Scraper Pro A Scam for Network Marketers?

I wrote a post on Dec 5th titled the “Top 5 Ways to Become Unattractive In Network Marketing Today!

Number 2 on my list was to use the software Scraper Pro. As I stated there the software is not illegal! But, how many are using and promoting it (auto-dialers) could land you in serious financial trouble.

Over the past few weeks, individuals are promoting this tool to network marketers as the tool that will allow you to generate unlimited network marketing leads.

And how to you do this? By scraping the contact information from websites “other network marketers who are already in a business!”

If that’s your target market well then it’s all good right? But is that really the target market you’re after?

What you’re going to really accomplish is having a bunch of pissed off network marketers who will forward your information to the FTC’s complaint section.

Even though on the Scraper Pro website you’ve been warned not to use auto-dialers, every phone call I have received has been using this method to promote this software…

It’s obvious that some people either are just not that bright or totally ignorant of the law.

Here is the scenario, you scrape my phone number, plug it into your auto-dialer, make the call and you’ve just violated the Robocalls rule that went into effect September 1st 2009.

You’re no longer a network marketer, you’ve elevated yourself to a telemarketer and

Telemarketers Must Obtain Prior Written Approval from Consumers Who Want to Receive Such Calls!

Now, you face penalties of up to $16,000 per call.

And after a few dozen of these a week, don’t you think individuals are going to be really irritated and take the time out to file a complaint with the commission on the donotcall.gov website or call the toll free number?

Or to blog about it and expose it for the scam it really is!

Again I’ll State The Software Is Not Illegal

It is how a few are using it that is. There are other companies that produce very similar software but.

If you use the software and actually pickup the phone and call a potential prospect you might actually get some where.

But, it goes back to requiring you to do something you don’t want to do in the first place cold-call right?

You’ll end up calling people who could really careless about your software and see you as more of an interruption. Or, you could call it distraction marketing!

Will it generate leads for your nutritional or cleaning products? I seriously doubt it!

Use it at your own risk… Now I have some phone calls to make!

Want to know “How To Stop Scraper Pro Users?”

11 comments… add one
  • Brett Basinski Jan 2, 2010 @ 14:50

    Hey Glenn,

    I couldn’t agree more with you about your stance on the Scraper Pro and those who are not using it the “right” way. Clarifying that the software is not illegal is important.

    Now for those that choose to purchase and choose to use the Scraper Pro the “correct” way, will find that this is simply a way to generate highly targeted lead generation campaigns in 4 easy steps:

    1. Enter Keywords

    2. Push start

    3. Wait

    4. Save your leads into a spreadsheet with names, phone numbers, email addresses, web urls, and web titles.

    What could be any easier?

  • hmmmmm Jan 22, 2010 @ 3:06

    i don’t know about that glenn, scraper pro seems to target existing network marketers, advertising their contact information.

    so that’s b2b FM: fireyourboss2day@gmail.com

  • Andre Vatke Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:03

    Glenn, you are spot on once again.

    Here’s a thought… 1000 people calling 1,500 leads with the exact same offer… you don’t find that kind of competition in traditional business! Not a single one of my local consulting clients has more than 2 or 3 real competitors and many have none.

    In this instance what is being done isn’t even network marketing… it’s just really stupid affiliate marketing. It highlights all the disadvantages of network marketing and uses illegal promotions to spread the word. This is exactly the kind of activity that gives network marketing a bad name.

    Network marketing has one main advantage over traditional business and marketing… too bad that people are either too easily fooled or too blinded by greed to capitalize on it.

  • Cory Alan Aug 9, 2010 @ 7:54

    By reading all the comments it appears that the general consensus is that calling with Auto-Dialer is against FTC rules.

    So the logic that if you “scrap” a phone off the internet that is being advertised out there in cyberspace to the world – for the purpose of soliciting business – they would not be on the DO NOT CALL LIST.

    I was told, possibly incorrectly, that if you have a phone number on a website to solicit business, i.e. your Amway Distributorship – that number than does NOT apply to the DNC rules?

  • Lewis James Sr. Sep 1, 2010 @ 10:12

    This is actually incorrect.

    The software is legal. If you disagree, please show me the law that makes it illegal.

    Also, the 2009 FTC regulations only regulate robocalls (voice broadcasting) to consumers while 99.9999% of the numbers online and gathered by scraper tools are from people advertising their businesses online (yes, MLM and home-based businesses advertised online count as “real” businesses in the eyes of the law), and those folks just made their listing on the National DNC list completely irrelevant, as the DNC list does not apply to ANY business numbers. In advertising their business online, they’ve just made themselves fair game to telemarketers with no recourse other than changing their number and being requested to be removed from each company’s list one-by-one as calls are received.

    So, despite the annoyance of such tools and telemarketing in general, scrapers for voice broadcasting or auto-dialing are, in fact, legal. They merely automate the otherwise manual task of gathering information that is publicly available online and put it into an orderly format.

    It IS illegal how many voice broadcasters are putting out their messages. They need to be formatted in a particular way and give people a way to opt-out, and many are not doing this. That could potentially open them up to some problems.

    FWIW, Scraper Pro is not a great software anyway. It has low accuracy (less than 50%) and has broken engines.

    Oh, and voice broadcasting is not a dying industry. It is thriving in this economy (hence the reason the guy above says he gets 10-15 calls a day), and it happens to be one of the most cost-effective means of marketing available.

