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Facebook copywriter scams innocent business owner

Got a cautionary tale for ya today, particularly if you use Facebook (or Flakebook as Ben Settle has called it for so many years without me truly understanding what he meant). 


Checky:


I was scrolling on Facebook the other day (besides using it for “market research” for a couple of my clients with popular Facebook groups, I only use Facebook to keep in touch with—aka share memes with—some of my friends) when I saw something I’ve been warning you about with my own two eyes:


In the god-awful, bottom of the barrel Nothing Held Back Job Board group, I saw an innocent business owner (who will stay nameless to protect her innocence) get robbed in broad daylight!


Okay, maybe it wasn’t broad daylight (is there a “daylight” online?), but she did get robbed of, well, only $49. 


So mayhap she ain’t as innocent as she seems… getting “high-quality” copy for only $49 is the first major red flag. 


Anyway, here’s what happened:


Biz owner (BO from henceforth!) hired the copywriter after seeing an obviously templated “pitch” on his private profile. 


The templated “pitch” had a dumbass headline that screams scam: “my wife didn't let me start an onlyfans, so now I'm selling my words”


(Ugh, first, the chances this scam artist has a wife is zero. Second, why would you hire someone starting off a Facebook sales letter like this? She gets less and less innocent as I dive deeper into the story to write this email… yeesh.) 


And apparently, the scam artist quoted BO for $49 for a one-off project. 


(I mean… at least she didn’t think she’d be getting tons of copy written for only $49.) 


And then, his scam artist ass got cooking… 


On Wednesday May 1st at 3:18 pm, he told BO:


“I’ll have something for you later today to look at.” 


On May 3rd, after a sudden (and fake) family emergency—the absolute scummiest excuse you could ever make—the scam artist updated her with this:


“Had to take a family member to the hospital on Wed (my note: which was May 1st… if he actually did this, then, well, he would’ve told her on May 1st) and was dealing with that for the past 2 days but everything is fine. I’ll make sure everything is over to you tonight. I’m in EST, most of it is done just need to put it all together” 


(Oh, so your fake family emergency only cost you two work days? What a hero!)


Then a few days go by with BO replying to their Facebook DMs daily. 


On May 5th, the scammer replies with:


“It’s hard to tell because we are waiting for some results but im finishing yours up now.” 


(This family emergency shit is obviously a lie…) 


Then a couple more days go by with her repeatedly asking him if she could see what he’s been working on at least. 


On May 7th, he responds with this:


“Yup I will have it today guaranteed” 


Guess what?


He didn’t send over his copy on May 7th. 


On May 8th, he gave another bullshyt update: Saying that he cut a lot out, added new stuff in, and how he just needs to do a “quick structure read through” and then he’ll send it over.


(Oh really, you cut stuff from a Google Doc that never existed? Tell me more!) 


Then, on May 9th (after BO asking repeatedly for a date when it’d be done throughout this entire conversation), he says this:


“It’s coming soon I got you dont worry. and for the delays ill even do revisions until we hit goals you need” 


That was the last time he responded. 


On May 20th, more than two weeks after he said “I’ll have it done today,” she posted their exchange in the group—and many members of this group had had run-ins with this scammer before. 


Fake profile. 


Fake copy. 


Fake DMs. 


She had already realized she had been scammed when she posted. But all the comments underneath her post made this assumption crystal clear. 


Moral of the story? 


Don’t hire a copywriter on Facebook. 


There’s a good chance it’s a complete scam. 


And if it’s not? 


Then, well, the end result will probably be from someone who uses “copies” to refer to copy (which works in the singular and the plural and is pretty obvious if English is ye first language) where it’s more likely they actually damage your brand (more on this tomorrow…) than generate any kind of cheddar. 


Also… 


The BO ain’t so innocent as I thought. (I saw this last night before bed, and sent a link to it so I could write about it today.) 


She ignored several red flags. 


She believed that he would honor his request (despite the red flags, the fake profile, the fake family emergency). 


But did she deserve to get scammed? 


No. 


She deserved to get what she paid for: $49 for any type of copywriting work ain’t gonna be good. 


But tis a valuable lesson for everyone reading this. 


Anywho:


Don’t want to even worry about getting scammed by the next “hired gun” for your copy? 


Hit reply. 


I’ve been in this business for more than four and a half years. If I was a scam artist, I wouldn’t have lasted. 


(And that’s even more true for the results I generate for my clients.) 


John

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