Coffeezilla (@coffeebreak_YT) is a prolific YouTuber who exposes fake guru scam artists and alerts would-be victims to the tactics used to part them from their hard-earned money.
What We Discuss with Coffeezilla:
- How fake gurus who profess to teach you how to get rich quick aren’t using these same methods to get rich — they’re using you.
- The classic framework used by fake gurus to entice their target demographic.
- How fake gurus leverage cult of personality dynamics to be both relatable and unquestionable.
- How fake gurus pass off once-legitimate moneymaking methods long after they’ve become obsolete and worthless.
- Why you don’t have to be especially gullible to fall for what a fake guru is selling, and you don’t have to be a steel-willed ice king or queen to resist their sleazy machinations.
- And much more…
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Scams have been around since the dawn of human history, adapting along with the pace of technology to sucker the unsuspecting with old tricks in new trappings — and the advent of the Internet has only made it easier for scam artists and fake gurus to separate the gullible from their life savings.
On this episode, we consult YouTuber and fake guru scam buster Coffeezilla about how to expose these predatory shysters for what they are by delving into their shady manipulation tactics. Whether you or a loved one is being tempted by work-from-home schemes, entrepreneur rackets, sketchy “investment” opportunities, multi-level marketing traps, or other scams and combinations of these fake guru-led, often cultish operations, understanding how to identify them and the mechanisms by which they work is the best chance you have of putting a stop to their shenanigans. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss the show we did with Frank Abagnale — the former con artist who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can? Catch up here with episode 1: Frank Abagnale | Scam Me If You Can!
If you enjoyed this session with Coffeezilla, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
Click here to thank Coffeezilla at Twitter!
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And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- Coffeezilla | YouTube
- Coffeezilla | Twitter
- Coffeezilla | Facebook
- This Entrepreneur Built a $360 Million Dollar SaaS Business, and It Was Entirely Self-Funded | Forbes
- What Is the Difference Between Sifu and Sensei? | WikiDiff
- “Bow to Your Sensei!” | Napoleon Dynamite
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One | TJHS 237
- Steven Hassan | Combating Cult Mind Control Part One | TJHS 238
- ZDoggMD | Debunking Plandemic COVID-19 Pseudoscience | TJHS 354
- Fork Over $2.5k, Learn to Scam via Kindle Unlimited | Patricia McLinn
- Amazon Abuses Workers and the Climate Because It Can | Truthdig
- How to Rescue Your Loved One From an MLM Scam | Feedback Friday | TJHS 164
- Chris Hansen | Twitter
- Speaking at Harvard University: Fake Guru X | Coffeezilla
Transcript for Coffeezilla | How to Expose Fake Guru Scams (Episode 368)
Coffeezilla: [00:00:00] He faked an appearance on Ellen and part of his little hyperreal where he's about to say his course is him appearing on Ellen. He's like, "Look how successful you can be if you follow my course." But when you look at that clip of Ellen, I found it and she was reacting to some Adele clip and he cropped out Adele and he put himself and he's like, "Yeah, look at me on it." These people, they're brazen because they know that most people don't look beyond the absolute surface.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:00:27] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most brilliant people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave. I want you to become a better thinker, especially a better critical thinker. And if you're new to the show, we've got episodes with spies, CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers, as well as toolboxes for skills like negotiation, body language, persuasion, and more. So if you're smart and you like to learn and improve, you're going to be right at home here with us.
[00:01:03] Scams are nothing new since I've been on the Internet. There have always been scams. In fact, even before that, there were plenty, they were just less plentiful and a little bit harder to find. The fake guru scam comes in all shapes and sizes, but what they have in common is that they all involve some sort of want-to-be mentor or cult of personality and they're perfectly suited to the Internet today. We'll chat with my friend, a YouTuber, by the name of Coffeezilla. He researches fake guru scammers online and exposes their tactics and shady inner workings so that you can avoid falling prey to their tricks. If you've ever seen these make-money-from home guys or these entrepreneur scams, business opportunities, learn how to sell or close this program. These scams are similar to multilevel marketing scams and other frauds. And that once you know that it exists and what the pieces look like and how it actually works. They're much easier to spot and easier to avoid. So I want to teach you how to do that here today with Coffeezilla. And I think it's going to be entertaining. It should be eye-opening.
[00:02:02] And if you want to know how I managed to get folks like Coffeezilla on the show, it's always, always, always about the network. Get your own network -- personal reasons, professional reasons, whatever it is. I know you might not think you need it, but if COVID-19 has taught us anything is that things can change really fast. And the only insurance policy, best insurance policy money cannot buy is your network, the people that know and know you. So check out our Six-Minute Networking course, which is free and always will be over at jordanharbinger.com/course. And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course and the newsletter. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong now. Here's Coffeezilla.
[00:02:40] What you do is so important. And the reason that I wanted to have you on the show is because I, like you, was hoping people were generally smarter than this. And I thought only dumb people fall for these at-home business scams, these guru scams. And it's just not true. Not that the guru scam has gotten more sophisticated, it's that the marks have gotten less sophisticated because they're younger. You know, before conman would go after elderly people or middle-aged people and have to go through hundreds of people in order to reach a victim. Now they're just going, "Well, I'm just going to do something on YouTube and reach 17-year-olds and they'll steal their mom's credit card, or they'll go take their entire last three years of savings and they'll give it to me for this stupid crap." So that to me is despicable. If you're 40 years old and you fall for something, you know, shame on me, shame on you. But if you're scamming 17, 18, 20-year-olds out of their college tuition, I'm going to take you down. And that's why you're on the show today. So can we discuss a little bit the system of the guru scam? What is the guru scam that you love shredding so much?
Coffeezilla: [00:03:43] Yeah, sure. A quick introduction, I run a YouTube channel called Coffeezilla, where basically I have this series called Fake Guru, which has sort of blown up, which has spoken to your point of how many people I have been ripped off by these scams. Because I started it, I didn't think there would be that much of a response. The response has been unbelievably -- both positive and heartbreaking -- with the stories that have been coming out of people going, "Yeah, I got ripped off for thousands, tens of thousands of dollars by these quote-unquote gurus." So yeah, let me unpack what the fake guru scam is as I call it.
[00:04:16] So there's this whole system of internet marketers -- what they are marketers --but they purport to be these experts in making money online. And they tell you, "Hey, I can get you to where I am." You know, they drive flashy cars, they wear fancy clothing, they speak like they're very successful. They have all the trappings of success, especially if you're a 20-year-old what you might think are the trappings of success, like a fancy house which is usually rented, but they make it seem like they own it, a fancy Lambo, whatever. And they say, "You know, if you want to be just like me, you need to join my course." Now, the course, it's usually about $2,000. And usually, it has an upsell to maybe a $20,000 course or something like that. But the course is usually just basic information you could find online. It's just pure garbage. And these people make all their money by teaching you how to make money. And it's never really successful because the real way they're making money is not by whatever business scheme they're selling you, which is like Dropshipping or Amazon FBA, or, I mean, you could think of a thousand selling.
[00:05:19] That's never how they're making their money. They're never making their money from the thing they're supposedly teaching you. They're always making their money from selling you the $2,000 course. So that's basically how it works. Ultimately, what you end up finding out is these people, either they lose $2,000 or worse, they get in this cycle of going to guru after guru chasing this dragon of wealth and they keep falling for it. So they fall into -- I mean, I've talked to people who are spent $50,000, who spent their entire life savings, who are now thousands of dollars in debt, all because of these scams that you see online, these little ads of these guys standing in front of Lamborghinis saying, "Come join my free webinar masterclass, where I'm going to teach you how to get rich."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:06:00] I was originally onto this stuff early in the game because, you know, as a podcaster and before when I was doing like coaching and training seminars, people go, "Oh, you're a podcaster, have me on your show and I'll talk about this new framework that I've got that earns a bunch of money," and I would go, "Oh, let me see it." And a lot of the time I'd go like, "Something doesn't add up here." You know, I saw guys like -- well, I won't name-check anyone just yet -- but I would see guys coming on and they couldn't even hold a coherent conversation. They'd just be like quoting Warren Buffet 5,000 times in a 30-minute period. And I'm like, "This doesn't seem right."
[00:06:33] And I remember there was one popular video where there was a guy who was like, "This is my house," and everyone's seen this video. So I go, "I'm just going to do a – what now call a Coffeezilla, but before had no name and I'll go, "Let me find out where this house is." So I'd find my friend who's like a realtor for Hollywood Hills. She goes, "Oh, I know, I know this area. It's probably this." I do like Google satellite view, find the house, and go, oh, okay, it's 731 Mulholland Drive and I'd look it up and sure enough vacation rentals by owner and I'm going, "Ah, you don't own the house." And then you could do like a quick fly-by or something like that, or even drive by because I go to L.A. all the time for media and I'd go, "Oh, there's the Lambo that was in the video." Let's look up the plate with a private investigator friend. Yeah. It's owned by luxurycarrental.net. It's not his car. You know, it's sure it might be not a day-long, week, month rental. It might be an annual, but it's still not this guy's car. Like it's there for appearances. And there was just more and more and more and more of that.
Coffeezilla: [00:07:35] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:07:35] I'm like, guy says he has a cold plunge chamber outside. I don't see one. You know, like all these little things fall through and I thought, again, nothing of it. But then more and more people start coming out of the woodwork. And I even had people from, uh, and I think I made this intro for you, people coming out of their companies and their scams, like employee number three would be a whistleblower and go, "Hey, Jordan, I know I can trust you. Don't quote me on this, but this whole thing is a scam. And I quit because I don't want to go to prison with so-and-so." So this is important to me because these guys are bilking millions of dollars out of not idiots who are my age or guys like me, who can go, "Wow. I just wasted 10 grand. That sucks. Oh, well. What's for lunch?" This is like, these people's last dime a lot of the time and they specifically target these people based on their level of desperation, because that makes them easy marks. And that to me is the worst part of this.
Coffeezilla: [00:08:28] Oh, yeah, absolutely. I mean, like some of them they'll specifically say like, "Hey, this training course, you can join under 18," for example. So it's like pitch specifically at those people or they'll target their ads where they know the demographic is young because there's a lot of kids. They don't really have a path in life and they maybe don't want to go to college, but they're working this dead-end job and they don't see a clear path forward. You know, there's a lot of disruption right now in a lot of industries. And, you know, they see these guys online -- and he made a great point about how a lot of their symbols of success aren't actually real. The Lambo is rented. The house is rented, but it looks real. And in this time where we're all looking at each other's Instagram and we're like, the YouTube ad is so convincing, you want to look at these people who are supposedly making so much money. And on top of that, there's been this sort of a mantra that's been going around that all the gurus who benefit from it have been basically preaching, which is, "You have to get a mentor, Jordan. You have to get a mentor."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:31] Oh yeah.
