Andwriting.com & RealWritingJobs.com: New Spam & Scam Writing Sites

It started last week on my Twitter account, when I started receiving multiple follow requests in my email, all from people structuring their user name like this: First_Initial_Last. Every one of them had the same profession too: talent scout, writer, twitter enthusiast. Some of them had bitly links, to disguise that it was AndWriting dot com, others didn’t, and some forward to RealWritingJobs.com, through affiliate links or domain redirects. They typically have real-looking pictures on the profiles.

WHAT DO THEY DO ON TWITTER?

You can recognize them easily enough if you simply look at their feed and profile page on Twitter. They don’t post anything of substance. Every link they post goes to their website, andwriting.com and then on to realwritingjobs.com, and they purposely @reply to specific people, particularly those with #writing hashtags anywhere on their profile, hoping others will RT them for having done so, without looking at the fact they’re a scam. Sadly, it’s working on some people, since I can see many, many retweets and some of these scam accounts have 300-800 followers on them.

Folks, don’t be so desperate for followers to RT and follow unknown folks or sites. Always check them out first! It will hurt you more than it helps if you don’t. ALWAYS check them out before you give them your implied consent in a ‘follow’ on Twitter.

ANDWRITING.COM and RealWritingjobs.com ARE NASTY, SCAM and SPAM SITES

To Twitter’s credit, they are shutting them all down, every fake profile page, usually within three or four days. I was upset with Twitter that it was taking so long at first, until I did some research and discovered: When a Google search was done for the Twitter site plus andwriting.com, the results included 56,600 returns, and the majority of them appear to be spam/scam accounts. A few were ReTweets others who didn’t know better or perhaps some who did, who had retweeted these scammers. Twitter is doing a fantastic job shutting them down, and this morning, they had four new ones suspended within an hour of them @ing me.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH ANDWRITING.COM & REALWRITINGJOBS.COM?

Never since FreelanceHomeWriters have I seen a freelance writing scam so prolific and infiltrating as this one. It’s not just Twitter, as I’m starting to see them pop up on Facebook too. They are absolutely using bots to do this. So that’s the first strike against them. But I went to their site and started looking around, just like I did with FreelanceHomeWriters. You can read my experiment with FreelanceHomeWriters on the forum here: FHW is a SCAM.

Andwriting.com AND realwritingjobs.com are pretty much identical to FreelanceHomeWriters, and I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to learn they were the same people. They claim to have a large database of writing jobs, you choose from them, and you make big bucks writing from home, and they claim you don’t even need any experience. They advertise in big, bold and flashing words and numbers that you can earn hundreds and thousands of dollars, $100-500 per article and $50-500 per blog post, etc.

ANDWRITING.COM & REALWRITINGJOBS.COM EARNING POTENTIAL DISCLAIMER

That’s all well and good, since if you read the ‘earnings disclaimer’ in the very fine print at the very bottom of only one page on the site, you find this quote: (the entire disclaimer is in all caps, a trick used by marketers because all caps is harder to read and retain information, seriously… look it up!) “THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL EARN ANY MONEY USING THE TECHNIQUES AND IDEAS IN THESE MATERIALS.” Even though the front page says there’s a money-back guarantee!

And this: “ANY CLAIMS MADE OF ACTUAL EARNINGS OR EXAMPLES OF ACTUAL RESULTS ARE NOT TYPICAL.” I purport that they aren’t true too. Oh, wait, they admit it here: “YOU CAN IDENTIFY THESE STATEMENTS BY THE FACT THAT THEY DO NOT RELATE STRICTLY TO HISTORICAL OR CURRENT FACTS.” Okay, so it’s taken out of context, but yeah. And then this: “NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE ANY RESULTS FROM OUR IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES IN OUR MATERIAL”

Let’s not even talk about the grammatical mistakes that I found on that page alone.

Moving on.

ANDWRITING.COM AND REALWRITINGJOBS.COM SCAM FAQS:

On the main page, it doesn’t make it clear that they don’t pay you. The FAQs make it very clear that you basically freelance, submit to places that accept submissions, bid on things, etc, and are paid by the third party. So what exactly is this place for?

Hurry, only a limited amount of people will be accepted!

That phrase up there just… is laughable. ANYONE who wants to join can, as long as they are willing to cough up the initial $4.95, while they put a ‘hold’ on an additional $77, which they charge out on the 8th day after you sign up. You MUST give your credit card information to them. If you’re one of those who doesn’t believe me and have to try this yourself, PLEASE go buy one of the disposable re-chargable VISA cards and use it to try out the site, not your real credit or debit card. Trust me, you won’t get your money back, regardless of what they claim.

How do I know? 56,600 results in Twitter by the bots that spammed for this site told me so.

WHAT DOES REALWRITINGJOBS.COM & ANDWRITING.COM DO?

It’s a good question. What do these scam sites do in order to warrant the money they charge? They use a computerized bot method of scouring the internet for job postings about writing. Those computerized and not always appropriate postings are then posted on the forum of the site, available only to members, for people to choose from. This means you are competing with every other sucker out there who paid to look at that forum too, and it also means you paid to find things you could find yourself for free, such as craigslist postings, and I’ve been told there are even posts from my forum where I post paying writing leads for free.

