USAVoice: Genuine News Service or Something Else?

For the most recent information on this, please click here.

Since I seem to be on every major job search site known to man, I'm no stranger to the world of spam. Most of the stuff found through job searches comes up as pretty benign and transparent ploys to convince you to get hooked into someone's multi-level-marketing/ work-at-home strategy, most of which is easily dispatched of by a simple click of the mouse and the delete button.

So it came as no surprise when a company that gave the appearance of starting up an online newspaper approached me not long ago. The email was the typical "we got your resume and think you would be PERFECT for the position of ___." which I had seen countless times before. I wasn't fooled by the slick way they included all the little details that most people looking for a job want: good pay, great benefits, etc. All of it was just too good to be true. Which of course, made me suspicious. So like any good investigative reporter, I decided to do a little digging before signing on the line to see what this was all about. is a slick little website with a less-than-subtle "USA Today" appearance - all looking very official and media-like. As you go there now, it looks like any other legitimate news site, complete with multiple columnists, departments, breaking news, up to the minute stock reports local weather, etc.

However, how the company runs it's business seems a bit peculiar.

It works like this: USAVoice wants to sign up as many people as possible to fill the site with various articles and news stories. They actively recruit for new employees to help them become "the world's fastest growing news organization" and have managed to blanket every journalism and job site possible with this ploy. Their ads have been everywhere, including college newspapers, print classified ads and craigslist postings in no-doubt every city craigslist posts to.

However, once you have been selected to be an employee of the company, they explain how they want you to (as they put it) "“Create a mailing List of people you know to build traffic to your stories."” In other words, you build a list full of people with valid email addresses that you then convince to visit your articles on the site over and over. Every time you write an article, you notify your readers of the update. What the article actually says, or whether or not the viewer even reads the article matters very little. The article is only there as a vehicle for all of the click-through advertising that peppers the page. The author of the article then gets a small percentage of the profits.

Here is how they put it:

"Reporters at USAVoice will receive 40% of income generated by advertising on USAVoice. Each reporter will earn a percentage of that revenue equivalent to the percentage of total page views generated by his/her stories appearing on USAVoice.

For example:
Total revenue - $850,000 this month
Total page views on ALL stories: 2,500,000
Each page view worth: 14¢
Reporter A generated 15,000 page views on all stories
Reporter A's income this month - $2,100"

Those number look really impressive, don't they? "Reporter A" makes $2,100 for his work on the site. Of course, this is only if "Reporter A" can convince fifteen thousand people to not just read the article, but click on the advertising on the page. And this is only if USAVoice makes $850,000 in click-through advertising revenue. If USAVoice doesn'’t make that much in revenue... and if you only get a few thousand people to read your article... and out of that, perhaps only 10% of those people click on the ads... you end up making pocket lint. Of course, the developers who are taking 60% of every click of an ad still make money hand over fist.

The other way the company suggests "generating readership" is to mail links of your articles to any number of forums that the company has collected. So not only do you spam your friends with advertising, but you are encouraged to spam other lists as much as possible also. The more you spam, the more people come to the site and MIGHT click on the advertising, the more the developers make money.

My guess is that these mailing lists each writer creates probably also reside on the company's server, thereby allowing them to access the list for other purposes like more spam, or just selling the addresses to a second-hand spammer outright.

I followed the instructions of the site to learn a little more about the company and I sat in on the conference call that they had set up for new employees. Included in the call was a slideshow explaining the above example of potential income that employees could make working for the company. They also showed some of the requirements that each employee must do to be a part of the team, such as setting up a completely separate business phone line in their house at their own expense. I'm not really sure why employees were required to do this and what USAVoice's take on that deal would be, but that was part of the requirements. This was starting to sound really fishy. Why do I need a business phone line? I'm writing articles and submitting them to the site. Who would be calling me?

The organizer of the call really did a good job of buttering up the potential candidates. Some people that were selected had absolutely no writing skills whatsoever. None! Now, a normal person might question why a legitimate news site would have little or no interest in their reporter's writing abilities. USAVoice explains this by saying that they want to have a fresh style with their articles, not driven by the typical AP style guidelines. (yeah, like spelling, grammar, fact checking...)

Doing a Google search for the site comes up with more discussions about scams than anything else. They're being talked about all over the place.

So what makes all of this suspicious:

  • You don'’t get paid by the word or the number of articles submitted, you just get a percentage of a percentage of the total number of people that click on the advertising.
  • You have to build a "mailing list" of people that you can spam to to get them to visit the site and click on the ads.
  • You have to have a business phone line installed in your house at your expense.

And here is the final nail in the coffin about the legitimacy of this news service:

Some simple investigating on the site turns out that the IP address that uses is shared with two other domains, which were set up by a gentleman named
Ayman El-Difrawi, who also goes by several different aliases and spellings of his name. Doing a search on Difrawi comes back with some really interesting information. It seems that he was convicted of (among other things) conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false financial reporting, conspiracy to defraud the media, sexual harassment, child abuse, unpaid restitution and was a key player in one of the largest internet fraud scams in American history.

And according to the various press releases I've found scattered around the net, he's also running for congress.

During the conference call, if you had a question during the Q&A portion, you would have to shout out your city location and whoever the person who started the call heard, she would call on. Thanks to a strong voice, I was heard among the cacophony of people yelling out their location all at once. I thanked the organizers for their time in organizing the conference call and then carefully asked what the connection was between USAVoice and this convicted con artist. The person responded with typical press secretary flair, and stated that there was no connection at all with this person,didn'tdidnt know who that person was and they are not working for the company.


Shortly after the question was brought up, more people on the call started raising similar questions about the legitimacy of the company and allegations that it was a scam. Strangely enough, the conference started experiencing technical difficulties which quickly ended the call altogether.

A little simple research was all that was needed to see right through the guise. The site works very hard to convince these people that they are genuine journalists, part of a legitimate news service. They even talk about having business cards printed and getting press passes for the writers. But the harsh reality is that these "journalists" are really nothing more amateurature bloggers generating click-through revenue for the guys at the top.

