An Employment Scam in the Financial Services Industry
A Warning for Recent College Grads and Others New to the Financial Services Industry

[Financial Scam Home]



How The Scam Works

Fighting Back



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First of all, you may be asking why I censor some information in these emails. Quite simply, it's to protect sources who are not public. Had the writers initially published their writings in the public domain for all of you to see, I'd quote them verbatim, but as they're not, just focus on the content the writers impart.

Secondly, I'll be the first to admit you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. None of these people had any special reason to believe a word on this site; I am nobody special and have had to let the evidence simply speak for itself. They largely believed the information here, whatever their reasons. There is no particular impetus for you to believe similarly. Do your research, and come to your own conclusions.

Lastly, I've added the odd note below where I felt something needed additional explanation.

These are just a few of the letters I've received since this site went live in 2004.

-The Author

"I read the contents of your web site with great interest. I agree with most of what you are saying and appreciate the public service you are doing for your readers. My only hope is that more people will see it before they get hurt. The issues you bring up have been a standard secret industry sacred cow for all these years.

It's just a guess but I think we might have similar backgrounds. I am in my fifties and started in the insurance business at the tender age of 21 and am one of the few 'old Jedi knights' still in the business. I had all the licenses and have earned four professional insurance designations (...) over the past several years. I taught [...] and moderated [...] classes, and was [...] and board member of local [...] organizations for many years. I have held every position between VP/Director [...] to company trainer of advanced sales, to agency manager, middle manager (sales) to salesman (which ironically that is exactly what I am now!). And I'm actually a 'real' estate/financial planner, although I think that term is totally abused by 'salesmen' hiding the fact they are marketing their products. So, I tell my clients I take a holistic financial planning approach to the products I SELL, and do not charge a fee, whether I EARN A COMMISSION OR NOT.....but that's me.

I was 'phased out' by a few major insurance companies I dare not mention for recognizing, stating and objecting to the very practices you mention in your web site. I refused to hire people I did not think would make it, and I encouraged people to leave an organization before they were financially ruined because I knew they were sinking either financially or emotionally. I refused to let a new recruit "spend themselves into success" which was an industry technique (and policy) for management to convince and force a new agent into debt so they would work harder to stay afloat and on the job. My belief was to follow a solid training program, practice and learn solid sales and prospecting methods. Then they could properly establish themselves and become successful. I encouraged a new recruit to save their money to invest in themselves, and later buy what they could afford. I taught them to set realistic goals and told them what their real earning potential was and how hard it would be in the beginning to get started. I made sure they had some kind of financial backing, and made sure they understood exactly what to expect (along with all the company ra! ra!).

My reward for this was summary immediate terminations IN SPITE OF HIGH SALES RECORDS and retention of my sales force, and excellent persistency of business sold. I am not sorry. I taught my people to sell their products and services honorably. As a result many are still in the insurance business today and have not only survived, but flourished based on honest sales practices.

This is not from someone with sour grapes that could not make it. In fact the opposite is true. I was very successful and rose to the top sales and management production charts in every company I worked for and represented. I was a [...] member, and earned several company sales recognition honors, awards, and 'club' memberships. So this is not about revenge or anger due to business failures. I just simply would not accept the obvious company BS, so I paid the price (politically).

Like you, I am very upset about questionable company practices that are rampant in the insurance industry today, as you mentioned in your site. Sadly, it's all true! However I do not think it is totally the insurance companies themselves that are inherently evil. I know of several good people in high places that have the best intentions for their companies' success through solid business practices without exploiting people. I believe it is the greed and the pressure to make constant profits by certain execs in command that drives companies to take advantage of their employees, and employ deceitful practices on their people and the general public. It's a trickle down effect.

Many years ago, insurance companies contributed greatly to our economy and helped people in need by taking care of basic financial necessities through life and annuity sales. I believe we still have a need for those products today, and companies should be willing and able to hire good people to sell these products to the general public. The problem today is insurance/financial institutions no longer want to pay salaries or benefits to employees, so they resort to hiring independent contractors by resorting to sleazy business practices you outlined in your site. The agency system as we knew it is truly dead!

