Innocent in Australia

A Scot down and under in Melbourne

Oprah Winfrey and the Stanford Who’s Who

with 61 comments

Are you in the Stanford Who’s Who? Some 70, 000 people are, apparently. And all of them grateful, dynamic wonder-folk. This was the impression given to me by Laurie Landford, a nasal New Yoyka, who rang me the other day, out of the blue.

She asked if I still worked in journalism and I said: “Yes, I do. Well, kind of. No, yes, I do. I’m a journo.”

“And your current employer?” she said.

“I’ve just started a new job,” I said. (Praise The Almighty. I love you God. You’re the best). “But I can’t tell you about it because it’s a really big secret and I don’t want to get fired.”

“I see, I see,” she said. “Well, based on the information you’ve given me I would say you are definitely someone that will continue to have a large impact in your field and, yeah, we would like to include you in the 2011 Stanford Who’s Who Australian Section.”

Who me? I thought. Based on the information I’ve given? Shit, I’m even more impressive than I’d realised. But just as my ego was inflating a niggling little doubt began to deflate it; in effect this meant my mood was unchanged. Were those alarm bells I could hear? Temporary tinnitus?

As well as networking opportunities with tens of thousands of “like-minded people”, Laurie told me I would receive airline tickets for two to one of several top destinations. Ace, I thought: free air travel, because I’m famous and in Who’s Who. The same thing happens to Oprah Winfrey, who I’m sure is in Who’s Who.

She’s certainly in Australia. Coverage of her visit has been so overwhelming that, if you’re reading this anywhere in the southern hemisphere, you’ll probably hate/love me just for mentioning it. The economic case (state and national tourism bodies sponsor The Chat Show Queen’s tour to the tune of $4 million in return for $634 gazillion-billion-trillion-bazillion in free overseas advertising) seems sound. In return, the Aussie taxpayer gets minute by minute updates on Oprah’s surf-learning, koala-hugging, Uluru-watching, sunset-admiring, hot-air-ballooning, wine-region-visiting, crayfish-eating, lesbian-rumour-denying, cover-shoot-declining jaunt.

That will be me soon, I thought. Things are changing.

Laurie sniffed; I think she had a cold. “I just need you to decide between the Platinum and Gold packages, the first being $781 for five years and the second being $589 for five years.”

“I see,” I said, the tinnitus building. “Umm …”

“Is it the money?” said Laurie.

“In what sense?” I said.

“Does it seem expensive?” she said. “We need your decision today so we can meet our print deadline.”

“Um …” I said.

“I’ll tell you what we’ll do. I’m going to take the price down to $389 for the Gold membership – you can still get your plane tickets AND can upgrade to a Premium for free after three years if you choose to. But you can’t tell ANYONE about this deal we’re making.”

“Sure,” I said. “Um …” I was thinking about John Travolta, who captained one of the two (cough cough) Qantas 747s that carried Oprah’s 302 hyper “ultimate fans” from the States to Australia to join their idol. Imagine that. John Travolta. I could network with him directly if I was in the Stanford Who’s Who.

“I’ll need an address to send your paperwork to,” said Laurie. “Can you give me that? There’s some stuff you need to sign.”

“Umm, sure,” I said. “It’s seventy six D-A-R-” That’s when I hung up, mid-spelling-out, to avoid confrontation.

Have I made a mistake? Have you? Is anyone out there in the Stanford Who’s Who?

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Written by Paul Dalgarno

December 10, 2010 at 10:56 am

61 Responses

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  1. I am in Stanford Who’s Who, I got the platinum package. I have made several business contacts, and got at least 12 emails and calls from other members in my area who called me for advertising services, saying that they had read my bio and were wondering if I could help them. It really is a useful networking tool.


    February 25, 2011 at 12:25 am

    • Nicolle, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you have found success with the platinum package. Think I’ll be giving it a miss though.

      Paul Dalgarno

      February 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

    • Trust me, this is probably one of their employers. This is an utter hoax. I have spent hours investigating these people and they are in no way affiliated with Stanford University. In fact, I was called on my office phone, and we record calls. The sales person distinctly told me that she was from Stanford university because I specifically asked. I gave my credit card details and now they won’t refund me on a lie they told. They call and harass me constantly, but I am in the process of reporting this website to the FBI internet abuse division. Enough is enough!!


      August 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    • “Several” business contacts and 12 solicitation email!??
      Sounds worth $899 to me! NOT!


      May 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    • They called me, they failed to impress, and I didn’t give my credit card details. Heres how I knew they were a con. 1: I gave confusing answers and instead of trying to clarify my answers, they boldly rolled on to accept me, Odd for a place claiming prestige.

