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Three Scams and Rip-Offs to Report

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Don't Get Scammed by LeapFish or Overpriced WebsitesThis week, I actually ran into two scams – one directly and one indirectly.

The first scam involves business owners.  There are marketers online recommending this scam to their clients as their “money-maker”.   Everyone in the internet marketing community know pretty much everything that goes on.  We know Affiliate Jump is a load of crap.  We know that Launch Tree was a great, immediate action that will increase sales immediately. We know that all the guru’s are teaming up with each other and scratching each other’s back and then, a week later, returning the favor. (How many emails have you received in the past two months promoting everything?) It’s out of control..

Well – there are marketers not even online (what? how… could.. this … be)

It’s true.  Brick and Mortar companies – dentists, chiropractors, realtors.. to name a few.  Most of these business owners have more disposable income than the average person reading this.

What do you know that these companies don’t?  You know RentaCoder, Aweber, Hosting, Domain Names.. My chiropractor paid $5,000 for his “static” website last year.  Did he not read my posts about starting his own blog? ($3.95 a month for hosting, $2.99 domain names, free WordPress, $39 Professional Theme)

On top of this outrageous fee – he paid $97 a month for hosting and any website maintenance.

And get this:

They wanted $5,000 more a year to renew it.  Holy Scam Alert!

This is a scam.  The only way I would have paid $5,000 for a website is if:

#1) I licensed a killer product, which Gardner Marketing has paid $10K before.

#2) Maybe killer copy, which Jeff Gardner has paid up to $20K before.

And my next scam happened to me yesterday.

Have you heard of LeapFish?  It’s a new search engine portal for search engines… (just that sentence alone should be enough to raise some red flags).

LeapFish.com is a nice looking site, and the functionality is kinda cool.  I’m not gonna lie and say that it stinks – because I’m sorta liking the videos and the graphics on the right side and how the search results popup without pressing submit.  Oooooooh.. (shiny objects..)

The sales guy was great on the phone.  At the end of it, I was ready to hand over my credit card until one quick Google search..

LeapFish Complaints

And turns out – I’m glad I did.  LeapFish works like this.  When you type in a word, they sell 3 advertising spots “FOR LIFE!” on the site.

That means that the millions of people using Google will type in your industry and see your ad for life.  There are no pay per click fees.. your ad will appear on EVERYPAGE above the search engine results for life!

Two things are wrong with this sentence:

1) For life.  For life of what – the company?  This reminds me of last month’s American Home Shield scam.  My air conditioner went out.  We cover your air conditioner for the “life” of the air conditioner.  After 10 years – it’s time for a new one which we don’t cover.  OR their famous – we do cover your air conditioner and I’m sorry that your air conditioner is not working but we don’t cover that part of the air conditioner that went out.

2) And the second part of that sentence: Millions of people using Google .. that’s right – millions are using Google – NOT LEAPFISH!  They won’t ever see the ads..

What’s worse is that TechCrunch uncovered a click fraud story from the employees of LeapFish ..  LeapFish employees used it as a scare tactic.  Hey I just clicked on your ad 50 times.  You should get on the pay one time platform and not Google pay per click platform.

WOW!

So my advice is stay away.  RUN AWAY!

If you are building a website – start with WordPress.. Get a Premium Theme for $39 ONE TIME FEE.  Buy a domain name for less than $10 per year and grab some hosting for less than $10 per month.  You’ll also need an autoresponder service for less than $20 per month.  Hmmm anything else?  TRAFFIC!

Grab my Traffic DVD when it comes out on the 28th.  You can get a sneak peak by clicking on the keyword below:

Get More Visitors to My Website

Onwards and Upwards,

Kit


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Hi there. My name is Kit Elliott. I'm living proof that someone with ZERO marketing knowledge and ZERO programming/design experience can create a residual income online. I understand the struggle because I was stuck at ZERO for a long time, and after 1200 websites, membership sites, adsense sites, funny websites, and more - I understand the key components to building passive residual income. SuperAffiliate shows you the strategies, the tools, the pitfalls, and the scams to watch out for. If you need anything from me, let me know. I'm here to help! Just Ask!

