Focal Curve

Prospect Performance Scam Update

Note: This update refers to a previous post, Cheesy TV Ads are an Elaborate Privacy Scam.

A scant two days after revealing the dirty dealings behind the “work at home” ads, a privacy policy was added to the xcareer/xmoney/xwhatever-else websites. The timing of this is curious, as my post was quickly indexed by Google and I immediately started seeing search engine traffic from people looking for more information on Prospect Performance and Guerra Communications, LLC. I’m not sure if the late addition of a privacy policy was in direct response to my post, but you gotta wonder.

The policy is hosted at removalprocess.com, and there’s a bit of scripting to dynamically insert the name of the referring domain, just to maintain the illusion that they’re all distinct websites. And to the credit of Mr. Guerra, the policy does clearly and emphatically indicate that your personal information will be shared willy-nilly with third parties. Still a sleazy business, but at least he’s up front about it now.

12 Comments on 'Prospect Performance Scam Update'

  1. DB said:

    heh, not many people would bother to read the policy and better yet, understand what it’s trying to say. The text is sugarcoated, but they WILL share out your personal info.

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  2. Robert Cerny, Esq. said:

    I like Prospect Performance and the service they provide. I’ve made a great deal of money with this firm.

    Your character assasination of Prospect Performance as “sleazy” is ill-informed, perjorative and possibly libelous.

    However, you are very right to point out that full disclosure is a fair business practice.

    Listen, there is no oversight of the business opportunity space, except for self-regulation.

    You might consider that Prospect Performance listens very closely to it’s customer base and critics. For me, Prospect Performance offers a free service that introduces me to a few highly qualified home-based business opportunities. It’s orderly and targeted. Remember, I have voluntarily opted into this service.

    Please do not deny me this information or keep me from making as much money as I wish. That would be anti-capitalist and un-American.

    But again, thank you for helping make the business opportunity field more scrupulous and ProspectPerformance and even better opportunity.

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  3. Craig said:

    Please don’t feed the trolls.

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  4. Cindi said:

    Here is what the FTC has to say about this kind of thing:

    http://www.adobe.com Download Printable PDF

    Franchise and Business Opportunities

    Want to be your own boss? A franchise or business opportunity may sound appealing, especially if you have limited resources or business experience. However, you could lose a significant amount of money if you don’t investigate a business carefully before you buy. The Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule requires franchise and business opportunity sellers to give you specific information to help you make an informed decision.

    Use the FTC Rule
    A franchise or business opportunity seller must give you a detailed disclosure document at least 10 business days before you pay any money or legally commit yourself to a purchase. You can use these disclosures to compare a particular business with others you may be considering or simply for information. The disclosure document includes:

    names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least 10 previous purchasers who live closest to you;

    a fully audited financial statement of the seller;

    background and experience of the business’ key executives;

    cost of starting and maintaining the business; and

    the responsibilities you and the seller will have to each other once you’ve invested in the opportunity.

    If the seller doesn’t give you a disclosure document, ask why. Verify the explanation with an attorney, a business advisor or the FTC by calling its toll-free helpline at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Even if the business is not legally required to provide a disclosure document, you still may want one for your own information.

    Get All the Facts
    Before you buy a business:

    Study the disclosure document and proposed contract carefully.

    Interview current owners in person. (They should be listed in the disclosure document.) Visiting them in person may help you identify any that are “shills”-people paid to give favorable reports. Don’t rely on a list of references selected by the company because it may contain shills. Ask owners and operators how the information in the disclosure document matches their experiences with the company.

    Investigate claims about your potential earnings. Some companies may claim that you’ll earn a certain income or that existing franchisees or business opportunity purchasers earn a certain amount. Companies making earnings representations must provide you with the written basis for their claims. Be suspicious of any company that does not show you in writing how it computed its earnings claims.

    Sellers also must tell you in writing the number and percentage of owners who have done as well as they claim you will. Keep in mind that broad sales claims about successful areas of business-“Be a part of our $4 billion industry,” for example-may have no bearing on your likelihood of success. Also, recognize that once you buy the business, you may be competing with franchise owners or independent business people with more experience than you.

