The Writer’s Guild and the porn industry

EI-LovesFlamingPagesFirst Ellora’s Cave and now this!

What is happening in my world? So, as I innocently trawl the freelance sites for work, I come across this advertisement on Craigslist:
Looking for a writer that has experience in review style writing. A good friendly tone to the writing is what I am looking for. Pauline Marshall.
Doesn’t say very much, does it?

Nonetheless, I send off a short email, asking what sort of reviews? Film, theatre, book, spa, products? I send a link to one review of each and say, let me know if this is what you are looking for and if so, I can send more information (resume etc).

I receive an instant reply from one of those instant reply email thingies. And here it is verbatim:

Hi there,

Thanks for your interest in the website reviewer position. We are currently looking for honest people with a keen eye for detail to visit various adult sites online and write the things they like and dislike about each. We will require 12 reviews per week which are due by 2pm every Friday.

The starting wage for this post is $350 per week which rises after 6 months. No previous experience is required for this position. The only requirement we have is that you submit a 100-word review of the members area at a pre-selected site (www.fungirltime.com). It’s completely free to join so don’t worry about any costs (be sure to cancel within 3 days or you will be billed).

Please submit this review to reviews@writing-guild.com within 48 hours if you’re still interested. This position can be taken from  anywhere, it’s going to be a home-based position. If this isn’t for  you we thank you for your time.

Thanks for your time

Pauline Marshall
The Writer’s Guild 09

Sheesh! Watch out for those wacky freelance scams.  Don’t you just love the part about how I have to sign up and remember to cancel within three days? Can’t you just see the site suddenly crashing, the inability to access my “account” and the vast sums of money being deducted from my credit card?

Still the great news for all the wannabee writers out there is that you don’t have to have any experience writing! All you need is a pornography addiction and for the guys taking on this job – a box of tissues.

Here’s hoping the Writer’s Guild have Ms. Pauline Marshall as their guest speaker at their next illustrious event.

Onwards and upwards!

34 comments

  1. kara lynn says:

    i found your blog through Google – Go figure? it’s probably not a good introduction, but it’ll have to do because it’s the truth.

    i was looking for pauline marshall, which i found to be awkwardly fake as well. i guess there was definitely some ‘red flags’ but how was one to know for sure if you hadn’t blogged about it? so thank you.

    and here’s to all those scammers out there that think that can outsmart the smarties.. kiss my explanation point, period.

    like you said – “onwards and upwards”.

    thanks <3

  2. june applebee says:

    Yes, I too received an e-mail from an ad i responded to on craigs list. It is a shame Pauliene Marshall is a fake. Would have made for fun writng with SEO words

  3. Karen says:

    I did a quick search for Pauline Marshall too. I also responded to an ad, over here in the UK – got the same response but the pay would be £350 (GB Pounds)!

  4. Vic says:

    *Sigh* k, I don’t really watch porn all that much but thought I was totally on to something lucky here – watch porn and write about it? for £350 a week? Hells yeah – beats my current office job. Thanks for the heads up

  5. Waldo says:

    Here, I am. Out of work, willing to take on almost any assignment, and I’m even willing to dredge up work from the bottom of the barrel – Craig’s List. And there is where I found, “Article Writer.” I stabbed the left click button and it read, “We need a person who can produce weekly articles in a review style manner.” I can do that. I quickly respond and get the exact same response as the one printed above, word for word, except the trial porn site is different than above. Hell, I’m not a prude. If it’s porn reviews they want, it’s porn reviews they’ll get. But there was one little inconsistency that bothered me. Ole Pauline claimed she was with the Writer’s Guild at the bottom of her job description, and yet, her e-mail address was pmarshall@writing-guild.com. I quickly stuck a ps on my reply, stating that I know what the Writer’s Guild is (because I’m a member), but what is the Writing Guild?

    And I never heard from Pauline again.

    THE END

  6. swiggs says:

    Ha, same here. After stumbling across the website essayscam.org today researching essay writing companies, I was wary of “be sure to cancel within 3 days or you will be billed” in the above email I received today as well.

    As fun as it would be to “submit a 100-word review of the members area,” I think I’ll just walk away.

    Thanks for the post!

  7. Junk Writer says:

    So does this mean my $350 check is NOT in the mail? Egads.