My concern is insurance products are being 'sold' by inexperienced and untrained 'financial planners' on phone solicitations or mail in requests. Skilled sales people like myself are either being phased out, or leaving the business due to old age and/or retirement. The art of needs selling is gone! Insurance companies now offer commissions as an inducement for agents to sell questionable products to consumers. That is how insurance companies manipulate the market place. That is why we need E & O insurance and all companies are now required to have legal staff and compliance departments to take care of ever increasing consumer complaints.

Back in the 1970's insurance companies were much different than they are today. In fact I grew up in the insurance industry because my grandfather was an agent for over 50 years, and my mother was an agent too. The difference was insurance companies were at least a bit more socially responsible than they are now. If you got a job with an insurance company, it was almost expected you would develop a nice clientele in time and build your business.

Back then, you actually had a chance for success, before Green River laws preventing neighborhood solicitations, or 'do not call lists' and the like were implemented to 'protect' the public. Orphan policyholder ages were not 90 to death like they are today, and buying call lists was unheard of. When companies started changing in the 1980's they still believed all the company propaganda, and I decided to educate myself beyond just selling policies. As I climbed up the corporate ladders I saw more that made me want to be a part of it less. That is when I started getting myself in trouble with superiors because I would not play ball and hire unqualified people or 'cook' the sales records so the big shots could make their "paper" numbers and receive big bonus checks. That is why I am on my own today.

Anyway, keep up the good work!"

[Author's Note: Some readers are under the impression that this site concerns only insurance companies. That is incorrect. I was in fact somewhat surprised to find that the scam I described on this site was widespread enough to include insurance companies as well! On the MLM page I discuss how it goes even beyond the financial services industry, affecting the real estate and newspaper industries, and more. Also, the writer mentions Green River laws (no door-to-door soliciting) and "Do Not Call" lists. You can bet that the use of "independent contractors" as expendable lead mills has exploded because of those laws.]

"I've been in the financial industry for close to 17 years now. I can't even begin to tell you how important your website is. I've been the victim of fraudulent recruiting scams a few times throughout my career and as you may know it's next to impossible to get any type of recourse.

A new scam you may want to be aware of is fraudulent recruiting inside bank broker dealers. For example, I was recently hired by a large bank broker dealer to take over a book of business totaling 40 million in assets. On my first day I soon realized the book of business was actually 1.5 million. Not only that, the firm did not disclose the large haircuts on commissions. When I confronted the hiring manager his response was, 'I had to get you in here somehow.'

What I found interesting about this is FINRA's and the SEC's stance on this.
I conducted an experiment 2 months ago. I called the FINRA general counsel office and asked to speak with a counsel member. I was told I could only do so by giving my full name, phone number and firm. Reluctantly I gave this information and was immediately transferred to voicemail. I left the following message, 'I'd like to know the FINRA regulation that protects registered reps from fraudulent recruiting practices.' Naturally I received no response. I called every day for two weeks, went through the same process and left the same voicemail. Finally after six weeks I received a call back.

What I was told is that FINRA has no regulations to protect registered reps. They only protect individual investors. My response was, "If I lie to a customer and that individual incurs a loss I will receive a complaint on my record. So if a registered principal commits recruiting fraud and I incur a loss from taking that job I have no recourse with FINRA?" The counsel member responded, 'Exactly, FINRA and the SEC is only there to protect the individual investor.'

Right now the only solution I can think of is for registered reps to form a union. If reps band together, they can possibly force firms to change recruiting habits as well as how they pay their reps and what products they force their reps to sell.

Once again I want to thank you for creating this website. Please don't take it down no matter how much pressure you get."

"I'm writing this as a nice big thank you. I stumbled upon your article and it was extremely beneficial.

I'm graduating from [REMOVED] in a few days and am deep in the job search process. I've had plenty of interviews and was contacted by [REMOVED]. From the pamphlets they sent me, all sounded well. I take pride in picking out these scam companies (almost got sucked into [REMOVED] MLM scheme), but I didn't see their bulls**t at first.

