I received a sales letter email from Scot Standke. It began:

"If you run a squeeze page to build a mailing list, you'll want to devour this post right away."

It ended:

"Now, could YOU use an instant 80.65% increase in your own conversions?"

I went to look at the site because of the following paragraph:

"There is a new service that screens your sites, and if you pass scrutiny, you are allowed to display "Trust Badges" on your site."

Who the Hell IS This, and Where do I Find Him?

The site purports to belong to one John Garcia. The domain registration is done through GoDaddy's anonymous registration service, Domains by Proxy, Inc. So, you won't get any information there.

In the fine print of the Privacy Statement he has an address listed in Florida. I researched it, and it's a P.O. Box at The UPS Store in a strip center. This isn't designated in any way other than a hash mark for the number, so it looks like a normal physical address.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Postal Service has now seen fit to allow that hash mark rather than designating these boxes as PMB. They have defeated the original purpose.

I have NO problem with online businesses using P.O. Boxes as mailing addresses - as long as it is clear what it is. I DO have a problem with some yahoo using a box that looks like the physical address of his company.

And, of course, no telephone number! But, he wants YOUR telephone number if you use his contact form.

The only way you could ever get to this dude is to take up residence in The UPS Store until he comes in to pick up his mail. IF he ever does.

"Trust Seals"

Garcia is selling a double-your-money-back guaranteed traffic conversion ...

"... tweak YOU Can Implement ... On YOUR Site Within 5 Minutes Of Reading This Page."

He claims ...

"I have a few 'go to' tricks up my sleeve that consistently and predictably result in dramatic boosts in conversion rates, subscriptions and sales."

"Tricks" is the right word, alright! And, all you have to do is pay him a ...

"... small fixed fee for your use of the system."

He states ...

"The Absolute Easiest, Quickest and Cheapest Way to Get More Of Your Visitors To Trust You And Therefore Do Business With You Is To Add 3rd Party Trust Seals to Your Site"

And, he's absolutely right! HOWEVER ...

Then, he goes on to tell you all about how his team worked for several months to develop a bunch of generic trust seals. My graphics designer, Donna Maher, could have made those seals in less than an hour!

This dude seems to be selling phony trust seals! NONE of these seals are backed by any third party - other than him! And, he's doing it strictly for the cash. He says it straight out:

"I'd like to share in the additional profits I generate for you."

These so-called "trust seals" are set up to do a lot of testing and tracking, etc. but they have NO meaning - other than to increase your conversions!

Do You Need to Qualify to Display These Seals?

Oh, yeah! Here's how you do that:

"... you follow our step-by-step quick setup wizard that walks you through an easy and efficient 5 MINUTE VERIFICATION PROCESS.

Upon completion of the quick setup wizard, your seals are active immediately."

So, WHAT is being verified? That you have a website?

I can't find out what questions are asked (if any) unless I pay for the service, and I'm not about to give this bozo $97.

He doesn't tell you the requirements. There must just be one - the price of the service!

I could buy that service with my personal PayPal account, then, give him any URL I please. How would he know? He isn't going to see the site because you link to his seals!

Garcia also uses a lot of space telling you how expensive the trust seals from "competitors" are - and how much time they waste qualifying and putting you through a verification process. Then, he gives you the price ...

You can have his 11 generic "trust seals" for a measly $97 per MONTH! But, you'd better hurry because they're going to go up to $127 per MONTH.

I'd like to get my hands on this squirrel - AND all his bloody affiliates! Even if he's a bone-head, what the hell are his affiliates THINKING? This is the most BLATANT deception I've ever seen any internet marketer use. Bar NONE!

I don't know what can be done about this - probably nothing. I don't know there to be any law that says a trust seal is required to be backed up by actual organization - with qualifications.

But, I DO know it's purposefully misleading - and there ARE laws against that!

I don't want to give him a link-back and this blog software will do it if I try to put it in. So, I'll just describe his seals for you.

My favorite reads, "Verified Seller: Certified and Monitored." In fact, THREE of the seals read, "Certified and/or Monitored."

Yeah? By WHO?

