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How to Handle New Hubbers and Their Get-Rich-Quick Schemes.

Updated on February 28, 2020
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don is a Writer and a Storyteller. He has published over 9 books on varied subjects along with many articles and commentary on his blogs.

Hub Tricksters, are they Thieves?

How many Times does it take?

That's my question!

And I am asking it of HP mainly, and of my fellow Hubbers as a point of contention.

When will there be a 'filter" implented to block these obviously unacceptable attempts to steal money from the rest of the Hub writing world.

That;s right, they are stealing my money from me as well as my fellow Hub writers, and it needs to be stopped.

True, these tricksters are often a "new person", from somewhere around the world, and someone told about how to make some easy money.

They were told how simple it was, all they had to do was get their fake, copied, poorly translated and often copied, articles onto the HubPage site. They just want you to "click" on their article so that they get credit for a "read". Easy money to them.

For your entertainment below are a few scenarios of how this is done by anyone, anywhere, even if they have only a rudimentary understanding of the English language;

Trickster Scenario #1

The Stolen Content Scam

1- First, Sign onto HubPages. That's free and easy for anyone to do.

2- Either put a phony picture of no picture at all on your Profile page. But preferably you should use one that is cute or sympathetic.

3- Write a Profile about your fictitious self. Tell everyone that you are a writer who just wants to learn how to be a better writer. You want to learn. You want to meet people and expand your horizons, YaDa YaDa YaDa..

4- For your first hub, you just walk across town and get a friend or someone to steal a brochure on the local city or its attractions, written in English. Then go back to your personal computer or school, or library computer and write this brochures text, verbatim (because you don't have a clue what you are typing) into a hub, and publish it.

5- Sit back and wait for a sympathetic person, a few hundred miles away, or even across the world, to click on your Hub and tell you how they always wanted to travel to such an exotic or interesting place.

BAM! You got your first CLICK for a READ and even more points towards more money if the reader writes a comment. Essentially you just got your first "Double Dip" into the HP coffers.

6- Repeat the process the next day, then over and over, hoping for even more traffic for your stolen articles.

One thing I love about this Stolen Content Scam is how, at times, all of the photography happens to be so professional looking.

OK, I use photos from Image sites myself, but I really have a hard time finding the grand and perfect shots that these fake travel Hubs have gotten from scanning the brochures.

Or, as is often the case, some will have no pictures at all.

These scammers will often not even have the resources to copy a picture, or the knowledge of how to download one.

These are the ones with just generate the text and have no other content in them.

Trickster Scenario #2


The Translated Text

Some of these tricksters will take an article or story, written in their language and run it through a translater software package. These translater packages will attempt to convert the original Indian,or Spanish, or Italian, or whatever language into a document that is in English.

They have one big problem when they do this though.

And that's the fact that everyone, in every country, writes their documents using slang. Slang is the curse of these translater packages and an improperly converted document shows up as being almost unintelligible.

You see the translater software has to guess at the meaning of all of the unknown terms and words and how to interpret them. The really smart translators will list these problem phrases or words for the person running the translator to resolve.

This is where many of the crazy text areas come from in these translated documents. And they are so obviously a translated document, that should be blocked.

Anyway, once a document is translated, the Scammer just follows the same steps as I listed above and waits for those Clicks and Comments.

Oh, and another payout, if they are slick enough.

A book on Social Media Scams

Social Media Scams: Protect Yourself on Facebook, Twitter, eBay & More (Volume 2)
Social Media Scams: Protect Yourself on Facebook, Twitter, eBay & More (Volume 2)
This is a great read for people who are not aware of the different ways people use social media to take advantage of others.

Other Trickster Scenarios

Please Help Me

I know all of you have tripped over (accidentally clicked On?) a Hub where the writer has a Profile that describes how hard their life is in their country.

And they usually go on about how they hope to make enough money on HP to support their families, or to help themselves get through school, etc.

These are the "Tear-Jerk" scammers, hoping to touch your sensitivities in some way just to make an easy buck.

