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Posts Tagged ‘scam’

How to Discern a True #Free #Giveaway from a Scam on Social Media

May 30th, 2014 by Admin | No Comments | Filed in Brain & Perception, Inspirational Stuff, Social Media & Media

Call me old fashioned, but I hold that if something is promised or promoted then it should be free. When something is offered as free, then there is an implied promise that it is absolutely, free – not free if or free when or, one of my least favorites, “Buy one and get one free!”  That second item is not “free”, it may be a bonus, or the item can be honestly called, “two for the price of one”, but the second item really has a cost, as both items are half-priced.

Cost is not just about money. Your time can be more valuable than money. We live and breathe in time, not money. No one who is dying ever asks for, “Just one more dollar before I go.”

If you have to do something to get something then an exchange of goods and services has taken place. On social media,and especially now popular on Twitter, under the hashtags of #giveway or #free there are many scams. People are frequently asked to ReTweet (RT) a tweet about a “giveaway” or “free” item in order to qualify for that item. Sometimes this is just for the chance to win an item. This is a scam, not a giveaway. The item is only offered in trade for the service of a RT.  Thus the item is earned. It may seem worth a RT for the opportunity to gain the item, but even so, it is a scam. Even if you get the item, the original offer is inherently a lie and hence a scam. Do you want to participate or encourage others to participate in that?

Giving away bonuses is wonderful. I like to give and get bonuses –but a bonus is not a free gift if it is given only if one buys or does something. It is a bonus. Who does not appreciate a good bonus?! Also, who turns down a good twofer, as in two for the price of one? Yet call a twofer “Buy one get one free”, and there is a lie concealed in what could be a good offer.

Perks, rewards and bonuses can all be legitimate and very good deals. These are used with great success via crowd funding sites. I am about to launch my a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo and have prepared what I considered to be great perks, fantastic opportunities of art, recognition and fun to reward contributors who help me change the world with a brand new vision.  On crowd funding sites it is made very clear that there is an exchange made, everything is stated and the terms as clear.

Elsewhere, on blogs, and in books and training programs that unsuspecting people buy, marketers are busily teaching otherwise honest people how to scam in ways that at first seem legitimate. One idea is to give something digital away for free in order to gain the prospect’s email. This is called “permission marketing”. A favorite thing to give away in order to get someone’s email is an e book. If the e book is offered in exchange for an email address the deal is not a scam. However if the e book of digital download is offered as free, and all one needs to do if give a email address so that it can be sent, the deal is a scam and a lie, even if the item is a good one.

It is now easy to freely giveaway a free ebook without asking the recipient for their email address. If a person wants one of my free e books, it is as easy as clicking on a link. Then another window opens and the PDF, or zipped EPub or Kindle file is there to immediately download. This may be considered awful marketing by some marketers; yet, when I say my prayers my conscience is clear in relation to my free ebook giveaway. You can see my method in action, and even download a free e book in the format of your choice at Just click on a link for your preferred format for e books and watch how easy (and free) this instantaneous method is!

This blog was “inspired” by a tweet from an author who I had followed. He is a new author and who has self-published a kind of self-help or inspirational type of book, which I thought looked interesting. Instead of immediately following me back, he sent me a tweet that said,” Thanks, by following, my e-book “XXXXX” is yours for free. Simply RT to confirm.” Those X’s are where the title of his book was. Now he follows me back. I am glad because he did us all a favor with that tweet, because I truly do not think this person realizes he is involved in a marketing scam. His other stuff is on the up and up, and rather true blue. This is why I am not using his Twitter ID or book’s title to “out” him.

Essentially he wanted me to advertise with a RT for him, which is a form of sponsored tweet since I would be paid with his book. Even sadder is that strongly doubt this author thought up his scheme all by himself. He was taught this dishonest but clever marketing method by a “marketing authority.” He just did not think the ramifications through. There are many other really good people, often creative people who are not business types such as authors or artists who have fallen prey to bad advice from so-called marketing gurus.

Perhaps, my mailing list grows and has people opening my mail because the only place I ask for their email address in exchange for something is for my e-newsletter or the times I have given a free webinar as I need to send information such as phone numbers, links and codes to participants. There is no way to send an email or e-newsletter without an address.  Earlier on, when the Internet was younger, people needed email addresses in order to attach digital downloads.  This remains a good method for sending paid for digital woks. Yet for e books or other “free” information email addresses are no longer needed.

People are smart. If they get good value and benefit they will come back for more. If you are a member of my list, you know, I do not bombard members with email, but do send news and sometimes freebies or special discounts. Time is valuable.

Having a cleaned conscious may not seem worth making a sale to some people, but there is another compelling reason that when a potential customer or customer is offered a freebie, that it needs to be actually free: trust. Every great and successful brand is trusted. Trust is never really free but it cannot be bought –only earned over time. It goes back to the golden rule, which is the best marketing advice ever: do onto others as you would have them do onto you.

Currently, and running through an upcoming crowd funding campaign, the popular e book is available absolutely for free. If you are reading this prior to the beginning of the campaign, check the top right column on this page for a link to the e book in various formats for the Kindle, iPad and other readers, including PDF, which works universally. Get the book this inspiring book can help change the way you actually see the world, through a revolutionary, new Bible based art, and this may be a fulfillment of  prophecy for the end times. Is this for real? See for yourself. Get the book — it is really for free, no stings, or emails requested.

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How to Really Gain Free Followers on Twitter

June 11th, 2010 by Admin | 9 Comments | Filed in Social Media & Media

Most people on Twitter want more followers. Followers are the people we communicate to or with and no one wants to talk to a blank wall.

There are good ways and scams, or unsuccessful ways to gain followers, even quickly. Unfortunately good people, especially those new to Twitter fall for the scams.

