Hunbot Hoedown #2: Transamerica Turkey-Butt

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Welcome to the 2nd post in a new series I’m trying out, dedicated to anti-MLM content, and the stupid hunbot pitch-slaps. As someone who’s fallen prey to an MLM (not this one, jsyk) in the past while I was in college, this hits close to home for me. While I was one of the lucky ones who managed to break even by the time I moved on, I know this isn’t the case for many others who get caught up in these crappy companies. Many end up losing money, and this isn’t right.

It’s straight-up predatory, and it’s a human rights violation, imo.

I went down the rabbit hole of anti-MLM content, starting out w/ Hannah’s videos, and then scrolling the anti-MLM subreddit at night before I went to bed. There’s no shortage of horror stories, and there seems to be no end in sight, either.

During my job search, I got many a pitch-slap from MLM-ers over on LinkedIn, promising me the moon. I even found some on other job boards, going to great lengths to make themselves look legit.

In this series, I’m taking screenshots from these nasty MLM pitch-slaps and scammy job postings, and sharing their crappy behavior w/ you, for the whole world to see. As always, I’ve obscured all identifying deets, photos, and usernames of the individual ppl involved, whether innocent or not-so-innocent.

This way, if they ever have their Come to Jesus moment and decide to move on from the MLM, they can live down their MLM era, and the stupid stuff they did while they were in it w/ anonymity and peace. I feel like ppl deserve a chance to turn over a new leaf.

Today’s installment comes from Orange, a stealth hunbot of Transamerica. Orange isn’t their real name, and I won’t be revealing it. I’ll be using they/them pronouns in order to further obscure their identity. As always, if you believe you know this person, leave them alone. Don’t harass them, don’t doxx them, or blow up their social media.

Screenshot from LinkedIn in dark mode, and personal details obscured in orange, reading "Hey Kevin, I've had such good experiences expanding my network to meet people outside my usual circle. I love getting to collaborate and the results that are yielded once we start networking to bring value to each other. If you're open to that Kevin, let's connect."

The message is a little weird, and the phrasing is definitely strange. It’s like they’re throwing in as much business-y words and phrases to sound super-professional, w/o actually understanding what any of it means. What would “getting to collaborate, and the results that are yielded” mean? What kind of collaborations have they done? This is pretty vague, now that I think about it. I wish it occurred to me to push back on this, but oh well. It is what it is. I’ll know next time, that’s for sure.

I accepted the connection request after poking around their profile. There was zero indication of any MLM involvement whatsoever, only a website they set up on their own that led me to believe they were doing whatever they were doing on their own terms.

Continuation of a screenshot from LinkedIn on dark mode, and details obscured in orange that reads "Hey, Kevin! Thanks for the connection. If there is anything I can do for you, such as introduce you to my connections or other introductions, or just whatever I can do that might be of service, please let me know."
I won’t, but in any case, you’re welcome!

A day later, I come home to find this. I notice it’s pretty repetitive in an attempt to sound all corporate or whatever, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I ignored it, and had some other things I needed to anyways.

Continuation of a DM, with text reading as follows: "Hello Kevin. I've been asking people their thoughts on this article that I read. A couple of the highlights: the average american family with no mortgage carries over $132k in debt, and 70% of Americans have less than $1000 in savings for emergencies. The article is a couple of years old, but do you think this still applies? I'm curious to know what others think about the US debt epidemic." A link to an article on Fortunly about American savings statistics follows.
Real smooth, real smooth.

Orange continues to spam my inbox, this time, sending me a link to some rando’s post from a few years back. This is feeling so weird, and a bit creepy, too. I’m sick of Orange spamming my inbox daily, so I give in and see where this goes.

Continuation of a DM, text from other person whose identifying details are obscured in orange reads as follows: "Kevin, I am just asking around amongst people of all walks of life to get their opinion on the stats I mentioned earlier. I was hoping I could get a couple of your thoughts." My response reads as follows: "Hey, thanks for sending this along! I believe this article, and I feel like part of the problem is the companies that refuse to pay their employees a livable wage so that this doesn't happen to them."
Pushy little shyt, aren’t you, Orange?

Orange continues to spam me, and to shut em up, I respond. If it didn’t work for them, they wouldn’t do it in the first place. But why are you showing me an article from years ago, and why are you hounding me about it? Also, why are you “asking around amongst ppl of all walks of life” for their opinion on this random article? Do you ask randos on the street about this article you’re so obsessed w/? Is it a research project? Something for work? A case study?

Continuation of a DM that reads: "That is definitely a part of it. Tyanks so much for the insight. I am part of a team whose goal it is to educate people in financial literacy. Things like budgeting, how to get out of debt, how to save for college and retirement, how to best manage taxes, etc. Our goal is to educate 30 million families by the year 2030. We are about 2.5 million into that so far. We do all of this for free. If you know of anyone who could benefit, I would really appreciate the referal. Also if you know of anyone looking for part time or full time work, we have a great opportunity with our campaign."
Now comes the PITCH-SLAP! You sneaky little jerkass.