And the best part about this is that technically, there seems to be nothing illegal about what Difrawi is doing. He doesn't appear to be breaking any laws that I can see. What he is doing with USAVoice is no different than what other sites are doing with their click-through advertising commissions. Difrawi is simply using a tactic to employ hundreds of people to convince thousands of viewers to help him make money with click-through advertising. Its not illegal, but at the very least its a bit shady. But as our own government has shown, you can't really be arrested for just being shady.

Bottom line: as the old saying goes and USAVoice and Alec Difrawi prove, if something is too good to be true, it probably is.

UPDATE: Since posting this article, the response has been overwhelming. Thank you to everyone for all the letters of encouragement. Rest assured, we will continute to update Media Morgue whenever we get new information.

For the latest update on what the USAVOICE has been up to, click here.

For a detailed look into Alec Defrawy and his connection with USAVOICE, click here.

Interested in filing a complaint with the FBI about USAVOICE? Read this.

Interested in writing for Media Morgue? read this.

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Anonymous said...

You got it all wrong, it is is the school leads.

The Judge said...

Well thank you for that wonderfully written and truly enlightening rebuttal to my post. And it only took a few minutes to figure what it was you were actually trying to say. It takes quite a bit of skill to be that incoherent using so few actual words.

I THINK you are suggesting that some of the job postings where USAVOICE has placed their ads come from school sources. Is that right? If so, can you elaborate a bit, or will your brief anonymous fart in the comment section be all that we ever see from you again?

But thanks for farting anyway.

Anonymous said...

Your article basically says the shady part is that USAVoice is earning money through the pay per click advertising method. That would be a valid point IF indeed the ads placed on their site paid per click. Do some research like I did and you'll find that all of the ads (even those that change up on the home page) don't pay per click. Rather, USAVoice gets paid a percentage of sales, purchases, etc. How is this different then from CNN.Com who also has ads on their site? Clearly CNN isn't a scam too?

I too am trying to figure out the scam here, and well, the more I look the more I realize, Defrawry or not, there is no scam.

Anonymous said...

and aren't those Pay Per Click ads on YOUR site???

Are you Alec Defrawry?

The Judge said...

If I were Alec Defrawy, I would have a hell of a lot more money to be playing with and just purchase a surver and IP address outright instead of having to pimp my blog on a Blogger site.

Read the quote I grabbed from the site while I attended the conference call:

"Reporters at USAVoice will receive 40% of income generated by advertising on USAVoice. Each reporter will earn a percentage of that revenue equivalent to the percentage of total page views generated by his/her stories appearing on USAVoice."

Whether its pay per click or outright sales of advertising on the page, a person who writes for the site will get a percentage of the revenue, based on the number of people that the person brings to the site and clicks through the advertising.

Its not a scam in that they are cheating anyone out of money, they are just paying you a tiny, tiny, microscopic portion of the proceeds, PROVIDED you bring in thousands of fresh hits to your articles every day. Then they sell this con to you by throwing big numbers out there to show what you could make if you could bring in 15,000 hits or more to your page.

CNN pays their journalists a specific wage. Either paid by the word, or by the article, or by the hour. NOT by the number of ads that get sold, then divided by the number of people that journalist convinces to go to the CNN site that day.

And yes, those are click-through ads on the left column of my page. In exchange for allowing Google to advertise on my site, I am paid a small amount of money every time someone clicks on those ads. If you click on it, I will get a few pennies for your efforts. If a few hundred people click on them, I might be able to buy a beer at the end of the day.

The Judge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Everyone is talking but no one is saying what the scam is... And for that point, I see the same articles about PayPal for crying outloud. Provide proof that this is a scam or retract your statement.

Anonymous said...

The Judge is right in that their is no way for a reporter or editor to gauge how many click throughts that their articles are receiving. Furthermore the software running the site is nothing but rudimentary
coding not to be taken serious. It does not even compare with some of the more recent COTS portal packages offered on the market today.

I'm afraid that I'd have to agree with this blog. Because when I asked on the conference call who owns the operation I received a reply That the owner does not wish to be known.

I'm a cynical person but I initially fell for this ploy. It definitely is slick.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Someone posted a Warning Scam on the USAVoice site and some administrator or the managing editor quickly pulled it from the site. Apparently the news is not Honest and Unfiltered for those of you who are sticking up for these scammers!!!!

Anonymous said...

give it a rest.

Anonymous said...

Dave in Michigan

This all sounds like a scam to me. I am a professional writer and I ask about the inch count and they had no idea what that was. It doesn't look like the stories get edited and it doesn't look like they care about the content or the size of them.

Still wondering how if ever I will be paid and I am glad I didn't put much effort in the artles. I have a family to feed and just seeing my byline on the internet doesn't feed the bills.

I am with the judge. This seems like a scam.

Dave in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

USAVoice is now editing the Comments on each article. Think they have something to hide? So much for honest and unfiltered!!!!!!!!!

BTW has anyone received a payment from these guys. There is no address or point of contact. Think about it.

The Judge said...

I'm curious just how many people that went through the conference call had the same "strange static that ended the call early" problem crop up. From reading the article that was on their site before they pulled it, it seems like this was their standard M.O. for ending the Q&A portion of the call to prevent people from asking any serious questions.

I am also curious if anyone has been paid yet. Have they showed anyone a financial statement? How do you know they arent keeping all the ad money for themselves?

Also: A question about the "reader list" - is this kept on their system and you access it, or is this a document you compile on your own to recruit people to the site? My guess was that it was kept on their side, but I'd like to know for sure.

Anonymous said...

I know tha USAVoice is monitoring this blog so I am throwing down a literary gauntlet.

Let them explain who they are and how the payment are to be meted out. You reporters and Editors should write to them and see if you get any kind of response. If they are legit they will immediately come forth with a simple explanation.

I think that all the reporters and editors should contact Google, National Labor Relations Board and the IRS if the information is not forthcoming.

Anonymous said...

Question - If each reporter is required to have a business phone how come USAVoice doesn't give out their phone number?

Also, why is it that no one can change their passwords?

Anonymous said...

Question - How can someone be a 1099 Contract employee without giving the employer a social security number?

If this organization is collecting SS#'s I'd be scared - real scared. Their databases are about as secure as a sieve sifting flour.

