Today is Marco’s payday – be careful

Today, January 31, 2016, is payday for Marco and U.S. Property Success. It is the 3rd day of his current “3 day” seminar in Toronto that is being held at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel.  This is the day everything is setup for. The ads drew in the crowds at the free hotel seminars, a much smaller number signed up for the 3 day. During the first 2 days staff have carefully screened the 3 day participants, gathering financial information and advising on how to get / use credit for the real purpose of the whole enterprise: getting a few to enroll for and pay for the miraculous Diamond and Platinum programs. It is very slick, calculated exercise that routinely has dozens of attendees paying $60,000 to $100,000 by the end of the day.  This is the essence of “the seminar pitch“, repeated by many people and organizations. Kozlowski’s group is just one example. (More on the FTC site here. A good overview and history of the seminar “industry” is in this 2003 Washington Post article – “The Pitch to Get Rich”)

The pressure to close is naturally on a Sunday – do it now! No time to get legal advice, no time to do any due diligence, not time to research the company that is named on the contract, not time to consider who is behind all of this, not time to really consider the complexity of the contract you are being asked to sign.  Various companies and offers are used on the “Sunday Close” forms – Do your homework!

Pay attention to the reaction you get when you tell the seminar staff and Marco you’d like to think about it.

Diamond or Platinum 2

The text below is from the January 30, 2016 Montreal Gazette article:

“Only on the third day of the conference, he said, are people told they can invest in additional training — a “platinum” program for $60,000 or a “diamond” program for $100,000. That additional training is not mentioned at the first free seminar. 

“You’re never under the impression that you have to pay something else besides that $3,500,” the man said. “You think you’ll be good to go after that weekend.”

He says that on the first day of the weekend workshop, attendees are asked to fill out forms detailing their financial situations. 

On the third morning, he said, some participants are asked to attend a “VIP lunch,” where they’re told that “only people with great potential” are asked to attend. 

“Really, it’s only people that can plunk $100,000 that are invited,” he said. “But it’s all about ego and making you feel special.”

Today is Marco’s payday – be careful

Montreal Gazette runs ad and 2 page story on Marco Kozlowski

Those attending the 3 day training currently being held this weekend in Toronto will want to read this story published today.

The January 30, 2016 edition of the Montreal Gazette has an extensive story on Marco Kozlowski and his “get rich” seminars on pages A12 and A13

A facsimile print edition can be obtained via http://www.pressreader.com.

This link is to the front page: http://pressreader.com/bookmark/DA3NTMUNE2P1/PageView

“Marco Kozlowski runs seminars that claim to teach people how to make money buying houses in the U.S., but the Better Business Bureau is investigating him for his advertising claims.”

This link is to the online version of the story:

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/marco-kozlowski

What is truly remarkable is placement of the story in the print edition. The story is on pages A12 and A13. Page A11 is a full page ad for Marco’s next seminars in Montreal, to be held February 5, 6, and 7.  

The ad: http://pressreader.com/bookmark/UPKBG0FHADZ4/PageView 

Gazette pages A11 & 12 2016 Jan 30

The story details the “bait and switch” aspect of the program – on the page after the Gazette ad sets the bait for the next school of hungry fish. Interesting details in the story set out how the “sting” works – how on the 3rd day of the program students with available money or credit are given the “upsell” – to as much as $100,000. Students attending the Toronto training will get to see this hustle in person tomorrow.

 

Montreal Gazette runs ad and 2 page story on Marco Kozlowski

ERSP Refers Advertising for Marco Kozlowski to FTC; Marketer Fails to Respond to ERSP Inquiry

See http://www.asrcreviews.org/ersp-refers-advertising-for-marco-kozlowski-to-ftc-marketer-fails-to-respond-to-ersp-inquiry/
Text from the story:

New York, NY – Dec. 17, 2015 – The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP) will refer direct-response advertising for Marco Kozlowski, marketed by At Will Events, LLC, to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after the marketer failed to respond to an ERSP inquiry.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to ERSP’s attention pursuant to an anonymous challenge.