Coffeezilla: [00:09:32] And you know, who's going to be your mentor? Well, the people who are successful in your life probably don't have time to be your mentor. "Let me be your mentor. I'll be your mentor for a low, low price of $2,000, $10,000, $20,000." And look, there's nothing wrong with mentors, but people teach you what they know. And so what you end up having is a bunch of get-rich-quick mentors, teaching other people to teach get rich quick, who are then going to go sell get-rich-quick schemes. And they're going to go teach people how to get rich quick. It's like, what are we doing? Where does this end?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:09:59] It's a cycle. I often go, wait a minute. Why would I want to learn business techniques from a guy who essentially made all his money doing a stock scam in the '90s, or some kind of like commercial real estate? It's like, "Great, okay, commercial real estate. All right, I'm in. Tell me what you have to say." And then suddenly they're showing me how to sell info products and I'm going, "Whoa, wait, wait. You own commercial real estate in Arizona, but you're teaching me how to do something online using your course, like what's going on here?" There's a disconnect, but most people don't think that far. They just go, "Dude, look at that guy's car. Look, he's got a house. It's got a pool. I live in an apartment with my mom and I'm 30." Like, "I don't care, Jordan. Quit raining on my parade." Let's explore the framework of the guru here. There's a classic framework that all of these guys use. The framework isn't what makes them a scammer. But I think if we teach people the framework, they will go, "Ah, I'm in this part of their funnel right now. Is this a scam?" I want people's alarm bells to be triggered even if what they're doing is legit because they can always work that out later.
Coffeezilla: [00:11:08] For sure. Yeah. And it's, as you said, it's just this famous thing it's called a click funnel sort of named after Russell Brunson or a sales funnel. And so how it works is sort of at the top of the funnel, you're this cold lead you've never heard of this sales guy before, and you see an ad. You see an ad and it's of some guru you've seen before you haven't seen before. Let's say, Jordan, you're the guru for today. And you tell me, "Oh, come to my free webinar." It's always free. And it's always going to teach me how to get rich. And there's no investment that I initially think I have to make. So I go to your webpage. I give you my email and I sign up for this live webinar. It's never live, they've pre-recorded it. And they built all these appearances of being live because they know that if they say it's live, you're more likely to show up and you're more likely to kind of sit through the whole thing.
[00:11:53] So then what comes out of that is a three-hour webinar where they basically pitched you the entire time. It's a three-hour sales pitch for their $2,000 course. And they basically tell you, "Look at all these people who have had success." A lot of this is about social proof. So, you know, we've kind of joked that they have fake Lamborghinis, but there's something a little more sophisticated going on, which is, they know that before you buy a $2,000 course, you have to believe that they're legit. And so they will show you all the. All the appearances of legitimacy. They will show you the Forbes article that they bought, but they'll not tell you that they purchased it. They'll say, "Hey, look how successful I am. I'm featured in Forbes, you know, Forbes, you respect Forbes." "Hey, look at my students. They made millions of dollars," even though they didn't make millions of dollars. "Look at, you know, all my past success. I was just like you." They tell what's called a success. I think it's a story bridge is what they call it. They put themselves in your shoes. They know that their average buyer is broke, you know, disaffected. Everything he's been trying hasn't worked. And they say, "I was just like you, I was struggling. I was treading water."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:12:56] "I almost had to get a job."
Coffeezilla: [00:12:58] I almost had to get a J-O-B or worse I was working a J-O-B and hating my life. You know, a lot of --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:03] "Yeah, my boss yelled at me for the third time for coming in late."
Coffeezilla: [00:13:06] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:07] "So what I sleep until 10:30. What a loser. Now, I make more money than him."
Coffeezilla: [00:13:11] "Just a slave to the man. Then I threw my resignation on his desk." Yeah, exactly.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:13:16] "If this thing happened, that only happens in movies and I was the hero." That's what I see a lot where it's like, you see this in ads all the time. Like you're going to do this thing that no one does in real life, but you don't know that you're 17, 22 years old. You have no idea that people don't smack their boss in the face and walk out the door and not go to jail.
Coffeezilla: [00:13:34] Yes. Yes. And here's the key part. They say, "Look. I was where you are. And I bounced around and I made all these mistakes until I found the one secret or the three secrets." Usually, it's one or three secrets. "And I will tell you that secret to get you from A to Z way faster. It took me five years to get to a million dollars, $5 million, $10 million. I'll teach you, Jordan, how to do it. A proven blueprint in one year. If you just pay me $2,000, I'll take you from loser where I used to be. I used to be a loser like you, and I'll take you to winner where I am now. And I'll take you there. Blueprint, guaranteed. No problem. Look at all the testimonials, sign up, baby. Right, right, right, right now." And then they go, "Hey, my course, normally I'd sell it for $40,000. Normally, it's a hundred thousand dollars' worth of value. Look at all these things I'm going to give you." And it's all a bunch of E-crap, E-PDFs, MP4 that literally cost them nothing to give out, but they say, "Normally, people pay a hundred thousand dollars for this, but just this second for the next 50 minutes, I will give this to you for $2,000." Of course, there is no scarcity. It's invented scarcity.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:39] Right. And that maybe they'll say something like this too -- this is said a lot, "For the first 50 people that sign up." Of course, you're the only one in the webinar, but you think it's live and you think that a thousand people are there with you, they aren't. But they go, "For the first 50 people that sign up $2,000." So these people, they rushed to get their credit cards out cause they think, "Oh my gosh, I better jump on this deal while I still can."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:14:57] But you think there's other people in the webinar with you because the webinar is programmed to show 900, a thousand other people, and even the chats can be automated and faked.
Coffeezilla: [00:15:07] Yeah. Yeah. Well, they all are. Yeah. So when you sign up for webinars, if you ever have, usually you'll see like webinar jam or something like that, it will go, it will have this little timer where it says like how long it's been live. And even the guru will say something like, "Oh, is everyone in chat? Type yes to say that you're in chat," and you type yes. And you see a bunch of other names say yes too and that's all pre-programmed. It's all a lie. I mean, like, if you just think about it for a second, if somebody's lying to you from the second they start selling to you, they're lying about it being live. They're lying about other people being in there. They're lying about the fake scarcity. You have to wonder what are their intentions and what else are they willing to lie about? Maybe they're willing to lie about the fact that it's a proven blueprint to me being a millionaire, maybe. I mean, I don't know. That's crazy.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:15:47] Wild accusation. So wild promises. What about the cult of personality? That's an ingredient we didn't really touch on, but that's one of the major ingredients. It's never like, "Hey, look, I'm just a random guy. I Just have this thing. I'm nobody special." It's always, "Look, I'm super, super successful, super, super smart. I'm different than other people, but I'm just like you at the same time. I'm different than everyone else, but I'm also just like you, but you're different than everyone else. But don't think too hard about this. You're just going to hurt yourself. I'm different than everyone else that you've gotten scammed by, but I'm also just like you. So anyway, just give me your money." Like there's a cult of personality that's built around this stuff very deliberately. And you see this with a lot of the guys, especially the guys on your channel, which we'll link in the show notes that you takedown. There's a very specific type of cult. I use the term cult loosely, but there's a type of cult building going on.
Coffeezilla: [00:16:37] Yeah. So let me give an example because it goes from the not so overt where they call themselves a boss. "If you can be a boss, just like me, if you follow in my footsteps." There becomes this thing like the master and the pupil. Don't question the master. There are sayings, like work the system till it works, stuff like this, like where it's like, "You don't question me, you just do what I do." So that's already like a little bit of a don't question, me whatever, but it ranges from the sort of subtle to the more overt where they're asking their followers to call them sifu. They're asking their followers -- no, to literally call them Master Sri. And I think Sri actually means something like God or like his holiness. So actually what you're saying is like -- and I forget exactly which one it is -- but you're saying something like master his holiness and then the guy's name.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:23] Oh my God.
Coffeezilla: [00:17:24] So it's literally overtly, almost like a worship thing of like, "You are our leader." There's things where these gurus will say, "Hey, you're listening to too many gurus. Unsubscribed to everyone else. Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to your family. Maybe it's time to cut your family off because they're haters. They're haters who will never -- they're not rich --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:17:42] That's classic cult stuff right there, the isolation.
Coffeezilla: [00:14:44] "They're poor people. Your average of your five friends, right? So you better not be friends with anyone who's poor. Get rid of your old friends. Now, we can be your friends." And some of them, they call each other brothers and sisters. We are your brothers and sisters. All you need is your brothers and sisters, your sifu, your master Sri." I mean, I'm not kidding. You guys like this stuff is. Widespread these people that I'm talking about millions of followers, it's not like they're small potatoes. These are the successful people.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:08] That stuff is a little scary because it cuts people off from the support network that they need. Not only to get out of this mess --
Coffeezilla: [00:18:14] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:18:14] -- but also the people that are going to fall back on. You did an interview with a guy who was in one of these scammy -- I'll say cult, again the term used loosely -- this sort of online business cult. And he was saying he would get arguments with his family because they were like, "You are in a scam. You are giving your money away to this guy who is scamming you." And he's like, "Then I decided I'm not talking to my family because Sifu Dan told me this was going to happen." And it's like, yeah, he told you that was going to happen because sensible people go, "Hey, mom, dad," people with life experience in my life, "What do you think of the fact that this weird guy online who wears a cheap suit and walks around doing ridiculous stuff with money to try to impress kids. Do you think this guy's legit? He has no substance, anything." And they're like, "No, get away from this person." He's like, "You need to cut those people off. They're dragging you down." It's like, no, these are the voice of reason. It's very deliberate for people to get you away from other voices of reason.