Beware People! Call the IRS and gets some answers!

Anonymous said...

I got their phone number - 202-742-8981. Left a voice mail and did indeed get a call back moments later. My questions were answered, so I donno... part of me says shady, part of me says so much enolved if this really is a scam, part of me says... i enjoy reporting, getting my name out there, and so far nothing has caused me to be alarmed.

Anonymous said...

Did the person recalling you give you a name and a street address?

How do they measure the Clicks?
How do you know what they tell you is accurate?

What questions did they answer?

You're a little vague there. What do you think Mr Judge?

The Judge said...

I think who ever it was that got the call back got a carefully-worded public-relations scripted response.

If USAVOICE does operate through click-through traffic like google's adsense, then they would have specific numbers. Of course, they dont have to give you those numbers and they can make up whatever they want about the totals.

It just seems to me that if you have no accurate way of determining how many people have visited your page, you are at the mercy of whatever they say it is, which seems to be a really shady way to do business.

Tee Tee said...

Anonymous said ... (1:19 PM) :
I got their phone number - 202-742-8981.

How did you get that number in the first place? You seem to be the only person who ever came up with that. Coincidence? Shill? I guess the latter.

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks, judge, and everyone for clearing this up. You have all been a great help.

Anonymous said...


I want to thank you for the insight that you have given me. Also, for trying your best to make all aware from the singatures on the articles because that is how I know you found me. I had my doubts but I said I would give it a try until it was time to get paid. Well, I ddin't get paid and that is prooff enough for me tht I have been ripped off. I am going to bust my ass to find out all you, me, and others can get this creep off the internet fooling people in this scam. It diin't cost me anything but time which I had to spare. But I am sure there are others out there who might have really needed this so-called job. I do have one way to alert the public because of a writers network I am in. You can bet, i am going to spread the word on this #$@* and tyr to put him out of business.

Sylvia in Detroit

Anonymous said...

So people just don't want to believe that they've been duped. How sad. This Defarwai character sure knows how to play to human nature.
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink!

Anonymous said...

I reported in September and did not get paid. I emailed them several times, so did my editor. I called them tonight and await a call. Everyone involved int his scam should contact FBI, IRS, FCC and local Washington DC and Orlando, Fl. Authorities!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It has been said people just don't want to believe that this is a scam. I'm not sure that's true. That being said, the fact that no one has been paid is a very blatant clue combined with all of the other issues on this site. I believe that we were giving a new business with obvious upstart problems a little slack. It is now apparent that no one will be paid and who knows what other scam will be used against us. As the information came forward it was difficult to know who to trust, but the fact that you all were right out front with your opinions and we haven't heard "jack" from USAVoice, well I guess that answers alot of questions. I actually think this site could have been an interesting concept, did I think I would make tons of money? NOPE!

tzs said...

I am not a professional journalist. I have a successful career in law and have a great income. I enjoy writing, and I currently write for several on-line news sources for gratis. I joined this USA Voice gig not expecting to make a ton of money and maybe not even a dime. In fact, anyone paying the least bit of attention during the infamous "conference call" would have heard "do not expect to make a lot of money at first... do not quit a job you may already have... do not expect to support yourself or family with compensation from USA Voice...".

I truly feel for anyone that jumped on the USA Voice bandwagon believing they would make a small fortune and become famous. These people deluded themselves. USA Voice is what it is... a news source that allows anyone interested in writing to post their opinion or story and perhaps make a few cents as a plus.

Anonymous said...

The ad reads careers at USAVoice not hobbies. I'm sure that everyone expected to be paid something, and yes I too recall the woman saying this is a part time job and not too expect a large pay check. I think at the very least the reporters should be paid exactly what they were told they would be paid, no matter how meager! If this company is paid by advertisers and told their contract employees they would be paid a percentage of that, then why don't they?

Anonymous said...

To answer your questions by e-mail contact Rick M, the elusive Editor-in-Chief 0f the USAVoice, at

I find it fascinating that while his hard working reporters have to use their full names our exalted leader finds it necessary not to use his last name.

Then there is the problem of a proper postal address. Perhaps if he lists an address then doesn't fork up the dough it may constitute mail fraud like Mr A Difrawi.

Anonymous said...

It seems that intimadation is their last ploy.

This was posted by Rick M (a.k.a Tessa S)

Tessa S Oct, 19, 2006 5:07 PM
Nasty, nasty Hilary. Thank goodness you haven't posted your photo since it must be as ugly as your unsubstantiated accusations. Nothing even remotely attractive could spew such unverified garbage. Be careful what you say since defamation is grounds for a law suit.

Anonymous said...

I went through the conference call and I did find it strange that the "reporters" had to BUY the business card and was not given to them. When I asked as to why they did not operate like other organizations where they give you the business cards and ID the lady providing the conference hesitated in answering then suddenly static bu then it was cleared up and she stated that she had to mute everybody because the lines being open at the same time was causing static. Now I'm not a master electrician but I know for a fact from having multiple phone lines that having them all open will not cause any static. If that's not shady then I don't know what is. I do know for a fact that I can and will dig deeper into the "owner" of the IP and see what kind of pressure I will be able to put on him. Let the squeezing begin!

Dark angel

Anonymous said...

Interesting. They contacted me too. Glad to know that these guys are scammers. Why don't you report them to the Better Business Bureau?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand..all this was for nothing??

tzs said...

Message to: Anonymous aka Hillary C aka Horse's Ass,

I am Tessa S. not Rick or Rick M Or Ricky. Stop your dumb comments under other people's stories unless you are complimenting or criticizing their story. Your silly accusations are paranoid & reflect poorly on the writer. If you want to get back at USA Voice stop submitting stories and place a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. By the way the correct spelling is "intimidation" and no one is intimidating you; your actions are cowardly and your comments under other reporters' work are ugly.

Kate said...

I just wanted to say that I agree with the judge. It is a scam, and I fell for it. I am just glad that I didn't have anybody on my mailing list, I didn't get a different phone line and I didn't get bussiness cards. I do, although, feel like a fool. I really liked your report and found it very interesting and insightful.

Un Admirador Secreto said...

A mi estimada Tessa S.