    Thank you for this most wonderful Pauline Marshall ousting blog. Most helpful.

    And Waldo – just to clarify getafreelancer dot com is actually the true bottom of the writer barrel – no shame in trawling Craigslist man!

  8. Josh says:

    Waldo said:

    “…and yet, her e-mail address was pmarshall@writing-guild.com. I quickly stuck a ps on my reply, stating that I know what the Writer’s Guild is (because I’m a member), but what is the Writing Guild?

    And I never heard from Pauline again.”

    She must have taken your “advice”, because when she replied to me just minutes ago with the same cookie-cutter ad (and a different adult website address), her email was listed at writers-guild.net

    A quick visit to that site is all you need to figure out what’s going on.

  9. Waldo says:

    Well, Junk, I just received the infamous missive again from Ms. Marshall, 12 days after the original (with no encouragement on my part, I assure you). Even the porn site, http://www.exposedcelebrities.net, was the same as the first. But, there it was, “reviews@writers-guild.net” as her new calling card. Tricky little minx, ain’t she?

  10. GloryBug says:

    I just got the same email from Pauline Marshall- word for word.

    This is the 4th scam/spam writer’s job I have applied for this week. I have not found one ‘real’ job on Craigslist yet. Also this week I applied for a bookkeeping position that turned out to be an affiliate scam- the guy made you jump through all these hoops and then told you that you needed ‘this software’, which was just an affiliate link to a software co. Sad.

    I hope the real Pauline Marshall gets the Karma she deserves for offering people hope that they can find a paying writing job, just to scam them.

  11. Bethany says:

    I, too, received the same exact email, from the same exact advertisement off of craigslist! Only, it was from Beverly Station (beveryls@thewritingguild.net). Seems it’s a new identity now that Pauline Marshall has been busted!

  12. m says:

    So this just happened to me. I guess I was being dumb about it but I really haven’t had a job in a long time. What I’m worried about now is that I canceled that membership right away, but I did use my credit card to sign up. Did I just let my identity get stolen? Sometime I really hate the internet.

    • bronte13 says:

      Call your credit card company immediately and tell them the situation, and halt any future payments from the card. Then call the three credit score companies and let them know. It will stop and possible fraud. So did you write the reviews? Have you heard from the “company” at all? Let us know your experiences so we can share them with others. So sorry about this. Hopefully you can stop it quickly.

    • Josh says:

      Remember, your “credit” card has very personal, intimate ties to you.

      Never, EVER submit ANY personal information to ANY website without first doing enough research to satisfy your skepticism, one way or the other.

      The unfortunate truth is that there are millions of people on the internet who want nothing more than to take your hard-earned money, and they’re not heavy-hearted about how they do it.

      But there is also honest and powerful information you can use to protect yourself, and it is usually only a few more mouse-clicks away from all of that “too-good-to-be-true” stuff, which is what you must ALWAYS be aware of.

    • m says:

      UPDATE- I tried to submit a review (I am embarrassed) and all emails came back from my mailer-daemon undeliverable. I have been in contact with the actual company however, and they seem to be aware of the scam and are working to rectify it. We’ll see in two to seven business days whether they will be rectifying my account balance, as they said they would. I put a hold on my card and am working on getting a new one now. Crisis averted, looks like.

      Thanks all for useful comments and concern. Its nice to have a little support out here in this dangerous world. And thanks for writing this post in the first place. It helped me identify the fraud in the first place. If I hadn’t come across this blog I might have gotten into serious trouble.

  13. Ellie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I did the same thing, looking for free lance writing gigs on craigslist and got a similar email. I’m glad I googled the sender before I did anything else.

  14. David Wak says:

    Hey you guys. This is funny because I keep getting a similar ad but it’s always worded differently with a different spokesperson. I’m a freelance writer who was recently put on ice with a local mostly online paper so I’m always looking for work.

    There’s part of me that want’s to do this just to write about the experience but it $350 a week to review porn?. If it sounds too good to be true…

    Plus I’ve twice stumbled on this same ad and whenever I reply that I’m not interested I get a ‘e-mail delayed’ message from these folks. What would happen if I actually did the work and was waiting for some kind of payment and they just never got back with me through permanent email delay? Yep, seems like another big fat scam to me. Thanks for providing this format to get others experiences with this ad.

