Over the years, there were a lot of videogames I stopped playing and left behind. But once in a while, I like to revisit and see what has changed. I either go to their official websites and read their latest news, or I watch videos put out by their community content creators. |
There’s this one person that I follow who makes journalism styled videos investigating this particular game’s underground community, meaning people who do highly profitable activities that are completely illegal.
The latest video he released covered a specific scheme that a small group of scammers do to other people to steal virtual items that are worth hundreds, sometimes thousands of US dollars.
The scheme involves the victims giving the scammers remote access to their computers through a software called TeamViewer. Now that already sounds shady as it is.
So how did the scammers gain their victims’ trusts?
The answer: Social Proof
They abused testimonials. Specifically, they paid random people to write fake positive reviews of their “service” on TrustPilot to give the illusion that they’re trustworthy people.
In just one year, these scammers managed to rake in a grand total of over $200,000 worth of virtual items.
It’s tragic for people to see their virtual items that took years for them to earn being stolen right in front of their eyes. At the same time, they should know better to not get involved in underground activities.
On the bright side, we can learn something from this.
Social proof alone isn’t enough to prove someone’s legitimacy.
In the case of working with freelancers, there are definitely some out there who will do things to make themselves seem trustworthy.
Putting fake testimonials up on their website.
Lying about their past work.
Whether it’s stealing other people’s ads and claiming them as their own, or lying about their past work results.
When you take a first look at all those things, you might think, “Huh. This person would be perfect to help me with my sales.”
So you pay them hundreds of dollars to write some ads and emails for you. And when they return, they give you copy and pasted work with a little bit of search and replace.
True story, by the way, that happened to a marketer who has been in the industry since the early ages of the Internet.
So moral of the story is,
Don’t just rely on social proof to determine someone’s legitimacy because it can easily be manipulated.
Take the time to analyze their portfolio and make sure it wasn’t swiped from someone else.
Really investigate because it just might save you a lot of money and headaches.
About the author:
Hi, I'm Ellisen and I'm a copywriter. I help businesses make more sales by building relationships with their audience through old fashioned email. If you found this reading helpful, there are more tips like these waiting to be read at EllisenWang.com. When you go there, you can opt in for daily copywriting, email marketing, and business tips. I'll also send you free sample chapters of my book called "How to Become an Email Titan." It teaches you how to write email copy that your subscribers will never get enough of and will make them want to buy from you. If you don't want to optin, you can also read through my blog and listen to my audios for more marketing content.
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