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How To Spot A Scam Without Super Natural Powers

22 Jun

Alright, so I was going to Alexa just to check the “Movers and Shakers” chart. Well, mainly because I just realized that Google is now #1. I remembered Yahoo! being #1 on Alexa for the longest time. I wonder when it happened. Anyway, I looked to the right of the screen and there was an ad about someone making “$63/Hr Part-Time!” Yeah, I was curious to see what she was doing.

So here’s the ad that I saw:

Okay, yeah, I also looked because it’s my home town, Grand Prairie, Texas. I was wanting to see how folks in my neighborhood are making money and maybe we could meet up some time.

Anyway, this is the page I came to (daily-job-news.com):

Noticed that I underlined my city, Grand Prairie. I thought to myself, “I bet you this isn’t even real”. I decided to view-source and see the page properties.

Here is what I found:

The web page is claiming that “Mary Steadman” is from Grand Prairie and is making so and so much money. However, how can it be true, when the city name is simply a javascript that displays the city name based on your IP address? So Mary Steadman could be from Chicago, Denver, Sacramento, New York, Okinawa and anywhere else in the world. Either way, that alone tells me that it’s a straight up scam.

It’s not strategy, it’s lying. Stay far, far away from this one folks. You don’t have to take my word for it, just do a search online.

So the next time you see a program/site that claims someone is from a particular city or whatever and is making a lot of money, this is a DEAD give away whether it’s legitimate or a scam. Good luck!

This article was written by Dallas’ rankaboveothers.com – Texas SEO is a Dallas-based web marketing and consulting company. We can help you improve your on-site and off-site optimization so that your website not only looks good to visitors but rank well for the keywords you need. Let us increase your business by first giving you a free analysis.

Kevin Lam

Kevin Lam is a self-taught internet marketer, web developer and traffic conversion expert that started since he was 17 in 2000. Even throughout his 5 years in the Navy, Kevin continued to hone his skills. Kevin now owns multiple digital companies including a Strategic, Digital Marketing Firm, a Sales Funnel Concierge Service, General Support Company and other digital products.


  1. Davidrle | June 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I always wondered how those ads always put your location in there like that now I know.

  2. Warren Contreras | June 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    You went a lot further than I would have, I never even click the ads no matter how curious I get. When they make claims like that, it’s an automatic reject mechanism that kicks in and blocks my wrist from going even close to the link.

  3. Kevin Lam | June 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Hey Warren,

    Yeah, the real reason I usually go ahead and visit these types of sites is to see whether they’re real or a scam. If they’re a scam, then I get to report it! Kinda like this other one:


  4. Mitch | June 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I see that sort of trick ALL OVER THE WEB! I can usually spot it right away when it says “Aliso Viejo,” because that’s where my ‘geoip’ is being read from, even though I’m in Laguna Beach nearby.

    Thanks for the great post. I’m looking forward to more info like this, under this topic.

  5. Albert Grande | June 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks, Kevin, for pulling back the curtain on this one. Marketers have long ago figured out that social proof is a very powerful marketing tool.

    Now the Scammers, with a bit of java script magic, can get all of the social proof they want. They just make it look like the person giving the testimonial is from your own home town.

    Thanks for this gem of wisdom. Keep up the good work!

  6. John | July 6, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Thanks For the info I too came across this same ad and almost signed up then something told me not too…glad I listened. Great job uncovering this one….

  7. Kevin Lam | July 6, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks, John. No problem, it’s my pleasure. And from the looks of it, Alexa doesn’t care if an advertiser is a scammer or not because there’s a bunch of scam ads on there. I’m really surprised. But I guess they need the money.

  8. Kevin Lam | July 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I can’t believe I get about 50 visitors a day to this blog entry alone. Most of it is through the search engines! I hope this has helped people and saved them money though. I should probably go to Alexa more often and uncover more scams, lol. There’s so many out there though. Maybe it can be a hobby I take up for the weekend posts, lol.

  9. Don | July 30, 2009 at 7:24 am

    “Mary Steadman” replyed to an ad i have in craigslist and offered the same website that “Texas SEO” shows above but the site i got said “rockport, tx” not grand praire” just another scam folks sorry

  10. Jo | July 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I came across this add today. How funny, it was even published today. Sad, what has happened to honesty now days?

    Thanks for looking out for us.

  11. Mike Stewart | August 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    Nice article Kevin. A bit of common sense here, but nonetheless a good article. I find it interesting how folks break things down so well. Will you do a post on Nigerian scams as well? I wonder why they are not doing the same type of doubleclick style banner ads…… lol

  12. Kevin Lam | August 27, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Thanks, Mike. Yes, quite common sense when you’ve been around for a while and know what to look for. Not everyone catches it. I’m not sure if I’ll write on the Nigerian scam. I don’t know much about it and I’m sure there’s enough articles on it at this point. I may look into it though.

  13. Leah | May 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Kevin Lam – you really are a sheep in your own clothing with a wolves bite whenever necessary to protect your flock…Yes! I wondered why my 6th sense had such good
    vibes since I first got the WSO notice! Now I know!!

    You are the first one (besides myself, of course) who has exposed the source code for all to see with one exception. Whenever I’ve done, people seem to run away and hide..nobody wants to know!! Plain as day but I think too many are being ripped off and won’t admit it to themselves let alone anyone else.

    So, when can I bring out some scams that will both delight with fright and shock with disbelief? I even have a domain – scamzoo.com ready to populate with proof beyond a reasonable doubt. No chance of the wrong size glove anywhere in the source code either.

    Sylvie Fortin’s Internet Marketing Sins is another good place to start – great reading on video especially for newbies. Let me know when I can plan the scamzoo grand opening.

  14. SEO Marketing | July 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I am glad to be here and finding tips to spot scam. I hate scammers. Nobody finds like this. But u did.

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