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A Scam Geared Towards Professionals
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Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

A scam geared toward professionals

The ad seemed genuine enough. Posted on LinkedIn, it offered a portal for paid board of director seats. Intrigued, I scheduled a 20-minute interview.

LinkedIn, for those unfamiliar with it, is THE place to have a professional profile. It’s inhabited by professionals of every stripe, discipline and industry and is for business networking only.

So here was this ad from Boardsi, a firm I’d never heard of. But I got busy and had to cancel the meeting…plus something didn’t “feel” right.

So I did some research, only to uncover hundreds of posts about what a scam this company is.

Well, you know the old saying about where there’s smoke…

This firm (also known as ExecRanks and AdvisorCloud) posts ads like the one I’d seen, offering $30,000/year or equity to sit on a board. To gain access to their database, you’re charged $200/month…and many of the jobs probably don’t even exist.

One review after another talked about Boardsi’s lack of communication and an unceasing drive by their sales team to separate you from your credit card number.

When I learned this, two old sayings suddenly jumped to mind: John Bridges’ “A fool and his money are soon parted,” and W.C. Fields’ “Never give a sucker an even break.”

So I extricated myself from a situation that’s obviously unethical, probably illegal, and unquestionably intolerable.

And though the temptation was to move on with my life, it struck me that a column in this publication carries a responsibility to alert the public to such fraudulent behavior.

So in the interests of doing my daily good deed, I’d like to encourage you to be increasingly vigilant about the shysters, scam artists, and other nefarious efforts to separate you from your hard-earned money.

Because whatever business you’re in, the odds are good someone is targeting you at this moment with a questionable offer. It may be a “Who’s who in your industry?” book or an award for the best (fill in the blank) in town.

Perhaps not coincidentally, they all seem to have a price point of around $200 in common…too little to sue over, but enough (in volume) to net them a tidy sum.

And remember…if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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