After reading your article, I walked into the interview and heard the shtick. It was exactly as your article presented it. No leads, no financial backing, promises of monster profits, the usual. I proceeded to poke all sorts of holes into his argument, but was glad I got to your article before I got sucked into something like this.

In conclusion, thanks for compiling this article, it's valuable for many young people out there!"

"I ran into your website few months ago and read the information extensively. I appreciate the information you posted in detail. I worked as a financial advisor for [REMOVED] for five years and feel it was a total waste of time. As I read your website page by page, I started feeling anxious knowing the mistake I have made putting so much time and effort into it. I heard these sentences way too many times: 'success is around the corner and you are an independent contractor'. I would really like to see some sort of law that would prevent these financial companies from ruining other people's lives."

"I thought you might be interested in seeing a recruiting letter pasted below [not included here]. It came from [REMOVED], I almost fell for it. They took my resume from and they told me about some exciting career. A little research shows posts where they get a salesman sucked in with a small investment, they get it returned on comission, but then they keep the person locked in that contract for 3 years or they pay their comission back. Complaints on some sites said they received up to $60,000 of commission and were told to pay it back because they quit before the contract expired. Their MLM is worse than [REMOVED].

A company can make alot of people do really stupid things when they have to file bankruptcy to escape a contract. Your site helped me see the effect on the side of the consumer."

[Author's Note: I'm no lawyer, but in reading about contract law, I've seen there is no contract if there is no "meeting of the minds". We've all signed contracts without reading the fine print when someone is rushing us, particularly when that person leads us to believe that all of what we've just been told verbally is already in the contract to protect us. Big surprise when it isn't! (Or when things we were never told end up appearing in the contract despite representations otherwise.) Despite what the company tells you, you CAN challenge a contract you signed under such circumstances. Consult an attorney for more information.]

"I found your site after my brother was interviewed by [REMOVED]. He seemed very excited about the sales job, but it seemed odd since he has very little college and no car, which he told his interviewer.

I was furious at him for wasting my boyfriend's time, as he had to wait for him in the parking lot while he went though some sales pitch/interview. Admittedly, it's his responsibility to do his homework, but without sites like yours that's impossible. People would have to rely on the company in question to admit they're shady.

Truly, I wish you the best of luck. I thought laws were intended to protect those that can't protect themselves. Where's the cease and desist letter to [REMOVED] and other such companies.

By the way, I agree that taking legal action makes them look worse."

[Author's Note: The writer's reference to "cease and desist letters" refers to two companies, Trilogy Financial Services (TFS) and Independent Capital Management, Inc. (ICM), who are the only companies out of the more than 3000 companies I mention on this website who had the gall to send utterly bogus cease & desist letters (#1, #2) threatening me with lawsuits over this site. Trilogy did sue (and lost), and ICM's threat remains open. Both companies seem to think this site is all about them and that I've got it in for them, but the fact is that I take issue with one individual who worked for one company years ago (and later worked for the other), and I have never held companies themselves responsible for an individual's conduct except where they fail to supervise when there are complaints; face it, responsibility flows uphill. I have never named that individual on this website, and I hold neither company in any particular contempt. That individual is no longer with either company. I quit ICM 15 years ago and do not know how they conduct themselves now past what I read, and of course their questionable behavior in threatening lawsuits when I've personally accused them of nothing on this site. Both companies doth protest too much, unfortunately, and in the minds of some (including me), that says something.]

"I have found myself browsing your site one year too late - but better late than never, and not all is lost, as I will refer to your website any other young victims of the financial services industry who I have the good fortune of saving.