[00:19:11] When I do this show, I want you to absorb as much content from everywhere on the Internet as possible. If I make a claim, go look it up in science magazines. When I do a debunk -- I debunked Plandemic. That went over well on YouTube, by the way -- I debunked Plandemic. The podcast audience was like, "Great." In the show notes, there are all of these links to science magazines. There's all these links to these reputable, scientific journals, debunking. And on YouTube, it's like just fury. I want you to go look at my sources and go, "Hey man, you know, you mischaracterized or misunderstood one of the arguments from one of your sources," but you don't get that. What you see with the guru webinar, the business gurus, what you see is, "Hey, don't absorb any other sources. Those are garbage. They're going to screw with you only absorb this one channel of information that I control because if you get other inputs it's going to mess up the magic of you manifesting more money," or whatever garbage they're pumping into your head.
Coffeezilla: [00:20:08] Yeah, that's right. And some of them -- like I've seen one, they have a bad Apple list where they tell everybody on their thing, "These are the channels you absolutely cannot watch. Like not only don't listen to people, but these are our haters and they are not to be listened to. So don't go to anyone who might have a criticism of us because you know, you might actually believe it. It'll only work for you if you believe it's going to work. So therefore if you go out and you seek other opinions, it's all going to fall apart." Yeah, extremely, it ranges from, like I said, the sort of subtle, a little bit of cult stuff here or there. Maybe don't listen to other people as much to the totally overt bad Apple list. Call me Sifu, brothers and sisters." I mean like really, and think about it. This isn't a religion. This is like make-money stuff.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:52] Yeah.
Coffeezilla: [00:20:52] I mean, when did this start becoming a part of make-money-online stuff? It's so strange. It's bizarre.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:20:57] Imagine you take a job at like, you know, you're a kid, you take a job in a movie theater, like I had, and the boss is like, "Bow to your sensei. Bow to your sensei." It reminds me of Napoleon Dynamite. The guy with the American flag pants.
Coffeezilla: [00:21:10] Oh, I missed the part where they have you listen to mantras every morning and night, 15-minute mantras. And some of them are like hypnosis guided tapes where the sifu guides you through this hypnosis about wealth affirmations. I mean, if your average person saw this, they'd be like, "This is totally bizarre," but you slowly get sucked into it. That's the thing. Everyone thinks I would never fall for this and one of the things that I kind of have to confront when people first hear about this stuff is. It is so natural to think, "Oh my gosh, who's going to fall for this." But the thing is that different people fall for different stuff. I mean, the people who fall for the wealth stuff, they're not going to fall for the romance stuff. There are romance scams now too, where people, you know, they make you fall in love and send me a bunch of money. And it's vice versa. I mean, they think, "Oh, who's going to fall for that romance stuff?" They fall for the wealth stuff. The people who won't fall for either of those, they fall for the health stuff. The guy who says he's going to cure your cancer with a Himalayan turtle pill or whatever.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:05] Let's talk about the fake money-making opportunities. A lot of these are dried up before they're even shared, right?
Coffeezilla: [00:22:13] Yes.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:22:15] A lot of these money-making opportunities are garbage and have long since ceased to work by the time this, these fake gurus teaching you how to do it, supposedly.
Coffeezilla: [00:22:24] Absolutely. I mean, like a classic example I always give is there was this Kindle course of how to make a million dollars on Kindle or whatever, get rich on Kendall by publishing the little 15 page books. And that ended up being a gigantic scam because by the time the course was released this little gimmick that you could do with Amazon's -- I don't want to get into it -- but there's this algorithm thing where if you're really clever for a very small window of time, there was a way to make some money, you know, making these crappy books. But by the time they made a course about it, the algorithm had changed. And of course, people were making literally nothing. So you're buying a $2,000 course with all the promises, with all the appearances of -- because somebody really did make a crazy amount of money and of course you don't see it. The rule of thumb is this, guys, if people were making a ton of money with something, you'd be the last to know about it. They're not going to tell the whole world because they want to basically milk the opportunity for as long as it lasts. And of course, competition drives up the opportunity faster than anything else. And so what you end up seeing is what these people do, they milk the opportunity. And then they sell the course. They get all their money out of it and then they sell the course. And sometimes they don't even do what they preach. I mean, I know some Amazon gurus who they don't even sell on Amazon. They fake screenshots. Like they faked sales screenshots to say like, "Oh yeah, I'm such a baller on Amazon." And then they sold a course. And they never actually did it. They never actually do the thing that they say they're doing.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:23:45] I love that about your channel because you'll zoom in on this blurry ass screenshot of a frame of a video and you go, "Oh, that looks like this." And you'll go to that and it'll be like, not the guy that owns that website. That will be like someone else's website and [00:24:00] they're using it as their example of their online business.
Coffeezilla: [00:24:02] These people are absolutely shameless. They don't think you'll notice. I mean, a great example of the most overt thing that I've ever seen was this guy who's pretty big on you. I mean, super big on YouTube. He faked an appearance on Ellen for trying to sell his little course where he was teaching you how to make a million dollars on YouTube or whatever. And part of his little hyperreal where he's about to say you, his course is him appearing on Ellen. He's like, "Look how successful you can be if you follow my course." But when you actually look, it's this clip of him, and then Ellen's like laughing at the clip hysterically or whatever. But when you look at that clip of Ellen, I found it, and she was reacting to some Adele clip and he cropped out Adele and he put himself and he's like, "Yeah, look at me on it." These people, they're brazen because they know that most people don't look beyond the absolute surface. I'm sure there are thousands of people before me who watched that and unquestioningly said, "Oh, well, nice job. You got on Ellen. I could get on Ellen too. Now if I followed this guy's advice." Yeah, that's my favorite thing to do. Those busts are hilarious because you know, they never thought they'd get busted for it. And it's so satisfying to watch these people. That clip was down within like days after I released my video, he was like, it took the whole video down.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:25:13] Yeah. Imagine how long he spent making a fake Ellen appearance. And the thing is nobody's really looking at this stuff except for you. And of course, I always see stuff and suspect it, but like investigating this stuff, they don't even care. It's like, there's this concept -- I'm trying to remember who told me this on the show. There was somebody who said the reason these Nigerian scammer emails are so dumb and the reason that they are so obviously scammy is that there's -- and I don't know if this is completely accurate. They want to screen the dumbest people. So they're typically going, "Why correct spelling? Why correct -- like, I want the dumbest lowest morons to screen into this because those are the ones who are going to send me $5,000 for PayPal fees or something that like doesn't even exist." So there may be something to that. But I think some of it is they know that the bottom 10 percent of the population, which is their target is going to go, "Oh, I recognize Ellen from TV. He was on TV. Guess he's credible. Guess I'll buy this." That's all they're hoping for it. None of these people are using critical thinking skills. None of them.
Coffeezilla: [00:26:24] Yeah, it is unfortunate. I mean, I remember I had a debate with this -- I have debates on my show with gurus. If they want to challenge me on points, you know, they can challenge me on points. One of them was -- I don't want to say who it is-- but basically, we had a phone call beforehand. I said, well, I was actually kind of surprised he wanted to do it. I was like, "Dude, I'm going to take you to task on this stuff."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:26:43] It's just the kid.
Coffeezilla: [00:26:44] I'm not going to say who it is, but I was like, "You lied about this. You lied about that. You're going to get roasted." I mean, I'm happy to do it, but I was just like, "Are you sure? We're going to live. I'm not taking this down." Because I expected him after I did it to be like, "No, you have to take that down, blah, blah, blah." So I was telling him like –
Jordan Harbinger: [00:026:58] Oh shit, I got conned.
Coffeezilla: [00:27:00] Right. I was like, "I'm not taking this down. So you just do whatever you want to do." He goes, "No, no, no, it's fine. Because of the fact that my buyers do not watch your stuff."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:27:08] Sure.
Coffeezilla: [00:27:08] Because if they watch this stuff, they'd never buy my stuff. So he goes, "You know what, my audience, that I'm actually targeting with all these like scams, they would never watch someone like you because they're not looking for critical things, right. They're just blindly buying into it." And he goes, "Yeah. So no matter what you say on this thing, I could look terrible to 90 percent of the world, but that's not ultimately who I care about. I'm targeting, like, as you said, the lowest bottom denominator, and that's why I actually have such passion about it. Isn't because, you know, people are getting rich. Some people say, "Oh, you're jealous. They're making so much money," which they are making a ton of money, but I'm mad because they're taking it from these desperate people. I mean, it's like, some of them are uneducated, but all of them are poor. All of them are in dire, dire straits, and they're looking for a way out. And you know what I mean? I've said it before, but desperation is the antidote to skepticism. You're not going to be skeptical of the miracle pill when you're finally sick on your deathbed. You won't be, you might think you're the most skeptical person in the world, but you'll try anything when you're desperate. And so that's what you ultimately come to. And so it's like for these people to be fleecing thousands, tens of thousands of dollars from desperate people, that's where I draw the line.
Peter Oldring: [00:28:21] You're listening to the Jordan harbinger show with our guest Stephen Coffeezilla. We'll be right back.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:28:27] This episode is sponsored in part by ExpressVPN. You've heard me talk about how important it is to have a VPN. And a lot of people don't know what these are.
Peter Oldring: [00:28:35] Have I ever, have I ever, you'll call me up in the middle of the night and that'll be a conversation starter.
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Peter Oldring: [00:29:59] What?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:29:59] Yeah.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:01] I know, I know.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:19] No. And you, you know, you're trying to move around down there and you don't need things getting wrapped up.
Peter Oldring: [00:30:24] No, my goodness. You know, the last thing you need is placement of voltage.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:30:27] That's right. And if you're doing it in the shower, which let's admit it, maybe not a great place to do the first one. It's maintenance trims only in the shower. If you do the first one in the shower, you're going to need some drain out.
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[00:31:25] And now back to Stephen Coffeezilla on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:31] Before the show you brought up the example of this one online guru, who is suing a single mom substitute teacher with a kid who I think has like disabilities or something like that, because she started a Facebook group saying, "Hey, I never got my money's worth from this guy. And now his customer service is giving me the runaround. Instead of just being like, "Here's a refund. Go away."
Coffeezilla: [00:31:54] Yup.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:31:54] He's suing her. She's already below the poverty line, essentially with a disabled kid. And he's like, "No, I'm just going to ruin your life now."
Coffeezilla: [00:32:02] So something I've heard before from some of these people is the thing about these victims is they have no money to fight back. So if we just push them legally, they're going to fold.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:10] Yeah.
