If you’ve been on the internet recently you’ve probably seen the following ad plastered around your screen, showing a farmer in a red hat with the bold text “Grocery stores fear him!”. But what, really, could grocery stores hate so much about this guy? I decided to investigate for myself to see what was going on, and how a company could afford to spend so much money on this crazy advertisement, because I see it everywhere.
Clicking on the advertisement will lead you to this page posted above, where a video will start to play automatically informing the visitor that they have stumbled upon a “secret that powerful people don’t want you to see”, and that the video will offer you a “sneaky, yet legal, blueprint to creating healthy, mouthwateringly delicious food for just pennies on the dollar”. (If you’re dying to watch the whole video, here it is, just don’t get caught in the BS it starts spewing!). So what’s the catch here? And is mouthwateringly even a word? (Yes, apparently so).
According to the video, using a method developed by Patric Blanc, you will be able to grow your own food easily and effectively using this “secret method” that the government doesn’t want you to know. Sprinkled with fear mongering involving the government taking your rights away, the video then goes on to say that the government actually tried to ban people from growing their own gardens with Senate Bill S510, which as I’m sure you’ve probably guessed is complete baloney. Oh, and the “farmer” you see in the advertisement with the red hat? It’s a stock image of this elderly gentleman.
So who are these people?
Well, the video says that the guy speaking is “Sam McCoy” from Austin Texas, but the truth of the matter is that Sam McCoy could be one of two people – the ringleaders behind this are Christopher Oyolokor and Jason Burkle, who run and manage the “Crisiseducation.com” domain as well as the Crisis Education LLC and it’s subsidiaries. They are, in fact, both from Austin Texas. While I couldn’t uncover anything about Jason Burke other that his involvement with a few other shady internet marketing companies, Christopher Oyolokor seems to have had some trouble with the law and has had multiple complaints filed for his company, Crisis Prevention LLC.
What is actually being being sold?
Believe it or not, this entire campaign is trying to get you to buy this book from Amazon:
The book itself is nothing special, according to reviews it just talks about hydroponics in gardening, a concept that many people have done and is nothing new, nor is it a “secret the government doesn’t want you to know”. This quote actually sums up the book really well (from this BBB.com business listing):
” I am not satisfied with the e-book. It looks like a 3rd grader wrote it and the descriptive photos are a joke. Looks like the 3rd grader’s brother took them.. Very unprofessional journalism. “
The book may not be of any significance – but the way they scam you is very standard and usual when it comes to this shady type of internet marketing.
How does the scam work?
The scam is pretty typical, according to this consumer report from Ripoff Report:
” I found a web site, crisiseducation.com, that was providing a book on gardening for $ 7.00. I was interested in it so I ordered it. After I submitted the order I went through several steps of refusing other offers for more books, seeds, etc. I wish I had known about all these step prior to giving them a credit card number. ”
What happens is that they lure you into buying the book, then they show you all these other offers for seeds, more books, gardening supplies, etcetera, until you end up paying a monthly subscription for the services and seed packages that arrive at your door each month until you cancel. But when you try to cancel, you won’t be able to, because there is hardly any link from the payment page to the contact us page, and if you look closely at the terms and conditions for refunds you’ll see that there is restocking fees, shipping fees, and other miscellaneous charges that will not be refunded if you try to get your money back. In short, this company preys on people who cannot figure out how to cancel the service, scamming them of their money.
More info and complaints about Crisis Education LLC:
Advice: Stay away. You are not missing out on anything revolutionary, you are being scammed. Purchasing the book does not mean you will figure out a secret the government is hiding from you, nor will it enable you to grow food in your own home for years to come, it will simply give you a headache and cause you to pay money to these scammers who have profited from it for far too long.
A golden rule to live by: “If it feels like a scam, it probably is!”
If this helped you out, consider sharing it with people who might also benefit. Thanks!