30 Responses to “Three Scams and Rip-Offs to Report”

  1. Mo.a says:

    Leapfish got me for over 8k..plus at least 1yr renewal fees on my keywords I bought..I tried to get my money back but they would not give it..I changed my CC info with the wrong expiration when they tried to charge me they keep sending emails I never responded…I wish someone would start a lawsuit for everyone to join in and get this Ben Guy…

    • betty says:

      Keith Barkley/Cherith Music Group Christian Scam

      We entered into an agreement with Keith Barkley in which he would record 6 songs a month to complete a project of literally hundreds of songs that we have written. In the beginning he said he LOVED our music and that GOD had TOLD HIM to work with us to record it all. We were to pay him $360 a month every month until they were all finished. In the agreement we were supposed to APPROVE his work before accepting it as the FINAL MASTER. This man took 7 months to even start to finish the 12 songs that the agreement stated he needed to finish in 2 months plus he changed the melody lines of our music, did not do the music correctly, he was THE WORST person we have ever worked with musically EVER! He is ATE up with PRIDE so much that he does not even hear what the client wants he thinks everything he wants to do is “THE GOSPEL”! When we told him about the changes he was making he FORCED the changes on us basically by NEVER doing what we asked him to do, but only lingering it out so long until we got so frustrated that he was NEVER getting done that we had to take what we could get for the money we had given him. We wisened up by the 2nd month to what was happening and backed out of doing any more songs with him but then he even took longer since we were not part of his monthly meal ticket anymore. When I finally demanded he finish the work (7 months later) he put us down, told me that I had demon spirits and put our music down saying it was not good and TACKED GOD ON IT of course! I guess GOD must have changed his mind from the beginning about Keith Loving our music and about it being HIS CALLING to work with our music. :) This man is a POOR EXCUSE of a Christian and HORRIBLE Business owner! He does NOT care what the client desires, only what he wants to do. He even told my husband that out of all of the years of recording that he has NEVER been wrong about anything! When he finally sent us the project, one song is so bad we can not even use it and he sent one song without any vocals on it at all. Plus after he started getting the monthly payment even though he had not finished the months songs before, he started demanding payment for the next month when he had shoved our project on the back burner as he was taking many more projects to support his “ministry and his family”. So what he is doing is taking tons of work demanding money upfront and not finishing the work in a timely manner and not producing the music in the way it was written. Plus he charges to be on his music label or to be affliated with his Music Group. So anyone that charges for things like that is a Scammer! DO NOT HIRE HIM FOR YOUR PROJECT!

  2. [...] month, I posted a “scam alert” for LeapFish.  I’ve been getting Google alerts about this one post warning people not to fall for this [...]

  3. Kellen says:

    I’ve got a client who paid $1000 for a certain keyword phrase with LeapFish almost a year ago and that investment has delivered 1 click-through as of today.

  4. Seidl says:

    I just got an email from LeapFish. I can’t believe people fall for this kind of crap all the time, but they do. My boss pays thousands of dollars in marketing costs to teeny weeny nobody companies and we never see any ROI. I wish he’d started listening to me before the housing market crash!

    • Kit Elliott says:

      You should focus on three things right now:

      PPC (and this means Yahoo, Google CONTENT Engine, Bing, and the smaller ones)
      SEO (link building)
      AFFILIATES (free promotion, what what!)

  5. Shawn B says:

    Thank you for letting me know about this scam.

    Just approximately 3 hours ago I got called by a sales person to sell me sponsored spots in "the amazing" leapfish program. I was just about to get my sponsor to buy in on these links just tomorrow. I am extremely grateful for knowing this, thanks everyone.

    Shawn

  6. Does anyone know anything about a site called Traffic Resort.com?

  7. H Fujii says:

    A leapfish salesperson left a message on my answering machine stating something to the effect that they were looking for "coaches such as myself for a project." This inferred, to me, that they were looking to hire for coaching services. I called them back, and the salesperson staged his talk so as to keep me on the phone for a long time for nothing. For example, he started out with "Are you familiar with Leapfish?" I was not, and that gave him license to drone on and on about the company. I slowly realized he was just trying to sell me something. I think Leapfish uses deception in its business practices.