Like an adolescent experiencing a sudden acne breakout, Twitter goes through eruptions of Tweets that promise more Twitter followers.

Some of these “Free Followers”  sites seem to advise their customers to follow people like me — who follow back –and then once we do follow back to unfollow us immediately.  What these sites fail to tell their customers is that this behavior will only result in their being unfollowed, resulting in a loss of time and effort. Plus, some of us in the follow back group are now only following back people who do not have some version of the free followers message in their Twitter stream, as these people do not want a Twitter relationship or experience, just a notch in their belt. Who wants to be part of the body count?

These followers can come at a cost or be free, except that one must tweet the ads of the site that promises these followers.

What’s the Catch?

There are several catches to these schemes. How many catches varies by site and the reason(s) why a person who subscribes to the site wants followers in the first place.

Let’s assume that you want more people to follow you as this will give you a larger group of people to share your ideas and products to. Assuming that you have ideas worth sharing that people do and will benefit from this is a good goal. The people with the most followers on Twitter, including celebrities make it interesting and even fun for people to follow them.

This goal means that you want real, live and active followers. It is impossible to rally share with a robot, spammer or fake twitter account, because no one is reading Tweets.

Many of the schemes that promise Twitter followers involve fake or faux followers. These are accounts that are set up by one person or a group that exist for the purpose of following and spamming people with sales messages for products that they promote via tweets that are paid advertisements or affiliate sales messages. A site can promise you 100+ of these followers since all of these Twitter ID’s actually are set up, owned and run by the creator of the site. This may enhance one’s follower count, but will quickly downgrade your Twitter experience as these fake accounts spam you.

Another Scam that Can End Up With Great Results for All

Other sites and schemes offer lists of people who follow back. These reciprocal followers are also called Mutuals. The idea is that since Mutuals reciprocate and follow back, by following them one quickly gains followers.

I am well known as a Mutual who follows back. My Twitter ID, @judyrey is on most of these lists. If you think following people who follow you back works for you – and basically I highly recommend it—then this will work as a way to meet some interesting and often interactive Twitter people. Beware that some of these site also include spammer accounts that are setup to follow back but basically belong in the robot group mentioned above.

When a Twitter member follows me, or someone else who generally reciprocates with a follow, we both get a new follower who can become a friend and ally over time. An initial follow is a “Hello!”, not really a great commitment as anyone can easily unfollow.

The scam part happens when people follow a mutual with the mistaken idea that they will soon unfollow and somehow keep their new follower. This is a kind of bait and switch scam.

I do not know of any Twitter Mutuals who do not eventually unfollow people who unfollow them. Many unfollow and even block these scammers– and if they are spammers report them to @spam.

Along the line of Mutuals there are sites where a person can sign up to follow the people listed on the site and then become listed on the site oneself. This is not actual reciprocity of following but reciprocity of the number of people one follows from the site.

Since Twitter is a free site and service many people join, follow people and then disappear for days, months or even forever without closing their accounts. If these people have set their accounts to automatically follow back they can end up making the follow back lists and sites as Mutuals.


If you are really interested in live people with active accounts then always look to see the date or time of a person’s last Tweet before you follow initiate a follow. By only initiating follows for people who have tweeted within the past day strengthens your odds of relating to an active Twitter account. Of course, the content of what the person Tweeted is also a factor in selecting people to follow.

Real Live Followers are Not Slaves

No one can give real live people to you as followers, nor can you buy them. This idea is nonsense unless slavery exists.

Of course, I suppose people could be paid to follow other people, but who hires an audience? Why would you want this?

Actual followers—people who want to see your Tweets and follow your links to articles and images — are real people just like you. And, just like you they deserve to be treated politely with respect. Probably, like you, they are worth the time to follow and to some degree get to know.

The best and easiest way to gain more followers is to reach out and follow people. Since you can always unfollow anyone, there is no risk to this. However, you probably want to change your settings so people only sent those thank you’s for the follow to your Direct Messages (DMs) and not your email also.

Use and lists to discover interesting people to follow. If you follow people you especially like check out their lists to find interesting people to follow. Also follow people they recommend on Follow Friday. Many of these people will follow you back.

Perhaps my best piece of advice regarding gaining more followers, is to be your true self—the person you intrinsically are “meant” to be. Be authentic.

If you make a mistake, acknowledge it (I call myself the Tpyo Queen), but move on. Do not try to please others to gain followers.

As an artist I basically deal with art and inspiration, but verge off to other things that interest me, including social media, resulting in this blog. Tweet about what interest you, what you want to share to encourage, entertain, inform, inspire or even enlighten your followers. Some of this will be ReTweeted (RT) and will also gain you followers.

The Best Real Free Followers

The best real free followers are the people who actually read your Tweets and benefit from following you. This can involve interaction, but not always.

I am the kind of follower I would like most to have. I guess this is sort of a way to do onto others…As a follower, I lurk my Twitter stream, do read and follow links, but may not RT or comment on everyone I find that benefits or interests me. I RT based on whether the information will benefit my followers, not based on whether it will benefit the person who originated the tweet. However, except for news sources, I tend to basically RT the people who follow me.

Followers like me are free to gain. These followers are free to come, free to go, free to stay, interact and become friends. These are the best free followers.

Some people believe that having more people follow them than they follow somehow proves they are important. I figure that since I am interesting, and an artist founding a 21st Century theory of Post Conceptual Art, anyone who finds me interesting is probably pretty smart and interesting—thus someone I could learn from so I remain relevant and interesting myself. I am much happier swimming freely, even among bigger fish in an ocean, than being the biggest minnow in a teacup.

Happy, safe and fulfilling tweeting!
* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.

Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

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