away with it, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, don't get scammed by them.
Further research of the referring site, browsefreetrials.com, leads to this address:
15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353
And to the company Domains by Proxy (http://domainsbyproxy.com/), who helps people mask the identifying information for their domain registrations.
While not immediately damning, the fact that a company needs to hide their location and their employees names should tell you something.
Full Terms & Conditions:
"By submitting this form I authorize Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) to immediately charge my credit card $2.95 USD for the setup of the Google ATM Home Business Kit. I hereby request that Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) activate my account and authorize them to advance funds as indicated. Monthly Service fees will commence seven days from the date of this purchase, and will be billed monthly thereafter. After the seven day trial you will be billed sixty nine dollars and ninety cents USD monthly for the continued access to the Google Money Making System. No refunds will be given for failure to use the requested and provided services. You may cancel at anytime by writing to 4240 West Flamingo Rd. Suite #201, Las Vegas, NV 89103 or calling 1-800-497-4988 (International customers please call 1-866-321-2728). I agree that Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) shall be fully protected in honoring any electronic transfer or collection. Google ATM shall not be responsible for refunding any Account Set-Up fees. By submitting this information I am agreeing to the terms stated herein. Google ATM (DRI*GoogleATM) will not send notification, postal or electronic, when a billing occurs."