April 14, 2024
Gabby thought she would 'get rich quick' thanks to a new money-making trend sweeping Instagram. Now she has an urgent warning for Aussies

By Carina Stathis For Daily Mail Australia

14:24 30 Mar 2024, updated 14:33 30 Mar 2024

  • A woman bought a $597 marketing course and quickly realised it’s ‘a scam’ 
  • ‘Faceless digital marketing’ is surging on Instagram and TikTok 
  • Sellers claim to ‘helps others make money online’ by purchasing courses
  • Read more: How a single mum turned $5 into $17,000 in two years

When 23-year-old Gabbriella saw an influx of TikTok videos where people raved about how a digital marketing course ‘changed their lives’, she was intrigued.

Gabby, from Dunedin, New Zealand, would normally scroll past such claims but she also wondered why ‘so many people’ were saying the ‘same thing’.

All young women like her, they claimed they were making thousands of dollars. 

It got to a point where she decided to take a risk and try it herself with the hope to make some money. She invested $600 in a ‘digital marketing course’. 

Gabby (pictured) would normally scroll past money making claims on social media, but this time she felt intrigued
She bought a $597 digital marketing course from TikTok and quickly realised it’s ‘a scam’

But she quickly realised it was too good to be true – it was a pyramid scheme – and one that has become increasingly popular.  

‘They claimed that the course is “life changing” and that they now earn “$30,000 a month”. They make it sound like it’s easy and anyone can do it,’ she told FEMAIL. 

‘I purchased the course basically to see if it was a scam or not. It cost me NZD$650 ($597AUD).’ 

Despite feeling ‘terrified’ before spending the money, she committed and documented the process for those feeling the same way on TikTok. 

The course taught her how to make an online store, how to start selling the course and the basics of digital marketing.

‘You buy the course and gain master resale rights to that. So you can sell it as your own product and you gain 100 per cent profit,’ she explained in a TikTok video.

After going through the course she admitted it ‘wasn’t worth the money’ as all the information can be found on YouTube for free – and she can’t get a refund. 

‘It’s a bunch of people trying to sell something pointless to vulnerable people so that they can then go and continue the cycle,’ she said.

She issued a stern warning to others to ignore those who claim they can help make you money, as it’s a pyramid scheme. 

‘Save your money. If you want to learn about digital marketing just watch YouTube videos,’ Gabby added. 

After going through the course she admitted it ‘wasn’t worth the money’ as all the information can be found on YouTube for free – and she can’t get a refund

‘Faceless digital marketing’: Trend sweeping social media 

Gabby’s experience has much in common to a ‘money-making’ trend sweeping social media known as faceless digital marketing. 

The schemes revolve around selling courses that teach others how to make money solely using social media – with a central attraction being the marketer does not need to show their face.

What’s more is that anyone can start a faceless marketing profile and sell online ‘courses’ of varying prices. 

Instagram is flooded with the accounts hawking the products, using phrases such as ‘authentic faceless marketing’, ‘faceless marketing for introverts’, ‘faceless digital marketing’ and so on. 

The pages are equipped with persuasive call to actions to draw people in, including ‘just imagine what could happen’, ‘steal my strategy’ and ‘$29,000 in 15 weeks, I’ll motivate you’.

The thought of making some extra cash from home sounds enticing, yet if you dig a little deeper it doesn’t take long for alarm bells to start ringing. 

Helen Baker, a financial advisor from Brisbane (pictured), told FEMAIL: ‘If you have a bad gut feeling – don’t question it, just run’

Helen Baker, a financial advisor from Brisbane and founder of On Your Own Two Feet, told FEMAIL there is a single principle Aussies looking to make money should bear in mind. 

‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,’ she said. 

‘You don’t know who you’re dealing with when it comes to these profiles. Is there any accountability? Who are you actually talking to when you contact them?’ 

The trend has caught the attention of Reddit users with critics picking apart the schemes.

‘Why are these [profiles] popping up everywhere… I don’t understand the appeal of posting random stock content with a million words in the captions talking about nothing. I’d love a great explanation,’ one wrote.

Another offered an insight and said: ‘The ‘talking about nothing’ thing is a strategy so you binge watch all their posts and scroll their profile trying to figure out how they do what they do. 

‘Then you move to their stories and get sucked into their constant income claims and screenshots. I don’t vibe with it. It works. It’s not totally scammy or unethical even. I just think it preys on people a bit.’

The danger with this type of business model is that it lures in the vulnerable who don’t have extra cash to splurge on marketing that might not work for everyone, there’s no customer service and you’re not guaranteed a return. 

While marketing is ‘always a risk’, it’s almost impossible to measure the return on investment as digital faceless marketing is in its fetal stages.

‘You’re taking someone’s word as fact when you might not get the same results,’ Ms Baker added.

Ms Baker knows all too well what it’s like to be scammed by a marketer.

Ten years ago she put her trust into a someone to help grow her business only to be left $10,000 out of pocket.

Before spending money she suggested taking a step back and making a carefully calculated decision. 

‘Consider if you’ll be able to make your money back and if it’s money you can afford to lose,’ she said. 

‘There’s so many ‘get rich quick’ schemes around now and it’s so hard to know what’s authentic and what’s not. 

‘In so many situations someone always gets rich at another person’s expense. Even online a lot of reviews and comments are written by robots or AI. 

‘If you have a bad gut feeling – don’t question it, just run.’

Read more: The signs you’re one of the young Aussies with ‘money dysmorphia’

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