Usted me prende. Permita en que nosotros obtengamoslo.

¡Tanto veneno tiempo tan pequeño!

Rick M said...

Tessa S.

Thanks for picking up for me. I'm a lawyer too. Your tongue is so deliciously venomous. I'll bet you snap a mean whip.

Would You?

Anonymous said...

Do a Google search for "Alec Defrawy". That's all you need to know about this operation.

His office is at 2295 South Hiawassee Road, Suite 308, Orlando, FL 32835-8746. His cell phone number is (321) 948-5119. His email address is

Anonymous said...


You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer credit reporting companies place "fraud alerts" in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;
Experian: 1-888-397-3742;
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;

Anonymous said...

I wrote three stories for in September, and with 100 people on my mailing list, I KNOW that people read my stuff. I have recieved nothing. If I had even gotten a check for $1.00 I would have thought maybe this org is legit. I have contacted at least four other writers and none have received any compensation. I suggest everyone stop submitting articles, until... MH

Anonymous said...

I guess I've been duped also. I thought it was a good idea an was actually planning to do some research for a story. It seems I am the only person from Detroit who has been involved lately. My city is involved in the World Series! Where are the articles from Detroit? I feel badly now because I have been touting the paper to friends and strangers.
Thanks for giving me something to think about. If the paper is a scam it's too bad because I found some good, timely articles on it.

Anonymous said...

Last week I filed a complaint with the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center. None of my emails or phone calls have been answered. I have 20 reporters who have filed dozens of stories and no one has been paid for September. Failure to pay is theft of intellectual property.

Anonymous said...

First of all how does anybody know anything about how many CLICK Throughs USAVOICE receives?

There is no statistical count available. Any reputable website offering affiliates a commission provide that type of information.

Secondly, I'll bet everyone's password for both their login to the site and the login to their e-mail is their last name or last name and a number. And their is no utility to change the password!! Come on this is nothing more than a prototype site that is not going to be developed any further.

Finally, there is no way to delete anything. Especially if you are an editor and want to delete someone who does not wish to participate.

The one positive aspect is that it gives people a forum to spew their political leanings. And those people probably don't care one way or the other if they are being scammed or paid.

Evaluate this people!! There is an ulterior motive behind this website. It's not what it was presented to us.It's a sham at best and the worst is a nightmare for all of us.

Does anyone want to take a chance?

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is the second time I've posted this comment. The first one mysteriously disappeared.
I have received nearly identical emails from two other web-sites regarding employment. The first was from They said that I would be perfect for the job of Site Moderator and then when it came down to the conference call it was for the position of Casting Manager. The second site is They claim to be looking for experts in various subjects and are offering $30 per hour. Is it just a coincidence that the emails and the process are exactly the same as the scam?

Anonymous said...

Alec Defrawy is behind both TooSpoiled and USAVoice.

Anonymous said...

I have written several articles for USAVoice in my spare time and have received no compensation. No response has ever been made to any of the "tickets"(requests or suggestions) I have created. Although I feel that I have lost only time in this endeavor, I have chosen not to write again until the "check is in the mail". My suggestion is that all the writers do the same.

Anonymous said...

All you folks who claim to be "writers" should really take a closer look at your grammar and spelling -- pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I think it is funny if you go to their website and try to find a correspondence department. Or a corporate headquaters. Especially since I got an email offering an accountant position. If they run a newspaper there has to be a company headquaters. I wonder what state they are registered in as a business. I am willing to bet that this company that runs this scam is not even in this country.

Debbie said...

Hey Tessa S I know that you're not Rick but since you and Rick communicate regularly what does he say about compensation?

By the way get some sleep.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading all your comments. I am scared! Do I have to worry about my credit or identity being stolen because I participated in todays conference call? which by the way, had no time or attempted to allow the participants to ask questions. When the moderator reached the end of his script about USAVoice he just hung up! He spent fifteen minutes of the call asking everyone to fill out a health insurance questionaire. He said the answers to the survey were confidential not to worry! What is that? I feel so had! Help!

Scamee said...

That's a new twist. Their going after personal info now. Better scroll up and read FRAUD ALERT for your own safety.

Anonymous said...

Well I usto work in a news station.

I guess I am going to contact someone...........Beware!!!

Tessa S said...

The nightmare someone mentioned above is upon us.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this blog is a scam as well? Why not. After all they are so concerned. Great way to get publicity. Eather way, you can find more information about at google it has several links One asks the question
What is USA Voice?

The Judge said...

Sorry to disappoint, but the blog is not a scam. I wrote one article about USAVOICE after I saw the con they were trying to pull and posted it here. Now there are people posting links back to this site in almost every article on USAVOICE. The traffic has been insane. But there is more to Media Morgue than our shared hatred for Defrawy and the scam he's pulling on everyone.

Anonymous said...

In my search for part-time employment in the Greater Boston area this past summer, I had my resume posted on both Monster and Career Builder.

I was contacted by both USAVoice and TOOSPOILED. Both have the same type of "'re perfect for the position of...." e-mails, and both did use the same sort of login name/last name set-up. I did some research then and researched the gentleman who owns the sites in depth. I was amazed that he is stil allowed to continue his 'thinly veiled/just slightly under the limit of fradulent' operations, after all he has done in the past.

Mind you, I did this research back in July so I don't recall the actuals at the moment but everyone knows that they can utilize the google search engine and research him as well.

My interest in the company was piqued again today when I recieved an e-mail from them, in my bulk folder. A google search quickly led me to this forum.

I notice now that we have come to the point where we have heard from some people who feel as though payment should have been recieved and it has not. Is there anyone who HAS been paid, as a reporter, that we know of?

Also, why do they offer/advertise positions as editors if the articles are not edited? I'm presuming if the position exists, it is to edit the comments on the articles.

I would like to point out, especially to the lawyer above, that I was searching for employment as an administrative assistant and NEVER a reporter.
I WAS (even again today in the e-mail which I will share with you) offered a "Highly competitive salary
Full Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits.
Flexibility - you can work your own hours, just as long as you put in at least 40 hours each week.
Opportunity for rapid advancement.