      2: They asked for my credit card details. Come on, never ever trust a stranger, especially one wanting credit card details.

      3: They offered me help with my online presence claiming that when people googled my name, my name would come up first…of course it does, google analytics remembers your searches so if you google your name, your facebook etc will come up generally before others giving you the illusion that your name is first in the google search. Other then that, yes it can be done but the less unique a name the far trickier it is. But again you would never know because google remembers your google search so you will always find yourself first.

      4: And for me this is the biggie. They spent a half hour on the phone going over and over the points and dropping the price. I do a lot of cold calling etc for my company. If after around a minute and a half, I have told you the full benefit of my service, if you say no, then I thank you for your time and I move on because my service sells itself. I don’t need to twist arms to get results, my product is good and sells itself. They claimed to be prestigious, and yet they were desperate to have me in there.

      5: And final point. They told me I would get an online relationship manager. I asked the simple question “what qualifications does the relationship manager have to prove they are good enough to manage my online persona?” after all, this is the crux of what they are selling. The lady got a bit flustered and said that these managers had ten years of experience with this company. In my mind, this didn’t really give them any more qualifications then me, less in fact as I know myself best, and I don’t think the company has even been around that long.

      But lets get some good out of this.

      I work for a company here in New Zealand.
      We are registered with the government

      We are international product sourcers which means we can find the products you need, and get them to you, anywhere in the world. Although we mainly work in New Zealand and Australia.

      I am on linkedin but you can find me at

      and oh look^^^, more free and positive advertising then $900 dollars worth on stanford.


      October 12, 2012 at 5:00 am

  2. Hi Paul. I had the same impression that you had. The questions they made were the same and I could not understand how they would consider myself someone so important to be in their book knowing so little about me. But as they catched me by surprise, I ended up given my credit car. After some research in the internet, I called them back and left several messages saying I wanted to cancel my membership. The fact they did not call me back just confirmed what I had found in the internet. Now I am in a dispute process trying to cancel it. Let’s see what happens.

    Jeanine Almeida

    May 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    • Thanks for posting this, Jeanine. I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a time of it. I’m not an expert, but contacting your credit card company (eg phoning them and explaining the situation) may be the best way to go. Good luck with it; I hope you’re successful.

      Paul Dalgarno

      May 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    • My story is exactly the same as yours, I am in the same boat. I got sort of coerced into it and within 2 days I called and told them to cancel, I kept leaving messages on the answering machine. NO one got in touch with me for so long. I am now in touch with them over email and trying to get my money back.

      Fatimah Iqbal

      July 12, 2011 at 10:58 am

  3. A few days ago, I have been contacted by a Consultant from Stanford Who’s Who; they told me the same words and asked me similar questions. Because it seemed to me a bit strange I started to do some search in the Internet about this Internet marketing company and this why I am here. Well, apparently I am a famous innocent unknown person in Australia

    Ramon Reyes

    Ramon Reyes

    May 18, 2011 at 9:55 am

  4. This is a scam for sure, considering they accept new applicants online it’s pretty hard to believe they only select successful and highly qualified candidates. I recently spoke with a Who’s who rep (who somehow has my work and cell phone number) and was put through the same rigamarole. If you have to pay for it – you’re really not that special. Thankfully I hung up the phone before providing any payment information – I have read a handful of stories online about people who have been duped into payment without any possibility of cancellation.

    If you want networking – go to LinkedIn, join groups in your field and contribute to the conversation. This is ridiculous.


    May 18, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    • They offered me membership because I am such a “successful marketer” for $849 set up fee and $199/month dues. After a brief haggle, they went to $649 set up and $199/ month. Then after repeating several times to the point when I said, “You are NOT understanding what I’m saying, I will not make a decision over the phone without due diligence”, she dropped the cost to a flat out $9.99! I still did not give them any monetary information.


      May 8, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    • True!


      August 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

  5. Hi Paul, I have just gotten off the phone with a consultant who has spent the last thirty minutes stroking my ego. I run a small business in South Africa ( ), and am also an aspiring writer. One of the great benefits of living in a third world country is a constant exposure by our esteemed political arena to beautifully packaged BS. We can smell it a mile away.

    While we were talking I typed into my browser “Stanford Who’ Who scam” and opened up several web pages showing entries from gullible people who had given payment details over the phone, and when we reached that inevitable portion of the conversation where she laid out the packages for me, I politely told her that my partner wasn’t in and his permission was required for credit card purchases. I was offered some incredulous discounts, some flight tickets, and the threat that the offer was only available for the day due to publishing deadlines, but I just smiled and asked her if she could call back tomorrow as there was nothing I could do.