Coffeezilla: [00:32:11] Because ultimately, unfortunately, our legal system is to some extent, a pay to play system. You just have to have a certain amount of money if you're going to play. So they bully people with money. Yeah, yeah, single mom, her son was depressed. She was a substitute teacher who I believe had quit her job because her son was all depressed. And then she tried this HDC thing because she was no longer a substitute teacher. So she no longer had money coming in, so she tried HDC. She gets thousands and thousands of dollars in debt and realizes what's going on starts a Facebook group for victims and says, "Hey guys, you know, I've gone through this process. I think this is how we're going to get refunds, et cetera, et cetera." Instant lawsuit, instant lawsuit, drag her to court and basically punish her for speaking up. And also send a message -- the whole thing is you're sending a message to everyone else. "Don't mess with me. I'm going to sue you."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:32:59] It's so sociopathic that it's, it really is itchy. Like there's like a gross itch somewhere in my psyche, seeing people selling scraping systems to do something that YouTube now demonetized. And that's like the secret to wealth in our century. Yeah. You know, the hyperbole is ridiculous. It's always a new opportunity. It's always novel. It's always, they don't want you to know. So it really panders to the beliefs that there's an underclass and there's an upper class. And the upper class has secrets. It's not like a factor of luck, which it often is, admittedly -- privilege which it often is -- or education or work ethic. It's always a secret that's been kept from you because otherwise, the sort of reality is, "Hey, you're downtrodden. And it's going to be really hard for you to get out of this because you don't have this, you don't have that. And also you're uneducated. And also, you know, this isn't working for you." It's always, "No, no, no, no, no. Guys like Jordan and Coffeezilla. They don't want you to know this because anything you get gets taken away from them," which is just not true, but it plays to the beliefs that a lot of people have, especially those under the poverty line or young people who don't want to go through the system of education because it's a big scam. You know, that kind of thing. It's always something like that. And you mentioned before, "This is $40,000 worth of value for only $1,000." You don't see clothing that was worth $2,500 but is now $90. Yeah. You see some stuff in clearance. It's rare, but I don't do webinars -- I don't do huge amounts of advertising. "We have a clearance rack here at this store. Come in here and get the cheapest crap we are trying to get rid of."
[00:34:42] No, you never have that. When you have massive advertising and you have fake scarcity, "If you don't buy this within 60 minutes, it's going to be gone. It's a digital product. Ignore the fact that we can make infinite numbers of copies. It's going to be gone." They're going to take this website down. They don't want you to know. We can't even get Plandemic offline and it's a bunch of crap. You have to call on different platforms to sensor it. Meanwhile, we're going to take down a website from some yahtz who's offering. I know how on some Reddit videos, like it just doesn't check out. So there's this whole oversell of health, wealth, happiness. You mentioned before elastic versus inelastic demand. I'd love to hear about that as an econ major. That's tickling my fancy.
Coffeezilla: [00:35:22] Oh yeah, sure. Yeah, great ramp by the way. You're so right up my alley, by the way, you're like speaking my language.
[00:35:28] Yeah. So this is something that I often say on my channel, which is my whole problem with a lot of the advertising around these failures, because some people say, "Hey, doesn't everyone sort of exaggerate their product? Doesn't everyone sort of talk up their product to the moon and back? Yes. But there's a difference when you're talking about health, wealth, and happiness, really, because they're what I call inelastic price demand products where basically normally -- like, if I try to sell you a phone, Jordan, there's only so much you will pay for that phone for the specs or whatever it has. If I try to sell you AirPods, there's only so much, there's a point at which you'll say, "You know what? No, absolutely not. I will not take that."
[00:36:07] And that fluctuates with how much supply and demand there is as if it's the last AirPods you pay more. If there's a ton of AirPods, you pay less, this is what's called an elastic price product. The price changes with supply and demand. So inelastic demand is where, "No matter what you're charging for it, I will buy it. I have to buy it." And so products like the easiest way to get people's head around is, "You have Alzheimer's. I have a magic pill that cures Alzheimer's no one else has it. And you will pay for anything, right? Because it's your life or it's the pill. So this is an inelastic demanded product. Whether I charge you 15 bucks or 5,000 bucks, you're going to pay it.
[00:36:44] The same is true of wealth products because think about it. Why wouldn't you buy a $5,000 course, if you truly believe it's going to make you 40,000. If you truly believe it's going to make you a millionaire. Because you know, I'll put it on my credit card. I'll pay it back when I become a millionaire. Right, Jordan? Like, of course, that makes sense.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:00] Yeah. Why not? Here's the thing. It's not just young people getting caught up in scams. I remember when I was in college, I went to law school and I had friends who were in medical school. They would do stupid crap and they go, "Well, I'm going to be a doctor. So yeah, I don't have to worry about my bad credit score. I don't have to worry about being in debt. Like I'm going to be a doctor. I'm going to be making so much money." Now, those guys are making like, $92,000 a year. And they're like, "Dude, my credit card debt is swallowing my lifestyle whole, I paid $20,000 a month because the interest is 16 grand on crap I bought in 2006." You know it's horrible. And imagine if you're not a doctor and you're paying that stuff off, you are completely effed.
Coffeezilla: [00:37:39] Oh yeah, absolutely. So like something I covered just the other day on my channel was this real estate scam where it's another get rich, quick scheme. Right? Of course, but they were using celebrities to get you in the door. So they would use like the guy from Shark Tank, Robert -- I forgot his --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:37:57] Yeah, Herjavec.
Coffeezilla: [00:37:57] Herjavec -- they would use these people from Flip or Flop to basically say, "Hey, we're promoting this real estate thing." And it was all an upsell into a $2,000 course into a $40,000 course. The $40,000 course, nobody there has that kind of money, right? So what do they say? Well, they pitch you to the moon. They do this advertising. You want this product because you believe you're going to be able to pay it back with your millions of dollars. So they say, "Hey, we're going to apply for a credit card in the back. Let's go apply for a credit card right now." Right? At this seminar. "Let's go apply for a credit card for you, so you can buy this product." And, you know, you might be saying, "Well, hey, I don't have good enough credit. I don't make enough money to apply for a credit card that can give me a $40,000 limit." They would say, "Oh, well, don't worry about that." This is kind of what I consider to be an innovation in the fake guru space -- sometimes I see it. They go, "Hey," listen to this, "Say your income is not what you're currently making. It's what you're going to make as a millionaire real estate investor."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:38:49] Oh man. That's illegal.
Coffeezilla: [00:38:50] Oh, it's very illegal and they got busted for it, but they would say like -- there's quotes of them in the federal trade commission lawsuit -- they're like, "Yeah, just go ahead and say you're making – well, usually say whatever you're making right now, you're just going to make a hundred thousand dollars more say that." And they're talking to you, they're coaching you through the little credit card application.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:06] Oh, they're like, you're on the phone with a credit card company and they're coaching you to do this.
Coffeezilla: [00:39:10] You're like sitting there and they're like, "Hey, this is what you're going to say. Go ahead. Call them right now. And let's swipe that card, baby. Let's swipe that card before you leave the seminar." This is what we're dealing with. I mean, this is so, you know, people are like, "Oh, everybody advertises like this. Everyone does --" No, this is a totally unique space of scamming. This is not, "This Volkswagen is going to make you happy." This is a whole nother level and these people that are left holding the bag. They're left with a $40,000 collection debt for a high-interest rate. They can't pay it back. They're not making the money they were promised, and then there's a money-back guarantee. There's not a money-back guarantee.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:39:46] Right. It's a fake. Yeah, I've heard about this where it's like -- in fact, we can talk about this right now. Why not? The money-back guarantee, sure, but it's not really possible for you to get it, because of -- well, tell us why. I mean, I know this is like a fake --
Coffeezilla: [00:40:01] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:40:02] It's an action-based refund. There are sketchy policies. Tell us what's going on here.
Coffeezilla: [00:40:05] Okay. So this is the dumbest thing ever. It's a diabolically genius because, in their webinar, they'll say, "A hundred-percent money-back guarantee, 30 days. Like what do you have to lose?" And they'll even tell you that they'll go, "Hey, if you have nothing to lose because we have this refund. So you're just letting fear hold you back. Jordan, you're just fearful. Take the plunge, man. What could you lose? There's nothing to lose because if you don't make money, we'll give you your money back." Then you sign up for the course and there's this little box that says, "I've read terms and conditions." In the terms and conditions, they say, "Well, actually this is an action-based refund guarantee. And to do this action-based refund guarantee, you have to complete a series of --" The seven circles of hell as I like to call it where you have to jump through hoop after hoop. First, you have to contact 12,000 businesses and get quotes from all of them. Then you have to go through 30 percent of the course, but not 40 percent of the course. So it's like this Goldilocks zone. You have to watch 30 percent because you have to prove you tried, but not 40 percent because that would be proof that you're pirating my course.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:05] Right. Right.
Coffeezilla: [00:41:06] And then you have to be posting once a week in the Facebook group and dah, dah, dah. And if you don't know about that at the start, and why would you, because they made it seem like there's no terms and conditions at all, there's just that little box you check.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:18] Right.
Coffeezilla: [00:41:18] So people find out -- day 29, they email back, "Hey, I didn't make any money. I need my refund." They go, "Oh, did you complete the things?" And they're like, "No. What conditions?" And they say, "Oh, the conditions listed on our terms and conditions that you --"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:41:29] Yeah. "You got to leave a 20-minute long video update every Friday in the Facebook group. If you don't, you can't get a refund."
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:23] That will be interesting.
Coffeezilla: [00:42:24] Yeah, It's going to be a good one.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:25] Right, right. And also there's a lack of a lot of metrics, right? So the metrics can be left up to the discretion of the person selling the course who has no incentive to give you a refund because the whole thing was a scam, anyway. So it's like, "Oh, well not only did you not leave this in Facebook, not only did you do too much of the course. But you have not done a satisfactory," whatever that means, "Like job working at the various exercises.
Coffeezilla: [00:42:51] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:42:51] Like there's no legal requirement to outline specifically what you need to do to get a refund. You can just not have a refund policy, but they want to give you a refund policy because people go, "Well, what's a refund policy?" So they make up one that is complete malarkey so that later on, they can say, "Well, you didn't fulfill it." And this is very common. I would love to see the secret shopper to sort of highlight how real this is. You have heard/have talked with people who are literally eating. Is this true? They're eating cat food because they have no money and they're in debt and they're doing these courses.
