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By August 2007, complications prevented him from working at all — possibly forever.Joseph describes his mental state after yet another stint in rehab: “I’m moping, pretty much, and right around Christmas time I decided, you know, I’d better get my butt in gear and find something I can do from home.There is another, legitimate form of "Internet Marketing" which operates much more closely to a traditional marketing business, but men like Raygoza have co-opted the term and run with it.In some ways, his kind of Internet Marketing is an evolution of the old "make money from home, stuffing envelopes" ads you used to find in the back of Rolling Stone magazine, alongside those promising to make you a world famous songwriter or a musclehead who no longer has to take crap from bullies on the beach.It operates out in the open — with poorly designed websites, tacky infomercials, and outrageous claims designed to scare off the wary and draw in the curious, desperate, and naive.The Internet Marketer positions himself as a marketing "guru" with a product or coaching services guaranteed to generate income.According to Jones, The Salty Droid is a satirical character he dreamt up between jobs, while studying the Ruby on Rails open source web framework and blowing off steam on Twitter and Blogger. "This whole project kind of flashed to me in a second. They're using all these open tools, and it's great for their scam, but it's really vulnerable to what I'm about to do.’ And it is really vulnerable to what I'm doing." In Internet Marketing, there are a few terms you have to know before you get started: leads, lead generation, and product launches.
"This is a really dark topic," says Jones, "and the [victims] feel raped almost, so the sense of outrage [on the site] is appropriate to their level of suffering." When we met in the high-rise apartment that he shares with his wife, our surroundings belied the image he cultivates on the site: that of the angry, nerdy, loner-cum-robot.
Once you’re in the system, your inbox will be flooded with offers for software, DVD sets, and coaching programs costing several hundreds or thousands of dollars.
This is what happened to Richard Joseph: after requesting free information online, some unscrupulous Internet Marketer sold his name to Raygoza’s company, Push Traffic, who ripped Joseph off.
In the internet, con artists have found a platform that allows them to scale their scams far beyond the penny stocks and worthless real estate deals of the past.
The Salty Droid is the pseudonymous blog of Jason Jones, a 36-year-old lawyer living in Chicago.