    My company has decent exposure on the web, and so I receive these calls periodically from first world countries who assume that all of us here on the dark continent are idiots! I agree with Kristi, if you’re looking for networking, join LinkedIn and localised associations or online chat groups.

    Just a word of warning, someone on one of the “Rip off” sites I visited was contacted via LinkedIn by these people and took them to be endorsed by LinkedIn!

    Natalie Jordaan

    June 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

    • Hey Natalie, that’s a really interesting comment. I have to say that, on this occasion, I think they’re targeting people indiscriminately, regardless of where they’re from, but it’s interesting to see they have such a global strategy.

      Think you’re absolutely right with your instincts – if something seems to good to be true, then it invariably is. Your experience sounds incredibly similar to mine, which makes me think the company has a script employees have to follow – one that has presumably been shown to work in a number of cases.

      I would hate having to call people up every day to do this. Can’t imagine it’s much fun.

      Paul Dalgarno

      June 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

    • Standford Who’s Who is a SCAM I worked for them. They interviewed me for a customer service position, yet stuck me in a mini malaysian sweatshop called sales! I was so desperate for a job, I just went with it, plus I was told they provided LEADS, and we were not making “cold calls”. Wrong!! over 70% of the people I sign up have no idea who or what the company is. They have a “free registry” advertisement on LinkedIn, but ask these poor people who have worked hard most of their lives for 789 now and 199 after your biography is complete! When in all reality the people who type the Bio’s don’t even have college or even high school education! They do not do backround checks on employees, so yes I have worked with Felons!!! I mean I had to quit, the job was awful. We got paid minimum wage weekly to sit at a cold desk and pound the phone with tons of “Leads” on our desks. We got commission but you had to make at least 5000 a week to even see the commission!! This company scams their employees, so why not the members? Im sorry but for you IDIOTS who paid for membership, I feel so sorry for you. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE 789 PLATINUM PACKAGE, FROM THE 9.95 SPONSOR PACKAGE!!!! SAME BENEFITS, CHEAPER PRICE! With the sponsor your giving them 9,95 for the rest of your life, and with the Platninum you are giving the big bucks up front and still paying 9.95 a month, monthly dues FOR LIFE!!!! ALL TO HAVE A SMALL SPACE IN A HUGE BOOK? PLEASE!!!! Have you ppl learned anything!!! You NEVER give your card number over the phone!!!!! NEVER EVER DO THAT! You may be protected by your cvredit card company, but MORE THAN HALF OF YOU SIGN UP NOT EVEN KNOWING WHAT THE HELL IT IS!!!! You poor non – street smart individuals!!!! That Anthony Cisaminao whatever his last name is,….IS A MILLIONAIRE, AND YOU PPL ARE TRYING TO START A BUISNESS WORTH GOOD TO THIS WORLD! Its so sad, I cried everyday I came home from work, praying God release me and send me to another job, where my work was apreciated. Rocco is the manager there and he is a fat, sloppy, rude, mean ,egotistic bastard who talks to people like they are NOTHING! “sweat shop” like tactics!!! Cancel your memberships!!!! CANCEL!!! Spread the word to your friends and collegues…LINKEDIN SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF EVEN BEING AFFILIATED!


      August 3, 2011 at 12:01 am

      • Wow Trissy, that’s quite a comment! Thanks for posting. P.

        Paul Dalgarno

        August 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

      • Thanks for your comments I have just had a phone call yesterday I did not have enough money in my credit card it was to be processed today I got a very bad feeling and have now cancelled my card thank goodness it is amazing how professional these scams are very very talented in connecting to peoples hearts and speak with an educated attitude


        October 10, 2012 at 9:14 am

  6. Well. I feel like a complete idiot. A consultant from Stanford Who’s Who call me and I had the same alarm bells ringing in my head, and I didn’t listen to them. It was only after the call ended that I thought I’d look at there website and do some more google searching. And alas, it’s a scam and they got my credit card details. By the time I got through to my bank, they had already debited my account. I emailed them and called them repeatedly with no reply or call back. Do you know if anyone has managed to get there money back?

    Paul Baxter

    July 5, 2011 at 5:36 am

    • Hi Paul. No, sadly, I don’t know of anyone who got their money back … although maybe someone who reads this post will.
      I always thought credit card companies would allow you to cancel purchases within a (short) given timeframe, but maybe that’s not the case here.
      Hope you get it sorted.

      Paul Dalgarno

      July 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm



      August 3, 2011 at 12:02 am

  7. I’ve just received a call from Stanford Who’s Who and went through the same 25 questions and ego stroking as many of you…I also thought it odd that with such little information they classified me as being someone who has accomplished a lot and would continue to reach dizzying heights in my career!! What a load of crap and am so glad I didn’t hand over details..peeved though that I was naive enough to waste 15 mins of my life I’ll never get back.

