Zeus: Hello Admin! Nice of you to join me for a chat. What can I call you, surely Admin is bit too impersonal?
Admin: Hi Zeus 🙂 I go by many names, but you can call me Xena.
Zeus: Xena as in Warrior Princess Xena??? 😀
Xena: Indeed. I identify with her. She fights for the injustice and defends the weak.
Zeus: Heh, she is also sexy and fearless warrior. Sounds like you indeed. BTW just to make things clear to the audience, Xena and me, Zeus, know each other in real life. Infact we used to work together and also hosted a website for a while.
Xena: Yes indeed. Good old times 🙂 I mean you carry a pretty bold pseudonym yourself 😉
Zeus: It never hurts to have confidence, right? *laughter* So Xena, tell the readers little bit about yourself. What do you do for living? Where do you live? Where are you from?
Xena: *mumbles* Same old, same old *sighs* run my own IT based consultancy company with around 50 employees. We specialize in security and problem analyzing. I’m a nomad with no real place I call home. Currently I am constantly on the move between the largest European cities. I am a mixed nationalities word citizen, who has lived in 12 different countries.
Zeus: Sounds like the Xena I know and admire. 🙂 Always on the move looking for new challenges. You used to run a very successful blog, which name I have agreed not to mention here, with a large following about scams on the Internet and then you suddenly deleted the blog and disappeared. Can you tell me something about your reasons behind this and now starting out with a brand new blog? Why did you chose a written blog? Most people are doing video blogs nowadays 😉
Xena: Running a successful blog is hard work as you know as well. Running a blog about online scams is even harder as besides the investigations, which take their own time, there is also the creative writing itself.
You also get constantly bombarded with trolling, questions, request for making a review of a certain program and requests for helping people to get a refund. You get constantly contacted by admins running scam sites and wanting to pay for a glowing review or marking them as paying and legit. Your server is a constant hacking and DDOS target and you must endure all sorts of threats.
Things kinda got out of hand, I got exhausted and needed a break. I used my energy elsewhere and got my life back in balance.
What comes to me choosing written format, I simply prefer this medium for tree reasons. Firstly I hate video blogs myself, it takes so long time to get to the point. I find skipping back and forward in a video to find the bits your are interested in very frustrating! Secondly I believe there is still place on the Internet for written content, not everyone has high speed access which watching the HD videos that Youtube is full of today requires.
Last of my reasons is the fact that it’s easier to stay somewhat anonymous with a written blog, which is rather important for a blog like this one, as opposite to a video blog that exposes you completely.
Zeus: Yeah, I know it can be tough and by the sounds of it you really got more than your share. What made you decide to get started again with a fresh blog? Surely things are not going to be that rosy either this time around?
Xena: True, but my life is on a different track right now. I sleep very little and spend most of my time browsing around on the Internet anyway, I might just as well use my time for something useful. This time around I am also going to make my own website, so I will not be dependent on any other rules than my own 😉
Besides many of my real life friends have gotten involved in one or more online scams and many have come to me for help in recovering their hard earned money from an obvious scam or asking my opinion about some online money making opportunity. I simply want to help people to invest their money wisely and I realized nobody took over the niche I left behind for honest reviews based properly executed investigations.
I mean don’t get me wrong, there are some honest review sites out there, but most of these admins don’t either have enough technical skills to perform an investigation or they are not willing to invest in the different program to gather enough proof for proper conclusions.
Zeus: Your blog has been truly missed indeed. Why do you think nobody else picked it up?
Xena: Too much work is my guess. My investigations were very thorough, lasting sometimes several weeks or in rare cases even months. I also reinvested most of the money I made with my blog into my investigations.
I wanted to be thorough and as you are aware sometimes there is a big difference if you invest 20USD or 1000USD into some money making scheme. The scam sites tend to want to keep the small investors happy, so they pay them in order to get loads of good reviews and proofs of payment.
Most sites also have a clause stating that the account can be frozen in case the member writes bad reviews about the website and I lost quit a few accounts due to the scam website discovering which member was behind the bad reviews. This means I rarely made more than 500USD per month on my blog and compared to the amount of work you have to put into it, it simply isn’t worth it financially. But hey, it paid for my monthly shoe shopping sprees.