One of them will definitely be confused with a TrustE seal - as intended, no doubt!

Four if them claim the site is "Safe" or "Locked."

Safe from what? Locked against what? I think we can assume this means customers are on a secure site. But, are they?

Then, we have "SITEGUARD Monitored."

What the hell is THAT?

Lastly, one claims the site is "Certified Spam Free" - and the other reads, "No-Scam Certified and Monitored."

Again - by WHO?

Not only is this jack-leg apparently selling false advertising, everyone who buys this product - and uses it - is also guilty. You do NOT get to claim your website is monitored, certified or verified unless it is!

Now, if HE claims to be the monitor, certifier and verifier, why are the seals generic? Those seals only give the APPEARANCE of being issued by "trusted third party!" This is what his "team" worked on for MONTHS?

No organization name whatsoever! No one is responsible for seeing to it his customers actually CAN be trusted!

As far as I'm concerned, site owners who use his seals are no better than the dirt bags who steal the iCop seal and put it on their sites without joining iCop.

My first thought was that damn few people are going to pay $1,164 a year to use his phony seals. In fact, if that's cheap compared to his "competitors, I'd like to know who's getting more than that, 'cause I'M doin' something wrong!

But, he's adding the tracking and testing, so it's hard to tell what folks think that's worth.

Do I think this little scam is going to hurt iCop. Of course, not. iCop IS a trusted - very trusted - third party, and we DO have a substantial vetting process for members. But, I'm certainly glad we have a seal that stands out from all the rest!

For the first time, I could *almost* rethink my position on Google's Sidewiki. If anyone ever deserved to have something written on his website, this is the guy!

Join the Conversation

Yes it is happening

Yes it is happening all over, i suggest you just go for reliable & trusted things every time.


fukyKR eKZLRulg

Trust Seals? Trust Who?

Thank you for sharing. I just readout interesting website’s your awesome interesting and informative topic. I really appreciate your thought about it. It’s really so useful for all especially for me because I want to get knowledge of every kind. Now, I just want to say that your describing sense is so nice and easy to understandable therefore, appreciate, love it and want to visit again shortly. Thanks again.
windows 7 tests


When you are in uncomfortable position and have got no cash to go out from that point, you will require to take the credit loans. Just because it would aid you definitely. I get sba loan every time I need and feel fine because of that.

Scott Standke

Hi jl,

The name kept "poking" at my brain and after running a search of my files, I found 'Scot Standke' (with ONE t) under Internet Warrior Marketing Forum.

This one seems to be very open, says he is from Oshkosh.


Joni Groves, CCBW

Scott Standke

You're right, Joni - it IS Scot. I still have his email. I've changed it in the article. Sorry about that.

jl scott, ph.d., Director: Chamber of Commerce - on the Web

Scot Standke

Hey jl,

I mis-read your post and thought you were saying Scot Standke was behind the seal deal. I sure wasn't correcting your spelling :) :).

It seems that Scot Standke has gotten himself into something that perhaps he doesn't really understand. He doesn't appear to be someone who would knowingly get into this kind of thing, but as our IN AG says in his advertising - "Can you really spot a scam or scammer?"

Maybe jlscott of I-Cop could (or should) straighten him out? Mr. Standke (not our AG) - big grin.


Joni Groves, CCBW

scjpMaybe jlscott of I-Cop

scjpMaybe jlscott of I-Cop could (or should) straighten him out? Mr. Standke (not our AG) - big grin.microsoft certificationMaybe jlscott of I-Cop could (or should) straighten him out? Mr. Standke (not our AG) - big grin.cisco certificationMaybe jlscott of I-Cop could (or should) straighten him out? Mr. Standke (not our AG) - big grin.ccvp

Article Copyrights

Creative Commons License
These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
To re-publish articles by jl scott from this site, please include the following byline - with live links - after each article you use.

-----> Begin

* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ http://www.ChamberofCommerce-ontheWeb.com - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit: http://www.OnlineBusinessTradeJournal.com

-----> End

C of C Solutions Web Hosting
"Web Hosting for Online Business Sites"