    • Leapfish is a joke. The fat cat racking in on the dough should be in prison. You can design a site like leapfish for $3500 and get a bunch of unaware sales people to work for commission doing all the dirty work like yourself on people like myself that were scammed. The one liners are great “leapfish is not a get rich quick investment sir” yeah make it seem like your really being honest while your hosing me. Then they tell you look at the “leapfish ratings” yeah they spend all the money they scamming people and put it back into there on press releases and drive traffic to the site making it look like its going nuts…notice the up and down graph? Its go on highs and lows and not consistent because they spend certain amount of the money quartey that they scam on the marketing just like a real business man…(I mean scam) should. I know 4 people that worked for leapfish. Promised the world, grind ed like a workhorse, scammed the heck out of people then moved on….ask around before you work there about all this…..hope I save a few customers like myself and future employees from these vultures….I must say it sounded good, after all it got me. Ive been Internet marketing for 15+ yrs and it all sounded good…until you realize its all bad…if your working for leapfish you probably don’t sleep well at night, hope you have lots of ambian. If you spent money on leapfish keywords like I did and its been over two years and not one bit of traffic then you will need some antidepressants when you realize you got got!!!….cheerio Steve Eveleth Steveshomesearch.com
      http://www.steveshomesearch.com/

  8. Mike says:

    Leapfish is basically a simple website site where you can search the web and quickly switch between the results from Yahoo, MSN and Google. Leapfish has a cool features just like Bing that loads videos quickly but from what I can tell Bing is much better. Leapfish also pulls data from Yelp, Amazon, Ebay and a few other sites as you search. I cannot see any reason why this website is going to be popular because it just does not have much to offer. Leapfish generates money by selling advertising similar to other search sites. A telemarketer from Leapfish called me and said that Leapfish was partnered up with Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The Leapfish sales person tried to manipulate me into thinking that he could put my company on top of all the search engines. The Leapfish sales people use high pressure techniques over the phone to make you think that you have to buy specific key words before the advertising spots sell out. The sales guy I talked to on the phone claimed that he could not even tell me how many times my key word was actually searched. I looked up the company’s web traffic and quickly realized that Leapfish is a scam. If no one really uses Leapfish, then the keywords are worthless.Please beware that this company sells useless advertising to unsuspecting business owners.

    Take care,

    Mike

    “Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.”
    W. Edwards Deming

    • http://www.steveshomesearch.com/

      Leapfish got me for $2000. total scam

      Steve Eveleth

    • Kit Elliott says:

      Steve – CHARGEBACK with your credit card immediately! You will win… and if you didn’t pay by credit card, let that be lesson #1: ALWAYS pay with credit card, because they don’t mess around with scams, ripoffs, or products NOT being fulfilled.

      Five years ago, my first designer, Design by Tara, took me for $900 upfront and didn’t fulfill the job and refused to give me my money back. I have NEVER paid by check to this day and have used the chargeback feature 3 times since. (including a guru who said I was an odd ball after charging back)

      It’s rare that the company won’t give the refund if you ask.. There are very few times I haven’t given a refund (when clients keep the physical product, for advertising, and hosting).. Other than that – return the product – and get a full refund. It’ll keep you out of trouble and the customer will do business with you again and again!

    • George Yohler says:

      Steve,

      My wife agreed to the Leapfish scam. Within 15 hours, she attempted to cancel the transaction. They claim a no cancelpolicy. My credit card company agrees with their policy. I’m still amazed.

      My wife did not accept/respond to their confirmation email, has not entered their site, logged on or any such activity, and further, does not know what she bought.

      They called her, she did not initiate the call. Please tell me our next option after the Credit card company agrees with them.

      Thanks.
      George

    • Kit Elliott says:

      No – keep hounding your credit card company..

      1. You need to see proof of delivery..
      2. You need to see signed contracts..
      3. You need to see signed proof of delivery..

      They can’t provide any of that..

    • Halsey says:

      I found your site when I Googled to see if I had any recourse. When a LeapFish salesperson called I thought I could hold my spot and research it…then was told that according to California law that I could not get a refund on my CC. At that point I thought I would just try to make the best of it hoping to get a return on my investment – the salesperson said that I could sell my spot but suggested I hold onto it while some good things where developing with their company. I even got charged a renewal even though it was not yet a year and was told that was LeapFish’s policy. I did try contacting the attorney you had suggested on your site and he said to get my own attorney – it sounded like he was not pursuing any class action suit. So if you or anyone hears other news about LeapFish I would love to know about it!!!

