Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Well, Ain't That Something?

Back in October, I wrote about a textspam message I received from some jerk advertising electronic cigarettes. I noticed recently that traffic to that entry had decreased quite a bit, so I got curious whether he had given-up or had simply reincarnated himself as an even lower form of life.

It was the latter. Actually, it seems that three of the links that were being distributed by text spam were no longer linking to the e-cigarette company site, but were redirecting instead to a different type of shitstain on the Internet.

Remember my post on Profit Masters Academy? The first time I talked about Angela Bussio? If not, here's the link.

Remember now? Okay. Well, while it seems that while Angela has apparently moved on to spamming Facebook, the people behind the "(insert name of city) Mom makes $8000/month" scheme have likewise moved-on to using another "author and TV personality", but this time, it's Michelle Boudreau.

The link they're redirecting  to is Home Job Tutorial, a website registered anonymously and whose servers are located in the Netherlands. This site serves as an advertisement for yet another "make lots of money working from home" scheme.

You may be asking yourself, "Who is Michelle Boudreau?" and that's a good question. The ad quotes "Melissa Johnson" as stating
I asked her about how she started her life-changing journey. "It was pretty easy", I saw an ad by Michelle Boudreau about a kit called Online Income Kit. I knew about Michelle Boudreau from TV and knew she was legit, and since they offered a "365 Day Money Back Guarantee" - I figured I really had nothing to lose. so I invested in the kit.
Well, I'll be hornswoggled! She remembers Michelle Boudreau from TV, so Michelle must have been so famous and involved in so many TV shows that the name just jumped out at her right?

No, not really. According to Michelle Boudreau's page at IMDB.COM, she really hasn't been on TV very much at all, beyond some bit parts. Of the three characters she played, two of them didn't even have a name! Here they are:
  • Murphy Brown (TV series) in the 1996 episode "Underdogs" as the "Beautiful Girl"
  • In the 1996 motion picture Executive Decision as the "Party Girl"
  • Head of the Class (TV series) in the 1991 episode :The Last Waltz" as the character "Colleen"
  • walk-on roles in other TV shows and movies.
Mostly, she appeared on TV commercials and lately, she's moved into making infomercials. I'll grant that she is an attractive woman, but I don't think she counts as a TV personality, by any stretch of the imagination.

What about as an author? Well, she does have one book to her credit, unlike Angela Bussio, whose sole writing credit is as one contributing author among dozens. Her book "Debt Rescue Reduce Debt Build Wealth" came out in 2008 and doesn't seem to have sold very well. In fact, the only review of her book on Amazon had this to say:
Purchase of this book entails a "free 30 day trial" and "information packed website" then automatic fees ($39.95)are charged to your Credit Card if not canceled within 30 days????
I would have preferred this book, if actual "tools and charts" were included in its pages, without having to access websites for the information and endure membership fees.
The principal of the book was lost in the fine print freebies! It seems contradictory to be promoting "Debt Relief" when charging a "Credit Card" fee for information that should be included in the paid for pages of the book! shabby sales techniques.
So, she wrote a book which told you to access websites, instead of giving you the information within its own pages? Plus, they're charging stuff to your credit card, thereby giving you more debt when you supposedly bought the book to help get yourself out of debt?

What the hell??!!?

PROTIP: Ms Boudreau might not want to tout herself as an author so much, considering that Amazon no longer offers the book for sale on its site and you can buy a new copy for as little as $1.55 or a used copy for 95 cents. It's actually cheaper to buy the hardcover than it is to buy the paperback, which is pretty sad.

So, now Michelle's doing this "work-at-home mom makes a pile of money" thing, huh? Fine, let's see what it's about.

The first thing I noticed is that, even though the initial ad was originally working for Profit Masters Academy, the company the ad is now advertising for is completely different. The new company is called "Paid To Place" which claims to pay you to place ads. The person behind all this  goes by the name "Kathy Garcia", which you are told is merely a pen name
In keeping with Kathy Garcia's wishes to safeguard her family's privacy the name Kathy Garcia is her pen name and Kathy's family images on this web site are stock photo's for obvious privacy reasons. Thank you for understanding. Just so you know, the results she has achieved are not what can generally be expected. (source)
While "Kathy's" pictures don't display on either of the two websites, we're told that the company uses stock photos anyway. Hey, it's not like they're hiding something, right? Right.