Heeeere’s Johnny! Some hunbots start their pitch-slaps from the word go, w/ guns blazing. Orange is a bit more sneaky about it, and vague as well. My guess is Orange probably finessed their pitch-slaps after learning from what didn’t work in the past. Or maybe Orange got the idea for this through their scammer upline. Notice how there’s no mention of the company. What’s there to hide, Orange? I gotta know what I’m getting others into w/ this so-called “great opportunity.”

Continuation of a DM that reads "That's cool. What kind of opportunity is this?" as my response. Hunbot's response with identifying details obscured in Orange reads as follows: "We simply educate people through a series of 7 workshops available on Zoom 3 times a day every weekday. The work opportunity is helping plug people into these workshops. If you have some time, I could schedule a call where I can go into more detail if you're interested."
JFC, 7 workshops available 3 times a day on the weekdays? I doubt even venture capitalists work like that.

Time to play dumb, and let Orange dig themselves into that hole. Still being vague, Orange makes sure to emphasize the “educate” part. What’s the “education” like? Is it lectures, activities, or both? 3 times a day on weekdays, w/ a series of 7 workshops? That’s nuts! It’s also free, so that makes me wonder where the money comes from. Let’s find out, shall we?

Continuation of a DM, where I respond "Cool, cool. Got it! Is this a company sponsored initiative, and if so, what company is it?" The hunbot with identifying details obscured in orange responds as follows: "We are all idnependent contractors, but operate as a team called World System Builder. We are contracted with World Financial Group, which is owned by Transamerica. The workshops and education are all free with no sales pressure or selling at all. However, because people begin to recognize the need for help in certain areas, they often ask for that help, and that is where are sales come from."
I guessed either Primerica or World Financial Group.

Orange finally admits what I suspected, since they were vague AF up until this point. If this was a company like Edward Jones or State Farm, there’d be mention of it from the get-go. They finally admit that it’s Transamerica, and there was zero indication of their involvement w/ this, or any other MLM. What they actually had were bare-bones websites that appeared to be in their ownership, to try and look as legit as possible in order to further dupe potential victims.

The end of a series of screenshots of DMs between me and a hunbot whose identifying details are obscured in orange. My response reads: "This isn't for me, but thanks anyways." Hunbot's response reads: "No problem. Best of luck! And if there is anything I cna do for you, please let me know."

Yeah, no way, no how. Orange reached out to me under false pretenses, pretending to give a rat’s ass about me just so they could pitch-slap me their stupid MLM horseshit, so we’ve spent enough time in life together. We’re done.

I’m not helping Orange find new victims like they asked me to. Orange can do the dirty work on their own time. I unfollowed Orange, then booted them from my network.

After they tried to dupe me like this, I felt like they didn’t need to be in my network, nor did they need any more access to the vulnerable job seekers in my network than they already had.

Looking back, I have my suspicions about what may be going on w/ Orange behind the scenes. However, since Orange doesn’t live at my house, or anywhere near me, I’m keeping it to myself as a solid to them. As I say in my disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV.

I’ll say for sure, I’m pissed off at Orange’s scammer upline for getting them caught up in this stupid company in the first place. Orange probably didn’t have much in the way of options for paying jobs, and I’m guessing was also in a real shitty place w/ themselves, when whoever their scammer upline is got them into the so-called “business opportunity.”

I’m also wondering if maybe this was something Orange wouldn’t normally do, since those who get caught up in these stupid MLMs will sometimes do things that are outta character for them under different circumstances.

Whatever Orange’s circumstances were, it doesn’t even begin to make their sneaky pitch-slap ok. While it may explain some things, the ends don’t justify the means. I felt so violated after those DMs w/ Orange. Betrayed, even.

Orange, you oughta be super ashamed of yourself. I interacted w/ you in good faith, and I was nothing but a walking dollar sign to you. If your employment options weren’t all that great, then I’m sorry that was the case for you. Neither were mine, tbh, but you don’t see me doing this to anyone. I’m also sorry your scammer upline preyed on you in a time of need. You can’t turn a profit w/o scamming someone else, and you went to a lotta trouble to make yourself look legit to an unsuspecting potential “recruit” (aka victim).

I’ll say for sure, you had me fooled there at first.

Orange, I wish you the best of luck finding a way outta the mess you’re in, going forward. I hope you’re able to find employment that actually pays a wage, even if it’s at a local no-name convenience store, or a school cafeteria. Anything’s better than this Transamerica bullshit. You deserve to earn a wage, no matter what your scammer upline says. I hope you can make peace w/ the way you acted during your time in the MLM, and turn over that new leaf.

Over to you, readers. If you ever need financial help, I encourage you to go hit up your local bank or credit union instead of wasting your time on these MLM-ers. They think they’re helping, but they’re not. Have you ever had any experiences w/ similar pitch-slaps from those caught up in this specific agency, or any of the other aliases it uses? I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop it all like it’s hot, and let’s talk.

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