    Chris Sturgess

    Chris Sturgess

    July 7, 2011 at 2:15 am

    • Chris,
      Don’t consider it a waste of time but rather a lesson you did NOT have to learn the hard way. Congratulations, you should feel like a winner!


      May 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

  8. Seems they are on a role. I got the same lady from New Yoyk on the phone today. She had me around her finger for a few minutes until she started to tell me that the Platinum package or the Gold package was what I had to choose right now. At that point my ego got a kick in the behind from my more sane part of the brain. And I realized it must be a scam. I told her I had to look into the different programs and if she pushed me into making a decision now I would decline.
    A little more for my ego at the end where she told me how soothing a voice I had. Male ego’s …… pffff.
    Anyways I am glad I didn’t give out any payment information after reading online about the Stanford Who’s Who. For me though the worst is that LinkedIn apparently seems to endorse this kind of BS since they advertise on LinkedIn. I feel that LinkedIn should scan the companies they accept business from much better that they do right now. Since it’s LinkedIn members who seem to be targeted a lot because of it.
    Stay away from Stanford Who’s who!!!!!!!!!!

    Maurice Janssen

    July 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    • That’s funny that it was the same woman, Maurice; I’m glad you didn’t get stung. I guess the hard-sell approach must work in a number of cases, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it. Cheers. P

      Paul Dalgarno

      July 29, 2011 at 11:29 am



      August 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

  9. I just paid $99 for a one year package or whatever. I was caught on the hop. As a professional you have to make a number of decisions, some end up being good, others bad. I don’t expect to see $99 value from this after reading this, but if you’ve got your fingers in as many pies as possible, returns from one will cover your losses from others. If these guys do end up publishing and delivering per the sales pitch, then it will just be a bad value transaction for the hope of boosting your professional status, no different to parking your porsche in the work car park. Understand that people may feel ripped off by this, but keep your chin up and remove the emotion from it, it was business transaction. I highly doubt I’ll be a long term customer, and the degree of your frustration will be in line with the package that you bought. At the very least, it’s something for the resume; don’t mention the title, include the bio, don’t mention you paid for it and leverage what value you can from it. I’ve made bad puchases in the past, I’m sure I will in the future. It’s the ambition that made you to want to be included in this that will in the future lead to something for lucrative, you’ve got to be in it to win it, and you can’t will them all, keep at it.

    Chris S

    August 15, 2011 at 2:17 am

    • Sound advice my friend! You truly have insight. You should visit
      Sounds to me like you have what it takes. And no, you’re not buying anything there 🙂


      May 8, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    • I signed up for the same thing after half hour of wrangling on the phone, $99 for one year trial, plus $9.95 getting hit on my card every month. I agree with all you have said, so I’m gonna chalk it up to experience.
      But it does get worse….I was contacted today by a rep, notifying me that my website is complete and $295 was now due, a sum I was never told about. They tried to debit that from my card immediately after hanging up, but luckily for me, my card had expired and he called back asking for the new expiry date. Ok they got through the first time because I waswilling to risk $100 for the exposure, but the surprise $295 did it for me.
      I told him I don’t have the new card, it must have got lost in the post and I will get onto it with my bank, then type them in google and here I am. Next will be to notify my bank of the scam and get them blocked.
      So thank you for this eye opening site that has confirmed what I expected.

      George Wilson

      October 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

  10. Amazing, reading all this information. I’m so glad I didn’t hand my credit card details over the phone which is something I don’t like doing. I’m in Sydney and the guy called me from NY which is 10pm their time. I did ask the guy if they had an electronic system that you can punch in your credit card details and he said no, I had to give it to him… I told him I don’t really trust people that call me out of the blue and ask me to hand over my credit card details over the phone. I asked one of my colleagues and she said I should use the $589 to buy myself an Ipad2 🙂 which is on my list. What got me is the ‘trip’, that was a give away for me as the round trip mentioned is more than the membership especially if you live in Australia and had to fly to Mexico or somewhere that far!! I’m glad that I listened to my colleagues and the niggling little man in my brain telling me, SCAM SCAM… and yes, Linkedlin should not have endorsed these people!!!!

    M Jenner

    September 1, 2011 at 4:03 am

  11. I just had this lady also contact me and guess what? She had some allergies and kept clearing her throat. I asked to call me back after 15 minutes and she just called now as I was reading this. Thank you soo much for having this site because my instincts told me this was way tooo easy, even in South Africa where scams are a daily occurence, I needed to read this to be sure. So great work.