I was a month and one exam away from gaining my certification to sell real estate (note that sales was not my area of interest, I was very enthusiastic about working in the sustainable building industry). Over a year ago, I was searching for part-time work in the field of real estate so I could make some money while finishing my courses, make some contacts in the industry, and pursue further specialized accreditation to become an expert in 'green' buildings. I came across an ad on craigslist, mixed in with positions for mortgage brokers and real estate agents, looking for motivated self-starters who were interested in a career with limitless potential, own your own business, help people every day, blah blah blah. You speak on your site of precisely the type of hook that had me swallowing deeply, line and sinker included. The ad was for a position with a major [REMOVED] financial services firm, in fact the largest mutual fund distributor in [REMOVED]. I did what I thought to be sufficient background research, called professionals in the industry, read magazines, searched the internet. I put my time and money into gaining my certification to sell mutual funds and insurance in [REMOVED], spending around $1000 on tests and courses and textbooks. My manager was so good at selling the career, I abandoned my goals in the field of real estate and jumped head first into something I now realize I knew nothing about. I was licensed and ready to sell a few months later.

I don't think I need to fill in the blanks for the past year, as you seem to have a deeper understanding of the trap than I do even now, after having lived it. 'Warm' or 'Natural' market selling, referring to my team of 'experts' (my managers who make huge bucks off of the rookie's blood sweat and tears) the high-net-worth cases I was able to prospect through time- and money-consuming activities like seminars, mass-mailers, 12-hour cold-calling sprees... Needless to say, I got the shaft that you detail so honestly on your website. I regurgitated the company's sales literature to uneducated and unsuspecting clients, my family, my friends... and now looking back at the past year I am downright embarrassed and ashamed that I didn't see the truth behind the masquerade earlier.

Firstly, you are completely correct that the business model of endless recruiting is in itself a disservice to young, eager, naive college grads, young professionals, and career-changers. Secondly, the product that the industry is slinging is in itself a travesty. People pay ridiculous Management Expense Ratios [...] on portfolios full of funds that under perform their benchmarks consistently (80% of mutual funds under-perform against the index to which they are compared, and usually with more volatility). Average retail investors are paying thousands of dollars a year on their life savings for the privilege of what is statistically and actuarially speaking a sure-fire way to get less than optimal returns - and people are making ridiculous fortunes providing this (dis)service to average [REMOVED]s and Americans who work hard and save smart their whole lives to have a comfortable future and perhaps a small legacy for their children. People are far better off in index-tracking ETFs and low cost no-load index mutual funds, yet the 'experts' simply throw around numbers and charts and graphs to dupe their customers into investing in a manner that the entire industry supports, and that economically just doesn't make sense. Needless to say, I have come to understand the important fundamentals and processes involved in wealth management, portfolio construction, and financial planning, not because of my employer and mentors, but in spite of them.

I didn't go broke working in this field. In fact, my partner and I purchased a home, have had more freedom than we've ever enjoyed before, and for quite some time I was really excited about being the first person in my family to make enough of an income to not have to worry pay cheque to pay cheque. However, in educating myself more and more about the industry, financial products, the markets, and consumer awareness, I have been burdened with the inescapable feeling that I have been violating morals that have guided me well my whole life. I have always aimed to do my best, speak and act honestly, and treat others as I would be treated. I am not religious, and I am not a political radical. I simply believe that if everyone earned their worth and was worth what they earned, we would be living in a much happier society. The people that head these investment firms, big or small, are all crooks and snakes, unfortunately. Or at least that is how I see it. I feel as if I was led into a wonderful city in the middle of the night, promised wonderful galas and balls and parties and mansions, starstruck by the twinkling of lights and glimmer and show all around me; I was wined and dined and made promises I should have seen to be too good to be true; and then I woke up in the morning only to see that the glamour and pageantry and everything I was promised was a thin facade clinging to a rickety, stinky, rotten structure, with a steady stream of dollars leaving our pockets and running far, far away, uphill to a place in the mountains, past the clouds, way out of sight for an average Joe like me.

So I'm writing to let you know that you are right, and although you already know that, I hope you can take some comfort and a feeling of accomplishment in hearing this verified by someone who has lived the whole mess first-hand, recently.

Thanks, from me and from all of those who will, hopefully, find your website in time to avoid costly, time draining, soul-sucking mistakes. I'm glad there is another good soul out there that is aware of the truth, and talking about it. You are doing the right thing - if only there were more people like you out there. I applaud your decency, your humanity, your honesty."

