by Structured Settlement Watchdog®
The Hispanic "customer" in a purported "review" Einstein Structured Settlements, a brand of JRR Funding, published November 28, 2012 on the YouTube channel of "Ryan Einstein", and still uses, who made the preposterous claim that she sold her structured settlement to them so she could buy ocean front property in Miami and a Bentley, is in fact a paid actress named "Fabiola Geremia" who goes by the handle pinkkoala. She used the same outfit and hairdo to hock what appear to be Focal Fuel brain supplements as "Veronica" in one of the sample gigs posted on her Fiverr page, despite saying that she will not try lotions or pills. Apparently Einstein opted not to pay extra $20 she requires to wear a swimsuit. "Fabiola", " Veronica" or "Pinkkoala" also states if you send her your product she willl make an honest review about it for a minute and for more minutes it's an extra five (dollars). Elsewhere we found that Fabiola posts utiliitarian videos on YouTube, dispensing advice on such subjects as how to cover up your "camel toe" and a PG-rated best way for ladies to shave their, ah "landing strip", to the tune of "Gangnam Style".
Another paid review for Einstein Structured Settlements appears on both the YouTube account of "Ryan Einstein" and the Einstein SS website featuring "Chip" who I discovered on a Dutch registered website "Buytestimonialservices.com". Video sample 5 has the exact same backdrop and the same jacket "Chip" wore in the Einstein paid testimonial that apparently cost them $25.
Since the time they were published over 2 years ago, there appears to have been no disclosure by the advertiser that the reviewer was a paid actor or actress. Why, when the law is so clear? Here is a key portion of the Federal Trade Commission Act:
"Connections between an endorser and the company that are unclear or unexpected to a customer also must be disclosed, whether they have to do with a financial arrangement for a favorable endorsement, a position with the company, or stock ownership. Expert endorsements must be based on appropriate tests or evaluations performed by people that have mastered the subject matter".
Einstein Structured Settlements has continuously posted the deceptive paid review on its company website review page for over 2 years and refers to the FIverr actress as one its "Hispanic clientle" (sic). Apparently Barbara Streisand was not available. She had enough triple blended consonants after "Yentl(e)"
Rescue Capital, another company in the structured settlement secondary market, associated with Michael Upchurch of Delta Settlements made this contemporaneous observation on December 13, 2012, on their blog about what turns out to be "pinkkoala":
January 10, 2013 Einstein Structured Settlements and Reasonable Doubt. "Ryan Einstein" (a/k/a Ryan Blank of Owings Mills Maryland) is presented as a Yale Law graduate with an LLM and in other postings flooding the Internet claiming he went to UCLA. His Dad, Barry Blank told me that he went to college in Charleston SC.
- Social Media Road Kill Museum | The Einstein Chronicles.
- Fake Structured Settlement Testimonials Could Be vIolating FTC Rules December 8, 2014
- To Buy Or Not Buy Video Testimonials Forbes Sean Rosensteel November 5, 2014. He says:
"If you’ve been in the market for video testimonials, you’ve probably spotted a few ads promising to boost your credibility by providing you with the best type of testimonial out there. So what’s the catch? Well, you’re going to have to lie to consumers – and pay anywhere from 5 to 80 dollars to accomplish it."
- Great article Are Paid, Fake Customer Testimonials a Good Idea for Your Business? by Marcus Sheridan. He has this to say about paid testimonials:
#1: They ain’t real: Call them what you want, but they ain’t real. A customer is a customer, an ‘actor’ is an actor….and in this case, an actor is a ‘fake’. Such a practice is the opposite of transparency in my opinion.
#2: How could a business owner be so desperate? In their ad copy ( in the linked article above), the company states that getting a customer testimonial is nearly ‘impossible’. If I may say in no uncertain terms, this is a total load of horse dung. In my 10 years of being in business, I’ve never had a happy customer tell me they weren’t willing to give a testimonial. There have been countless instances when my business partners and I have simply, in the midst of conversing with a customer, whipped out one of our little flip cameras and recorded a quick 60 second blurb. The effort, beyond actually buying the camera (these days you can just do it on your phone), is absolutely minimal.
#3: A rat smells like a rat: Consumers ain’t dumb. As humans, we all have a general ability to pick up another’s sincerity—or lack thereof for that matter. If you as a business owner elect to utilize fake testimonials, you very well may hurt your brand much more than you actually help it.