Wealth creation websites generally too good to be true: Margaret Lomas

Wealth creation websites generally too good to be true: Margaret Lomas
Wealth creation websites generally too good to be true: Margaret Lomas

Recently, I received an emailed from a concerned Property Success viewer who had seen my photo and biography featured on a website alongside a number of ‘infamous’ property ‘experts’ – you know, the kind whom A Current Affair is always chasing down the street, and who answer each question with ‘no comment’, or hide in the ladies room to avoid difficult questions being posed by disgruntled followers. 

This website listed five people amongst their ‘expert dream team’ and, lo and behold, there were my details, at number three! Upon further reading it was clear that I wasn’t actually appearing anywhere with my alleged fellow dream team members, and I could tell that the information and photo had been ripped from another legitimate site else ¬where. But, the point was made and anyone who knew little about these things would easily have thought that I had gone over to the dark side! 

Enlisting a friend who is great at chasing down detail, we explored further and discovered that there exists a form of ‘pyramid marketing for wealth creation sites’. We pieced the detail together and, to the best of our ability, this is how we think these things go.

An internet marketing seminar is promoted at a property investor seminar – anyone with a passion for property and something to say can enlist to learn (you guessed it!) the secrets of making money via the internet. The fee to attend such a marketing seminar is a few thousand dollars and as the return is promised as being exponential many sign up.

At this seminar, attendees are provided with a skeleton website to which they can add their own personality and they are taught how to use it to make money.

The resulting website, owned by the usually unsuspecting property investor, will have some kind of flashy name which infers the capacity to create boundless wealth, such as www. pathwaystoriches.com.au. www.millionairesinaminute.com. au. The websites are all similar in a number of ways. They usually offer four or five ‘free gifts’ if you sign up (believe it or not, I was allegedly offering one of these free gifts!), and the page detailing the ‘dream team’ contains many of those suspect experts I alluded to before. 

There are also features where the website owner’s own personality and expertise (if any) can be displayed – blogs, articles etc., and there is always the chance to buy product of some description – books, tapes and other investor tools. While all of the websites are different, they all have a visual similarity which is obvious once you visit a few – a sensationalist overtone and a lot of flashy, wild claims, inferring the potential for untold riches. 

Poke them a little and they will fall apart, as there is little use to any of the information, and the people at the top of this pyramid are shamefully taking advantage of those who might otherwise simply have had some good intentions and the desire to be in their own business. The website that I was first made aware of which had my details (which turned out to be one of many) was owned by a nice young man who seemed genuinely hurt that I was angry, as he believed I was fully aware and agreeable to what was going on. He further volunteered that the people who set up the site for him, those who were coincidentally part of that dream team, had promised him commissions which he was still waiting for. 

I have spent a lot of money having lawyers chasing down such people and ensuring references to me are removed from such sites, and I trust that those who know me will also know that I will never plunge into any such mis ¬adventure. Sadly, some of those people who have sites such as these have gone on to offering the very mentoring and seminars which Arthur found useless, and regardless of how verbal I am, not a lot seems to be changing. 

The best way for us to ensure that these kinds of opportunists don’t profit any longer from these tactics is to stay educated and refuse to pay these ridiculously large sums of money for information from people whose backgrounds are questionable. Just because an expert can vaguely refer to a successful background or experience doesn’t make it real – and many have no hard evidence that the success they claim to have even exists.

As I said, you will need to spend some money to gain a good education and to get the right support team around you. Before you do, research as much as you can, ask for evidence of the success of the person offering you the help, and get testimonials from others who can show that they have actually succeeded themselves as a result of following the advice. Anyone can publish a book and get a great looking website these days, yet that is simply no measure of their true capacity to guide you well.

Margaret Lomas is a best-selling author and writes and hosts the popular Property Success With Margaret Lomas and heads up the panel on Your Money, Your Call, both on Sky News. This article is an excerpt from her latest book, Investing In the Right Property Now. For more information about the book, click here.

 

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas is a best-selling author and writes and hosts the popular Property Success With Margaret Lomas and Your Money, Your Call, both on Sky News. She is the founder of Destiny.

Comments

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?