"I know there is no implication of any particular company on your website, this to me adds credibility to the message you are portraying. I thank you for your site, work and information which you are putting out there. I personally am currently unemployed and came in contact with a [REMOVED] recruiter at a local job fair. I had a conversation with a young ambitious appearing recruiter who then accepted my resume. After a couple weeks a rep then contacted me to set up the interview. She said that my background in tax and accounting as well as my involvement in volunteer work in the community had impressed her, and gave indication that I had the required skill set to be successful in the position of "Financial planner". I had a few questions for her. 1. Is it an inside or outside sales position? A: it is both, you work in the community and amongst your network to establish relationships with people who are in need of financial planning, then you make an appointment with them in our office to bring them in and go over options with them. It does require licensing which the training for the licensing is completely provided by us. 2. Is this a commission only position? A: It is base plus commission as we want to offer you the best opportunity to succeed. 3. How much does the licensing cost? A: I have no idea that is something that will be gone over in the interview. ... She then told me that i would receive an e-mail prior to the interview with instructions on what to bring and expect, directions to the location as well as a link to their website where I should become better informed about their company. I was told the attire was suit and tie, and that I should bring a copy of my resume which she was currently looking at. For reasons that are unclear to me. Well I did receive said email (which I can forward to you if you are interested). I did look at their website, as well as looking at several independent websites. I looked at job reviews, most of which seemed scripted and out of the same office in response to a negative review. As part of my research Google did suggest the search for the scam, which in turn led me to a list of sites, including your own. I was already suspicious before I got to your website. I am well aware at no point in your site do you refer to them individually as a participant in said scam, but I agree their strong arm response tactics do bring a lot of attention and suspicion to the door front. The job is more than an hour from my house, and as i was suspicious to begin with, was hesitant to pursue. After reading the information on your website and seeing the characteristic matches from the scam you portray and the scheme in which they project I have decided to focus my job search efforts in a different direction saving the much needed gas money for a more sound opportunity. Again I acknowledge that you have not accused them of anything nor have you warned anyone away from working for them particularly. I do see a trend of their character in how they responded to someone trying to get some honest information out there. Rather than taking the high road and providing you with information to legitimize their operation they instead took a very guilt projecting method and responded with aggressive strong arming. Not something in which I want to choose to be a part of. I again thank you for your information and encourage you to continue with your cause of awareness to the issue. "

[Author's Note: The "independent website" the writer refers to may be, a site where visitors are encouraged to write reviews of companies they have worked for. I have personally witnessed Jobvent removing negative company reviews, presumably prompted by legal threats from negatively-reviewed companies; my presumption is bolstered by the fact that both companies sent me legal threats around the same time the negative posts I quoted disappeared. Also, the writer refers to "Google Suggest", which is a service Google provides in which it "auto-completes" your search as you type it in, based on popular searches determined by users' unique IP addresses from across the globe. In other words, if Google Suggest suggests in its drop-down list a particular search by filling in "SCAM" or "FRAUD" after the company's name that you input, then that's a good indication that many unique IP addresses are searching for the same terms—and the company may have given many people reason for doing so. Lastly, the recruiter who sought the author for a position as a "Financial Planner" probably meant "Financial Advisor", as "Financial Planner" implies certain more advanced certifications beyond what a simple financial advisor is required to have. It galls me when the position is misrepresented, particularly to clients. That would be tantamount to me saying "trust me, I'm a doctor" when in fact I had only taken a few low-level biology courses.]

"You have a wonderful and huge eye-opening website. I'm currently with one of these types of firms and you described in your site exactly what I went through. I paid to be trained, and after that I looked on and found the company I am employed with has an unreal negative rating and all kinds of people bashing the company."