      Thanks!

    • Kit Elliott says:

      Lesson #1: Chargeback. Use the credit card chargeback feature and use all the fraudulent stories that you can find so you can get a refund.

      Lesson #2: If you didn’t use your credit card, then make sure you do in the future. I learned my lesson when DesignsByTara charged me upfront $900 for a website design, and after 3 mockups – my 6th graders could be a better job. I asked for a refund – and Psycho Tara came out. I never got my money back even though I cancelled after a week. I never received ANYTHING from DesignsByTara and I have never paid with a check again!

      It has come in handy, too. I was at a big seminar when one of the guru’s asked me, “Why didn’t you just email me for a refund?” I said, “I didn’t know you were involved in that sale!” He was pretty peeved because I never received my product after 9 months of asking for it and American Express Black Card came through with a chargeback. Instant refund.

      My point is this:

      I believe in right and wrong.

      If I purchased something, and I know it was valuable or I didn’t use it – if I’m out of the refund period, then that’s my loss. I’m not going to whine or cry over something that is right.

      If I purchased something that was done “in the wrong”, then no matter what – I am owed a refund. (which in this case, you are owed a refund)

      Right and Wrong – it’s easy to spot!!!

  9. Jonathan says:

    Leapfish has called my business NO LESS THAN FIVE (5) times. Every time they’ve called, I’ve asked/demanded never to be called by them again. Sure enough, I keep getting calls from these #*#. They’ve obviously built in NO way to prevent multiple calls, and every time they promise never to call again, it’s an EMPTY PROMISE.

    I say, BOYCOTT LEAPFISH IN EVERY WAY.

  10. [...] Three Scams and Rip-Offs to Report – Kit Eliot describes his “encounter” with LeapFish. [...]

  11. [...] Three Scams and Rip-Offs to Report – Kit Eliot describes his “encounter” with LeapFish. [...]

  12. [...] Three Scams and Rip-Offs to Report – Kit Eliot describes his “encounter” with LeapFish. [...]

  13. Zoe says:

    Leafish is a true scam. On top of all the other complaints, they are dishonest in the manner in which they try to attract business. They called me directly, left a message saying they were interested in my services (clearly indicating that they wanted to hire me). I called back and after a few minutes, it became clear that they were trying to sell their services to me. This was after playing phone tag for several days. What a complete waste of time! Totally unethical business practices, bait-and-switch all the way. I told the sales guy that it was a bait-and-switch and he said that no one had ever complained. Well, he can’t say that anymore…

    Advice: Stay away from Leapfish.

  14. Odd I don’t see any themes for $39 Professional themes when I click on your link.

    I’ve received the call from LeapFish…

  15. Vlad says:

    Kit,

    I have my reasons to keep an eye on them ;) – but I am glad it lead me to your blog! You got yourself one more subscriber!

  16. Vlad says:

    Kit, I am surprised LeapFish did not try to recruit you into their affiliate program.

    The incident reported by TechCrunch is going to haunt them for long time. What they are doing, in my opinion, is they are making Google look bad and stupid.

    Also, why would you in your right mind give thousands to a website that relies 100% on APIs to aggregate their results? What would happened if Google, MSN or Yahoo would all of a sudden stop offering certain APIs?

    Stick with AdWords and proven advertising venues and you will be fine.

    Thanks for the heads up about the other two as well.

    • Kit Elliott says:

      Hiya Vlad:

      You two must have LeapFish as a Google Alert! I should start looking for more scandals because my traffic jumped 100 times since I published this story.

      Of course – Wendy – responded within minutes of Google Alerts.. Very curious!

      You’re right – if LeapFish relied more on their own “search engine” programming and developed their own “adsense” type of program then this might be a different story! The point to this article is due diligence. See what others are doing with the system. See if it’s working for others.

      Me – I would develop a marketing pipeline for each product and stick to what works.

      Thanks Vlad!

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