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I'm a keen internet marketer, and owner of HitsBoosterPro traffic exchange. To relax, I enjoy online gaming (I'm a big fan of World of Warcraft), occasional running and cycling, and relaxing at my home in Spain with my family.
Louise Venison | lulubel

We all get paid for doing nothing

Oct 17th 2010 at 5:48 AM

This was originally posted on my blog, but I decided to post it here for the IMfp members who don't read my blog.

About 5 years ago, there was a craze sweeping the online marketing community.  It spread so far and so fast, and there was so much money in it, that it soon spilled out of our community into the outside world.  Around water coolers and office desks, in our homes and schools and offices, you could hear “12 Daily Pro” being whispered in stunned disbelief.

Everyone was making money.  Many of us were making more money than we ever dreamed of.  We were getting paid for doing nothing.

For the benefit of those who haven’t been in this industry for as long as I have, I’ll step back a little.

12 Daily Pro was an autosurf program.  You deposited your money, started the autosurf every day to surf 12 sites, and in 12 days, you got back 144% of what you put in.  The maximum spend of $6,000 turned into $8,640 in 12 days.  It launched early in 2005, and by late summer members were confident enough to tell their friends and family about it.  It spread like wildfire.

It wasn’t the only autosurf around at the time.  Programs were springing up everywhere, some successful, some blatant scams that never had any intention of paying.  But 12 Daily Pro was the one that caught everyone’s attention.

Most of us knew it wouldn’t last.  There was something vague on the site about outside investments, and profit being generated from advertising, but still the word “ponzi” showed up occasionally on the forums.  The people who mentioned it were flamed, while the rest of us stuck our heads in the sand and kept depositing our money.

It probably would have run for a few months longer than it did, but the US government shut it down in February 2006.  The era of the autosurf came to an end.  A part of me still misses those days.  It was fun, it was exciting, and the thrill of seeing $8,640 arriving in your payment processor account is hard to beat.

When it ended, I lost the $6,000 I had deposited at the time.  But I’d made a profit overall, so I couldn’t complain.  There were people who lost their life savings.  My father got involved a couple of months before the end.  He tested it with small spends until he was sure it worked, then put in the full $6,000.  That was a week before it stopped paying.  I still wish I could have paid him back the money he lost, but I’d been spending pretty freely, and I didn’t have $6,000 to give him.

The total losses from 12 Daily Pro alone were estimated by members to be in the region of $50 million, and most of this money came from new members who hadn’t made a profit.  They had believed what they read on the website – they would get paid for doing nothing, 144% in 12 days – and they lost everything.

Programs like this are illegal.  If it doesn’t have a product – and a one page report doesn’t count – or if it isn’t a licensed investment company, then it’s a ponzi, and it’s illegal.  But that isn’t my real problem with it.

The problem is that people get hurt.  Those of us who are savvy make sure we get in at the beginning, and get out before it goes wrong.  We know it’s a game, and we know how to play it.  But there are other people – mostly those who are new to online marketing and desperate to make some money – who don’t realise it’s a game.  They believe what they read on the site, they put in their money, and they lose.  They decide online marketing is just a scam, and they tell their friends and family – “Don’t touch this online marketing stuff.  It’s a scam, and they’ll take your money.”

What does this do to our credibility?

I know it’s tempting.  Believe me, I know.  Even now, I look at some of the new sites springing up, and I’m tempted.  Get in early.  Get out before it goes wrong.  Make a quick buck, and move on.

Then I remember the look on my father’s face.

If there’s a market for them, these ponzi sites will keep on appearing.  The only way to stop them is to stop joining them, and stop giving them our money.

Because the truth is, we don’t ALL get paid for doing nothing.  The winners are actually a very small minority.  And the ones who lose are the people the online marketing industry needs the most.