    Shop around. Compare franchises with other business opportunities. Some companies may offer benefits not available from the first company you considered. The Franchise Opportunities Handbook, published annually by the U.S. Department of Commerce, describes more than 1,400 companies that offer franchises. Contact those that interest you. Request their disclosure documents and compare their offerings.

    Listen carefully to the sales presentation. Some sales tactics should signal caution. For example, if you are pressured to sign immediately “because prices will go up tomorrow,” or “another buyer wants this deal,” slow down. A seller with a good offer doesn’t use high-pressure tactics. Under the FTC rule, the seller must wait at least 10 business days after giving you the required documents before accepting your money or signature on an agreement. Be wary if the salesperson makes the job sound too easy. The thought of “easy money” may be appealing, but success generally requires hard work.

    Get the seller’s promises in writing. Any oral promises you get from a salesperson should be written into the contract you sign. If the salesperson says one thing but the contract says nothing about it or says something different, it’s the contract that counts. If a seller balks at putting oral promises in writing, be alert to potential problems and consider doing business with another firm.

    Consider getting professional advice. Ask a lawyer, accountant or business advisor to read the disclosure document and proposed contract. The money and time you spend on professional assistance, and research-such as phone calls to current owners-could save you from a bad investment decision.

    Where to Complain

    The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, visit http://www.ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION FOR THE CONSUMER
    1-877-FTC-HELP http://www.ftc.gov

    March 2000

    http://www.ftc.gov/donotcall http://www.consumer.gov/idtheft http://www.ftc.gov/spam

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  5. Terry said:

    I am an independent representative of one of the largest network marketing companies in the United States. In the course of my business I make use of “leads services”. I firmly believe that they provide a bona fide service to network marketers. I do not know the complete details of guerra communications or those companies to which they sell their names, but casting the entire industry as villians because of one potential bad apple is akin to throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water.

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  6. Big Al said:

    Hours of research by these dummies and they still do not see it is legal to advertise a 50 year old industry. Why are they so concerned over what people do anyway? It is not for some grand reason. They are on the short end of the stick, and will NEVER try to get any further than the murky dark and cold of seeing things that others are doing as not worth the time, or even more ridiculous and being somehow illegal. They would prefer the government to control what we all think and do and just go to our jobs and be happy.

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  7. Big Al said:

    Good luck.

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  8. Craig said:

    Allow me to briefly re-explain the business model of this whole thing:

    1) Buy tons of local cable airtime to hawk a website under a broad range of disposable domain names.
    2) Collect personally identifiable information from visitors to that website.
    3) Sell that personally identifiable information to whomever wants it, for whatever purpose, then wash your hands of the whole thing so you cannot be held accountable for how that information is used.

    Guerra is harvesting information from one group of suckers and selling it to another group of suckers. This is a sleazy business model. It may be legal, but it’s still sleazy. It may be an industry with a long history, but it’s still sleazy. It may be profitable, but it’s still sleazy. Starting to catch on yet? It’s sleazy.

    Terry, I never said anything about all “leads services” being sleazy, but I’ll say it now. Leads services are sleazy. It’s a sleazy industry. Network marketing is a sleazy industry. Pyramid schemes are sleazy. You are sleazy.

    Big Al, you’re also sleazy, and an ass. Thank you for trolling, have a nice day.

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  9. Big Al said:

    Ahaaaa, the name calling. Yes, losers do that. The reason for the many domains is that each one represents an individual person doing their own advertising. Yes, it is a dark sinister plot to take over the earth. Again, what does it matter to you. It is not “sleazy” it is just another way to do business. You don’t agree with it, so lets just ban it, and lets also get rid of the “sleazy” stock market. And lets get rid of “sleazy” lawyers…… The list could go on, and on and on.