Claims at issue in the initial inquiry included:

  • “…build you up with specific tools and knowledge to get you to buy properties anywhere at anytime using zero money and zero risk”
  • “When you attend this life-changing event, Marco will personally show you in just 4 steps how you can start making more money than you ever thought possible.”
  • “With Marco’s help in the last 90 days, I was able to get 2 deals under contract. 1 is a quad … has a 26% cap rate and makes $7,000 a year. And the other is a 12 unit apartment building that makes about $33,000 a year.”
  • “In the first day, Marco saved me $590,000.” [Tom Shepard – Concord, NC]
  • “So we’re going to show you how to buy them right so no matter what happens in the economy, no matter what happens in the market, you’re always going to make money.”

Pursuant to the ERSP Policies and Procedures, after failing to provide a substantive response to ERSP’s original inquiry within fifteen calendar days, the marketer was afforded a second 10-day period in which to submit a substantive response. The marketer did not do so. Pursuant to ERSP Policies and Procedures, this matter has been referred to the FTC.”

ERSP Refers Advertising for Marco Kozlowski to FTC; Marketer Fails to Respond to ERSP Inquiry

Marco Kozlowski – back in Scarborough, Oshawa, Oakville, Mississauga and Markham January 2016

Advertisements in 24Hours – Toronto suggest that the Marco Kozlowski – “U.S. Property Network” / “U.S. Property Success”/ At Will Events program is coming next week to the Toronto area. ( see the ads here:  http://eedition.toronto.24hrs.ca/epaper/viewer.aspx – see the January 15, 2016 edition, the January 14, 2016 edition at page 11, and the January 18 edition at page 2 )

Hotel recruitment seminars are set for Scarborough (January 20 at the Delta Toronto East) , Oshawa (January 21 at the Quality Hotel & Conference Center), Oakville (January 22 Holiday Inn Oakville Centre) , Mississauga (January 23 at the Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Mississauga)   and Markham (January 24 at the Edward Village Hotel).

The ads reference the site “www.RealEstateCoachingNow.ca

As usual, anyone attending should read the media reports on Marco Kozlowski and his various corporate identities, as well as the very useful comments on the “www.frugalvagabond.com” blog referenced in earlier posts on this blog.

See as well this excellent BBB blog on these sorts of programs: “Real Estate Investment Seminars Promise Millions. In Reality, They Mostly Just Empty Your Wallet.” [broken link:  http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/07/real-estate-investment-seminars-promise-millions-in-reality-they-mostly-just-empty-your-wallet/ ] The comment section is an excellent read.

[ update 15 Jan 2017 – the above link is now broken, find the page in the WayBack machine at https://web.archive.org/web/20160603135753/http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/07/real-estate-investment-seminars-promise-millions-in-reality-they-mostly-just-empty-your-wallet/ )

Who will be there? Journalists? (Certainly no reporters from the various media outlets that profit by setting the bait to lure in unsuspecting consumers nor any representatives of Advertising Standard Canada ..) The police or other investigative agencies such as the Competition Bureau? Creditors of Marco looking to serve him with court documents? Canada Border Services Agency agents? Canada Revenue Agency investigators? No one knows.

If you do go, be sure to get clearly and fully the name of the presenter, as Marco himself rarely appears in person – though he sometimes lurks in the back of the room. Later, check out the name of the presenter. Sometimes you will find and they will admit to criminal records or securities fraud convictions. The presenters though can play games with names – for example not using the usual form of their name, or modifying it to avoid coming up in Google searches.

And of course, leave your credit card and check book at home. These are very clever and persuasive presentations.

