The rise of the financial scam is growing into a monster. Lockdown has given people more time and more ways to apply the scam. I can certainly confirm the number of dodgy emails, phonecalls and text messages I get has grown hugely.
It has also been reported that people who have been scammed feel shame in talking about the said scam. I am here to share my story where I was scammed and lost £2,500. The more we talk and share these stories the greater the awareness and the less these scams should happen.
Taking my Business to the Next Stage
The year was 2018, Mrs Mummypenny has been going for five years and had reached a decent point of financial success. I had spent many years building up the business and was now able to draw enough from the business to not only pay the bills and maintain my lifestyle but also to pay off big chunks of debt.
I was always searching for new ways to monetise my content and that elusive solution that would make tens of thousands and send my turnover shooting up.
How I met the Scammer
I was introduced to an ‘online sales expert & coach’ by a friend. The said friend had also been sucked in and was at the early stages of working with the said person, without any results to prove success as yet. I made the first mistake of booking that first free introduction session to understand more about what she could offer.
She hooked me in totally, there was the sob story of her difficult life that she was able to dramatically flip into huge success. She was clever to cherry pick similarities between our lives, making me like her, picking confirmation bias in the book.
Apparently she could turn already existing content into a product that could be highly monetised and sold to my audience and a huge audience that should supply. And she WOULD NOT STOP working with me until I had generated 10k in sales. Big red flag here.
I was Sucked in by the Promises
I was totally sucked in, as was another friend who had the same introduction call on the same day. Yet another tactic from the scammer to ensure that we both encouraged each other to sign up!
My decision was made and I committed to paying £2,500, a huge amount of money over to the scammer. But it was fine, right? She was going to do everything in her power to get me to £10k turnover so I was £7,500 in profit. Those were EXACTLY my thoughts. Scammers are so clever with the psychology and use of language to suck you in.
My Product that would make me a fortune!
My product was to be a course to teach other other bloggers how to monetise their blogs and make serious money. I already had the content as I had written a book the previous year called Blogging Your Way to Riches. First red flag should have raised there, why release a course when people could already consume the content by buying a book for £15!
The course was to last eight weeks with content released each week, along with a private Facebook group and live webinars every week to talk through the content and answer any questions from the community of people who signed up to the course.
The scammer set up the course, as in a very simple process of creating some password protection pages on my website to release the content each week. Content that I had already written.
The price of the course was set at beta price of, wait for it, 50% off, £250. I want to hang my head in shame. She had convinced me that my content was worth this huge amount of money and that I could sell it my community easily. I have always been so against expensive online courses and I ignored my gut feeling and agreed to do it.
SO Much work to Generate very few sales
I then had to put in SOOOO much work to generate leads and sales. I did everything I could, freebie webinars, private DMs, emails, Facebook Lives, YouTube promotion, Facebook ads. (Basically annoying the f@@@ out of many people)
The balance of work here was out. I was doing all of the work to generate sales, yet I had paid her £2,500.
The Beta Course Launched
I managed to sell 2 courses, after I estimate around 20 hours worth of promotional work. The beta course happened with a small group of bloggers, including a few freebie members, and I hated every minute of it.
The most uncomfortable thing about it was that my gut was always telling me it was wrong. I was talking advantage of people by charging them a large amount of money to access my information. But she convinced me to ignore my gut and that it was totally acceptable to charge £250 to access my commercial information (or £500 full price!).
And then she disappeared
The beta course ended and I had made around £350 in sales (after fees and a subsequent part refund). I was still at a loss of £2,150. And then she disappeared. Literally no messages were replied to, no phone call answered, no emails. She disappeared off the face of the earth. So much for the 10k ‘guarantee’.
A big lesson learnt
I learnt a huge lesson here. Listen to the sales patter and really think about it. Is the sales person playing to your insecurities, to your weaknesses? Are they trying their hardest to make you like them.
Do they have proven results with people you know and who you can talk to? Google them, are there any negative reviews/stories about them online. (I didn’t check for either of these).
If they promise the world, and it feels too good to be true, it probably is. And if they are making significant claims, get it written into a contract with refund dates if agreed targets are not met.
And most importantly listen to your gut, if that is telling you NO, then don’t do it! And the name of the scammer, Kerrie Rycroft. DO NOT GO NEAR HER.