Here is todays e-mail:


I recently saw your resume online and feel you would be ideal for an immediate opening as an Administrative Assistant with our company. We are, the fastest growing news site on the web right now.

XXXXX, if you are looking for a real opportunity and a real long-term career with an exciting cutting edge company, you may be the person we are looking for.

The power of the Internet is allowing USA Voice to launch a worldwide news network, focusing on news reported by local reporters in over 1,000 cities worldwide.

Administrative Assistants perform daily tasks involving the organization of reporter's stories, general correspondence and other duties as needed.

We offer the following:

Highly competitive salary
Full Medical, Dental, and Vision benefits.
Flexibility - you can work your own hours, just as long as you put in at least 40 hours each week.
Opportunity for rapid advancement.

The person we are looking for is reliable, consistent, hard working, and has a genuine regard for our readers.

XXXXX, if you feel the Administrative Assistant position is right for you, visit the link below and fill out the online application. (If the link does not work in your e-mail, you may copy and paste the address in your browser.)

Once I receive your online application, I will contact you within one to two business days.

Lauren Piccoli


(My first name was included in their e-mail. I replaced it here for the sake of discretion with XXXXX)

I will close with sharing the fact that I am awed that the authorities are not as interested as they should be in the operations of a man with such a fraudulent past.

Anonymous said...

'thinly veiled/just slightly under the limit of fradulent' operations

Someone should look into how many people got their upfront money back when his "TalentPalooza" events were suddenly cancelled.

Anonymous said...

I haven't got paid for 2 articles I wrote and neither have other writers from the Detroit area. The advertisers on need to be bombarded with messages from all the unpaid writers and editors that were scammed. The only way this guy is making money is from the advertising.

Anonymous said...

Most of the comments here seem to solidify the opinion that USA Voice is a scam, but I think one of the most telltale signs is how many ads for trade schools and come-ons for "business opportunities" are embedded throughout their site. I've been unemployed for a number of months now, and it is a completely new situation to me (I was let go after 14 years at the same company, the only real job I've ever had). What's becoming more familiar is just how many lousy scam artists don't mind building up your hopes and stringing you along and making you fill in endless forms with absolutely no intention of ever offering you employment. Being out of work is already stressful and in some ways degrading enough. Why in heaven's name should the unemployed have to be preyed upon at every turn by lowdown miscreants like USA Voice? Let's get together folks, and do something about these bums.

Anonymous said...

I have been getting job offers from other instanthumanresources affiliates. Most are for insurance or financial co. sales jobs (read that "work on commission") even though the resume I have posted online with several sites specially says NON-SALES and is for writing and editing jobs.

Set your email so that all the headers show - there are several levels on Hotmail accounts: "When reading a message the Basic setting displays the sender's and recipients' names, the date, and the subject. The Full setting displays additional routing information that may be useful for tracing messages. The Advanced setting displays complete MIME headers (for power users)."
To set, click options on the page that shows your inbox. Then go to Mail Options to Mail Display Settings.

I also mark as "junk" anything that comes with instanthumanresources in the header. I have removed contact information other than my email address from my online resumes. I am seeing fewer unwanted offers as a result.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advice, I mark them all as junk, too. Thank you.

I recieved another one in my junk folder today:


Our human resources department recently viewed the resume you have posted online. We are Invior Marketing, a national advertising, consulting, and marketing company. We help our customers find online solutions to their advertising and marketing programs. I feel you may be the right candidate for the Administrative Assistant position that we have available in your local area.

We are seeking someone who is very efficient, organized and has strong multi-tasking skills. The right person would be comfortable working in a fast paced environment and reporting to top company executives.

We offer the following compensation package

$22.50 per hour
Weekly and monthly bonuses for outstanding performance
Medical benefits
Tuition Reimbursement
Rapid Advancement opportunities
401 K
Paid vacation and sick leave
If you feel this position may be right for you, please click on the link below and complete the online application

Once I receive your online application, I will contact you directly within a day or two to schedule an interview.

Rachel Simmons

and I recieved this one in my inbox on Tuesday:


On 06/26/06 you applied for the Site Moderator position. After reviewing your application, we are unfortunately not able to offer you an Site Moderator at this time.

We do, however, have an opening for an Online Scouting position. As an Online Scout you would work from home on your computer. Online Scouts income can range as high as 65-75K with prospects to go even higher. You may also choose to work part time. Part time online Scouts can earn $500 or more per week

If you would be interested in finding out more about the Online Scouting position, you may attend a conference call in which a TooSpoiled Manager will discuss the Online Scouting position.

The conference call will cover the following topics:

· About TooSpoiled

· Online Scout job description

· Online Scout compensation

· Online Scout Advancement Opportunities

The conference call will last for approximately 45 minutes. You will be able to ask questions and participate during the call. Please make sure you have a quiet place with computer access while you are attending the call (you must be able to be online while you are on the Conference Call).

To schedule a slot in the conference call, simply visit and log in using the following username and password.

Username: XXXXXXX(my email address)

Password: XXXXX (my last name)

Once you have logged on, you will be prompted to schedule a conference call time and date.

Jess Booth

Again, I took out my name and e-mail address for posting here, but it was included in the e-mail from them.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

To everyone, ask THE JUDGE why he removed 2 blogs. Could it be they were bringing out some fact about this site? Or could it be he will not allow an intelligent opposing view to appear on this site? Sounds to me like he can dish it out but cannot take it. Do not be fooled by his suave devil may care attitude, he is merely in it to generate views to his site by using smear tactics and semi-truths. He feeds on the fear he creates. He is in it to entice reporters to write for him for free. Sounds like the pot (judge) is calling the kettle black. What say you now?

Anonymous said...

The Judge did not allow my post in response to another's post to appear on his site. It was intelligently written and was not threatening or untrue. He allows bogus & hurtful accusations to run rampant on his site, but will not allow an innocent to to defend his/her honor in response. Sounds a little fishy to me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Judge said...

Actually, they were two COMMENTS, not blogs. I deleted them because attacking someone through an anonymous comment was not pertinent to the topic, that of illustrating the scam that is being played out by USAVOICE.

That, and the fact that they looked like they were written by a spoiled 5-year-old.