Zeus: *glances longingly Xena’s sexy boots* You indeed made very little, I remember you complaining about it often enough 😉 Most people running scam exposure blogs or so called monitors make much more than that.
Xena: Most admins who are running those websites make their money by scamming their readers. They get paid big bugs by the scam websites for keeping them in business. Many people might start their blog with honest intentions, but money these sites invest in keeping the bad reviews out of sight and buried in tons of positive reviews.
I have been offered 100.000USD to change my review of a HYIP scam to a positive one. When I exposed the emails they sent me, I was threatened and hacked on several occasions before the site was finally shut down due to my investigation.
Zeus: You have managed to shut down scam sites based on your reviews? How exactly did you do this?
Xena: Several hundreds in fact! There are tree ways to accomplish this, I have used all as putting a scam site out of business is my ultimate goal. One is to starve these websites for new members. Once the new paying members stop joining, the revenue dies, the scam site is unable to make any payments and finally shuts down.
Second, much faster method is contacting the authorities in the country the company is registered in. Most countries have defrauding units and are very interested in throughout investigation. Many of the scam sites have no real company behind them, so using this method is not always possible.
Third and my absolute favorite method is to directly contact the site owner or admin, or sometimes just answer if they contact you first. I engage into conversation and let them know who I am and that I’m on to them. Some get scared, others actually start feeling remorse. I just used this method to shut down a new scam site before it even got properly started.
Zeus: Interesting! Tell me what happened exactly?
Xena: Well, this HYIP site contacted me with very bad English and asked me if I was interested in investing. I took a look and realized the site in question was brand new, had no company behind it and used payout proofs from an other site. It didn’t even had any video reviews yet, only few written testimonials and their address was placed in London, in the very same building than an other well known scam website had their virtual office.
I wrote to the owner, laid out the facts, told him I had a pretty good idea of his identity. He realized instantly offered me an admin position with 20% of the revenue. I responded with decline and told him to think twice what he was doing. He didn’t answer to me, but few days later the website was gone. I have been scanning the web since in case he just changed the domain name, but found nothing so far. So maybe he either got scared or grew a conscience? I don’t actually care either way, I just want him out of business.
Zeus: Well done, one scam site less! Tell me, do people recover their money once the site is shut down?
Xena: Unfortunately very rarely, although it happens sometimes! In most cases people loose all or most that they have invested in these sites. But at least it prevents others from loosing their savings!
Zeus: Why do you think people keep on investing in these scam websites? They should know better for now.
Xena: Indeed. However easy money will always have it’s attraction. Make no mistake, some of the people who invest in these scam websites do get paid. They have to establish their reputation for payouts, so many of the initial people who invest small amounts will get paid with the high interest, at first.
Some people are aware of this and know exactly what they are doing. They gamble only the amounts of money they can loose and I couldn’t care less about them. Others are not so fortunate and actually believe the glowing reviews and get blinded by the possibility of paying of their credit card debts, going for a luxurious holiday or putting some money aside. These are the people I want to protect. I want them to understand that there is no such thing as free money and only invest in real opportunities.
Zeus: What is your favourite affiliate program at the moment? Which investment would you recommend?
Xena: I like the Wealthy Affiliate University, a training platform for online marketing and promote it actively at the moment. I also really like the Recyclix program. It’s an amazing investment opportunity in plastic waste rather than true affiliate program although you get a percentage for direct referrals. I have written reviews of both on my blog. There are couple of crypto currency and an add click program that I am currently evaluating, but I am still undecided. Those articles are no doubt going to give me enemies *smirks*
Zeus: Thank you very much for your time Xena and for the fantastic Spanish red wine we shared during this interview. You have taken on quite a challenge starting all over again, but I have no doubt that you will make it! I will get the interview in written form by the end of the week.
Xena: You are very welcome. Hey! Who said I will pay for the wine and all the cheese you ate? You invited me out for this interview, remember? Anyway, I made you an author of ScamsExposer, so you are welcome to contribute at any time mate.
Zeus: Heh, thnx sheila, I won’t make you regret that, promiss. I’ll pay as always, just because I’m a gentleman. I am sure by publishing this interview in my blog, I will make more than enough to cover all the wine we consumed tonight, your name still carries a punch. Please write me a guest blog sometime soon. I could use the extra traffic *grins*
Xena: *waves the waiter* Can we have some more Rioja please?