"I feel that I should let you know what has happened [...]. I quit my job 2 days after writing you, and quickly forgot that I even wrote that letter. [...] When I was leaving I asked my former manager if what was being done was true, or were they scamming the so-called independent contractors that comprised his 'team'. Upon deeper discussion of this, he stated that this particular article was written up to sell a book, and that there was no truth behind anything [in] this, but that if I felt this way I 'didn't belong in this company'. To which I asked, 'Maybe I don't belong in this industry?'...his response was that 'I was good for this industry, just not this company'. Interestingly enough, I was U-5ed [terminated] that day, whereas others took almost a month, and letters were promptly sent to my entire family telling them that their 'Rep left' but that they should keep their money with this particular company. Everyone from my mother to my wife received a letter, to which I had to field questions for the following week regarding this. Currently, after two months of searching, I believe I have found a position with a company of slightly different reputations, and am happy to say that I am getting a huge base salary, plus commissions--within my first year at this new company I can expect to make a lot more than could ever be dreamed of at my old employers...the plus side is even without the commissions my base will be more than 'expected' first years at the old company. Thank you so much. Without your research, I might have still stayed with my old company, and possibly added to my golden hand-cuffs (in this case, more of my family's hard-earned money). Once again, thank you for standing up to help others in this situation.

PS: Funny side note--the District Manager consistently told us to 'fake it till we made it' and always boasted about his 1/2 million dollars a year--interestingly enough, he declared bankruptcy in 2002 due to unpaid medical bills and excessively high credit card debt. My question is how does a man who makes 500k a year not have med. insurance, and how can he not pay off his credit card debt--after a little research of my own, and a quick Google search, I found out that he was a professional gambler. Interesting who tells you to 'fake it till you make it'."

[Author's Note: The self-serving manager who stated that this site (article) was written to sell a book is lying. I've written no book, have no intentions of writing any book, and am not selling nor have I ever sold anything here. I wrote this site because I believe in the Golden Rule ("do unto others as you would have them do unto you"), and I only wish someone had written such a site for me years ago. This site has only COST me money since its inception.]

"Due to this site you have saved my life, family and my own feelings about myself. Thank you for all the information, you are truly a wonderful person, and a deacon of the few remaining good human beings. Keep up the good work."

[Author's Note: I didn't include this just to boost my own ego; I want readers to see a sample of just how deeply some people are hurt by the scam described on this site. It goes well beyond simple financial damage.]

"Kudos to your website!!! I started out in the system and as my career progressed and I changed companies the amount of corruption and lies reached a new level. Feeling dirty about what I was doing, I walked away from [REMOVED] 5 years ago and started my own firm. It is amazing now how these firms call themselves a certain name without the Insurance or Broker in the name. In the Madoff era how this is allowed is ridiculous."

[Author's Note: According to many professionals on's message boards, going independent is the way to go and is very much worth the effort. Unfortunately, you're pretty much required to get your feet wet in a very corrupt industry first.]

"Thank you for all the information contained on your website regarding the Financial Advisor industry. I only wish I had found that site sooner than later. I lost my job [recently] and went to a job fair through The manager from [REMOVED] started talking to me, and essentially lured me in with all the false promises noted on your site. Talked about how the company is debt free, how they help you build your business, etc. Everything you stated in your site, these guys did word for word. The interview process was the quickest and easiest I had ever been through. It wasn't more than 10 minutes. The person that interviewed me said she was a supervisor and was going to [REMOVED] to open her own branch. Months later I found out she went to [REMOVED] to visit family, then quit! I couldn't believe some of the fees you indicated that people had to pay to get licensed. I guess I was lucky and I only had to pay $400, again with the promise that I would get that back in 6 months, be promoted to supervisor, and on my way up. I can't believe I fell for that. I went to a company meeting with a bunch of other reps. I am [in my 30s], but all of the reps there were fresh out of college. The vice president talked about how you too could make a lot of money just by setting up their basic "starter" plan of a Roth IRA, 529, and IA for $150 a month. He went so far to claim that even unemployed people could afford $150 a month! Commission on a $50 investment is $2.50 at [REMOVED]. You can't make a living on that. He later did another meeting and his starter plan was suddenly $300 a month.