However, since you are crying like a little bitch about it, I'll oblige and post the comment made directly to me:

"This just in...people beware and do not be taken in by the Judge or hus blogs. He uses several aliases throughout the internet on fifferent blogs. He has created this elobporate hoax to discredit legitimate business because he has been spurned by legitimate business due to his past activities ans missuse of the written word. He has spread his poson by planting the see of doubt in the minds of the desperate and the weak. He feeds off of the fear he creates and his poison is spread like cancer by people who have been poisoned by his smear tactics. This entire scheme was hatched to generate views to his web-site and to entice other reporters to write for him for free as well. He is less than the lowliest bottom feeder, and is in fact the one person he claims such hatred for... He is A. D. Be wary, for snakes do not tell the whole truth, they entice you with a few crumbs of truth before they swallow you whole."

I enjoyed the accusation that I am Alec Defrawy though. That made me chuckle this early Sunday morning.

Now if you dont mind, I have better things to do than to respond to some hick from Illinois' poorly-written comments. I have to continue to spread my "poson by planting the see of doubt"

And by all means, please let me know when you are going to write an "intelligent, opposing view." I'd be happy to post it directly to the front page and not hide it as an anonymous comment.

Anonymous said...

Dear Judge,
Pardon my misspellings, seems I should be wearing my glasses more often each day. However, it amuses me you enjoy attacking others' little imperfections and resort to calling someone a "bitch" and a "Hick from Illinois" when they are only dishing out the same you have been shoveling for months now. I really do believe you are a very unhappy individual. Probably some lonely guy munching on some greasy fries while trying to drum up some more viewers to your sad site by saying as many rotten and untruthful things you can imagine. In fact, you are attempting to entice other reporters to writing for you by sowing seeds of doubt any where you can get away with it. By the way, Big Man, where do you reside? Oh, yeah, I forgot, we are hiding behind the anonymity of the internet, aren't we? Isn't it strange you find it useful to know where I live? Does it give you some sense of power to mention my home state, "Judge"? Well, you aren't the judge or creator of anything except your own creepy fantasies. Stop sending me your creepy notices of when someone posts here and stop sending me your creepy invitations to write for you. You are guilty of everything you are accusing others of; you feed them semi-truths and feed on their fears, in return they spread the fear like cancer. They work for you for FREE. By the way, you do allow certain people to sling mud and false accusations and cheap barbs on your site as long as it benefits you and your site, again all under the pretense of anonymity, but when someone retaliates with an intelligent response, yes, an intelligent response, it just plain pisses you off, doesn't it? You are a sad person.

Hick from Illinois

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the many complaints and general boo-hooing about USA Voice for quite some time now. I am 49 1/2 years old and have had to work for every dime I have; I work hard every day and expect the employess under my management to do the same. After reading the comments on this Media Morgue, I can tell you in all honesty, I would never hire a single one of you and do not know one honest to goodness employer that would hire anyone that has such a bad attitude. Most major companies require psychological testing for prospective employees, and believe me your stinky attitude would come shining thru and you would not get the job. So, instead of complaining about not having a job or not getting paid, get another job. I know it is difficult landing the perfect job, but keep at it, do not get discouraged, and you will get the job that best suits you. Do something other than this incessant whining because it will only drag you down.

The Judge said...

Everyone seems to be caught up in the "not getting paid" thing. Actually, it has nothing to do with that.

What I am pointing out is that USAVOICE is exploiting people by luring them into thinking they are going to be paid for writing on a reputable news website. This is not the case.

What is happening instead is that USAVOICE is urging its "reporters" to collect email addresses into what they call a "reader list." This list - up until last week - could not be edited. Once a name was on there, there was no way for it to be removed.

Now I am not saying that this has happened, but because the email database exists on the USAVOICE servers, there is a strong potential for that list of names to fall into the hands of a spam company (that usually pays top dollar for valid email addresses).

The fact that no one has been paid for their work is secondary to the fact that the company is using unskilled writers to generate it's content.

No one is getting paid to write for Media Morgue. Most importantly me. We have never said anyone would be paid, nor have we asked anyone to collect the email addresses of all their friends, family, distant relatives, total strangers or anyone with a pulse in order to write for us. We also havent asked anyone to pay for a business phone line in their house or buy business cards and their own expense. All we ask is that if you want to write for Media Morgue, you have some semblance of writing skill and an interest in writing about the nonsense of Hollywood. That's all.

As for "Hick in Illinois" I don't really give a shit where you live or how old you are. But thanks for sharing anyway.

I find it interesting that there seems to be a small number of individuals working very hard to protect the image of USAVOICE. I only wish I had that kind of propeganda mongers working for me. Maybe then I would have the site on its own dedicated server instead of being a part of blogspot.

And no, I'm not a sad person. On the contrary, this flame war has been quite entertaining and it gives me such joy to know that I am infuriating some of you so much. You can be sure that I will keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Sad Person,

You've got it all wrong. I for one am not trying to protect the image of USA Voice or any company, just the reputations of persons choosing to write or work for any company they wish without being humiliated or persecuted for it. As to the reference to where I live, Judge in Your Own Mind, it was truly unnecessary and very childish and only proves you to be a powerless little boy/girl striking out to hurt someone anyway you can. Put some of that negative energy to good use; you will be surprised by what good you can accomplish in this world. Get out in the fresh air, smile, say a few kind words to someone, even if it kills you inside; in time you will find it easier and easier to be kind, and you will have become a decent, mature person instead of a silly little individual full of hate.

The Judge said...

As I have said countless times before, this is NOT about the people writing the articles for USAVOICE. Its never been about the journalists. Its about the scam being perpretrated on them by a convicted internet con artist with a great marketing strategy.

But dont take my word for it. I'm just a greasy fry eating nobody. Do the research yourself. Look up the URLs, search for the names. Read the message forums and decide for yourself.

nativespiritgirl said...

Good Morning All,

I am the poster from 12:31pm in Boston and the person who posted about Invior.

I had posted in response to the person who had a career in Law, just to reiterate to them that I WAS offered a decent salary as an Administrative Assistant with USAVoice and not as a Journalist paid by clicks, however, the scam was the same.