Oh, but it gets better. From the same Disclaimer page I quoted from
While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this system, Paid to Place will not assume any responsibility for errors, performance, consequential or any other damages, contradictory interpretation of the subject matter herein. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional.
So, if something bad happens, we're not liable. But, there's more
Each individual's success depends on his or her background, commitment, desire and motivation. There is no guarantee that examples of past earnings can be duplicated in the future. We cannot guarantee your future results and predict your future success. There are some unknown risks in any new business venture that COULD AFFECT YOUR RESULTS.
The use of this information, products and our software should be based upon your own due diligence and you agree that Paid to Place "the company" is not liable for any success or failure of your business that is directly or indirectly related to the purchase and use of this information and products.
So, if you don't make any money: it's your fault, not theirs. But, they do give you fair warning
Anyone who buys a program about making money will not necessarily make money simply by purchasing the program. Who knows you may never make any money.
Nice to be told that upfront.

If you read the disclaimer itself, it seems to change back-and-forth between "Kathy Garcia" speaking and another person, which is rather creepy. It also refers to Kathy's blog, which we are never given the link to read for ourselves, as if it would be reliable in the first place.

Reading through the Disclaimer, Earnings Disclaimer, Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions is rather difficult. Not because I can't read English, but because of the spelling errors, improper grammar, lack of appropriate punctuation and changes in tenses, not to mention the weasel words and terminology used throughout. It would have been a good idea to have had an attorney write this up, but I wouldn't be surprised if they just copied and pasted the whole thing from another website in order to save money on legal fees.

So, the core question is: can you make money with Paid to Place or is it a scam?

The short answer is: It's most likely a scam. Aside from Paid To Place, there are two other sites - howireplacedmyjob.com and milliondollarincomes.com - which "Kathy Garcia" is mentioned as having made money with her system. Instead of actually showing Kathy Garcia in their ads, they put up either stock photos or Ms Boudreau. This shows that something fishy is going-on and that people shouldn't trust any of these websites to actually help them earn a reliable income. All of these sites (see lists below) are run by the same people out of Utah. So, it looks like these people have had to cast as wide a net as possible, unlike a legitimate company that typically only needs to have one.

For the long answer to that, read this excellent postthis posting and then read this forum discussion and this one.

If you're wondering if you can really make money by simply placing ads: the answer is probably not. Real companies that want to advertise themselves have much better and time-proven ways to do so. Aside from radio, television/cable and print ads, there is a growing trend of companies using social media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) to spread the word. Larger companies often will employ their own staff of advertising professionals or will outsource the work to professional marketing and advertising agencies. They won't have a bunch of people off the street with no experience splashing their ads all over the place willy-nilly.

Now that I've given you more stuff to read, let's talk a bit about Michelle Boudreau some more. She's got a pretty good Internet presence with her own website http://michelleboudreau.net and http://www.MichelleBoudreau.TV, which redirects to the other site for some reason. A total of 32 people have clicked "Like" on her homepage, which should tell you how much traffic she must be getting. Her site offers a free download of Michelle's e-book “Michelle Boudreau’s Guide To Great Credit in a SNAP!”, for which I could find no impartial reviews online. I'm wondering if she decided to give this one away since nobody seems to want to buy her first book. She also runs http://healthyhabitsofwealthywomen.com which has pictures of happy people and piles of money, implying that you could be happy and rich, if you take her advice.

She's on Twitter, where she's got over eleven thousand followers, though she's only posted slightly over a hundred times and was recently active there. Her tweets seem to become less common in the middle of October with her posting once every couple of weeks since then.

Interesting Twitter handle: mbwealthguru. Really, Michelle? Really?

She can be found on Facebook, too. She's got over four thousand "Likes" there, to her credit.

Let's not forget her YouTube channel with 28 videos posted and over 700 subscribers. Her videos uploaded up to October 1st each have thousands of views each, but videos posted after that haven't come close to 100 views yet. In the description boxes of a couple of the videos, I saw this
Tune in to TheMichelleBoudreau on YouTube, become a subscriber and get the Healthy Habits of Successful People video free every week!
Well, she's not posting every week. She hasn't uploaded a video in over a month and the last one was a demo reel. For those who've never worked in broadcasting: a demo reel is what you send out to potential employers where you're looking for a job. She may be trying to expand her income base by auditioning to companies looking for people to appear in TV or Internet commercials. This could explain why she's endorsed Paid To Place or it could be as a means to expand her financial guru status, in the hopes of making her name and face more recognizable to potential financial clients.