I am so Smart that you must read my stuff

I really love these tricksters. They give themselves a great resume of; Universities they attended, places they have traveled, and some even list awards they have won.

Really? Who cares?

These tricksters sprinkle copied articles among a few that they actually wrote themselves, and after even a quick comparison between some of them, it becomes obvious that these articles had different writers, just from the writing styles used.

These people get a small audience from the copied stuff and get numbers from their low quality documents that have a great and interesting title to hook you in. That is until you actually recognize the article for what it was; poorly written text with poor spelling and horrible grammar.

Other tricksters

There are a number of other active people who generate Hubs that are designed to make money without any real content, but, I hope you get my point by now.

These sub-standard Hubbers are only pulling the rest of our works down.They are stealing our Hub Income for themselves without even a visible attempt to show themselves as writers, whether they are good or bad writers.

The Financial Truth

Well, Someone should tell them the truth.

And the truth is that they need to find another way to make easy money.

I don't know of anyone that writes Hubs that is driving a new Ferrari from their HP payouts.

And they also need to know that the ones of us that might make a decent buck, not including myself, by the way, work their butts off and spend long hours researching and writing very, very good Hubs.

And, these people need to know that a decent buck is not the same as a lot of stolen bucks!

Sympathetic Reasoning of a sort?

I see so many of these people who cite their poverty as a justification for their poor writing, but honestly, is HP the site for charitable work?

You, the reader has to accept the fact that you are not helping these people with a Click or two.

Be honest, and tell them the truth; They cannot write, and they are going down the wrong path to make any reasonable amounts of money over the long run.

I do understand poverty can drive people to do many strange things. It can drive people to do things that make my silly complaint here seem not even worthy of comment, and make me seem the selfish fool, that I probably am.

I understand that there are people who desperately need to make money; for themselves, their families and their futures.

And, I am assuming that these people who are constantly deluging us, the rest of the HP population with horrendous collections of words, thrown together just to meet a minimum word count, possibly are destitute.

I am also assuming that they are not a group of lazy, devious, half-educated people who use the freedoms granted to each of us on the world-wide-web for easy, short-term gains by writing what I call TRICK HUBS.

A Trick Hub is one that has a title that although it is quite interesting, when it is clicked upon, it leads to a collection of words that provide neither information nor entertainment for the reader.

And I intentionally call them a "collection of words' because they do not resemble a real article.

A real HP article that has a general theme that is written and supported throughout with either interesting facts, or entertaining stories or prose.

And it is written using proper grammer and spelling.

The Tools of the Trickster

These Tricksters use their tools well, to get you to move your mouse (or finger, these days with touch screens) over their icon and give them a CLICK.

What's so wrong with one little click you say?

Well, a click on HP is actually money.

Money that HP allocates to their writers for their Hubs actually getting a READ or IMPRESSION with the goal of the reader then seeing an ad and clicking on it..

Money by the way, that our roaming reader might have given to you.

You see, if that reader who clicked on a ridiculous Hub that promised a Cure for Cancer, as an example, and actually gets some useless or even unintelligible text that has nothing to do with the subject inferred, he may just say; Well that's enough fo that, I'll just go somewhere else to find what I want to read.

And, your Hub, a seriously written summary on say; Cures for Certain Cancers, never gets the click it deserved because the reader has moved on.

You lost money and the Trickster made money, and the reader has a lowered opinion of HP as a sight worth coming back to.

What can WE the honest and sincere Hub Writers do?

Honestly, we, the sincere hub writers have almost no control over these Tricksters and their theft of our readers attention.

But we can use the few tools that are available to us for a certain level of punishment of these people who are only working for immediate and easy gains.

FLAG the HUB! every time you see one.

HP does provide us with one powerful tool that we can use for the blatantly mis-represented Hub, and it is called the FLAG option.

Once you open one of these tricksters' Hubs, before you decide to close it, if you look up in the top corner, there is a small icon that says FLAG.

It is a simple tool to use and HP does respond to flagged Hubs pretty fast.