The Judge is right. How I would or would not have gotten paid is nil to the fact that the company is phishing for an e-mail database, for whatever reason, and they're doing it under the guise of offering various types of employment through a few different companies they run owned by a well-known scam artist. You do not have to actually work for them to be taken in by this aspect of the scheme. As soon as you reply to their e-mail, or their interest in your resume on a job seeking website, they have your e-mail address in their database, and yes, you can make all of THEIR mail to you go to the junk mail folder, but you do not know who they sold it to, see what I mean? They can be making money just by selling the valid e-mail database. Now, that is assuming that they are only compiling a marketable E-MAIL database, they could very well have compiled your other info from your resume and/or your full name in your e-mail as well. To those of you who do not use your real names, full names and other identifying information while job hunting, good for you! That is excellent forethought and very astute of you. However, many people who have never had a problem with this sort of thing, never heard of a phishing scam or been out of the job seeking world for a long time might think they are doing the right thing by allowing their contact information to be known to potential employers up front.

To the person who posted about finding "the perfect job" I never thought criteria for a "perfect job" would be as simple as getting paid anything at all, because as far as PAYMENT goes, THAT is the problem with the jobs in question, there is NONE. Not little, none! All of the people I have met online who have wrote for this company (I haven't met anyone who actually did any other work for them such as editing, admins, etc...) have not been paid at all. I have tried extensively contacting active reporters to see if any of them are getting paid and I have had absolute unsuccess in finding contact information for any of them. For example, I saw a reporter on USA Voice named Andrea XXXXX who wrote specifically about the college scene in one well known metropolitan area. I read her work on USA Voice and researched her further on google. When I had found exact/very similar articles written in a well-known publication ABOUT the college scene IN that exact area by a reporter with THE SAME NAME, I contacted her and she had never heard of USA Voice. We have exchanged quite a few e-mails a bout it and after visiting USAVoice, she was very interested in the fact that someone was using her name from her exact area an writing very similar to her, on her subject of expertise.

We (thanks to the Judge) are doing a great service to many by having this forum, because anyone looking for employment who are being lured in by this company, hopefully will find this page and be forewarned, before they spend their money on an extra phone line and business cards, and their time, in a conference call and writing articles, only to become a part of A.D.'s marketable database.

Anonymous said...

I am in contact with reporters and editors in several states, and once again, no one has been paid. No explanations have been given. (But we have been getting job offers from USA Voice.) Emails sent to the managing editor (unnamed after all this time) and to ed-in-chief Rick are ignored - or if you happen to grab Rick's attention he gives a non-answer and asks for a repeat of previous email communication that must have been lost because of email server problems.

Last night I forwarded a reporter's resignation with a comment of my own that management really should answer our questions because talented people are frustrated by the lack of communication. Within five minutes he had emailed me that he was confused - had he not answered my emails? So I immediately repeated two weeks worth of emails - one had been sent three times already. Not a single response, even after a full day. I emailed him my own resignation tonight. Let's see if he responds to it.

Anonymous said...

USA Voice is indeed a scam, as is ANY job offer sent to you from/via; it's all part of Defrawi's scam empire.

Go visit and search either "company", and you'll get plenty of info.

I'm a former near-victim of, another Defrawi scam. In every one of these scams, the job offer e-mails' layout, style and content are all very similar, the "training" conference calls are all very similar... They've found a formula they like, and they've stuck with it.

Online school leads are part of it; but luring people into working for promised payment that never materializes is another, more virulent component.

Once again, a tired old adage is correct -- if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Misled Yankee
( member)

Anonymous said...

No response from the resignation I emailed to Rick earlier this week. I can still get into my Editor's Back Office and use my corporate email address but not my reporter's (I had dual status. So, I can edit copy if any of my reporters want to work without pay, but I can't generate a new file to upload any stories of my own (I might post negative comments. You think!). So, if anyone else is a reporter and plans on firing off a final salvo, send your story first and then email your resignation.

Anonymous said...

As an editor, what exactly were you expected to do, and what/how were you to have gotten paid? Am I understanding right that you had access to reporters stories who were assigned to you, so that you could edit them? Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.

Anonymous said...

for those of you that doubt this is a scam

Anonymous said...

Hi, Deborah Smith here:

I took my job as the editor for Columbus, Ohio, very seriously. I considered it my job and kept an office where I worked from home. I was available by email or phone seven days a week to my team of almost two dozen reporters. I also hired myself as a reporter so that I would have a Back Office that contained the same features as my team of reporters. I filed three stories with my own byline.

As an editor my first responsibility was to "hire" the reporters who had applied for the Columbus area positions and had gone through the group conference call. I received name, email address and mailing address. After emailing to set up a phone call time, I called each one to ask about their educational background, writing experience and interests so I could assign writing categories and make story suggestions. Some people were very specific about what they wanted to cover; others wanted assignments.

I taught the reporters how to open their Back offices and set up their USA Voice email accounts (a Training Call that was supposed to be arranged through corporate never took place).

I edited the stories BEFORE they were uploaded to the web, although some editors allowed reporters to file directly to the web with the proviso that they would be edited for content and style later. (Some editors apparently took this task more seriously than others considering the quality of stories published.) Since I have a traditional journalism background I chose to follow AP style. I also assisted with research as needed.

I sent daily group emails to my team about using the Back Office features as I figured them out - photos, etc. Editors never received any training from corporate on these matters so the learning curve was huge.

Anonymous said...

Deborah here again with further comments about editor's duties and compensation per poster's query:

From the Training Manual in The Editor's Back Office:
"Each month, 20% of advertising revenue for all of USA Voice will be set aside to divide among the Editors. Each editor will receive a percentage of that revenue based upon the percentage of total page views on all of that are generated by the Reporters assigned to that Editor."

Reporters were to receive 40 percent.

I have yet to hear anything from corporate about why my reporters and I were not paid in November for October's articles. We never accepted as reasonable or credible their explanation for the nonpayday the previous month (no money.

I submitted my resignation more than a week ago but I can still access my Back Office. Odd.

The Judge said...

Thanks, Deborah. It seems you really took your position seriously and I am genuinely sorry that you were treated so poorly by these shady con-artists.

