The Miami Gazette News Scam

by El Plumber (admin) on May 13, 2009

miamigazettenews The Miami Gazette News ScamWow, if you thought the fake work at home for Google blog was sneaky, check out MiamiNewsGazette.com.  I have to be honest, even I had to look twice at this one and read for a bit just to make sure it was fake.  It appears to be an article about what a great business opportunity the Easy Google Profit kit is, how much money people make off it, how they can now work at home part time and make $5000-$9000 a month.

Let’s take a closer look at why it’s scam in my opinion:

  • First, click on any of the links (and there are a LOT of them) and you are brought to our old friends securecartcenter.com and the Easy Google Profit scam.  Every single link on the page, all the tags, all the ads take you to the same place
  • At least at the top of the page they are honest enough to put the words “This publication is an article advertisement for Easy Google Profit.”  It’s in gray and in a smaller font, but at least it’s there.
  • Lots of talk and “interviews” about how people are making hundreds of dollars a day “posting links to Google”.

Alright, I have to admin that this site is pretty damn well put together.  From the ad placement to the little weather report to the random video about the recession, the site REALLY looks like a random local newspaper.

All that being said, they can dress up the pig in fancy clothes (I hate the lipstick expression), but it’s still a pig.  Securecartcenter.com and the Easy Google Profit folks are trying to trick and scam you out of your money.  The site makes it appear that it will cost you only $1.97 to “work at home for Google”.  But check out the fine print that is hidden in the Terms and Conditions and not anywhere near the page where you actually put in your credit card info:

You have also subscribed to a fifteen-day trial to Grant Spring for just $24.87 a month and every month thereafter should you chose not to cancel…

AND

If you choose to sign up for this product and pay the recurring monthly charges using a debit card you hereby provide pre-authorization and consent that blazingkeywords.com may charge $77.82 on a monthly basis. You may stop payment on any pre-authorized charge by notifying blazingkeywords.com at least three business days prior to the scheduled charge date. You agree your pre-authorization and written consent to charge your debit card is given in electronic form by submitting the request for the membership, and that an electronic signature is sufficient to authenticate your authorization to charge the debit card. You further agree that these terms and conditions shall be your copy of your pre-authorization for the debit card.

So buried in some fine print that you’ll never ever read, they’re going to hit your credit card for $100 after 7 days, then again every month until you manage to get hold of them on the phone and cancel.

What do you get for that $100 a month? Does it matter?  Obviously if it was worth more than $1.97 they would not need to trick you into “buying” it.  Most people we’ve heard from say it’s a collection of old money making eBooks that will take you over 7 days to read through all of and realize are generally worthless.

I Was Taken By The Miami Gazette News! What Do I Do?

  1. Don’t feel bad! Seems like hundreds if not thousands of people have been taken in by these sort of “negative option” offers that trick you by not clearly disclosing you are signing up for monthly charges. You were tricked, it happens to the best of us.
  2. Call the number provided on the website that took you in IMMEDIATELY. Have more than one witness listen when you call and/or record the conversation if possible. Unfortunately many people have complained that they can never get anyone to talk to when they call. Finding that number is up to you, they seem to keep changing.
  3. Call/write your credit card company and dispute the charges or better yet, report the card lost or stolen. They never clearly disclosed the charges you were signing up for, so you have a case here.
  4. Monitor your credit accounts! You just gave some shady characters your name, address, phone number, credit card and secret 3 digit card number. Click here to sign up for Experian ID Protection monitoring. Unlike the Google Biz Kits, Experian clearly states that it’s actually free for a full 30 days, then only $9.95 a month to monitor your credit accounts for fraud and identity theft. I’d suggest signing up for AT LEAST the free month to make sure no one tries to change your address or open a new card using the current cards details you gave away.

I Didn’t Get Taken, But What Can I Do To Help?

What can you do to stop these guys from taking in more people? Warn everyone about it!
  1. Click Here to Share this on Facebook! Hit “Post to Profile” to warn your friends.
  2. Use the “Share This” links below to Digg or Twitter or Stumble or Reddit or Email or whatever service you use to share this so that other people might see it before they get scammed too!
  3. Email this link to your friends.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan May 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm

I’ll try to say it very nicely…
Those F-bomb deleted by El Plumber ;) !!!

TY for sharing :D

Taylor May 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Yeah i took a double take as well! Even the link url at the top is fake to make it look like a real news story! Not to mention the doomy gloomy economy video on the right hand side of the page trying to scare people into clicking these BS links! Good post! Good job letting the people know the truth!

Dick May 18, 2009 at 11:03 am

I also did a double take. Looks like a legit news article. Took me a couple of minutes before I realized this was another scam.

Paula May 18, 2009 at 2:42 pm

That’s funny, I just wrote about the Miami Gazette News scam today too.

Ah…if only all the techies would use their skills for good instead of evil.

Znkp May 23, 2009 at 4:16 am

Look at this link:
http://www.themiamigazettenews.com/?c=us&id=GenNetGen

Here they do not even say that this is an article advertisement.

El Plumber (admin) May 23, 2009 at 11:43 am

Yeah, the logo used to look like we have it in the article above, but I’m sure they did some split testing and determined they got more poor unsuspecting people to sign up if they didn’t advertise the fact that they aren’t a newspaper right at the top.

