Mar 18, 2023

I didn't realize I got scammed until AFTER I paid $25,000 (and why I'd happily do it again)

I didn't realize I got scammed until AFTER I paid $25,000 (and why I'd happily do it again)

On this episode Wilco shares how he actually didn't realize that he got scammed until after he paid out 25,000 US dollars, which is crazy, right?




Hey everyone, it's me, Wilco de Kreij here, and today I've got a crazy story to share with all of you. Recently I got scammed, and I actually didn't realize that I got scammed until after I paid out 25,000 US dollars, which is crazy, right? In order to dive into that story, I'll probably need to start at the very beginning for it to sort of make sense, sort of like know why I actually fell into this trap. You might think, "Well that's just a bit stupid." I just want to give you the full story.

As you might know, as an entrepreneur, it sometimes can be a lonely journey, right? I mean, we have to make all these kind of decisions and we usually, we don't always have people to brainstorm with. We sort of need to have the vision and we need to set the strategy and the whole team, or your whole business depends on it, right?

In my experience, it can be a lonely journey. For that reason, at some point, I think it was like last year or so, I decided that I wanted to have a coach or a mentor. In order for someone to be a coach or a mentor to me, I knew that that person needed to be at least ten steps ahead of me, right?

If someone was at the similar level in terms of their business and what phase they're on, that wouldn't really inspire me. Or like if I would ask a certain opinion, like, "Hey, how would you do that?" If someone is at the same level as I am, I would probably be asking him like, "Why would I believe you, and why not just go for my own gut feeling?"

It had to be someone that is ten steps ahead of me, so that if he or she would actually say, "I've done this, I tried this and this is the best way." Then I would actually believe them, that to be the best way, and I would actually take action on that instead of second guessing their opinion or their input, right?

I've been searching a line, and I've been doing some research and all, and at some point I ran into this guy Russel Brunson. You might know him, he's one of the bigger online marketeers. He's the founder of ClickFunnels and I've been following him for a while. I've been reading his book, I've been listening to his podcasts, and all of that. I think about sixth months ago or so, I started to, I was sort of curious and I was thinking of joining his inner circle.

He has like an inner circle, which is a group of people, group of one hundred entrepreneurs that he gives mentorship to, or coaches, or however you want to describe it. It gives you access to his mind, basically. You can actually ask him questions, one on one, and there's some brainstorming sessions in the US as well, so it's a good way to ask him questions and to leverage his knowledge, right?

The cost of this group, of this inner circle of his, is $25,000 a year, which is quite a bit of money, right? The first time I started thinking about that, I've been thinking about it a lot, and for me, most of the money I spend in my business, I can sort of estimate what I'm getting back out of it. If I spend money on ads, I know what I'm getting out of it. If I spend money on development, if I build my team, a lot of the things are, I can sort of see what the return is.

For this, I was actually paying out $25,000 just to get some input. Just to get some answers on questions. In my mind, it was not an easy decision to make. It was not like, "Oh, yeah. It's just $25,000, I'll just throw it at it." No. It's actually a lot of money. I just wasn't sure, basically. I had a call with his team, I thought about it, and at the end I decided not to go for it. I just let it be, and I figured I'll just do it on my own.

A couple months later, a friend of mine, actually a couple friend's of mine, they texted me and they said, "Hey, Russell Brunson is using AdViral." He was talking about it, AdViral, which as you probably know, is my baby. It's my main business. He was talking about it on social media. He was saying, "Oh, yeah, it's great. We're getting all these kind of results." He was literally promoting AdViral on his Snapchat and all his other channels as well.

I was like, "Oh, wow. Russell Brunson is using AdViral, how awesome is that?" I'm looking up to the guy. I think he's a superstar. I was getting all excited that he was using AdViral, which is, I think, pretty awesome. He was getting good results with it as well, right? A few days later, I actually got an email from him. At that point, I was freaking out. I was like, "Woah. Seriously? Russell Brunson is emailing me?"

He emailed something in line of, "Hey dude, it's great software. Awesome. Keep up the good work." Something in that line, right? We emailed back and forth a little bit, and then he asked me whether I had a second account for AdViral. His team had their own account. He already purchased one account, and he said, "Hey, do you have a second account? In return, I'll give you one of my products."

We made a swap, I also gave him access to our auto products connect for ConnectIO, our Facebook access products. I gave him those accounts, and he gave me an account, and because he was emailing with me, I was so excited I actually talked to my wife saying, "Oh, yeah. Russell Brunson is emailing me." I felt like this was super cool. I never had contact one on one with the guy. I've been following him, listening to him, to his podcasts, just the fact that he made time out of his busy day to reply to me was just, it was awesome.