  15. Sarah says:

    I just got the same message! Thanks for posting this; I doubt I would have fallen for it, but freelancing is a tough racket and there are those out there who are eager for any job!

  16. So… does anyone want to try writing a review *without* visiting the site? I’m sure I could write a believable review about a site called “celebrities exposed” without having actually seen the site.

    100 words isn’t really enough to critique any web site properly, who could tell the difference?

    (and btw, found this blog from googling “beverly station the writer’s guild” and I’m glad I found you)

  17. Tori says:

    Pauline struck again. In my search for some additional, easy-at-home dough, I extended my feelers to include Craigslist. I came upon Ms. Marshall’s ad and ouila! found the IDENTICAL response in my junk mail. (Yahoo! caught it before I did!) Even if it WERE a porn site review I’d still be all over it if it were LEGIT. Boo!!

  18. agFinder says:

    As many have written, thanks indeed for your blog. The email I received is identical to your example, except mine is from ‘Beverly Station’ (beveryls@thewritingguild.net). I considered, as did leather_brain, just banging out (no pun intended lol) a quick 100 words, but it’s obviously not worth it. It’d be great to earn $30/review … almost as nice as owning the Brooklyn Bridge :).

  19. Arlene says:

    Sigh…I almost fell for it. Thanks to a little Google action I was led to this blog, which saved me.

    I’m so desperate, I didn’t think this out. I mean, $350 a week for 100-word reviews? Too good to be true. Even if it was reviewing internet porn (which apparently requires someone to be “honest with a keen eye for detail”).

    Also, my e-mail was from Beverly Station, who told me to send my review to reviews@thewritingguild.net. So future users beware!

  20. Milan says:

    Same, same.

    Beverly Station replied to me unusually quickly. Gotta join a pay porn site first. Yeah, right.

    Spam garbage, dishonesty, deceit ,human maggots, garbage people always irritate me. Unfortunately the world is replete with this sort of thing and we have to live with it.

    Milan

  21. The Minstrel says:

    I am a recent college grad with student loans to pay off and a wedding to save up for, so when I found an ad on craigslist looking for a “Content Creator” I emailed the poster to ask for more details.

    I checked me email later that day and saw a reply. I rarely get replies to my job inquiries, so -naturally- I got a little excited (not in that way). I began reading the email and it was exactly the same as the emails the rest of you have received, with one variation: Ms. Marshall has apparently been replaced by a woman named Beverly Station.

    So, like many of you who have already commented here, I decided to google her, and found this site at the top of the search. Thank you for the heads up, and may the bastards who prey on poor jobless writers burn forever in the fiery pits of blackest Hell.

    Thank you, that is all.

  22. Kitty says:

    Yeah, I saw a similar ad and replied to it. I got the same email but mine was from “Beverley Station” instead of Pauline. It is a shame that some people are stupid enough to give out their credit card information like that anyhow.

  23. fake_username says:

    Funny, I responded to the same ad and received a response identical to yours; however, just like the user above me, mine was from a ‘Beverley Station.’ What a ridiculous scam! It’s almost too blatant to be taken seriously, but in desperate times it wouldn’t surprise me that there are those who fall victim to these.

  24. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly
    enjoyed reading it, yyou happen to be a great author.
    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future.
    I want to encourage you continue your great writing,
    have a nice weekend!

  25. Thanks for having this up. I actually just got two emails in a row from a job I didn’t even know I applied for (I apply for at least two to three new freelance positions every day). It wasn’t even from a Pauline Marshall or a Beverely Stanton, just from an info@the-writingguild.com.

    Sounded too good to be true (getting to watch porn AND get paid for it? That’s a 20-something guy’s dream!). Plus, it’s not the first time I’ve gotten scam emails from Craigslist jobs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten emails from some “professional journalist” who needs some schmuck to wire money long before any background checks.

    Anyway, back to “Pauline” or “Beverly” or “info”. Site she linked me to was some weird budget adult site for “safe, discreet affairs”. Sort of like if Ashley Madison went on a bad meth binge and was sitting in a dumpster. The links on the website were broken and you couldn’t click anything without getting a prompt that said “You need to be verified by the CDOC”.

    Very obvious scam email. Avoid.

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