    September 2, 2011 at 4:33 pm

  12. Hmmm, I recieved a call today from a lady that does this, I gave her basic info and then when she asked for my details I knew something was wrong I told her to call me again tomorrow as I dont have a card with me. I prepare to take her call tomorrow and give her some input she should know, I will also be following up with Linkedin and scam protection website. Even though I have lost nothing as of yet, I strive to help other who have….Please dont not give them your details they are a scam


    September 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  13. Geez…………. I should have known, that stupid nasal english spewing babra was too good to be true……

    Hyde park, South africa


    November 10, 2011 at 6:11 pm

  14. I am about to file a report against them at

    For a previous entry see

    I’ve also sent a complaint to LinkedIn for letting this scam advertise on their platform, but disappointed that they are advertising STILL.

    Media Suarez

    November 28, 2011 at 3:15 am

  15. I’ve just signed up with who’s who. I’m very sensitive to scams and scammers and frequently report them to ScamWatch in Australia. After reading some of the many comments about Who’s Who, I became very suspicious and contacted them for answers. My call was returned by a guy who appeared to be concerned that I was unhappy. I couldn’t speak to him at the time, so asked him to call me again the next day – he did, exactly at the time I requested. When I expressed my concerns to him, he told me that he was aware that there was a lot of bad press out there about them. However, because of my concerns, he offered to upgrade me to a 5-year plan at no extra charge and to waive the monthly fee.

    Since that conversation, I have received a very expensive-looking pack from them whit a certificate, glossy booklet and a number of other things. If this is a scam, I’m afraid they’re going to go broke very quickly! For my $99 I received a pack that, along with postage, probably cost them more than $100!

    Chris S., you are someone I’d like to meet! You are the first person I have seen who approached this very volitile subject with some common sense. In business, you use whomever you can to leverage as much press and exposure as you can. Many of you are on LinkedIN. LinkedIn has free memberships, but if you want to make any kind of sensible connections, you have to pay a fee! Does that make them a scam too?
    There are millions of people on Twitter. It’s free, but the only thing it gives them is a few letters to deal with, which means that they can’t say anything sensible! If twitter started charging for membership tomorrow, would that make them a scam?

    A scam is defined as something that takes your money without delivering any product or a product that is not worth the money paid. Let’s look at my investment
    – I paid $99 and got a glossy pack and certificate worth $100
    – I have a press release sent to all major search engines and if you type in my name or my company name, you get 3 pages of results!! My god, I paid a reputable company big money to send my URL to all the search engines, and only made it to page 12! Must be a scam!

    If $99 gets me a press release and interview with someone, and gets me on top of the google list, I’m sorry, but that’s not a scam, it’s money well spent. I absolutely agree with Chris; this is a business decision and you can make money by using them (even if they were a scam), you’ve won, not lost!

    As for the lady who worked for them, I worked for a company once who sent me to an office with walls that were made of asbestos, crappy chairs that were filthy dirty and falling apart, lousy little offices and shit pay! Did that make them a scam? NO, they were a highly respected company. Shit people to work for, but THAT in itself doesn’t constitute a scam.

    I now have the phone number of the account manager for my account, and have callled him several times, I have his email address and get instant replies from him when I write to him. This is not the behaviour of a scammer! And even if it were a scam, they can’t get any more money from me, since my credit card has been cancelled – so who’s the looser here!?

    I know there are lots of sacms and scammers out there and they make me as angry as anyone else, but let’s not lose our ability as business people to rationally and logically weigh up ALL the facts, and not be swept away by the emotion.


    December 4, 2011 at 1:18 am

    • So what IS your business name so I can pull it up and see those “3 pages”?
      $100 for a “glossy pack” and a certificate? I can get a “glossy pack”, (whatever the hell that is), at Walmart for $9.99 and MAKE a sweeeet certificate on my computer for pennies!

      They got you on page 2? I can put you on page 1 for the price of a Starbucks coffee!

      Yea, you got scammed. You just don’t know it yet.


      May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    • Trissy, thank you for sharing such valuable information and experiences.


      September 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

  16. these are the most disgusting people on earth. when you are in then you will be paying and there is no way of getting out. just stay out. this is the second time i have been involved with and unfortunately US based rubbish. there is no one better to represent yourself but you. all the ego stroking is true and they love to get you when you are busy. they also use contact numbers which when you call back are not in use, proving totally that this is an group to stay away from at all costs. Yes they were on linked-in and that is how i had my free assesment and became ‘an instant top range consultant’, what utter rubbish.

    john carr

    December 7, 2011 at 9:05 am

  17. i’m shady khorshed with the Linkedin of ”

    now they are calling to middle east. i’m in Yemen and some girl called me like 3hours ago saying the same things like you guys mentioned and i was totally hooked up . luckily, i forgot what’s the country’s post code and she couldn’t find it on her system. thus, she will be calling me back tomorrow morning to close the deal.

    fortunately, i checked online for Stanford who’s who and it looks like it’s a massive scam.