When you click on the Flag icon, you will open another window which provides you with two levels of complaint that you can use.

The first level is a list of standard compalints where you can easily select the appropriate one for HP to investigate about the Hub.

The second level is where you can write your own personal complaint in a text box to clarify the problem you have with the Hub.

I have found that HP responds and investigates these Hubs very quickly and even though you don't get a response, the writer and.or the Hub specifically, will disappear from HP.

Of course that is if your complaint is a valid one.

For more on using the FLAG option click here.

If you want to stop some of these tricksters, FLAG them!

If we all are diligent and flag these tricksters, we will be improving the quality of the Hubs on HP, and possibly our own income levels from HP.

Google and webspam

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      5 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      crazyhorseghost- This is a frustration for all of us. And, I guess there is very little we can do about these strange and untalented people. I do the same things as you do, but for some reason, HP has a very lethargic attitude about them, so I don't expect any real resolution, any time soon.

      Thanks for the read, though.

      PS. From what I see, it takes a high-resolution and impressive photo to make HOD. LOL!


    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 

      5 years ago from East Coast , United States

      I've saw many of them in the last few days and flagged them Don. I even find ones that are copied almost word for word from other sites and they still get published and often stay published. I flag them bookmark them and check them again in a few days and if they are still there flag them again. Its sad that this is going on. Don you did great work here. This one would make a great HOD.

    • TaviWrites profile image


      5 years ago from Sibiu, Romania

      I have read your article and I agree with most of the points that you have mentioned. Anyhow I think that quality content requires a lot of dedication and ambition and this is where a lot of people try to cheat. The problem is that one day they will have their accounts permanently blocked.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Pinkchic18- Thanks for the comment.


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      kims3003- First of all, as a writer, I assume that you keep a copy of your writing, even the unfinished ones and have your Name and the Month/Year on them all. This is actually considered a level of proof that you were the originator of that work, even if it changes later.

      And, when you are really finished and ready to publish, simply go to the site copyright,gov. Their instructions are easy to understand and you can submit your work formally in a matter of minute.

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      Great hub, I've seen a handful of these but for the most part, there are a lot of awesome quality hubs :)

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      7 years ago from East Coast

      I agree with your comment about following, some people have hundreds or thousands of followers and you know that they could not be very interested or communicative with each and every one. As for the tricksters, they are like insects. When one is removed, others pop up in their places.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      amberld- Thanks for the read and comment. And, I am glad that you understand a little more about how these people try to take advantage of the rest of us.

      And you are right, we all ( us and our fellow Hubbers) need to keep working together to stop these opportunists.

      Thanks again for the read,


    • amberld profile image

      Amber White 

      7 years ago from New Glarus, WI

      Thank you for this Hub, Don! I have not run across any trickster Hubs yet, that I know of, but will be on the lookout for them. Last year, I had some recipe Hubs stolen and republished on another site (honestly can't remember which one), but I managed to get these reported and I think the site got taken down. It was happening to many Hubbers (last Spring?) and I love how we all helped each other to be on the lookout for stolen material. Thank you for this Hub and the heads up at HP!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Don how do you go about copy right your material?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      fpherj48- I am glad that you read my Hub and understand that these people do exist, right here on our favorite site.

      And, Thanks for the Vote UP, have a great day!


    • fpherj48 profile image


      7 years ago from Carson City

      Boy, is my face RED!......Duh.....and sort of angry at myself for finding that I can still be ridiculously naïve, even at my age.

      Thank you for this eye-opener, about an issue that I've not realized, existed here.

      This is very worthwhile info that has certainly awakened me and I hope many other hubbers......UP+++

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Kasman- Thanks for the read, my friend.

      You know the brazen attitude that I should "follow" another just because they follow me is absurd. I really do like to follow those that provide interesting material, but this trading "follows" really doesn't pay off for either party, if they aren't actually reading and commenting on the "Good Stuff". They really just end up being a number in a total.