After I finished training, all the little dirty secrets started coming out. The 'family and friends' prospecting, no help as they claimed to find business or help you set up seminars. None of that. Even their payment of $1,000 during the first two weeks of training was a scam. After you are unable to set 12 appointments in a week, they give you the company paperwork that you are forced to sign that says you forfeit your right to the $1,000 training pay if you are unable to maintain 12 appointments per week. The promise of salary pay was also a false promise. Salary pay is only allowed with company approval and only if you can maintain 12 appointments every week! So no one ever got it. They had the same promise of company vacations, bonuses, etc. I really found out who my friends were when none of them, except for one, had any interest. Meanwhile, since I was unable to make any appointments, I was required to be in the office to learn. Learn from no one because no one else was there. Monday and Friday were office days with the gullible sales pitch meetings, but Tuesday through Thursday were appointment days. Since I wasn't able to set any, I found out much more just by listening to what was going on.

Tuesday through Thursday were the famous interviews that I was dumb enough to believe in. The same sales pitch that I got was given to many more individuals. The difference was that I never saw any of them come back, except for one. He returned the Series 6 book and said he had no interest in reading it and left. But what I heard really opened my eyes. The manager told her new supervisor that if they look like a loser, don't even invite them back. I couldn't believe it. That is how they made their decisions. I decided it wasn't for me, and quit the job after two months. I guess I am lucky in that I did not get burned too bad. The investments are legitimate as you said, but the companies involved to sell them are the ones that are crooked.

A co-worker, that started two weeks before me became the top rep of [MONTH]. They showered her with appraisal, bonuses, etc. Now that the "top rep" wore off, she is ready to quit. She was doing her appointments, getting referrals, doing about 25 pieces of business a month, but realized she cannot even live off that. Amazing how even her, who was doing business, realized she can't make a living off of it.

So I want to thank you again for your site. I don't feel too bad about the experience, because I did learn about investments, and the licenses look good on my resume, but it is not a business I want to do, nor would I recommend it for anyone else. If I could go back, I would have walked away from the [REMOVED] booth and never looked back."

"I wanted to write you and sincerely thank you for this wonderful site that you have created. I was myself a victim of this clever scam and I have to admit I feel really stupid. I recently graduated and with the job market being the way it is I was excited to take any kind of job that was offered to me. It is really amazing to see how everything that you write I went through. Almost step by step and the even some of the names of certain things are the same. Your site made me feel a little better about the fact that there are others like me out there. Now I am looking for a real and honest job out there. Again thank you for your site. I'm going to take action as much as I can. I can't afford a lawyer and sue them but I will absolutely contact all the different agencies or bodies that I can to make sure that this information gets out there."

"Thank you so much for your amazingly informative website. Our son is graduating from college and it is clear he is being targeted for some of these hiring scams. With the information from your website, it is much easier for him to start making informed judgments about different offers."

"Thank you sincerely for saving me a ton of wasted time and frustration, after an initial pre-screen interview with [REMOVED] in [REMOVED], CA. You CANNOT believe how slick they were…

Finding your website and another with reviews from actual “employees” of the company gave me what I needed to cancel my follow up appointment.

A couple of important points for your consideration and future writings to warn others…

1) Looking back at the phone screening and initial on-site interview, in retrospect it became clear that they weren’t asking enough questions or details about my background and experience. I actually have a decent resume, and while not perfect with a few hiccups in career directions and mis-starts I wanted to BELIEVE that they saw the potential in my in their review of my resume.
2) There are so many people out of work or looking for alternative jobs that these people are “ripe” for the picking by these MLM companies, because of desperation and a desire to end their painful job search experience.
3) Two weeks ago, I updated my profile and resume on and have received a rash of calls and emails, ALL from financial companies on your list.

The truth is the truth, and I applaud you for upholding it. I am amazed that these larger companies have so little genuine integrity in their business practices, or the con men they hire to recruit and manage the process. It is disrespectful of others and narcissistic! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!"

[Author's Note: The "list" the writer refers to is the list of financial services companies I have on the home and MLM pages, which I state I found advertising jobs on popular job search sites like and That list has been amended over time and may differ from the time this email was written.]