It's a shame, really that if only the site were operated as a REAL news organization, instead of a sleazy internet scam, you would have been able to give them a solid and well-trained team of journalists.

The Jury said...


Thank you ever so much for sharing your experience with us.

I had been very curious if there were actually ANY editors at all or if that had been just a ruse as well. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

What exactly was the excuse from the company for not being paid the month earlier?

I'll presume that their defense is that since no one KNOWS how many page views there were in any given time period, nor do we know out of those page views, how many, if any actually clicked on an advertisement on a page and spent any money there in any way, then we dont have any PROOF that there were ANY page views, advertisement clicks OR purchases. Therefore, we cannot PROVE that anyone is entitled to any monies from USAVoice whatsoever.

I would like to hear others thoughts on this.

Now that I think of it...

If you are to be paid by page views according to the advertising revenue just from the VIEWS from your own pages (if you are a reporter) or your reporters pages (if you are an editor) there is no way for us to prove that ANY of the advertisements on any of the pages in question are PAID advertisements. They can simply have the IMAGES(even moving images, animation, etc...) on the sides or top or bottom of a page(like the advertising banners on most web pages), LINK the images to the sites thereby making it look to anyone visiting the page as though those images were paid advertisements when they are not.

I'm not saying that that IS the case with USAVoice, but it very well could be and maybe not with ALL of their "ads" but some could be as I just described.

Now I'd really like to hear what others have to say about this....

The Jury said...

Oh Deborah,

Did your reporters resign as well?

Thank you, profusely!

Anonymous said...

Deborah here with answers for the jury:

The following quote is from Ed-in-Chief Rick's response to another USAVoice reporter on Oct. 23 about why no one received pay for September on Oct. 10:
"The company did not generate any Advertising Revenue for the month of September 2006. Though stories were read, and ads were clicked, no one participated in the advertisements deals, offers, etc, therefore resulting in a no - revenue month."

My reporters and I never received an explanation directly from Rick, but the lack of response after Oct. 10 had led many to decide that they would finish up their articles and wait to start anything new. After Nov. 10 several Columbus reporters emailed official resignations to Rick but never received acknowledgement. Their Back Offices were eventually closed but their names, mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers remain in my Manage Reporters folder in my Back Office. As of Nov. 25 this office remains accessible even though I emailed an official resignation on Nov. 15. I am unable to delete the contact info although I was able to delete these reporters' stories, at their request.

One of my reporters just emailed me that she has been offered my position as editor but declined it. I do not know if anyone else on the team has been or will be approached, but since all are aware of the compensation concerns, I think any current team members contacted will be able to make a decision that best suits him or her.

I noticed today that two new names have been added to the Hire Reporters folder in my Back Office. I emailed them that I had resigned because of lack of communication and pay but and that I would let the editor-in-chief know if they wanted to pursue a position as reporter. I also provided a link to the article I published here Nov. 15 "USAVoice Steals Dreams." In all eight potential reporters' contact info appeared in my Back Office after concerns about pay surfaced, so USAVoice is pursuing new staffers while ignoring the requests for information from those they hired previously.

Anonymous said...

USAVoice is located in Orlando Florida, the Washington Address does not exsist it is a virtual office to throw anyone off Alec's trail, the company is registered in Nevada with a pay per CEO company, nothing is real except the scam part of the operation.

YOu need to post a link to the Florida Attorney Generals office they are waiting for Alec to make a mistake, and this is it big time!

Anonymous said...

The place is a joke, if you live in Florida stop by, it is a run down office and Alec looks like a depressed old man. I heard he used to be Fat, he is skinny but looks like a old tree, he seems to have some black in him also or some type of mix

Anonymous said...

Looks like the guy who made the video changed his mind and took it down, it must be he realized usavoice may not be a scam

Anonymous said...

re: 4:39 a.m. post

And, your point is?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for letting me know what I was getting myself into. I haven't heard from them after the conference call. I also not on their website that their contact information doesn't direct you to a contact person. There was an error and I would have to download macromedia which I feel would set me up for viruses. Something I don't need! I feel a great deal better. I was referred to them through an advisor for my school paper.

Anonymous said...

This blog is extremely inciteful. I too was contacted by both UsaVoice and TooSpoiled. I too was suspicious of their integrity. However, after reading this blog I have come to conclusions. Let us presume that both websites are in fact authentic and legit employers. My question then is why all the controversy? Why would someone take the time to call out and denounce their companies if they are in good standing and conduct themselves in ethical and legal fashions? Therefore, it would be logical to presume that the original posting by The Judge is factual, rather than a childish ploy for attention. As such, I pose this final question. For those who are indecisive about all that is said and the websites in question, do you really want to be involved with companies imbedded in doubt?

Anonymous said...

I just thought I'd share the newest "name" that the USAVOICE company is using in their phishing scheme/scam, "". I've gotten letters from toospoiled lately as well. Most, if not all of their letters, follow the same format. here is the one from kasamba:


I have recently viewed your resume online and feel you may be right for one of our expert positions.

We are, an online information and advice company. As an expert in your field you would work from home on your computer and answer questions from our customers.

As an expert you set your own schedule. You may work as many or as few hours as you like. Our experts are paid $30/hour ($.50 per minute) to start and may increase from there.

We are looking for Experts in the following categories

Arts and Creative Services
Coaching and Personal Development
Spirituality and Religion
Computers and Programming
Education and Tutoring
Health and Medicine
Business and Finance
Arts and Creative Services
Legal Services
Home and Leisure

If you feel qualified to give advice on any of these topics you may apply online at the following site

Once I receive your application I will review it and contact you directly within 1 or 2 business days.


Justin Palmer

To find more information about our company you may visit our corporate site at Please note that you MUST apply for the position at

Click here to be removed from any future employment offers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article. It put it all in perspective for me.
I just completed studies in investigative reporting and am looking to get published. I got an email from USA Voice. It didn't take long before I smelled something fishy...I'm glad I googled the company, and I'm glad I came across your blog before ever getting involved.

these scammers are good. But our instincts are better.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Washington Post busted the usavoice scam wide open. Will not be long now before the feds shut defrawi down!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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