 

 

 

Marco Kozlowski – back in Scarborough, Oshawa, Oakville, Mississauga and Markham January 2016

Advice you can use: “Fusce imperdiet justo nec congue imperdiet”

This just in from Marco Kozlowski and “U.S. Property Network”

From: http://uspropertynetwork.com/fusce-imperdiet-justo-nec-congue-imperdiet/

“Proin a accumsan justo. Etiam eu rhoncus sapien, in efficitur nunc. Vivamus ac lacus sit amet elit gravida feugiat nec ac leo. Suspendisse lobortis volutpat pulvinar. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent.Etiam eu rhoncus sapien, in efficitur nunc. Vivamus ac lacus sit amet elit gravida feugiat nec ac leo. Suspendisse lobortis volutpat pulvinar. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent.
Etiam eu rhoncus sapien, in efficitur nunc. Vivamus ac lacus sit amet elit gravida feugiat nec ac leo. Suspendisse lobortis volutpat pulvinar. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent.”

Clearly a shortcut to fabulous wealth!

But wait, there’s more: “Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.” This is from http://uspropertynetwork.com/lorem-ipsum-dolor-sit-amet-consectetur-adipiscing-elit/

Advice you can use: “Fusce imperdiet justo nec congue imperdiet”

Marco is a winner! He is number 1!

“Best Real Estate Gurus” and “Top Real Estate Gurus” have spoken.

The site ” http://bestrealestategurus.com/ ” has proclaimed Marco Kozlowski the “Winner for Best Real Estate Guru of 2015!

This is not too surprising, as the site is owned by Marco Kozlowski’s At Will Events company.

Here is part of the domain registration information:

Updated Date: 2015-11-15T02:30:44Z
Creation Date: 2015-09-15T21:05:51Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-09-15T21:05:51Z
Registrar: PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com
Registrar IANA ID: 303
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: At Will Events
Registrant Organization: At Will Events
Registrant Street: Henderson, Nevada
Registrant City: Henderson
Registrant State/Province: UT
Registrant Postal Code: 89012
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +70.28345255
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: eventsatwill@gmail.com

 

Amazingly, “http://www.toprealestategurus.com/” also says Marco is Number 1..   Whoops, this is also one of his sites.

Updated Date: 2015-11-10T02:24:31Z
Creation Date: 2015-09-10T19:33:40Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-09-10T19:33:40Z
Registrar: PDR Ltd. d/b/a PublicDomainRegistry.com
Registrar IANA ID: 303
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: At Will Events
Registrant Organization: At Will Events
Registrant Street: Henderson, Nevada
Registrant City: Henderson
Registrant State/Province: UT
Registrant Postal Code: 89012
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +70.28345255
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: eventsatwill@gmail.com

Marco is a winner! He is number 1!

Kozlowski is one of many…

There are many of these “Get Rich in Real Estate” gurus.

Than Merrill, for example, is coming to Canada soon. You can here register for sessions in the Victoria and Vancouver, B.C. to be held from January 19 – 30 2016.  A “undercover” look at the Merrill seminars is found on the “Frugal Vagabond” site – http://frugalvagabond.com/2015/10/26/undercover-than-merrills-fortune-builders/ 

Here’s a quote from the Frugal Vagabond article:

“My primary complaint with Fortune Builders is that they are structured as a series of increasingly-expensive “seminars” which present no actionable information until the highest tier, which often costs tens of thousands of dollars.  While it is possible to take the scraps of provided information in the free or paid courses and use the internet or a library to determine a plan of action, most of the people targeted by the program have limited cash, time, and education.  There’s nothing illegal about repackaging freely-available information for a profit.  There’s not even necessarily anything unethical about it, within reason.  It becomes unconscionable when the price is so outsized that it represents literally years of disposable income for the student.”

The description of the hotel free seminar the writer attended is very much like the experience of attending one of Marco Kozlowski’s  At Will Events / At Will Education / Turnkey Trainings / US Property Network / US Property Success programs.

And, of course, like many of the other past (Trump University) and present traveling road shows.