  • Glenn Jan 9, 2010 @ 15:52

    Hi Brett,

    While it is simple to collect any information off the internet individuals also have to understand that when you are calling a business number new rules apply.

    Such as having a prior business relationship. The way I see it the individuals who both use and promote this software are less than reputable and seeking nothing more than short term financial gains at someone else’s expense.

    The FTC has made it way to easy to turn these individuals in simply go to

    https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx

    As more and more marketers start receive 2, 3, 5, 10 calls or more a day, this cash strapped Government will only be more than happy to slap you with those $16,000 dollar fines.

  • Glenn Jan 22, 2010 @ 9:49

    Well hello hmmmm! Don’t you just love it when individuals will leave a comment, yet will not leave their real name.

    If the software is being used to target existing network marketers under the guise of business to business marketing as you say, does it really change anything…

    As Brett said above you plug in your keywords network marketing and it’s off and running to all the search engines to find all those who already have a business?

    Which means you can only pitch the software… Right! When you cross the line on using an auto-dialer to pitch a new business opportunity it is no longer B2B.

    So right there the advertising that everyone is chanting create an endless flow of network marketing leads is in violation of the FTC rules that went into effect on Dec 1st 2009.

    And here is why, you plugged in those keywords and hit all the search engines. They say they have 1000 results but typically show less than that.

    Between the many different search engines, with each of them trying to be relevant, you end up with a lot of duplication of sites.

    So lets say after the list is filtered and scrubbed you get lucky and generate 1,500 people who already have a business, based on B2B you can only pitch the software right….

    But, wait what if 1,000 other people using this software are doing exactly the same thing everyday, pitching the software! And, they are all finding the same 1,500 people in network marketing?

    As I said earlier if you think about it logically the statement generate an endless supply of network marketing leads is flawed.

    The only leads you’re generating are leads to sell the software to, that’s really going to make someone’s business grow.

  • Steve Sakal Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:54

    Help me out guys. If I’m reading this correctly then according to Brett Basinski…

    “those that choose to purchase and choose to use the Scraper Pro the “correct” way, will find that this is simply a way to generate highly targeted lead generation campaigns”

    Are you generating a valid or a genuine Lead? I guess defining what a valid or genuine “Lead” is may help.

    A valid or genuine “Lead” is someone that is or has already shown an interest in something related to what ai have to offer. Those can be acquired online, from legitimate opportunity or product seekers, and they can be acquired offline from word of mouth referrals to direct mail or collateral marketing advertisements. There’s a plethora of ways to generate legitimate leads whether you’re looking for business seekers or product/service consumers.

    Are you really generating a campaign?

    Campaigns are created not generated? Of course they are sold as tested and proven magic messages but anyone that has read the ones that are cloned can smell the typical Network Marketing or MLM over-promising at a glance. Semantics? I think not. It’s just knowing what you’re talking about as compared to what you want to believe and hope others will believe as well. It doesn’t take much scrubbing to see that if it smells like a scam or if it has a spam stain in the campaign even a pro scrubber can’t remove it and it’s more like a permanent scar on those that try to shortcut writing their own campaigns.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me again but according to hmmmmm…

    scraper pro seems to target existing network marketers, advertising their contact information. Hmmmmm? Makes you think doesn’t? Or better yet; shouldn’t it?

    hmmmmm, I’d have to ask you to explain what you think advertising is and what as an advertiser you’d expect or want as a result of your advertizing?

    Let’s see, I know what I have in mind when I advertise. But I can’ really speak for the other advertisers out there. So I guess we’d have to ask the reason they would advertise.

    You know…

    Advertizing their information for what purpose?

    Is it that hard to figure out why anyone would advertize?

    Come on it’s really not that difficult. hmmmmmm…

    What would anyone advertise for?

    To be solicited? To get spammed? To get people trying to convince them of something better, different, or other than what they have spent time money and effort into?

    What do you think their advertisements were originally intended to do for them?

    Or hmmmmm, is your “targeting of existing network marketers, advertising their contact information” a definition or classification of those advertising as being an open invitation to be solicited?

    Just wondering and sharing some simple plain English common sense and logical stuff to chew on.

  • Matt Ellsworth Feb 4, 2010 @ 15:34

    I get between 5 and 10 of these broadcasts per day. I would get more but i’ve successfully blocked a few of the more common numbers from dialing into my line at all.

    The voice broadcasting people should really learn how to do a proper Do Not Call scrub and actually scrub against the FTC donotcall as well.

    The number of marketers who have never heard that they can’t use software to automatically harvest email addresses is amazing. Its also amazing how many of them don’t realize that using automated voice broadcasting stuff is a dieing industry, as the FTC cracks down on it more.

  • Glenn Aug 22, 2010 @ 17:16

    Hi Cory, I think it’s a grey area. Most network marketers use their home phone and do not have a second phone just for their business. So while the marketer may have put the number on a site his or her spouse did not.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve already beat this issue to death. As I’ve said the software is not illegal but like all technology it can be beaten and made useless or at least far less effective.

    And it does not take long for a good webmaster to set it up so a companies server blocks you as you try to scrape information from their server.

  • Glenn Sep 1, 2010 @ 10:26

    Lewis, obviously you did not read anything on this page! It is repeated over and over that the software is NOT ILLEGAL! What part of that did you miss?

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