These Virtual Assistant Con Artists Are Hurting Your Business and Destroying Your Trust In Our Industry
I’ve been hearing a lot about other “so called” virtual assistants ripping off other VA’s in one form or another. These virtual assistants are attempting to portray themselves as professionals when in fact, they have stolen details from another business professional to boost themselves and their company. All this in order to gain your trust and your business. They’ll run this on con you (client) and us (the VA world), and they are not picky who they rip off. They are NOT VA’s – let me repeat that … they are NOT VA’s. They simply want to steal from you and us.
There are some scams that I am seeing run rampant and they can hurt you and us as they end up getting both your and our money, but more importantly destroying your trust in us. Today I want to talk to about …
Virtual Assistant Copycats
They take content from another virtual assistant’s website and copy it nearly entirely only replacing names, personal images, etc. unless like in my case they weren’t even smart enough to remove my company name on their page content. I’ve had my content stolen many times over the years, but never to the extreme of an entire site or at least not to my knowledge. It seems this is the new thing. These “so called” virtual assistants are not even VA’s. They pretend to be long enough to get work, collect money, and then move on. Sometimes taking down that website entirely and copying another website of another VA for their next prey. I believe they copy websites that meet the needs of the prospect / prey in order to lure them in. They snag you as a client, get your money, don’t deliver, and then disappear into the night creating a new business in its place leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth and destroying your trust in our industry.
Ladies and gentleman it’s super important to do your due diligence!
What can you as the “client” do to protect yourself from these copycat virtual assistants, con artists, or fly by night businesses?
Check them out as thoroughly as you can if you don’t know who they are.
- One of the things you can do is use sites like Copyscape and SiteLiner. These sites are intended for the owner of the content to protect their intellectual rights, but you can also use it to determine if there are other people using that content.
- Another thing you can do is to check with WhoIs to determine who actually owns the site, when the site was originally created, their location, and much more.
- If they say they are accredited on their website with something or have a certification with something. Then by all means check them out. Call or email that organization to find out if they are in fact representing the truth. Suggestion on this: do not click the link or call the number they provide – look it up on Google and get the real contact information.
- Are they a member of the BBB (Better Business Bureau)? If so, check them out on the BBB’s website.
- Are they a member of Dun & Bradstreet? If so, check them out Dun & Bradstreet.
- Does their website appear to be extremely transparent or does something seem a little off or fishy to you? Trust your gut and learn to listen to it.
- Use sources like Google Reviews or LinkedIn Reviews because these reviews must be posted by the clients of the business and not the business themselves. There are other review sites as well just Google review sites.
- Google the person’s name, email, and business name and see what you can dig up in your search. Does anything look fishy to you?
In the end, unfortunately, nothing is foolproof. If you do your due diligence, really pay attention, and listen to your gut you will surely avoid many mishaps. I know it sounds like a LOT of work, but in the end it will be well worth it. Don’t have time to vet everyone you want to work with. Get in touch with us today and we can do this research for you.