    Shady Khorshed

    January 30, 2012 at 9:25 am

  18. They phoned me today and when they got to the part of the credit card details, I said I wasn’t sure if i would be using my personal or business card as I wasnt going to get into paying for something I didn’t have enough info on, also told them to email me all the details which they havent done. How did they find me and what made them think I would be interested? They said they would call back this evening, just as well I googled it the minute I got off the phone.


    February 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm

  19. If these guys aren’t legit, they sure are smooth. I got a call (actually numerous calls) after filling out a “free membership” on a LinkedIn add. Turns out nothing is free.

    After buttering me up they went for the close. “you are more than qualified sir. Would you like Gold or Platinum”. When I stopped answering their questions they lowered the price 3 times.

    As she was doing this I looked them up and this was one of the posts I found. Thanks. I ended the call right then and there.


    March 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

  20. I was a mug and joined too, though certainly not at the top price they first suggested! Didn’t care about the certificate, etc. Was only interested because I thought it might produce some useful contacts.

    I became more suspicious when I went to their website and read the terms and conditions I had to agree to before entering the site! Long document, so they hope you might not bother to read it all. I did. Pretty dodgy. It’s intended to stop anyone who feels they’ve been bitten from telling others. And the no refunds bit is the exact opposite of what you’d expect from a reputable business. So I can’t even sign in to check my bio or see what all the ‘benefits’ are. Most discounts are probably irrelevant in Australia. I had OKed the first payment and figured from what I’ve read that I wouldn’t get my money back, so I cut my losses and ran. A hassle to close my credit card, but I will do so if necessary. I went straight to my bank and told them I would not accept any further debits from Stanford.

    The first page of Google results is mostly too-good-to-be-true self-promotional material under the guise of independent reviews.


    March 25, 2012 at 2:57 am

  21. I too got conned by this scam because of Linkedin advertising that I thought was Linkedin endorsement. I am Australian. After receiving my package almost a year ago I have not had one email or contact out of it. I fell like an idiot for having been sucked in.


    March 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  22. I actually just got off the phone with them, and they appear to be legit. It is true that they use hard sales tactics, but they don’t force you to give them your credit card. The packages seem to be for marketing; however, I do much of it myself. Thus, I just kept pushing to get a free basic listing. I no longer work in sales, but once in my life I was a commission salesman, and I saw how easy it was to convince people to pull out their money for things they did not need or want. I think that most of the people who say they are a scam are actually having issues that they were sold (i.e. they did not want it). I researched them after seeing them on LinkedIn, and I figured that if I didn’t give them any info then what harm could it do. So, far the only info I gave them was on my LinkedIn profile. All in all, I would say that they seem to do what they say, but they are sales people. Please remember, there is a FREE LISTING OPTION.


    April 12, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  23. Its true ! Stanford Who’s Who is a scam. I worked there. Stanford Who’s Who real address is: 150 Freeman Avenue Islip, New York 11751. the owner’s name is Anthony casimano, managers name is Rocco, and night time managers name is Dan not sure of the two managers last names. They use an alias address in New York, NY so people won’t reach them with legal notices or show up at their front door.


    May 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm

  24. I received all of the same stroking and price differentials for my Las Vegas NV based house cleaning company “LAS VEGAS PROFESSIONAL HOME DETAIL”, ( I adamately stated that I required to do my due dilligence and I would NOT make any decissions over the phone. Kathy said she’d call me back in a week and since I read that post of the person who worked for them in a sweat shop situation, I think I’ll offer Kathy a job cold calling customers for my business here in Las Vegas and offer her 20% commission on any business she gets for us!


    May 8, 2012 at 7:43 pm

  25. what kind of really great networking site has the most generic looking website in the world???