Almost fell for it May 25, 2009 at 9:39 am

They also masquerade under: http://www.grantmastersonline.com/, blazingkeywords.com. There are SEVERAL contact numbers you must use. Don’t fall for this one people, I almost did! : (

Britt May 26, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Thanks, e-plumber!

I was totally taken by this, and WOW, what an interesting learning experience! (I call these AFGO’s … Another Freakin (!) Growth Opportunity).

After reading your article, I called the number right away to cancel. The woman who I dealt with, Marianne, was really nice, and very well scripted. Once I said I would like to cancel, she took my phone number and said it was canceled.

I then asked for a confirmation number to confirm that the re-curring charges would be canceled.

The mention of the re-0curring charges changed the direction of the conversation entirely, and a proper cancellation was done, and I received a cancellation number. I then emailed their “support” department a copy of the confirmation number, and told them I would (and I did) register that info with my credit card company.

This is how the process worked with me:

1. I signed up online for the trial access and tools, for 1.97
2. they called me to get my mailing address. I said I already provided that online. They said sometimes the system doesn’t capture all of the info.
3. they did a search for my account info using the last four digits of my credit card, and (of course) it didn’t show up
4. I provided my full credit card info. Bad, bad me! Grin.
5. Looking on their membership site online later, I realized they had signed me up for their trial agreement, where the 72.96 recurring monthly charges appeared

It’s a seven day “free” trial that requires 3 to 7 days written notice of cancellation, essentially entitling them to at least the first monthly payment.

Again, thanks for this article and the information. If anyone else out there got taken like me, call to cancel the RE-OCCURRING charges, and stay on the line until you get a confirmation number. Then, call your credit card number and register the confirmation number so that they have it on file should you need to dispute any charges.

I must say, hats off to their marketing. And like “Paula” previously mentions, I sure do wish these people could use their incredible talents for something more productive!

NurseUSA June 1, 2009 at 1:54 am

i need the two main websites they listed on the miami gazette. does anyone have them!?! my son just informed me he used my card to sign up for the two websites linked onto that site and now i can’t find the site so i know who to call. he only has one of the addresses they provided in which to cancel. i’m going to dispute the charges and close that account at my bank in the morning but i’d like to try and find all of the numbers so i can call each one individually and cancel the recurring charges so they can’t bing me too much in the future. any help would be very greatly appreciated! thanks!

Britt June 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm

NurseUSA: I’ve got a report on my website detailing my experience. See http://www.imallowed.com/free.html

URLs are listed on Page 4

I’ve also included the information I gave to my credit card company.

Note that one of the resources listed is the Electronic Plumber! Thanks again, EP, whoever you are, for creating this forum!

And good luck to you, NurseUSA!

Sincerely,
Britt

Sandra June 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Just signed up yesterday (6-2-2009) and was told that I would receive an e-mail with an user id and password on it so I could use the website. I started looking for it and couldn’t find the e-mail. Then today, I looked for it again and couldn’t find it. I decided I would look for the web site and you came up – Thank God! I’m calling my bank and canceling my debit card now!

Margaret June 3, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I clicked on the ad, took one look at the page and thought, no way. But it was very well disguised. I went to leave a comment saying that they were full of crap, and lo and behold, the comment section is ‘closed due to spam.’ Right.

Wolf E. June 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

Be very careful. I had a phone call from this google scam and it was off shore. Phillipines, I believe. Once they get your card number, best to cancell your entire card. You have very little recourse, especially when this scam outfit is located in another country.

Tom June 14, 2009 at 5:37 am

jesus christ…

desperation sure gets people to give themselves up easily.
I almost asked my parents to do this….i’m glad i decided to investigate, the anxiety of this thing being a scam was killing me. My instincts told me not to do it, but thanks!

so basically, are all these “google profit” things scams?

including google money master, google

Chuck Turner June 26, 2009 at 11:11 am

Miami Gazette News
As seen on ABC – well actually that is true – but not in a good way!!

See The ABC: Treasure Chest of online trouble:

The Pyro Guy... ~~ July 4, 2009 at 12:10 am

For some reason, I see the “Patrick79″ appears on almost all these site comments. With the EXACT SAME QUESTION. If you see a “Patrick79″ anywhere, it’s a scam. Also, with the cheques, why would they black out their name if they already give it out fully in their “Sad then happy miracle story”?

Nice analysis! This certainly helped me identify scams! (: Thanks

Misha September 9, 2009 at 2:24 am

THEY GOT ME. Im now trying to build a case against them because my bank didnt reimburse me–They “were not able to substantiate (my) claim”! Which leaves me OUT $150!!!

ANY FEEDBACK FROM OTHER VICTIMS IS APPRECIATED!!!!
Please email me:::

LOVEMISHAMAIL@YAHOO.COM

Thank you!

Wood November 1, 2009 at 6:59 am

Hey everybody. I just got this stupid thing e-mailed to me from craigslist. Knew it was a scam since the “reply” wasn’t even my ad :) . Stupid (expletive). So I came across this in my search to find a way to contact them (which believe me will not be censored ;) and thought I would share some info on them.

Check out robtex.com/dns/miamigazettenews.com.html-
It’s a site that gives you IP addresses, links, and other internet info way over my head but I’m sure there’s useful stuff somewhere.

Hope this helps some or hopefully RETALIATE!

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