Coffeezilla: [00:43:21] Yeah. I mean, not only are they eating cat food, they told the salesman that they're eating cat food and they need this product. They need this product, they need this product. And the sales guy used it as an example of how desperate some of their clients were to make money. And they were all laughing about it. They were all like being like, "Oh yeah --"
Jordan Harbinger: [00:43:39] Oh, this is like a leaked call or leaked email.
Coffeezilla: [00:43:42] Well, basically behind closed doors, they had this mastermind of the types of people who buy our product and sort of the more extreme. I mean, admittingly, the more desperate, this is probably the most desperate person you can get on the phone. There was an old lady who basically was eating cat food because she had no money. This had to work for her, this had to work for, and they were talking about how that's the reason they don't like to press into what you're buying because why would they press into your financial situation -- because fundamentally as salespeople, they don't want to know.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:13] Right.
Coffeezilla: [00:44:14] Because they know the type of people deep down, they know the type of people who come and buy their product and they don't want to hear it. They don't need anything else weighing on their conscience at night.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:23] Right. It's like a psychological defense mechanism where they can go home and go, "Well, this person is fine." I mean, they'll be fine. They don't want to know that like you're basically homeless and you can't even afford food.
Coffeezilla: [00:44:33] Yeah. I mean, when I heard that, I was like, yeah, how did you go back to that job the next day?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:44:38] Yeah. Or sleep that night.
Coffeezilla: [00:44:40] And, you know, it's sort of -- in these organizations, they're just like the big, bad guy at the top but there's also this trickle-down of tons of people who sort of just doing their job, right? "I'm just doing my job. What harm am I doing?" And it's sort of unfortunate because yeah, I guess you are doing your job, you do need this, but I don't know what it's going to take for these people to sort of wake up and realize you're participating in this fleecing of millions of just poor people, that devastation. This is why I have on my show -- I don't just like to have, you know, like take-downs and dunking on these groups. I also like to have testimonials because at some point, it needs to hit home for people like this is crushing people's lives. I was talking to -- I told you off the air that I'm exploring this Ponzi scheme right now, but two of the people from the Ponzi scheme, when it all went belly up, they committed suicide because they spent everything they had. And it's like --
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:35] It's so horrible.
Coffeezilla: [00:45:36] Yeah, I mean, it's horrible, but like, this is what happens to victims. This is the most extreme case, but this is not the first time I've heard of suicide because of course went belly up and you spend every single dime you had.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:45:46] That's really bad. I mean, it goes without saying -- it's an understatement -- you are contributing to people's demise physically. I mean, that's even, probably goes without saying -- I'm not sure how much I even need to highlight that -- that that's sociopathic garbage.
[00:46:00] We see a lot of these guys having fake sales calls and they prey on the inexperience. I looked at some kid who was like, I don't know, he's like 18, 17 years old. And he's pretending to be on a sales call.
Coffeezilla: [00:46:10] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:11] After being in sales for a few years. I'm like, this is not how real sales calls go. This is how people who watch YouTube think sales calls go. "Oh yeah. Are you going to be a loser? Are you going to be a winner? All right. That's what I want to hear." It's like, you're not selling -- this isn't real. So it's geared towards people who don't have experience. And a lot of the social proof is engineered as well. Success stories, testimonials are often faked. Tell us the sort of revenue, profit scam, where they show the revenue instead of the actual profit.
Coffeezilla: [00:46:40] Oh yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:46:41] There's a lot of testimonials, by the way, before the course is even finished. That's always nice. "This course made me a million dollars." "Wait, didn't this come out today. Aren't I on the inaugural webinar for this course?" How does that work?
Coffeezilla: [00:46:50] Yeah, you got to project your income. Just like with the real estate thing, you got to project how much money you're going to make in your success story. So, yeah, the revenue profit thing is really funny. I mean, I saw this guy just the other day, zero to 20 million in one year in sales. Or he doesn't say it -- just he says zero to 20 million in one year, but that's not profit. That's first of all, revenue and he could have spent -- and I've seen this before -- they'll spend $19 million or 95 percent of their revenue is spent in ad spend. And so they've actually made like a 10th of what you make. So one time, because all these people were saying, you know, you make 100K in revenue using Amazon, I calculated how much you would profit if you made a 100K in revenue. And you know what the average person would profit? 100K in revenue sounds like you're making tons of money and that's what they all preach.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:38] Right.
Coffeezilla: [00:47:38] Get you to the 100K club is what you hear a lot. It's called the quit-your-job club. That's what they call it. But that's about $15,000 in profit, given an average profit margin on Amazon of like about 15 percent, that's reasonable.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:47:49] Because you have to buy the inventory and ship the item.
Coffeezilla: [00:47:51] Amazon takes a cut, of course. Why wouldn't -- by the way, how do these people think Jeff Bezos is so generous with money and like profit-sharing that he's got? You've heard all the stories of these people in the factory, you know, like not even being able to pee. You think all of a sudden he's going to let the Amazon sellers make all the money. Hell no, he takes all the -- every step of the way Jeff Bezos puts his hand in your pocket takes as much money as he possibly can to get you on a barely living wage. I mean, sure. At the top, the tippity tippity top, people are making some money. They're making a good amount of money. You can even make millions of dollars, but that is so much the minority.
[00:48:28] I did the math and 8.125 percent of people who become Amazon sellers, third-party sellers will make the income of a fry cook at McDonald's. So these people are saying, "Quit your job, quit your job with my genius Amazon FBA." Quit your McDonald's job and take a 92 percent risk that you're going to make less money or no money.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:48:48] I mean, that's horrible, of course. You're reminding me of -- this shouldn't be funny, but it kind of is. So somebody told me, "But wait a minute, Amazon is free shipping." And I go, "No, no, no. It's free shipping, not because the shipping part is free and you don't have to pay for that." Because I was trying to explain it. "You have to pay for the shipping of the item and the inventory." And he goes, "No, but Amazon is free shipping." I'm like, "It's free for the buyer. It's free for the buyer. It's not free for you."
Coffeezilla: [00:49:14] Yeah, of course, not.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:15] What are you thinking? And that's the whole thing, like part of the sales pitch of this one, this one guy was like, "Well, Amazon is free shipping." I'm like, "It's not free for you as a seller. Are you insane?" But no, yeah, you know, you're just going to add that to your bottom line. No problem. That's your net revenue right there, buddy? No.
Coffeezilla: [00:49:30] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:49:31] No. And if you're trying to drop ship fidget spinners, that ship has sailed, man. Nobody's buying those. These Facebook groups are full and some of the whistleblowers I've talked to -- their Facebook groups are full of, "Hey, this isn't working. Are you guys selling fidget spinners? It's not working for me." They're all competing against each other for the traffic, of course. So there are 7,000 new fidget spinner sellers.
Coffeezilla: [00:49:52] And the gurus know this. And so they put you full of metaphors, like this to get you to keep going. They go, "Hey, you're closer than you think. You're closer than you think, Jordan. You're about to boom. Just when you're at your lowest point is when you, boom." So, of course, you can always rationalize that the lower you go, the more desperate you are, the more destitute you are. "Well, I'm just getting closer to my boom. Of course, I'm about to be, you know, make millions of dollars, like my Sifu." When in reality, that guy doesn't do what you're doing. He sells the stuff it's all about -- I mean, there's only one way, there's one way to make a lot of money in this space and it's to be the seller of these courses. And I don't encourage it. I think it's awful. I think it's predatory, but you know, those are the people who are actually making money. That's the real "income opportunity." It's not any of these other things.
[00:50:44] And I want to be careful here. There is a way to make money on Amazon FBA, but it's hard work. It's technical. It's boring. It takes years. It's just like any other business. It's just difficult. It's not a shortcut to wealth. There are no shortcuts to wealth, except for selling a course. That's a shortcut to wealth.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:02] That's right. Selling a course to suckers. That's a shortcut to wealth. We see fake paid profiles on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, fake Amazon reviews.
Coffeezilla: [00:51:10] Yep.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:51:10] There's a lot of fake social proof out there. So anytime you see, like, "Hey, other people like this, other people are making money, doing this." Always doubt what you are seeing because some of that can either be fake, like the Ellen appearance or fake as in this whole thing. With multi-level marketing, you see this all the time. That's a different show, of course, but you see this, someone will go up on stage and go, "And then me and my husband, we quit our jobs and we have kids and we travel around the world." And what's funny is you can follow some of these people and maybe you meet them somewhere else. And it's like, "Oh, this is my --" This has actually happened to me. I saw somebody who was like a hardcore MLM supporter. And I go, "Huh, wow. Okay, well, one of those 0.4 percent people who are profitable and 0.01 percent people who are making an actual living off of multilevel marketing. And then as time goes on, it's like, I know some of their friends and stuff. "Yeah, you know, Angela, her husband lost her job." And I'm thinking, "Her husband lost her job? What are you talking about? They work for themselves. Aren't they doing that stupid MLM thing?" "Oh no, no, no, no, no. He works for UPS." "Wait, wait, wait, what do you mean he works for UPS? I thought he quit." "No, that's just kind of like, I don't know, maybe cut down his hours or something." I'm like, "No, no, no, no, no, no. He's still worked at UPS. That was just a bunch of bullshit." And then it's like, "Wait, how are they going through tough financial times? I mean, she's on stages, traveling all across the United States and Canada talking about how much money they're making, doing multi-level marketing." "Well, you know, those are unpaid." "Who cares if those are unpaid. She's making millions of dollars multilevel marketing." "Oh, wait a minute. That's a bunch of crap. She's doing that to recruit to her marketing team. She gets invited to do that at her own expense to recruit to her successful marketing team. But even that grift has gotten so stale that she's now in the red. So she's in financial hurt."
Coffeezilla: [00:52:56] Yeah. It's the total unironic application of fake it until you make it where they think that it is truly the way to success. I mean, look, fake it until you make it is good for confidence. It's good for a narrow scope of things. But you would never go into a software engineering job faking to know Python. You would never like who -- you're not going to go into a job and fake having a degree that you don't have, or you shouldn't. And so it is weird the way that these people apply, the fake it until you make it as if really that is the only way to be successful. "Oh yeah, Elon Musk. He must have faked it. Bill Gates, he must have faked it. All these people, they must've faked it." No, they actually learned a real skill. They applied, they grinded, they worked really hard. They ate dirt for years. So yeah, it is immensely frustrating.