    John Giangrasso

    June 6, 2012 at 4:01 am

  26. This is the biggest rip off I’ve ever seen in my life.
    When I went on the “interview” for this “company” they told me they had qualified leads. Qualified leads are supposed to mean that people showed interest in PAYING for this “service”. But the ad the click on online tells them that they’re getting it for free.
    It’s a scam. It’s nothing more than selling stupid people on their own vanity.
    This is how their “pitch” goes…
    1. you call them up and ask them for some very basic information.
    2. then, you “congratulate” them as if they just received some type of “honor” into some special “club”
    3. then, you try to sell them on some “premium package” which is over a thousand dollars (even though the ad said it was a free service) ((and even though anyone can start a linked in, facebook or twitter absolutely free.
    4. then, when they don’t go for the “premium” you try to sell them on the “gold” $800…then DROP DOWN to “silver” $600 and on and on until you have to give it away for free.
    …The real scam here is telling them that they’re being accepted into some special network meanwhile the only real qualification is having a credit card number.
    Oh, and if you take a look at the book that these geniuses who get swindled into paying for this “service” looks like…at least 50 percent of the book is people who signed up for free. Congratulations, you just paid $1,000 PLUS!!!! a ten dollar fee a month to have a 1 minute generic video of yourself.
    And, they put no effort into making your biography different from anyone elses…everyones bio simply says that they are dedicated and driven in their field to become “leaders”. Absolute scam…this is coming from someone who thought about working there for a day or two before I realized I’d be ripping people off.
    Oh, oh, and i almost forgot…what kind of top notch networking site has 100,000 measly members and only 8,000 likes on facebook?

    John Giangrasso

    June 6, 2012 at 4:03 am

  27. dear standford who’s who agents writing fake reviews on this blog…people know any service you have to buy immediately…over the phone…that’s an “honor”…is no honor. Oh, oh, and folks, as soon as you pay…even though you’re being honored…no refunds. But this is an honor to you?

    John Giangrasso

    June 6, 2012 at 4:05 am

  28. they asked for this negative press for me by wasting my time and money all last week. SCAM SCAM SCAM!!!

    John Giangrasso

    June 6, 2012 at 4:06 am

  29. I am Naive in New Zealand and this is the first scam that has taken money from me. I broke all my own rules that keep me safe from this sort of thing. I thought, I only need to sell one small painting through this network to pay for it anyway, and signed up for the cheapest option of 2 years at $285 NZ. That was yesterday. A browse through the online market place after the call , and I knew it was not limited to people who were very successful in their field and I had been taken in. It is not the exclusive market place I was sold and I must not brake my safety rules again. When I rang today, they insisted they were as exclusive as I was told on the phone and my art would sit nicely amongest the cleaning products and everyone in their online market place was indeed top in their field and it was just me who had a problem as obviously I just thought I was above everyone else. Karla didn’t hang up on me she just stopped trying to justify charging me for a service her company wasn’t actually going to deliver and reverted to absoulute silence. I still have hope that she will reverse the charges, so it appears I have escaped with my innocence and naivity in tact and I now have a firmer resolve to follow rules that include proper research before parting with cash online. I have rung the bank and they are very kindly supplying me with a new credit card number free of charge and scrapping the one Stanfords Who’s Who has.

    Miranda Jane Caird

    July 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  30. I just got a call from them NOW – I was really impressed at the beginning, after I was definately “accepted” into the clan, and 15 minutes into the call, this guy started to get REALLY pushy, trying to make me committ to either the platinum or gold membership. That’s when I started to get suspicious, and Googled them while I was talking to him and saw the scamming going on. Although their website and social media look sound, gut feeling told me this is not right, this guy just gave me the creeps. I put the phone down on him midway as he would not take no for an answer. I don’t need this kind of creepy networking, thank you! Glad I didn’t get caught!

    Yasmin Bendror

    July 31, 2012 at 9:52 pm

  31. I am Normas from Malaysia (Trissy… mini-malaysian sweatshop? 1st time I’m hearing that) and I received a call from the same lady; well at least I think its the same. Though I don’t recognize the accent, she definitely is still coughing and sneezing.
    I must admit I was interested in the beginning but became less interested when the subject of money came up. It is big money when converted to Malaysian currency. Fortunately, I was in a meeting when she first called and she offered to call back later. I was still in the meeting (and dozing off) when she called and did not pick up the call. Anyway after reading through this I am having second thoughts. I don’t really need international exposure anyway.
    Thank youuuu blogmaster!

    Normas Yakin

    August 1, 2012 at 6:12 am

  32. I got my money back! I told them they had not delivered the product and service I had been sold on the phone. The online marketplace was not restricted to only people in the top of their field which is the verbal agreement I entered into onto the phone – access to an exclusive market place including only those top in their field. Kia Kaha (stay strong) , be firm, know your rights and sock it to them.Surely the credit card companies should also deny them the ability to operate also. Also told Karla it was effecting her personal Karma and I hope she gets a proper job soon. Thank you Trissy for your comments because it showed me a lot of the employees of this company are probably really uncomfortable in their jobs and actually want to do the right thing. It’s up to all of us to maintain the integrity of the global business world ,even the innocent artists : ). If a business dummy like me can get my money back, so can you.