According to an interview she did, she went through a nasty divorce some time ago (we're not told who her ex-husband is) and she found herself in dire financial straits. She then took charge of her own financial well-being and emerged on top of The Game.

Well, good for her.

But, a pretty face and good on-camera persona doesn't make you a financial guru, especially when you attach your name to an enterprise as questionable as Paid to Place. Seeing as her first book has been consigned to the Amazon dustbin, she's obviously not in high demand as any kind of financial authority. If she were, she'd have more than one book out there and wouldn't need to endorse  Paid to Place, at all.

This wouldn't be the first shady operation she's been associated with, having appeared in an infomercial for John Beck Amazing Profits, LLC. That company was the defendant in a civil case brought against them by the Federal Trade Commission back in 2009. Ms Boudreau was not a defendant in that case, but it is indicative of Ms Boudreau's character to pal-around with people like that. More information can be found about that case here.

Okay, so I've already mentioned the decidedly-negative reviews of the company and its rather amateurish website, along with its use of a relatively unknown Hollywood has-been. What about their homepage?

Well, a Google search reveals that their home site is paidtoplace.com and a WHOIS search reveals that the registrant is listed as Tiger Paw Media dba Paid to Place, which means that for all intents and purposes Tiger Paw Media is Paid To Place. They are supposedly one and the same.

But, when you do a WHOIS for Tiger Paw's website, it tells you that the website registrant is mdhmarketing, inc. Okay, so who are they?

Answer: they are a marketing company located in Miami, FL and their anonymously-registered website is located here. Note that Michelle used to work at a TV station in Florida.

However, when you go to paidtoplace.com, it takes you to trust.securedwebserver.com instead. That website is registered to John Saver in St George, UT.

John Saver is also listed as the registered owner of these websites

1.  7-ways.com (how to make money online)
2.  careertrendsreview.com (advertises for Paid To Place)
3.  consumermoneywatch.com (advertises for Paid To Place)
4.  hawaiian-sexy.com (domain parked)
5.  hawaiislim.com (weight loss product)
6.  ineedwomen.com (domain parked)
7.  maxdpl.com (lead generator service)
8.  securedwebserver.com (advertises for Paid To Place)
9.  simplyclickprint.com (how to make money from home)
10. vemmabuzz.com (domain parked)
11. verifiedhomeincome.com (advertises for Paid To Place)
12. milliondollarincomes.com (separate from Paid To Place but also featuring Michelle Boudreau. This business has received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau)

13.  paidtoplacescam.com (a website set-up warning people about websites that say Paid To Place is a scam)
14.  privatecashsecret.com (appears dead)
15.  shellydell.com (appears dead)
16. howireplacedmyjob.com (different make-money-from home scheme, also features Michelle Boudreau)


On the Terms of Service link I gave you earlier, here is the mailing address given by Paid To Place:

Tiger Paw Media dba Paid to Place™
765 N. Bluff St. Suite K2
St. George, UT 84770 
support@paidtoplace.com
Customer service: 1-866-439-6817 
Customer service - 9am-5pm, MST M-F

A Dutch website advertising for a Utah-based website that is owned by another Utah-based website, which itself is owned by a Florida company. Makes perfect sense.

Paid to Place even has a YouTube channel with a grand total of 38 subscribers, but only one video posted. The video is a rather amateurish one that unsurprisingly tells viewers how great the program is. The video has over 2000 views and more than 50 comments, which all tell him what a great video he's made. They look like canned comments and are all suspiciously posted within a very short time frame  which makes me doubt that they were posted by anyone other than Paid To Place members. None of this is really relevant, since the channel hasn't been accessed since August 23, 2012 and only on that day, nothing since. What is very interesting is that the channel page says that it's run out of the United Kingdom.

They even have a Twitter account. Here is their one and only tweet, sent out over a year ago

Woo Hoo Paid to Place is on the air!
Way to go! My hat is off to you, sir.

To summarize, Paid to Place is just another get-rich-quick scheme where the only people guaranteed to make money are the people running it. Everyone else is basically on their own, with little if any chance of making any real income. They're using a little-known former Hollywood bit-player who doesn't even mention them on her own website or in her videos, which should tell you how little she really cares about Paid to Place. I'm guessing that Paid to Place bought  the right to use Michelle Boureau's name and image on their website, in order to try to get some Star Power to backup their product, for whatever good that will do.

My advice is to avoid these people like the flesh-eating virus.


Duane Browning
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