This Personal Trainer Scam could leave you broke and ruin your fitness business!
When I started a fitness business, I was totally excited! I was pumped start helping people enrich their lives through fitness and self improvement.
Then, I started going through my business check list:
- Create an awesome Yelp profile
- Make a Google business listing
- Establish a business entity
All of those things are well and good to start a business and all are very important to establish an online presence.
Working In The Age Of Technology
Working in the age of technology is awesome! Never before have you had people at your finger tips waiting for your services and needing what you offer. With Facebook, you can update posts on what you are doing and BAM, someone will be knocking on your fitness business door!
If you are a new trainer, you can put up a Facebook or Google Plus listing for FREE and with minimal effort. You don’t even need a marketing person to do that! And you can get business from that source, maybe even enough to get those anchor clients you will need to start a fitness business.
However, when there is something great out there, someone will always be trying to cheat the system.
The Personal Trainer Scam
When you put your business listing up on these great internet listing sites like Yelp, Google, or YP; you are there for the world to see. With high hope that when someone in the area needs to get in shape, they will call you!
And you are eager to get that call! But when that call comes in, you have to be a smart business owner. You have to qualify your business leads to see:
- If they are a person and not a spammer
- If they are in the local area
- If they are actually serious
And why do all of this? Because of the Personal Trainer Scam!
It’s like the Mantei Teo Girlfriend story of business!
The first time it happened to me it was through email. I received a communication from a person that was organizing a group of people that would be coming in town an looking for a personal trainer. There was a group of 5 people that want to train together and they need an exact quote on how much you charge for your services.
The Question: Are you a Personal Trainer and do you accept credit cards?
The Hook: The try to get you on a couple things:
- They tell you they are hearing impaired an can only communicate through email
- They give you a hook with a big piece of business (like 5 clients) to keep your interest
- They use your honesty and trustworthiness against you
The Scam: Here’s where it gets real!
The final blow was when they told me they would be traveling to the gym in a rented van. Then, oddly enough someone got sick! OMG, and they need you to get them out of the hospital. Sound familiar Mantei Teo?
What they want you to do is charge the amount of services on your credit card and then they will send you a check. It is a complete bulls#!t scam that can throw you for a curve.
I couldn’t believe that I was getting this communication or that people do it! Soon, I told the other trainers I work with to beware of the Personal Trainer Scam.
I found out that our Massage Therapist knew someone that fell for this because they needed new clients. And with this they were out thousands of dollars in credit card debt and struggling to stay in business.
Opening Of The Pandora’s Box Of Scams
Soon after all this went down I told the other trainers to beware of the Personal Trainer Scam. They thought it was odd and didn’t expect it to happen to them.
And then it did like clockwork! Ironically all at the same time. We all were in the break room and received the same scam, spam, and catfishing text: Do you accept credit cards!
It was amazing that people work this hard to be so dishonest!
It soon came in waves! I would get nothing for awhile and then BAM, 5 texts at once from people all over searching for a weak business owner to fall for their bulls#!t!
Don’t be that person who falls for the Personal Trainer Scam!
The Personal Trainer Scam is real, but it can easily be averted. In the beginning I was furious and started to take down my phone number and email on certain sites. But then I thought: Hell NO!
As a business owner, whether you are big or small, there will always be negativity trying to ruin what you have created. Be smart, be patient, and think things through (especially when money is involved).
Tips To Avoid The Personal Trainer Scam:
- Avoid the calls, texts, and emails all together
- Tell them that you only work on a referral basis and to specify who referred them
- Only work with people that can walk in your studio on a moment’s notice
- Use a Personal Training Software if you train clients online
Good luck and be safe! I hope this has helped you to avoid the Personal Trainer Scam. Please leave me comments below with questions or similar stories.