The Dark Side of Attraction Marketing – The Rise of Fake Review Scams


Attraction Marketing, a hot buzzword that sounds like money in your inbox may just be too good to be true.  Clever web marketing self described “experts” keep writing about attraction marketing yet no one explains what this really means.

Here is your answer: Attraction marketing is  bait and switch content using fake online reviews and click bait text to get you to sign up for something. 

There are a lot of complaints and lawsuits against unscrupulous internet marketers who prey on people with scams like attraction marketing. Protect yourself and learn how to spot these marketing scams.

Once you learn what attraction marketing is, you can learn how to spot fake review scams.

What is Attraction Marketing?

Here is a good way to describe attraction marketing. Imagine walking through a shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon and coming across a store named “Deals On Nike Gear.” You’re a fan of Nike’s stuff—and you love a good bargain—so you enter the store, optimistic that you’ll find a new pair of high-quality athletic shoes at a killer price.

The first thing you notice, however, is the total lack of merchandise in the store. There aren’t even empty shelves on walls or barren clothing racks. Instead, there’s just a smiling salesperson waiting to greet you. You ask him where all the Nike goods are, and this is what he tells you:

“My name’s John Doe. You know, there’s a secret to buying the right athletic gear, and I know the secret. I’ve helped hundreds of customers find what they’re looking for, and I can teach you to do the same. Give me $20 and I’ll tell you what I’ve told them.”

That’s it. He doesn’t show you a single item. All you get is a stranger’s confusing sales pitch that has nothing to do with why you walked into the store—to shop for athletic apparel.

No store would last 10 minutes conducting business this way. Sadly, however, this tactic is constantly employed online in the duplicitous, deceptive world of attraction marketing.

Why is Attraction Marketing A Big Secret?

If you Google the term itself and you’ll get page after page of results that, on first glance, promise to tell you what attraction marketing is.

But click on a search result and instead of a brief explanation or succinct definition of attraction marketing, you’ll get a wordy, convoluted sales pitch about unlocking the power of attraction marketing to make money in your home- or web-based business. All you have to do is buy their program, and you’ll start earning income right away. Who cares if the program details are hidden or make absolutely no sense? This is a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity, so hurry and sign up and the rest will be explained later.

Sound confusing? It was designed that way. Sound shady? You bet it is.

Simply put, attraction marketing is a trap. It is an online tactic self-employed network marketers use to draw attention—and therefore income—to themselves by using the established brand equity built by someone else. It’s them piggybacking off of a company’s successful brand to make money for themselves.

Remember the shopping mall example above? If the store is named “John Doe’s Business Enterprise Tips” do you walk in? No way.

Now imagine the store is an online site? Do you click on it? No way. (You’d never find it in the first place—and THAT’s the key.) But John knows the power of brand recognition, so he steals it to lure you and thousands like you to his site where he can make his sales pitch.

In essence, he puts Nike to work for him.

But here’s the rub: Does he reimburse Nike for making a buck off of their brand name? Hell no. He just hides in the dark corners of the internet—where anonymity is easily protected—and collects his money.

Attraction marketing experts use familiar brands—and popular search terms containing those brands—as keywords to get you to click on their sites. Here’s how it works:

Hypothetically, let’s use Disney—as an example. A savvy attraction marketer will build their own web site—which has absolutely nothing to do with Disney—with descriptive phrases that customers and potential customers search for online, i.e. “Disney vacations,” “Disney scam,” “XYZ complaints,” “XYZ reviews,” etc.

Then, when an online user like you searches for one of these terms, the results include the attraction marketer’s site. With a deliberately grabby title like, “The Truth About Disney Cruises,” it catches your eye, and you click on it. Before long, you’ve forgotten what you were searching for in the first place, and you’ve accepted the seemingly harmless invitation to “subscribe” based on the enticing claims you just read.

It’s a clever ploy that’s easy to do and easy to copy. As a result, more and more attraction marketing experts are becoming adept at selecting the right niche market(s), then manipulating metadata to drive traffic to their online businesses—when it should be going somewhere else.

Now, Nike and Disney happen to be two of the most powerful brands in the world. You’d never try to steal their brand equity, because they’d bust you in a New York minute. Last year, for example, Disney sued a baker in Michigan who was using their intellectual property (characters, logos, etc.) to decorate his cakes.

So why do attracting marketing experts think it’s OK to prey on any other brand, regardless of their size, name recognition, or ability to protect themselves? It’s not.

How to Spot Fake Review Scams?

  • Look for a review that says “(Company Name) Review – Is it a scam?” Chances are the fake review is the scam.
  • Look for a lack of product or service detail in the review.
  • Most of these fake online business reviewers have never used the product – look for knowing false claims or generalized negative statements.
  • Attraction marketers think you are a sucker for searching a particular term. If you are searching network marketing keywords or MLM terms and companies – most of the reviews are not real.