[00:53:43] I wanted to get on the social proof thing because I find that fascinating because people would be surprised how sophisticated it gets. I think some people are aware, Amazon reviews are fake. That's like the lowest bar. Then it's like, okay, well, people will pay people to get them in Forbes. Okay. That's a little more sophisticated. That looks a little more legit. It has the appearance of being legit, but there's more than that. There are something like I exposed the other day. This guy had Chris Hansen, the investigative journalist.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:10] Oh, I saw that on your channel.
Coffeezilla: [00:54:11] He paid this guy to create an anti-scam infomercial, where it was all to sell this guy's course as the expert in anti-scams, but this guy himself is a scam. So he hires Chris Hansen because Chris Hansen has such a great -- he really does still have the reputation to some extent from his Catch a Predator days. He was sort of still known and so he goes, "I'm going to hire this guy, pay him a bunch of money. And have him say that I'm the expert in scams. So, therefore, I am now unable to be a scam myself, because how could I be a scam if I'm an expert in scams." That's way more sophisticated. I think most people who saw that probably didn't think to themselves, "Oh yeah, this is obviously paid, hired." Then you have -- I mean, I think we've talked about this a little bit. Fake Harvard speech.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:54:54] Oh yeah, I was going to out myself.
Coffeezilla: [00:54:57] Yeah, yeah, go ahead.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:55:00] I got scammed by the fake Harvard speech. Do you want to go over fake PR or are we kind of there already? I mean, we talked about fake Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc. profiles, fake magazine placement.
Coffeezilla: [00:55:08] Yeah, fake PR, real quick for those you don't know, it's not only positive things. It's negative. They will get websites removed. They will work all this SEO magic to basically present the appearance of being squeaky clean online while there's this sort of iceberg of dirt underneath the seafloor where it's like, what they're hiding from you. So, yeah, there's just, I mean, PR companies are making millions of dollars off these gurus to keep their reputation squeaky clean, but let's launch into how Jordan got scammed.
Peter Oldring: [00:55:41] This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our special guest Stephen Coffeezilla. Don't move. We'll be right back.
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Peter Oldring: [00:56:06] What?
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:07] Can you imagine? Yeah, your banned likes are gone, bro. It's over.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:12] Yeah, I guess you might want to go ahead and do that.
Peter Oldring: [00:56:14] I hope I wasn't lost in those 12 years of data.
Jordan Harbinger: [00:56:17] I'm sure they've kept some of the most important stuff around for posterity.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:58:24] Stay tuned after the show, you're going to hear a trailer for our interview with Frank. Abagnale, the inspiration for the movie, Catch Me If You Can. Frank used psychology and social engineering to pull off a stint as one of the most successful imposters the world has ever known. If you've seen the movie, you know, Frank posed as an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer, he even passed the bar exam. It's more than I can say for a few of my law school classmates. That's at the end of the show coming right up.
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Jordan Harbinger: [00:59:19] So, this is how I accidentally got taken by a fake PR scam. So I was at one of my friend's events who's -- he's a great speaking coach. And I showed up and it's like, part of his lead-gen is he's like, "Hey, these are my students from last round." And I was like, "Yeah." "I'll happily show you." Because he really improved my public speaking and they have vendors that kind of go in the beginning of the theater where you walk in and it's like, "Hey, here's a cool microphone. Here's how like a webinar software, here's a web hosting company," that kind of stuff. And this guy approaches me and goes, "Hey, hey man, I'm a publicist. I wanted to know if you wanted to join us at our Harvard event. You can be my guest there. I want you to give a talk before I do my other talks and my other people give their talks at this business school event." And I go, "Wow, cool, yeah, I've heard that sounds fun."
Coffeezilla: [01:00:09] It's legit, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:10] So I show up and I'm like, "Oh, some of these people are kind of weird and also like we're in the Harvard Business School, but we're kind of like -- we're in like a club room. We're not -- this isn't like a big auditorium. What's going on here? This is kind of weird." The first red flag was, "Where are the Harvard students?" These are all people --
Coffeezilla: [01:00:29] Yeah, you thought you're doing some commencement address or something like that.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:32] Yeah. Yeah. I thought I was doing like a club for, you know, online entrepreneurs at Harvard who wanted to hear from me. I really didn't think about it. But if these were all like 40 something, there's like chiropractors and dentists and stuff. Not there's anything wrong with those professions. I'm just like, "Where are the Harvard Business School students?"
Coffeezilla: [01:00:47] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:00:50] So I give my talk -- first of all, I prepare it. My talk is an hour-long, the general keynote that I give, and he goes, "So it's going to be 10 minutes," and I'm like annoyed, but I go, you know, I'm a guest at his event. There's obviously some sort of weird reschedule. And since I'm the freebie, he's just going to go, "All right, Jordan Harbinger has got to take the hit," and he was kind of apologetic and I go, "Fine, 10 minutes, fine." You know, whatever, it's fine. I'm here with my wife. I'm going to go get a great sandwich. I'm going to go get some crab sandwich later in Boston or lobster roll -- my bad, my bad, Boston. So I go and I give the talk and it's very weird, like hyped up kind of weird that like it's all live-streamed and it's like live stream on some people's phones. And there's like two people watching the live stream because they could see the screen of his assistant's phone.
Coffeezilla: [01:01:37] There's nothing sadder than two people watching. And one of them is the screen you're looking at
Jordan Harbinger: [01:01:42] For sure that counted, and the other person's like in the other room checking to make sure the sound levels are okay. So then I go, "Huh? That's not a Harvard School logo, but maybe that maybe this club has like a different logo that they use." I didn't think too hard about it. After 10 minutes, all of these people are approaching me and like, "Hey, can I take a photo with you?" And I'm like, "Yeah, cool, whatever. It's kind of cool." I'm not used to that. But then I walk outside and they're like, "Here's an award for you." And a guy runs over with a camera and I got an award like I wasn't told about this. I'm kind of surprised I take this glass award -- not even glass like this plastic cut award thing. And I pose for a photo and I'm like, "That's kind of a cool, like weird gift, but whatever. It's a nice gesture." Then this guy in a Hawaiian shirt -- I'm not even kidding -- runs up, puts his arm around me and the video guy's still there. He goes, "I'm Jordan's publisher of his bestselling book," and I'm like, "Whoa," I stopped in the middle of the video. And I go, "I don't have a book. You are not my publisher."
Coffeezilla: [01:02:41] I would love to see this video.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:43] Me too.
Coffeezilla: [01:02:44] This could be in a cringe compilation of like --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:02:48] Me too. But also I'm kind of glad -- like hoping it's not there. So I stopped in the middle of the video and I go, "Dude, I don't have a book. I don't know what this award is. What is going on?" And the guy goes, "No, no, no, no, no." They're like -- he's like, "Pause the video, pause the video." So he proceeds to explain, "Everybody who's going to be speaking at this event, our speeches are going to be transcribed, and the transcription is going into a PDF, which has been pre-sold to" -- wait for it -- "Everybody in that room who paid to be here." And that's when my world came crumbling down and I go, holy crap, everyone in this room had paid, like, I don't know, five grand or whatever to go and give a talk at Harvard. Everybody, except me. I'm the idiot, I'm the biggest dumbass because I didn't realize what was going on. They took those speeches or they were going to take those speeches. They put them in a book. They pre-sold the book to everybody, like at the same time. So there's 150 people or something that all bought this book on the same day, whatever they had, their friends and family buy it on Amazon for free or for 99 cents. So it hit the Amazon top whatever list. They screenshot it. And they go, "Oh, you're a bestselling author now." And this guy was the "publisher" because I don't know if his job was to manage the virtual assistant that was going to copy and paste all the transcripts into that one book. So I'm like what the actual F is going on here.
[01:04:08] So I walked out -- I told my wife, I called her, I went outside. I called her and I go, "I just have to process what's going on." And she goes, "Come back to the hotel right now. I'm changing our flight." Like we fled to Boston because we were like -- as if they were going to chase us. We fled. And I was like, "What is going on?" And so I write the guy and I'm like, "Hey man, this was so clearly not the business. Like what's going on, tell me the truth." And this guy explains everything. He doesn't even try to deny it. And he goes, "By the way, I'm having an event at West Point in a couple of months, do you want to come?" And I was just like, click, just what planet am I on?
Coffeezilla: [01:04:47] This is my favorite story ever.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:48] I've been tricked.
Coffeezilla: [01:04:49] Yeah. Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:50] I was the social proof.
Coffeezilla: [01:04:51] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:04:51] By the way, how sad is that? Like, I'm your social proof? So sorry about that.
Coffeezilla: [01:04:56] No, no, I mean, this is just a perfect illustration of the different planet that Internet marketers are on. The people who engage in sort of this weird kind of social proof by any means.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:08] Yeah, like delusional.
Coffeezilla: [01:05:10] I mean, again, it's the delusional fake it until you make it. Like a little bit is okay, but too much will get you into a world of trouble. And the idea here for everyone who hasn't caught on yet, just to spell it out is Harvard hadn't sanctioned this event at all.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:24] Right.
Coffeezilla: [01:05:25] The idea is if you put yourself on Harvard campus, you can say, "I spoke at Harvard," without technically lying. All of this Internet marketing stuff is, "I'm not technically lying, but you're lying in every other sense." Right? Like, "I'm in Forbes." That's true. But you pay to get in Forbes, but you're not going to mention that. "I spoke at Harvard." Well, you spoke at Harvard, but not Harvard didn't want anything to do with you. And they later banned that guy.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:05:48] I heard about that.
Coffeezilla: [01:05:49] It was like dominos because they ban the guy. I'm pretty sure West Point has also banned the guy at this point. So this guy has like slowly tried to find, "Okay, who's the most reputable person who hasn't heard about me yet, so I can go crash their party," rent out a room and say -- so they're speaking at NASDAQ, they're speaking at Coca Cola, all this stuff. And all of these Internet marketers, they have this mentality of, "Well, everybody else is doing it. I got to do it. I mean, if I don't have a speech at Coca Cola or Harvard, you know, how do I compete against all the other gurus who are saying they spoke at Harvard." And there's this thought that reputation's never going to catch up with you and it will. Like reputation will eventually -- the Internet we'll figure it out. I believe that
Jordan Harbinger: [01:06:29] I'd like to think that, and what's funny is, of course, I took that off my website immediately. Because I put it on like a day out and I was like, "This is so exciting!" I was like, "Hey, web designer, remember when I gave you that logo and you got to like -- so this is awkward, but you have to take it off of my web." At the time a web designer goes, "Why do you want me to remove it? I mean, it's such a good cred." And I go, "It's a long story. Just take it out for now." You know, it was like such a cringe tail between the legs moment. I did thankfully speak at Harvard for something else. And I was like, "Yes, thank God."