      I can actually notice, at times when a "get rich quick newbie" follows me (often with poorly written comment, LOL!) along with many others when you go to their site and se that they are implementing a follow every twenty seconds or so.

      PS. They usually drop from my follower count withing a week.

      Have a great day.


    • Kasman profile image


      7 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Don, I've run into several of these people usually in the "I looked at or commented on your hub, so comment on mine sort", or even the "Could you please find the time to share my content so that I can get more hits?" I honestly am happy personally to share or comment on people's work that I find to be quality or I can tell they're sincerely trying to do a good job, but don't scam me into being your personal ad agency. I do it out of the goodness of my heart and the courtesy of the fact that you paid me a visit, I want to see what you wrote as well.

      I've still got a lot to learn myself on Hubpages but I think that common decency I may have down pat. Great hub brother, I was enamored from start to finish on it. Voting this up and I will be sharing!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Express10- Thanks for the comment and shared concern over these scoundrels.

      Hopefully, they will eventually get pinned to a web wall somewhere and can try to wiggle away then.


    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      7 years ago from East Coast

      Scammers are short term in both short term in their thinking and actions and for each one that bows out, more crop up to take their place. Most scammers will float through life from scam to scam rather than sticking with one. They are the cancer and cannot offer any treatments or cures. I have been lucky enough to have not come across these types recently but have no problem flagging garbage when I see it but we should note that there are many kindhearted hubbers that do. Inaction also plays a role. You have made valid observations and suggestions, hopefully more people flag when they see these offenders.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      TheKatsMeow- Thanks so much for your support in my fight for Hubbers to be real writers as opposed to the increasing number of those who seem to just want a way for tapping into the "free riches" that ehy think are available on HubPages.


    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      Katee Shew 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Great advice! I seem to stumble on lots of badly translated Hubs, especially lately. All of these scams make me angry, it's great that people like you are standing up to these people and fighting the good fight.

    • jeffduff profile image

      Jeff Duff 

      7 years ago from Southwest Wisconsin

      Thanks, Don!

      I am awaiting (with bated breath) the arrival of my order of Dr. Biden's medicated lotion, the "Cadmium Cancer Cure and Suppository Lubricant", which I ordered recently.

      I can hardly take care of my own suppository needs and my wife recently announced that she will never again help me with it. In addition, my dog Kyp is starting to balk at helping me with these tasks. Don't even get me started about my lazy, ungrateful teenage boys.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Sue Bailey- I hate it when they flag you for having duplicate content when it is your product that was the original.

      They jut flag and let the writers of the multiple copies work the problem out.

      Yet another time absorbing task that we all have to deal with.


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Sue Bailey- I hate it when they flag you for having duplicate content when it is your product that was the original.

      They jut flag and let the writers of the multiple copies work the problem out.

      Yet another time absorbing task that we all have to deal with.


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida


      I Love your answer.

      It is a beautiful day when I get a short response to my quesiton and a nice advertisement for someones product slipped into the text.

      Well Done, My Man! Well Done.

      To use a texting abreviation, LMAO!

      Have a great Day, and I hope the suppositories work for you.


    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      7 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      Thanks for an interesting and thought provoking hub Don. I was flagged a few weeks ago for duplicated content. I wrote the hub in question in 2008 and the article cited as being copied was written in March 2012!!!! Someone obviously didn't check before flagging it. I was quite annoyed about it as it is one of my best performing hubs and was in danger of being removed. But I was more annoyed that MY hub that had been copied. It did all get sorted out in the end and has been marked now as not duplicated.

    • jeffduff profile image

      Jeff Duff 

      7 years ago from Southwest Wisconsin

      Don, I really think you're exaggerating this problem.

      Why, just the other day, I was reading a newly published Hub written by Dr. Joseph Biden about his newly invented patent medicine, the Cadmium Cancer Cure and Suppository Lubricant. Luckily, he did happen to mention how much his miracle medicine would cost (with shipping and handling) and he let slip where I could send my $99.50, check or money order. Which I did, of course.