Also, many of the posts inside that forum are affiliate link posts to other scams like theirs. Also, some of the affiliate links are legitimate – for example, they are an affiliate of Examiner.com, and they get paid $5 for every person who signs up under their link. The majority of the posts in the forum are for $5 or cheaper articles. The very few high-dollar writing leads they offer aren’t leads anyone with an ‘eighth grade education’ can write, like technical, medical, or other category-specific writing. The ‘Eight Grade Education’ line comes from their own FAQs, where they say anyone with an eight grade education can find and write for places they keep a database on.

AFFILIATE PROGRAM:

They also run an affiliate program, which means every internet marketer, get rich quicker, and scammer and spammer out there is able to sign up and promote their site for them. For legitimate products, services and websites, affiliate marketing is amazing! It lets the power of numbers come together and promote your website or product or service, while sharing some of the revenue with those who helped promote it. It’s a win/win/win situation.

When it’s a scam site, though, usually they entice the affiliate marketers with the same scam-like, high-pitched promotion. In this instance, they say to their potential affiliates:”Earn up to $56.10 for every person that you get to join our $4.95 3 day trial to RealWritingJobs.com”

Notice, it says ‘up to’. I’m not sure what has to happen to get that high, but I guarantee they wouldn’t be making any money if they gave away that much more than they earned. Even if they shared with them $56.10 from the $77 bucks, that’s making less for them than the affiliate. No way they are paying that out.

WHY ARE ANDWRITING.COM AND REALWRITINGJOBS.COM SPAMMERS?

Well, other than the 56,600 results for the Twtter accounts that have spammed (though again, great job Twitter on closing them down!) I refer you to their affiliate program where it says: “We use follow up emails to increase sales ratio – If they don’t join the first time, we’ll try to get them to join a 2nd, 3rd etc so you still make money!”

So they are assuring they will spam you over and over again, until they get that sale. But I didn’t take that as gospel. I signed up with a throw-away email, a brand new one that had just been created. I used it ONLY for their site, one time, to ‘get more information’. By the end of two days’ time, I had over 78 emails in the in box, and a few in the spam box. How could that many spammers have found me already on a brand new email address used for nothing but testing this site unless this site is selling my email to people? They’ll do the same with yours if you give it to them. They make money off of you that way too.

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:

Our Postal Address:
World Survey Group, LLC

Huh. I wonder if I mailed something there, would they receive it? Survey group? You mean, gasp, they aren’t a site for freelance writers? What do you want to bet, you get spammed with survey requests too, and on your home phone, since you have to give them your number. But who is World Survey Group, LLC? No idea. They have no website as far as I can tell, but Indeed.com sure has a lot about them that says nothing about nothing.

TO BE FAIR TO ANDWRITING.COM

ANDWRITING.com is a domain owned by:

Registrant:
Thad Beck
po box 442343
Lawrence, Kansas 66049
United States

That information is publicly available and it is a domain registered with GoDaddy. The REALWRITINGJOBS.COM has a private domain, ‘hidden’ through Moniker, out of Florida, but I would venture to guess these folks might not even be US based, and are using Moniker to make it look like they are. Guess they are ashamed to put their name on their product (always a tip off for me to scammers). Thad may or may not be a real person. If he is, chances are he’s only an affiliate marketer with a redirect domain for his affiliate marketing account.

I do not know if it’s Thad’s account or RWJ’s account that was bot-spamming Twitter, but they are in bed together, so I blame them both.

So, I threw around the word ‘scam’ a lot here, and I know many of you will wonder if they are truly a scam. Maybe, maybe not. I mean, they DO provide leads to writing jobs, even if the people who did the work to find and post those jobs get no credit for it and a computer/spider did all their work. They are getting something for nothing. Sad.

Therefore, in the truest sense of the word, this website itself is not a scam, but the techniques being used to promote the website are scam-ish and they are most definitely spammers.

DO NOT give these people your credit card number, a good email address (’cause it won’t stay good for long), or any of your hard earned cash. EVERYTHING they provide is found on the internet for free, because that’s WHERE they got it.

ARE THERE REAL PLACES TO FIND WRITING JOB?

If you found this blog because you’d like to find real places to get paid writing leads, you want to work from home, and you don’t know where to look… I manage a writing forum for writers of all levels, from beginners who are just learning the ropes to those who have already ventured into the field. I personally verify that all the jobs are legitimate by talking to writers who have been paid by the publisher/publication or by talking to the editor to verify they are current and accepting queries or submissions. Some pay as little as 2-5 bucks per short article or blog post and some pay as much as $2 per word (though do require experience and skill as a writer.)

You can find the PAYING WRITING LEADS FORUM here. It’s completely free. You don’t even have to sign up to see the links. They are separated into Fiction & Creative Writing leads and Nonfiction Writing Leads.

If you have any questions, let me know! Otherwise, happy writing!

Love and stuff,
Michy