Coffeezilla: [01:07:01] Yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:02] It was really funny too. I remember feeling this unreasonable sense of satisfaction because I had --
Coffeezilla: [01:07:07] You had made it.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:08] I had to fill that space in my cognitive dissonance for like years. And I was like, "Yes. Okay. Now, I don't feel like such a POS." It's been interesting because the same person, who's just such a weird person. Honestly, who's doing this -- the whole West Point thing. I remember emailing the person they said was going to be at West Point. It's like an astronaut or a general or something, I guess probably, it was a general. And I remember emailing his team and going, "Hey, FYI, this is like this thing I was duped in." And his team goes, "Thank you. We'll take this under consideration." I don't know if they canceled or not, but I think it might've been kind of too late. Like, "Crap! it's tomorrow." You know, that kind of thing, because it was like right --
Coffeezilla: [01:07:45] Right, sure.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:07:46] The trick is they don't tell the person, "Hey, show up and you're at this bullcrap event. We're going to give you 10 grand." They're like, "Yeah, just do a meet and greet, a couple of photos, people want to meet somebody who's in uniform at West Point." And some like, I guess, dean of the schools, like, "So I wear my class A and you donate 25 grand to the endowment of this university to give other people scholarships or you give me your 25 grand. However, it works." "Sure." And they kind of might look sideways at you, but they're like, "Eh, people on selfies with a general, it can't be any deeper than that." They're not thinking, "Holy crap, this is like a massive grift."
Coffeezilla: [01:08:22] I saw recently that the guy – okay, he's good at what he does. He tricks a lot of people. And so his whole mentality, his whole philosophy is hilarious to me because his whole idea is fame is proximity to fame. So if you can get proximity to reputation and status, you will become well-respected and you'll be of high status. It's like the most simplistic thought about how reputation works. So his whole idea and his whole pitch to people is, "I'll get you on the local news. I'll get you on this and this, and this is going to help your marketing to be able to say that you were on all these things." So I saw one of his recent events, Caitlin Jenner's there.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:08:56] Wow. Who's like a big name. I mean, she's like --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:00] Yeah.
Coffeezilla: [01:09:00] It's a super big get. And it's like -- I thought at the time, "Wow, Caitlin must be strapped for cash," but now I'm thinking, "There's no way she knows." Like, I didn't realize he was tricking, tricking the speakers, because in his talks with his students, according to him, he would tell them that it was a fake upfront and he would be totally transparent about it. So I thought --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:22] No way,
Coffeezilla: [01:09:23] I didn't realize there was a big disconnect between the people who were invited for free versus the people who are going as a thing for their marketing and their promos and whatever.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:09:33] Nobody that I -- you know what, I shouldn't say that they didn't know it was fake. I'm the idiot who didn't know it was fake, but I don't know if everybody else had a clue. I think if somebody said, "Hey, Jordan, give me five grand. Come to Harvard. Your speech is five minutes along." I'd be like, "What?" But I was invited as a guest, so it never occurred to me that this was a grift. I was just like, "Eh, it's kind of a weird event." Like I said when I found out my talk was 10 minutes long, which was the day before I go, "Huh? Okay." So a couple of days before, I go, "Eh, he had like a scheduling snafu. I'm not going to cancel a flight and not go. I'll just go and enjoy Boston, and I'll give a 10-minute talk at Harvard and what's the big deal." I remember telling my wife, "There's probably going to be other interesting speakers there. So that should be fun." And of course, everybody gave a five-minute life story about how they became a dentist. And I was just like, "Oh, I get it now."
Coffeezilla: [01:10:28] But you redeemed yourself, you redeemed yourself. And that's where we should leave that story is that you did actually go talk at Harvard. That I imagine that was very satisfying.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:38] It was. And I remember thinking, "Should I tell this story on the stage at Harvard?" And then I went, "Nope, definitely. Should not." That sounded like a quick way to get escorted off the very stage I was on like, "Oh, you were part of that thing."
Coffeezilla: [01:10:52] Right.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:10:53] Adios. Before we wrap here, I do want to come up with -- I want to handle a couple of objections because a lot of people will go, "Well, wait a minute." You know, some of this works, it's just that most of the people that do it are bitter because they didn't work hard enough or they sabotage. And one of the common sorts of refrains is, "If this doesn't work for you, don't be salty about it. It's because you're self-sabotaging."
Coffeezilla: [01:11:16] Sure. Yeah. I mean, that is super common. And all I'll say to that is the people making money off you aren't making money doing what they're teaching you to "make money on". And also all of this stuff is find-able online for free. As we talked about, they always pitch it as if it's some big secret, but there are no secrets we're in the age of the Internet, baby. I mean, if there are, they're about advanced topics, they're not the basics of Amazon Fulfillment by Amazon. They're not the basics of Dropshipping. And so that is a common trap to get victims, to blame themselves. And I've seen this over and over again. These victims, they'll have lost $50,000 and they go, "You know, I worked so hard, but maybe I was just a little bit off. Maybe if I would just --" And it's like, no, this thing that you've been sold as like the blueprint that works, it just doesn't work. No, one's gotten rich off of it. Not you, not the person selling it. This isn't this proven thing, or the opportunity has dried up like we've been talking about. So, you know, it is true that -- the one thing that I agree with gurus on is that sometimes people don't put into action everything that they sell, but ultimately their stuff is predatory. It preys on young, desperate, broke people and it's inexcusable at the end of the day.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:12:32] What about some of this philanthropy, for goodwill? There's a whole Pablo Escobar analogy here. What is Pablo Escobar like? Yeah, he killed so many people. He's a horrible, horrible person. Well, countless deaths, not just the drugs. I mean, murdering innocent people who wouldn't go along with his stuff or knew too much or whatever -- paid for roads and schools in poor areas. So a lot of the people in the area where he wanted to go and take refuge, they would be like, "He's great. He built the school and the soccer field where my kid plays soccer." And it's like, he killed 3,000 policemen who weren't going to go along with it and corrupted the whole country. We see a lesser more amateur Internet, bull crapper version of this when we see -- guys say, "I built seven schools in Guatemala." And it's like, "Yeah, but you got the money from grifting people on penny stocks, D bag." There's a whole kind of Pablo Escobar thing. You've seen this, right?
Coffeezilla: [01:13:23] Absolutely. I mean, yeah, this guy -- like I talked to this charity owner who had been sponsored by this internet grifter. And he was like, "Yeah, it ruined our reputation for a long time. I'm trying to rebuild this thing." They were building basically schools in Africa and this was this guy's whole thing. It's like, "How can I be a scam? I'm helping people." And actually, I'll have my students who bought into my thing, come down and help with the charity, but he wouldn't pay for their tickets or anything like that. They would pay to be a part of the charity and work and do all this labor. And then he would take credit for all their stuff and say, "Yeah, look at what is such a good eye -- what a good guy I am. I've done all this stuff." But you're absolutely right. I mean, it's a way too. It's called laundering your reputation.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:03] Oh, I love that.
Coffeezilla: [01:14:04] You do a few good things, but you've also done so many bad things that like this little bit of good, you've done a real actual enterprise, maybe. It doesn't all of a sudden make everything else clean, but they think it does
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:16] Laundering your reputation. I love that. It's like these guys will make a two-million-dollar donation and they'll go, "See, look at this. I'm here making sure I traveled the world, building schools. I traveled the world doing educational programs. I'm donating my wealth. I'm going to join that Bill Gates type thing," where you die without your money because you donated it to some sort of disease eradication fund. And it's like, "Well, wait, how'd you get so wealthy? Oh, I get, Oh, you're selling courses on a, watch trading because watches are a good investment," or some other crap like this.
Coffeezilla: [01:14:53] And to be clear, neither of us are donation shaming in of itself.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:14:57] No, no.
Coffeezilla: [01:14:58] And what we're talking about, it's a specific type of donation too, because even -- I don't have a problem if somebody made their money illicitly. The best thing they can do with that money is to go and donate it to charity. I mean, honestly, you've gotten it for bad reasons, but sure go give it to charity. But that's not what they're doing. they're spending it for the purpose of laundering their reputation. They're spending it exactly to show it off all over the Internet. And you'll often see tweets about it, or they'll say like, look how much money I gave and they make sure to prop it up so everyone can see exactly. They won't give a dime without telling you about exactly how many dimes they gave away. And so that's the kind of stuff we're talking about. I just want to be clear about that. Because I think in the wrong context, you can think, "Oh yeah, these guys are just hating on people trying to do a good thing." Absolutely not. This is another type of social proof that these people do knowingly to basically improve their little E-name and prevent the idea of their scammer from getting out.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:15:55] Right. Like, "Oh, if you were a scammer, he would have just bought another Lambo and another boat, not donated a bunch of money." And it's like, "Well, wait a minute, the last two years, all this guy's doing is showing how he's speaking at the event for the charity, how he's traveling around the world. Oh, but he's building schools, so it's fine." Yeah, he stayed in five-star hotels off the grift money, but you know, let's sweep that under the rug. It is marketing dollars.
Coffeezilla: [01:16:16] Yup, yup.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:16:18] Period. Before we go, I am so curious. There's a lot of these videos that's like such-and-such name, guru scam. What's going on here? This has to do with the YouTube algorithm. I can't quite put my finger on it. Is this just a sort of nab search results for their name? Because otherwise, somebody will find one of your videos where they're actually talking about this person being a scam what's going on there.
Coffeezilla: [01:16:38] Yeah. So this is the most bizarre thing you'll encounter. If you don't know what's going on. You'll have a question about a guru and you'll go, dah, dah, dah, dah scam, or dah, dah, dah, dah exposed. And these videos will come up that says such and such and such as a fraud, a hundred percent proof. You click on it because you're like, "Okay, this is giving me the information I want. And then it's a gigantic pitch for their course." They go, "In this video, I'm going to show you why I think that he's not a fraud, dah, dah, and you should buy his course." What's going on here is something called affiliate marketing, which we haven't touched on, which is where I can basically sell your product for you and get a cut of that product. And so what they're doing is, you know, a $2,000 product is a high-ticket course. And when there's no overhead for selling it, it's all pure profit. These people will give a gigantic amount of the profits away to their affiliates sponsors. And so they'll maybe give a thousand dollars away for a $2,000-course sale. So what comes up is like there's sort of the shark, the guru, and there's always all these remora around them trying to feed off the leftover chunks of whatever -- all the people that shark is eating.