      But, that's not what you're referring to, right?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      good response justom. I get tired of sorting through sub-par Hubs to find something interesting, myself.

      I guess if we treat HP as a "FREE" to everyone who wants to write site, then we will always get the Bad with the Good.

      But, we can use certain tools to pre-filter the WORST of the Bad, maybe?

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Rosemay50- THanks for the info. I used the Hub opping option long ago, but I see that has been improved for now, so will try to use it where I can.


    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Gail Meyers- Thanks for your comment and I hope this kind ofthing is reduced by using the flag option.


    • justom profile image


      7 years ago from 41042

      Hahahaha! I guess that's why I've always called a lot of stuff on here drivel. Even the guy who runs it writes crap hubs. I don't (and never have) take their $. I'm not a writer, I'm a photographer and was a screen printer for 25 years and my son is an artist so we just do this for the fun of it. The only stuff I even read is by folks I actually like. A guy on here is a great example of what you're talking about. He called himself a photographer and only used maybe 2 of his own photos and they were terrible. Everyone was telling him how good he was and I called him out and he wouldn't approve any of my comments. He even went so far as to have HP's folks tell me to stop commenting which I really didn't get, they want quality (so they say) but disapprove of constructive comments. Good hub but I do say I don't flag anything so maybe after reading this I'll change my mind about that but I think HP should take care of it. Peace!! Tom

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Grayghost- Thank You for reading my Hub.

      I hope it gave you a clear perspective on these people who abuse the HP system and steal from the rest of us.

      Thanks agin,


    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 

      7 years ago from Johnson County, Kansas

      Don, I have only been here for 16 months. I have seen such an uproar about this lately. Has it always been this way or has it recently gotten worse? If it has recently gotten worse, is it just a recent influx of this or have there been changes in HP staff? Voted up and interesting.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      7 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Good for you.

      Have you done any Hub Hopping Don, I see plenty through hopping and you can flag them from there, that way they are not earning anything through clicks and are caught from the outset.

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      I will do, thankyou for the helpful information. It is a sad state of affairs! Anna.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Irc7815- Thanks for supporting my Rant.

      I call it a rant because I was so mad when I started writing this, after making a bad decision for a Click, YET AGAIN.

      There must be some level of Pre-filtering that HP can do, rather than count on us, the true Hubbers, to do their jobs for them. I Mean, they can write a filter algorythm or they can sit back on their hind quarters and let us do their job for them.


    • grayghost profile image


      7 years ago

      Good stuff, Don. I haven't had time to do as much writing on HubPages as I want to yet, but I'm taking notes! Hubs like this are great for understanding the nuts, bolts, and foils of writing on the internet. It's a shame the thieves and scoundrels inhabit the world of writing like everywhere else. If they are creative enough to figure out some of these schemes, seems like they could redirect the creativity into some positive writing!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      7 years ago from Central Virginia

      Don, I sincerely applaud you for this one. I have been fooled once or twice and am now much more skeptical than before. I hope the powers that be here on HP read this one and realize how it impacts those of us who put in the hours to write good content and make pennies for doing it. Great job!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Sorry, Anna Haven, but you should copyright your stuff before you put it out there, even on HP. It is a premier site for excellent reading, you know.

      And, there are so many people out there who plagarize other peoples works,'

      why, if you read some of the complaints, you will hear about sites where people just do a search and copy of your complete Hub, and they don't even change the names.

      You should also get familiar with some of the sites that provide search tools to find and stop these people from using your stuff.

      Anyway, thanks for the read,


    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 

      7 years ago from Scotland

      I am just new here and didn't realise that people plagarise articles to scam money, until I read this.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      7 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Thanks Billybuc,

      I just had to write it all down. It was kind of like taking an enema. You don't really want to, but you know that you are going to feel better when you do it. LOL!


    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, Don! I love the ones who sign up for HP and then follow 2,000 Hubbers in one week, and I'm not exaggerating with that figure. It's amazing that HP doesn't boot these clowns to the curb.


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