    Miranda Jane Caird

    August 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm

  33. I have been contacted ‘out of the blue’ by Stanford. After a few questions I was deemed suitable for inclusion in the 2012 Stanford Who’s Who. All I had to do was pay nearly $US900 now and $US200 a month for a host of goodies. I hung up. This is such a blatant scam how could ANYONE fall for it?

    Peter O'Brien

    September 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

  34. I signed up for ths after half hour of wrangling on the phone, $99 for one year trial, plus $9.95 getting hit on my card every month. I agree with all you have said, so I’m gonna chalk it up to experience.
    But it does get worse….I was contacted today by a rep, notifying me that my website is complete and $295 was now due, a sum I was never told about. They tried to debit that from my card immediately after hanging up, but luckily for me, my card had expired and he called back asking for the new expiry date. Ok they got through the first time because I waswilling to risk $100 for the exposure, but the surprise $295 did it for me.
    I told him I don’t have the new card, it must have got lost in the post and I will get onto it with my bank, then type them in google and here I am. Next will be to notify my bank of the scam and get them blocked.
    So thank you for this eye opening site that has confirmed what I expected.

    George Wilson

    October 9, 2012 at 1:53 am

    • I’ve cancelled my card and now have a new one, so at the end of the day I have paid $100 for my page on this sight for 12 months and I’m not anticipating anything will come from it or that they will even honor that agreement. I received another call and told ‘Frank’ what I thought of the whole idea of falsely taking people’s money and continually trying to take more and more. My bank is disputing the transaction for taking my money under false pretences, but I’m not holding my breath. At the end of the day I consider myself lucky that my card had expired and I only lost $100 for a chance to make some valuable contacts.
      Needless to say, I won’t be going for anymore online offers like this again, but rather stick to more conventional means of business exposure, so thank you for raising the awareness. Let’s hope that this bogus company has a rendevouz with justice soon.

      George Wilson

      October 13, 2012 at 12:50 am

  35. I just had a call this morning after filling in the link for FREE membership via Linkedin a few weeks ago. I feel like one of the club now 🙂 and boy did feel good about myself after the first 5 mins of the call, almost thought they were head hunting me for my next bit career move. However I think they may have met their match over the next 10 mins of the call. I suggested that he email me his questions as I have very limited time, when he said they don’t do business via email – red flags waved. As I was in front of the computer at the time, luckily I google’d them whilst he was talking and found this site and the conversation turned very quickly, ‘I have a meeting to go to can he just cut to the chase, how much was this going to cost?’ After he outlined the benefits of the who’s who, he ran through the gold and platinum and wanted to know which I would take? I said that what gave him the impression I would take any? on the back foot he said why wouldn’t I take advantage of this offer – I just stated had to run off to a meeting and I heard him saying he couldn’t understand why I could not spare a moment just before I hung up…I wonder if he will be calling me back?

    Ange D

    October 11, 2012 at 4:01 am

  36. Just dodged a bullet I think – exactly the same – clicked the linked in advert and got called today – enjoyed the ego stroke but then alarms rang when it got to money, even more as the prices/offers were dropping so easily. So I decided not to keep going especially with the talk was all about having to decide right now (never, ever do that). So I ended it by saying “talk to you tommorow..or not”. Phew. It might not be a complete scam, maybe they do give you “service”, but its probably not value for money and its certain not right pressuring people like that.


    November 20, 2012 at 5:04 am

  37. I had a call from them today. The lady also was very good at stroking my ego and making me feel welcome to a “privileged” club membership. she rattled on about what they would send me, certificates etc etc.. then came the crunch.. gold or platinum membership and the cost for each. I asked if I took out a gold membership, could it be upgraded later to platinum? of course it can was the reply….. then came the question that raised my red flag, can you start by providing me your credit card number and expiry date… i told her i didn’t give out my card details over the phone and asked if they would email what we had discussed so I could consider it… she said they took membership payments only over the phone.. she mentioned that she would ask her boss to send me a statement for review and then she would call me back. within 2 mins i received an email from a Daniel Metzger with a bill for $678.95 USD Billed on the day of inclusion. Your deferred billing of $199.00 USD be applied on 2/1/2013. Your monthly dues of $9.95 USD will begin on 3/1/2013…. i wont be replying to them…. and i definitely wont be parting with my credit card details to this company after reading the online experiences from other people. Be careful, and dont divulge your credit card details to anyone over the phone………


    January 3, 2013 at 4:12 am

  38. It is a scam of the highest order – I can’t understand why it hasn’t been shut down. They are still trying to take money out of our account (frozen to them) 6 months after we said to cease and desist.

    lynne sturges

    January 29, 2013 at 8:56 pm

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