That's actually why I decided at that point, while I was emailing with him, I figured you know what? I'm just going to join the inner circle, right now, right here. I call his team, and I joined, and I wired the $25,000. You might think everything is good, right? Well as it turns out, in a way it is good, right?

The inner circle, I love it. It's actually, seriously I love it. Recently, I sent a message to Russell, because now that I'm in the inner circle I can obviously contact him one on one. I sent a message to him, because I was checking the login that he sent me earlier in that email conversation. I was checking that login to see, I wanted to check out what it was. I never really had time to dive into it. At this point, I wanted to dive into it.

I opened the new login that they sent me, I entered my email and password, and it didn't accept it, right? It didn't work. I sent a message to Russell saying, "Hey dude, the login that you sent me, it's not working. Could you please fix that, or let your team fix that because I'd love to check it out."

He messaged me back, saying, "Dude, I never gave access that login." I'm like, "Wait a second. Yeah you did." I reminded him of the email conversation that we had and he said, "Well, no. I don't remember that. That was not me." We dig in deeper. As it turns out, those emails were not Russell Brunson. Let me explain to you what happened.

Russell Brunson, he was using AdViral, and he shared that on social media. We dove in deeper. What apparently happened, someone else saw that, and they signed up for a domain name, which is similar to his ClickFunnels domain, and he imitated Russell Brunson by sending me an email. He took on a fake domain name, he used the name Russell Brunson, he emailed me saying, "Hey, could you please send me a login?"

We emailed back and forth, and all this time I was thinking it was Russell Brunson, when in fact it was a scammer. It was someone who went through all that effort, signing up for a domain name and pretending to be Russell Brunson, sending me emails back and forth in the actual language as if it was Russell Brunson, right? Only with the goal of actually getting access to AdViral and ConnectIO. I get it, right? Who doesn't want to have access to those tools, but I mean, that's a lot of trouble, and also illegal by the way, but a lot of trouble to just get those tools.

The funny thing is that it's actually because of that scammer, it's actually because of that scammer that was emailing me, I believed it was actually Russell Brunson that I joined the inner circle. Here's what happened, right. This guy, just last week we looked up his account, obviously, and realized he never actually used it.

A couple months back there was this guy, a scammer, he went through all this trouble to sign up a domain name and to imitate someone he wasn't actually himself, to get that account, and now a few months later after going through all that trouble, he hasn't even used it. He's just putting a lot of effort and a lot of work in, and I'm guessing that he's still at the same spot as where he was a couple months ago.

Now, on the other hand, I actually joined the inner circle because of these emails. Sure. As it turns out, those $25,000, it was easily worth the investment, because I'm already way ahead of that right now. I think that's the main idea I want to give you. It's a bit of a crazy story when me and Russell figure this out, that someone actually imitated him and I actually joined because of the scammer. We laughed so hard.

Some people might say, "Doesn't that feel awkward that you actually joined because of the scammer?" That doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what made me to decide to actually move forward, I moved forward and that's the power that we have as an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, don't look backwards. Don't look at the decisions you made that did work out, that didn't work out, or try to find excuses for things.

Have a vision, and move forward. If something happens, just take the best out of it. I think that's really what sets us apart from those that are just not, that don't have a vision, that are short sighted. These are the kinds of people that might be doing these kind of tricks, trying to scam someone and get a free account or whatever. That's just super short sighted. I think, I guess, the biggest takeaway that I wanted to share with all of you with this crazy story, is that just have a vision, go for it, and don't find excuses or don't blame all of us if something works or doesn't work out.

Of course, yeah, I could have been pissed off that someone scammed me and that I paid out $25,000 to Russell. Just to make clear, the $25,000 obviously went to Russell. It's not like the scammer also tricked me into paying that to him, but I did pay out $25,000 because of those emails. If the scammer would not have emailed me, I would not have joined the inner circle. I'm actually thankful. Just in case he or she is actually listening, thanks for that. I appreciate it, because of your short shortsightedness, I'm actually way ahead from all of this. Yeah, thanks for that actually.

That's it. I just wanted to share this quick story with all of you, I thought it was super funny but also like I said, please take the lesson out of it that just have a vision on long term, and do what you believe in, and you'll be all right. Everyone peace out, cheers.

It doesn't matter what made me to decide to actually move forward, I moved forward and that's the power that we have as an entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur, don't look backwards.

Have a vision, and move forward.

If something happens, just take the best out of it.

I think that's really what sets us apart from those that are just not, that don't have a vision, that are short sighted.