Please to comment
Oct 22nd 2013 at 1:22 AM by foxychops
I'm glad you re-posted this, a good article and I totally agree with that last sentence
Oct 20th 2012 at 1:02 PM by zio71
I understand perfectly. I also had attended 12 Daily Pro at the time and lost much of what I had invested ... P.S. Sorry for my bad english... i'm italian ;-)
Jun 22nd 2012 at 4:13 AM by abis
Very good article,I really like the it.
Mar 25th 2012 at 8:08 AM by Rickson
Hi Louise..Very scary and real awareness about ponzi schemes and it's true those types of programs are out there popping up all the time. I personally don't try the "make a quick buck" programs, I do make money but it takes persistance and with owners of programs I personally know or have been in contact with for awhile, so my lesson to me is that interraction or community sites work well and then back it up and do a little background homework also before joining any program. Thanks for your blogs and info! Rick
Nov 17th 2011 at 1:31 AM by abis
Very good and informative article, thanks a lot.
Mar 5th 2011 at 3:01 AM by tonyg1162
Hi Louise, your Article brought back some painful memories. I was one of those who came in near the end of that program. I am very new to this Community so don't know a lot of what is going on yet. I just wondered if anyone should start up a Group or Topic about Affiliate Products they have tried and give an honest opinion? I have one to start off with which I have considered in buying it's called Traffic Siphon.
Dec 29th 2010 at 7:06 AM by LonnieG
Excellent article, Louise. It is easy to get really excited about the possibility that you might get something for nothing until you realize that nothing has its own price! If nothing costs you the your credibility with those that you would have liked to have been able to work with for a long time into the future then nothing is simply not worth it!
Dec 9th 2010 at 12:03 PM by BruceBates
Hi Louise, I am a member of a few websites you own I believe although we have never had any real communication until now. I wanted to say great article. I have read a few articles on ponzi scams over the years and this is of the best ever written in my opinion. The only thing I think needs to be added to it and is not understood enough in the world, is that internet based services break the standard of what is a ponzi scam. What I mean is that a company like hostgator who offers a multi level affiliate program for webhosting - although there is no tangible product, the hosting service becomes the product. I have found many people are confused if services are considered a tangible product, and when talking about ponzi scams, they are. @edcabrera I heavily looked into those "investors income shared with share holders" programs you are speaking of. I strongly advise you to stay away from them. They are not ponzi scams, they are far worse. They are frauds. These websites are laundering money and using "share holders" as a means of doing it. I have yet to see a legit one.
Dec 6th 2010 at 11:56 PM by juditka1958
I really like the article, you're right.
Nov 29th 2010 at 11:50 AM by 4SFI
I like this article because I have been there!! I know it hurts!!!
Nov 21st 2010 at 2:45 PM by gamblers
very good article, thank you for sharing your bad experience.
Nov 7th 2010 at 1:44 PM by lanski
That is really scar the crab out of me. Just like you said "It's just a game."
Nov 5th 2010 at 6:50 AM by ianmck
An informative article Louise. Thanks!
Nov 5th 2010 at 6:42 AM by 1charlie
What is going on with these sites like Ashmax and sites like EZWealth Solutions are they legit my gut feelings tell me they not. Thanks for the article it puts my mind at rest. Bill
Oct 27th 2010 at 11:29 PM by panihati
Recently there are number of sites who are proclaiming to be giving 10%-20% interest/dividend everyday/every week. People are joining in to those progs. They never get their lessons from the bitter experiences their predecessors had got.It is a real pity.
Oct 27th 2010 at 11:27 PM by panihati
This is indeed an eye opener article.People should come out more openly with their own experiences and there should be more people to stop these nuisance. gullible People have been losing their hard earned money to the scrupulos people for any number of progs that are available in the market in various names .
Oct 25th 2010 at 9:15 PM by AbdeelMarketing
Sadly, the Ponzi scheme is as alive and well today as it was then. The "Cash Gifting" sites that are popping up left and right sure look suspicious.
Oct 25th 2010 at 9:05 PM by edcabrera
Recently there has been a large number of sites that offer advertising for share accounts. I don't know what they are called but they share there income with the "share holders"

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