Top Attraction Marketing Companies to Avoid

  • Wealthy Affiliate – Online affiliate marketing network. They look legit, except according to complaints online, the way people actually make money is by recruiting people to become affiliates of Wealthy Affiliate. (
  • Empower Network – A blog network where you pay a lot of money to host a blog on their site that you could get free from Google or WordPress. Their training program may set you back thousands of dollars. (
  • My Lead System Pro – same as Empower Network. (

Many of these companies are hard to spot as their marketers often mask the real company behind some flashy “Make Money Now” type of business name. If you follow the terms and conditions or privacy statement on these sites, you may be able to spot the real culprit behind the scheme.

Legitimate companies large and small build trust in their brand by providing consumers with quality merchandise and services. It’s honest, hard work that often takes years to pay off. Online attraction marketers poach others’ brand equity to promote their own business model. It’s a manipulative scheme that only takes seconds to set up.

Attraction marketing experts want your trust without telling you who they really are. And they’d love to tell you all about their system.

You just have to pay for it first.

Related Article: MonaVie
  • Leslie M.

    Troy, you must be drinking the Wealthy Affiliate Kool-Aid. If that company operated in the US (they are hiding up in Canada) they would probably be investigated for being a pyramid scheme. They do not post earnings projections from their distributors like most network marketing companies do to comply with regulations and it is clear that the best way to make money with Wealthy Affiliate is to recruit others to sell Wealthy Affiliate platform. I read this article and the point they make about stealing brands in search engine marketing is right on point. WA is one of the worst offenders in using brand names in gooogle search to steal traffic from legitimate companies in an attempt to recruit users for the WA platform (one may even call this a scam).

    WA affiliates often use the bait and switch tactics with their fake “reviews” that bash other companies and encourage users to come to their site to “make money online”. Troy, I would love to see you try and argue against that point. Unfortunately you can not, since WA is shady and you know it. As for the 100% free to join thing, that is total BS! I tried the free account thing and all I got was the ability to create a profile and get spammed with emails telling me to upgrade because there was little I could do in the platform.

    They do not offer anything that you can not get for free elsewhere. You can set up your own wordpress site for free instead of paying WA a monthly fee do do the same thing. This sounds like a scam to me.

    I thank the author of this article for telling the truth about these awful get rich quick online schemes. If more people were savvy enough to expose these bad players, the internet might have one less con artist siphoning money from people’s bank accounts each month.

    • Floyd T Sealy

      Obviously Leslie M., you wrote this comment in a very agitated and frustrated state, since you compared Wealthy Affiliate to a network marketing company. Either you don’t know the definition or you were so upset that you couldn’t think straight. I would encourage you to try again when you are in a calmer frame of mind.
      And since Troy Darvell has already addressed these worrisome ‘complaints online’, I think I will have another glass of the kool aid. I’ve never tasted anything like it!

      • Leslie M.

        Floyd, was your comment meant to be demeaning towards women? You accuse me of writing my comment in “very agitated and frustrated state..” That is very offensive. Do you often promote a message of bigotry and inequality towards women or is it just your Wealthy Affiliate privilege? I refuse to join your cult that endorses this kind of hateful language towards women.

  • troy darvell

    Hmm not very well researched ! ………. Wealthy Affiliate is a learning platform as well as a web hosting facility, it is 100% free to join (for as long as you want) or has a premium membership for more committed marketers. There is no need to become an affiliate of theirs at all ………You can build your own online business selling or promoting anything you want in any niche, or simply host your own established business with them.

    Yes I am personally a premium member amongst 500,000 other registered members.
    Yes I do personally promote WA, but I also have other businesses that I have made more successful from what I have learned as a member of WA.

    I chose to promote them without any pressure to do so, as I was grateful for the improvement on my own sites through their training. I also thought it was a good way to show others struggling like I did, a great resource, and an opportunity to earn at the same time …….. I like many other members, always try to offer far more than just a WA review site, I offer personal help, have a free training page, a great free resource page, and updated news and info applicable to anyone wanting help online, regardless of weather they want to join WA or not …. So No Empty Shop / Fake Site Or Offers to Help Only if They Pay !!!

    The link you have provided for the complaints against WA show One complaint from a guy who did not pay or lose any money ? he had a free membership, didn’t get an answer to a question quick enough and threw his toys out of the pram …… The other complaint is from a woman who has now posted an apology as she thought she had been locked out her own site but had in fact been using the wrong details to log in……

    That,s it !! Half a Million members world wide and as far as I know (I have searched and cant find any negative experiences of anyone being conned or losing money because of Wealthy Affiliate) 1 unfounded complaint.

    Please research and come up with genuine evidence of someone actually being conned out of their money before slating a genuine opportunity with fake facts.

    (A very grateful WA member)

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