[01:17:39] And so they make all these videos trying to capture all the people skeptical of this guy and trying to convince them, "Oh yeah, this is not a scam, whatever," so they can get a sale and they can basically make money off of it. And for the guru, it's a good thing because they get protection from videos like mine, which show what they're actually doing because in Google search results, they want to show you the most relevant thing and what could be more relevant to dah, dah, dah, dah scam, then -- yeah, Jordan Harbinger scam, a hundred percent proof verified. So this is what you see a lot of the time. You can look up your favorite guru right now on YouTube. I guarantee you'll see a video like this. It'll say what you think you're going to get. And then it'll be the opposite. They'll be basically pitching the guy's course by the end of it.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:18:21] How come these schmucks haven't sued you into oblivion?
Coffeezilla: [01:18:24] Well, they've tried. I mean, they've sent me a lot of cease and desist letters. I've had to retain counsel and we've sent some letters back to them basically saying, "You have nothing on us and come at us if you want to try."
Jordan Harbinger: [01:18:37] Yeah. Come at us and we'll do discovery and then we'll see what your financial records look like.
Coffeezilla: [01:18:41] It's definitely not, I don't want to project that I want, or I'm looking for a lawsuit. Lawsuits are prohibitively expensive. Everyone knows it. They're terrible, but I've learned to be careful. I've learned what I can say, what I can't say. And ultimately, a defense against defamation and slander is the truth. And that's ultimately what the reason a lot of these people aren't going forward is when I say, "Oh yeah, you're a fake guru. And you've ripped such-and-such person off." I'm careful that they actually have ripped that person off and they have, so when they go and they say, "Hey, you can't be saying that." The question is, "Well, was I just telling the truth and you're mad about it?" "Yes." Sorry. It's hurting your business, but at the end of the day, you're hurting people. So we've got to do something about that.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:24] Well, thank you for exposing untruth and fighting for the truth, because I think we all know it would be much more profitable if you just lied to everyone and sold your own course. So I think we're all in this -- I mean, trust me, there are days where I go --
Coffeezilla: [01:19:39] There are days.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:40] "I'm in the wrong business," but then, of course, I look at my 10-month-old kid and I go, no, no, no, no. I got to sleep at night.
Coffeezilla: [01:19:46] That's right.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:19:46] And honestly, I don't understand how you can need money so bad or want something so bad. Who cares about a car? You have no integrity. There are days where I go, "I'm the sucker." You know, I'm the one who goes, "Yeah, I can't do that because I don't care about a Lambo enough to want to sacrifice my reputation," but it's like maybe I'm the dumbass.
Coffeezilla: [01:20:07] We all think that just, yeah.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:20:08] Yeah. I just can't look at my family and kid in the face -- my wife would -- she would literally divorce me if I did something like this. The gap between who I was and who I am at that point or who I wouldn't be at that point would be so great. It would be like a different person and she wouldn't be able to stay with me. I know this to be a fact, I would lose my family if I were to do something like this. And I look at these people and I go, "Who's married to you and goes that's okay because we have a jet. That's okay because we go on nice vacations." That's what I always wonder. And I think that has to be a crappy place to grow up.
Coffeezilla: [01:20:41] Oh, absolutely. Yeah. And I joke about the same things all the time with my friends. I'm like, "I probably would be the best guru ever cause I've watched all the greats do it and I've broken down how it works. It's not easy, but it's definitely not hard to do this. It's probably what I would rank as the easiest way to make quick cash. And by quick cash, I mean, millions of dollars in the world that I could think of right now. It's not a real business in the sense of, there's really not much overhead. There's not much in terms of labor. It's all about faking it. So you need absolutely zero qualifications and I'm not trying to pitch it here. My point is --
Jordan Harbinger: [01:21:16 Yeah, I was like, keep selling it. Tell us more.
Coffeezilla: [01:21:19] My point is that this industry desperately needs regulation. It desperately needs people to step in. My call has always been -- look, I don't want to make fake guru videos forever. I love -- I find it funny, but ultimately I hope that the Federal Trade Commission steps and realizes that this is a massive problem and they make reforms. I don't think you should be able to say without being punished. "Hey yeah, you're going to make a million dollars. Hey yeah, this is how you're going to get rich. Hey, yeah, come get a Lambo like me." That's called an implied earnings claim. When I'm sitting in front of a Lambo saying, "You can be just like me." That's an implied earnings claim. I shouldn't be able to do that while selling my garbage course but, of course, you know, they're allowed to right now. So that's my long game is that I hope that happens and that I can move on with my life and -- I don't know maybe I would still do some kind of investigation because I kind of get a kick out of it. There's something in me that likes that justice.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:22:08] You're not going to run out of pieces of crap to investigate --
Coffeezilla: [01:22:10] No, I'm not. I'm not.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:22:13] -- on the Internet. I'll tell you that. Don't worry the FTC covers the fake guru scam. We just go after -- I mean, where do I even begin with the list of crap. You want to just go after MLM. Oh, the FTC wrapped them into. Cool. Well, let's go after Ponzi schemes. Oh, FTC roped them into. Let's go after business opportunities. I mean, we could do a video every day for the next decade and we wouldn't even run out of the types of scams that people are out there. That's why I wanted to do this framework where people can go here are the common tactics used by people that are selling you a bunch of crap.
Coffeezilla: [01:22:44] Yeah, that's absolutely right. And once again, guys, for those of you out there, you're young. You're looking to make a quick buck, just give up that dream now. The sooner you give up that illusion of like, "I'm going to be the guy who gets the Lambo by the time I'm 26." Give it up now. Save yourself a ton of time, learn a real skill, read a book for God's sake. A lot of this stuff is only compelling to people who haven't read a single self-help book in their life. Like all these guys are regurgitating obvious stuff that was written about 50 years ago and said a lot better. So read a book, learn a skill, and you know, maybe get a real job that wouldn't hurt a lot of people.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:23:20] Yeah, no, that wouldn't hurt. I want to mention, we didn't mention specific scammers because I don't want people to go -- and this is important -- I don't want people to go, "Well, they didn't mention this guy. So that guy must be legit." Because we don't have time to mention all of these shysters out there, all the scammers, all the grifters. There are too many to count, first of all. So we teach you the framework so you can spot the framework. Because if we mentioned a name and then we don't mention the next guy who comes out next week, then suddenly it's well, that guy must be legit because Jordan and Coffeezilla didn't mention them.
[01:23:51] So once we teach people the framework through this show and through the podcast version or the YouTube version, whichever version you're watching or listening to right now, if you can spot the framework, then you can start to ask the critical thinking and the questions that are required to disassemble this and find out whether you're being had or not. And if you get the framework, then it doesn't matter what the name is, what the flavor is, what the business opportunity is, it's going to be something that it will scam. You'll be able to spot it beforehand and hopefully before you hand over your credit card. So Coffeezilla, thank you so much. I recommend your channel. I watch it all the time because who doesn't want to watch a good takedown, right?
Coffeezilla: [01:24:28] It's entertaining. Thank you so much for having me on. I really enjoyed it. Appreciated being able to kind of give the gospel to your audience.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:24:35] You got it, man.
Coffeezilla: [01:24:36] Appreciate it.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:24:39] Big thank you to Coffeezilla. We will be linking to his YouTube channel in the show notes and links to all of his stuff. Also in the show notes, there are going to be worksheets just like there are for each episode. So you can review what you've learned here today from Coffeezilla. We also now have transcripts for each episode, and those can be found in the show notes as well.
[01:24:56] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships, using systems and tiny habits over at our Six-Minute Networking course, that's free. That's over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Now, you can kick the can down the road. You can do it later, but you will run into problems. You have to dig the well before you get thirsty. You have to build your network before you need it even if it means you've got to start from scratch. These drills take just a few minutes a day. Hence the name Six-Minute Networking. Find it for free at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:25:25] And by the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribed to the course and the newsletter. So come join us, you'll be in smart company. In fact, why not reach out to Coffeezilla and tell him you enjoyed this episode of the show. Show guests love hearing from you, you never know what might shake out of that. Speaking of building relationships, you can always reach out and follow me on social media. And I'm very reachable there, by the way, people. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram.
[01:25:49] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. This episode is produced by Jen Harbinger and engineered by Jase Sanderson, show notes and worksheets by Robert Fogarty, music by Evan Viola. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. Our advice and opinions, and those of our guests are their own. And yeah, I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. So do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. And remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's into these scams or thinks that they're going to get a mentor, make money online, share this episode with them. I do hope you find something great in every episode. So please do share the show with those you love. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
Frank Abagnale: [01:26:38] When I put that pilot's uniform on, no one questioned that I look too young to be a pilot. I did walk up to a TWA counter. I was in a uniform. I was getting ready to purchase a ticket. And she said to me, "Are you buying or riding." I said, "I beg your pardon?" "You want to be in the jump seat?" I said, "The jump seat?" "Yeah, I'll give you a pass. Just go on the jump seat." Well, I learned everything as I went. I had no idea you could do this. So then, I started riding around on planes in the jump seat.
[01:27:08] I walked in a bank in Chicago, so I went into the bank and opened the account and I handed the girl a hundred dollars and she said, "Well, here's some temporary checks. We'll be mailing you your printed check." Now, because I was young and inquisitive, I just happened to say to her, "I noticed that I don't have any deposit slips." "Oh no, if you need to make a deposit in the meantime, just go over there to that table in the lobby and help yourself to a blank deposit slip. Then write your account number in and then use these until you get your printed ones." Well, I wonder what would happen if I encoded my account number on the bottom of all these blanks. And then I went back to the bank, put them on the shelf. So that's exactly what I did and everybody who came in, put their money in my account.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:27:48] Oh, Frank Abagnale, could write a check on a piece of toilet paper, drawn on the Confederate States Treasury, sign it U.R. Hooked, and cash it at any bank in town using a Hong Kong driver's license for identification.
Frank Abagnale: [01:28:02] I could, and I believed I could, and I probably would. They only saw that uniform. They paid no attention to the check.
Jordan Harbinger: [01:28:10] If you want to hear more from the mind of one of the most successful imposters the world has ever known check out episode one of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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