    I grow sick of the cry baby internet wantabees that think they have power because they can actually complain on every little subject they want, whether the facts are correct, or even true. That is the sad truth of this kinda of junk accumulating into the 1000’s of useless pages info. If you are so sure of something, pick up a pen and write somebody with your concerns, or is that to much trouble for name callers and people who think they know everything.

    Bye the way, what is a troll. I know, another category you put people who disagree with you. I see. No thought’ just me me me I am right now leave me alone. Bye.

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  10. Craig said:

    Al, you’re still missing the point. Trafficking in personal information is not a reputable means of doing business. It is not respectable. You are not respectable. It’s not a plot to take over the world, it’s just a plot to victimize gullible people. It’s a scam. It’s a lie. It’s fucking sleazy and you cannot legitimize it with insults.

    Oh well, think what you will, it’s my own fault for feeding the trolls.

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  11. ME said:

    Your changing your tune. It is not respectable. That is a step up from “sleazy”. Soon we will all have the freedom to market, but lets get this straight.

    I have responded to those infomercials. I knew exactly what I was doing, and that info went to a person with a family, kids, and dreams just like everybody else in life. So no trafficking of info as you say. What does that term imply anyway. It sounds like you are relating it to drug traffiking which is a sly move to get your point across. Even if that was true, the utility companys, government, anyone you do business with is selling your info. It is not personal unless you are giving away your ss#. Just look in the phone book. You have all the names you need if you wanted.

    So call me names, your argument is not valid. What is a troll?
    And am I not feeding you? Lets not bother with details. Your right.
    Sorry to have feed you. My God Bless and have a wonderful life!

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  12. Craig said:

    Ok, last time. Al, I’m no longer accepting comments from you so you can stop trying. I let this last one slip through just to get my last word in before closing the thread. You’ll twist that around and convince yourself you won something I’m sure, but it’s my fucking website and I’m getting tired of this hostility. So here’s my final say.

    First, don’t try the “namecalling is for losers” crap when you’ve been slinging mud from your first post. Grow up, dickhead.

    “Sleazy” and “not respectable” are pretty interchangable. A sleazy business practice is one involving deception, theft, underhanded cost-shifting, account manipulation, bribery, industrial espionate, etc etc. LOTS of businesses commit these sleazy acts with great success and profitability, but appeal to popularity does not justify it. It’s still sleazy. Deal with it.

    You are only free to market for as long as that marketing is tolerated by your targets. Human beings are not disembodied eyeballs upon which to spray your messages. They will not accept invasive, deceptive, misleading, or annoying marketing methods for very long. The more obnoxious you get, the less effective your marketing becomes and people eventually backlash strongly against it. Overexposure is a brandkiller. Look at the Spice Girls.

    Guerra is trafficking in personally identifiable information in that he is collecting it and selling it. That is trafficking. Look it up. It’s not especially sly to use the correct words, it’s just command of the damn language.

    Permission is non-transferrable. Guerra did not originally include a privacy policy, and did not disclose to his visitors that their information would be sold to anyone who wanted it. If you had paid attention to my original postings, that’s what the problem was all along. Filling out that form on that ugly web page does not constitute explicitly granting permission to be contacted by unidentified third parties. He then added a privacy policy which does disclose that fact, so I have no more complaint aside from the fact it’s still sleazy and the commercials are still crap. As long as he’s telling the suckers what he’s doing with their information, he can’t be held responsible for their stupidity.

    So… you reacted to a really lame commercial and allowed your data to be sold to a stranger. Congratulations, you’re a sucker. You just let someone make money off you while you gain fuckall in return. And since you’re working SO hard to make it sound like an honorable thing, I’m assuming you got drawn into the exact same scheme of suckering other strangers and making money off THEM. Congratulations, you’re a sucker AND a shitbag. You must be so proud of your accomplishments.

    Trolling is internet jargon for posting deliberately inflammatory remarks with the intent of getting a reaction. You came onto my site and spouted your tripe because you wanted to get a rise out of someone. Well you bugged me and I foolishly responded and now you’re getting your kicks. I fed the troll. Hope you’re happy.

    But now it’s ending. Ta ta.

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