Another “Frugal Vagabond” blog post : “Real Estate Gurus Are Sociopaths” says it clearly:

The most important thing I can teach you about real estate gurus is this: They don’t make their riches from real estate.  They make their riches from convincing the vulnerable to buy free information for tens of thousands of dollars.”

The “Real Estate Gurus Are Sociopaths” post is well worth reading in full before attending any of these programs. Here is an excerpt from that well written article:

“The big problem is that real estate gurus are trying to sell the fantasy of quick and easy wealth to a group of people who are financially troubled, and desperate for a way to change their circumstances. It makes me intensely angry to see good, broke people bilked out of tens of thousands of dollars for information that is readily available for free.

Every last one of these gurus works in the exact same way:  You are invited to an “exclusive” event that is “sure to fill up” (so you’d better call fast).  From the very beginning, the pitch suggests a false scarcity.  In reality, these events are often sparsely attended, and it’s unheard of for anyone who calls to RSVP being turned away.

When you arrive at the free initial seminar, the guru is generally not even present.  Instead, whether you know it or not, you have arrived at an extremely aggressive sales pitch. You will be treated to a seminar devoid of any usable real estate knowledge, and a “system” will be outlined to you.

This is the first thing you need to know:  There is nothing special or unique to any guru’s “system.”  I’ll explain the basic elements of a real estate transaction later, but here’s what to expect at this initial seminar: the “guru” (his salespeople, actually) will be attempting to sell you a series of increasingly expensive seminars, classes, and programs.

At the conclusion of the initial meeting, or perhaps at some point during, you will be offered the first level of training.  More often than not, the guru’s company will quote a “regular” price two or three times higher than it will be offered to you.  They’ll tell you that for a very limited time, they will offer you training at a deeply discounted rate.  Again, the guru is trying to build the illusion of scarcity.  The reality is that this price is offered to everyone, and were you to attend the same seminar the next weekend, you would have the exact same “opportunity” to purchase the next level of classes.

As an aside, it’s important to remember that many of the people at the seminar who are performing sales duties were once in your seat.  They are tens of thousands of dollars in the hole after having succumbed to this very same sales pitch. At some point, they were invited to join the sales team.  Though the pitch is highly unethical, remember that many of the salespeople are victims themselves, and they may honestly still think there is a major payoff for them somewhere down the road.

One of two things is likely to happen next.  You will be given an “assignment” to call all of your credit card companies and “negotiate” to increase your credit limits, or the guru staff may offer to help you make the call.  As you probably already guessed, this is not for your benefit.  The goal is to free up enough credit to place the training on your credit cards.  If this tactic fails, you will usually be asked if there is a family member or friend you can borrow from to afford the program.  You’ll be aggressively pushed to get on the phone and arrange to get the money, somehow, so that you don’t miss out on this very special,limited, offer.

Let’s assume for a moment that you paid for the next level of classes.  If you thought that you had seen how bad these gurus behave, you’re mistaken– we’re just getting started.  At the next level of classes, which may cover some very basic real estate theory, you will be deluged with sales pitches for the “advanced” classes (which may go by another name, such as “mentoring,” or “Pro level,” or whatever).  In fact, most of the gurus have no less than three levels of training, and the highest levels can cost over $50,000!

In the interest of full disclosure, most of these programs do cover at least basic real estate concepts.  Given how widely available this information is, these gurus have no business charging such scandalous amounts of money for what can be gleaned on the internet, or in a few evenings at your local library.

Most of the gurus offer a “money-back guarantee” to make it seem like there is no risk involved.  In fact, the gurus have specific language in their contract (or only make promises about refunds verbally) to make getting your money back a near impossibility.”

I don’t know who the “Frugal Vagabond” is, but he or she has very skillfully outlined the true nature of these programs. Congratulations Mr. or Ms. Frugal!

 

 

 

 

Kozlowski is one of many…