Affiliate Marketing in 2020: What It Is + How Beginners

Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads & PPC

Information and discussions related to Pay-per-Click advertising. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and most other other advertising platforms are acceptable.
[link]

Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020

Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020

Introduction

The current, and now previous, Beermoney Global list started nearly 5 years ago. It’s been updated and has grown over all that time, but it also became a hassle to keep current. It was time to build a new list from scratch based on my experience in the Beermoney world over all these years and all the contributions all of you have been making in this sub.
The lists consist of opportunities that are available in at least one country that is not the US. This means there are sites which only work in Canada or the UK. There’s sites which are open to the whole world, but this does not mean everyone can really earn something on it. It’s all still very demographic and therefore location dependent. This list should give you a starting point to try out and find what works for you. I’m not using everything myself as I prefer to focus on a few, so not all are tested by me. They are found in this sub, other subreddits and other resources where people claim to have success.
I’ve chosen the format of a simple table with the bare minimum of information to keep things clean. It includes a link, how you earn, personal payment proof if available and sign-up bonus codes if applicable. Some of these bonuses are also one-time use codes specifically made for this sub! For the ones I don’t have payment proof (yet) feel free to provide some as a comment or via modmail so others know it’s legit. I am working on detailed instructions for each method that I personally use which will include things like cashout minimum, cashout options, tips & tricks,... For now I’ve split things up based on the type of earning like passive or mobile. Because of this there’s sometimes an overlap as some are both passive and on mobile or both earning crypto and a GPT (Get Paid To) website.
The lists are obviously not complete so I invite you to keep posting new ones in the sub, as a comment to this post, or in modmail. Especially if you have sites or apps which work for one single specific country I can start building a list, just like I did for The Netherlands and Belgium. If you recognize things which are in fact scams or not worth it let me know as well.

Beermoney opportunities

Get Paid To (Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, clicking links, play games, searching)
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
ySense - The best global site Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Paypal /
PrizeRebel Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Paypal Enter code 'beermoneyglobal'
SerpClix Google searching Paypal /
Swagbucks & SwagButton Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, shopping & cashback, games, apps Paypal /
GG2U Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Pending $1.00 if register here
Keep Rewarding Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, PTC Pending $0.25 if register here
Ebesucher Surfing, reading mails Bank transfer /
Reward XP Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Pending $0.50 if register here
Gain.gg Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Paypal $0.10 if register here
Timebucks Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, Tik Tok, Shopping Pending $1.00 if register here
GamerMine Surveys, offers, videos, tasks, Pending $1.00 if register here
Gamehag Tasks, offers, play games, post on forum, writing Pending /
BTCSurveys Surveys Pending /
FruitLab Watch & upload video game clips Pending 100 pips if register here
Clickworker Transcripts, tasks, UHRS (categorizing), surveys Paypal /
FreeSkins Surveys, offers, tasks, videos Pending 100 coins if register here
iRazoo Games, surveys, videos, offers, apps Pending Enter code 'AK7DB2' for 500 points when signing up
EarnCrypto Data entry, surveys, offers, tasks, videos, games, apps Pending /
Blockreward Apps, surveys, videos, tasks, offers Pending $2.00 if register here and earn 20000b + $2.00 if earn 10000b within 30 days
PaidViewPoint Surveys Pending /
GrabPoints Suverys, videos, offers, games, apps Pending 500 points if register here
RewardingWays Surveys, offers, tasks, videos, contests Pending $0.20 if register here
SuperPay Surveys, offers, tasks, videos, contests Pending $0.20 if register here
InstaGC Surveys, tasks, videos, apps Pending /
GiftHunterClub Surveys, offers, videos, apps, games Pending $0.75 if register here
Idle-Empire Surveys, offers, videos, mining, apps, games Pending 500 points if register here
PicoWorkers Tasks, games, apps Pending /
ViewFruit Surveys Pending /
Mobrog (change language if needed) Surveys Pending /
Surveytime Surveys Pending /
Giveaway Pros Offers, videos Pending /
SEO Sprint (Russian, use Google Translate) Tasks Pending /
Earnhoney Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Pending /
Toluna Surveys Pending /
Spidermetrix Surveys Pending /
BeerSurveys Surveys, tasks, offers Pending /
CrowdHolding Co-create with startups Pending /
Diaworkers Tasks Pending /
Presearch Search & Earn Pending /
Univox Community Surveys Pending /
YouGov Surveys Pending /
Spare5 Tasks Paypal /
Rewardia Surveys, polls, games, videos, puzzles, trivia Pending 3000 points extra (when you earn 3000 points) if register here
Earnably Surveys, tasks, offers, videos Pending /
Neevo Tasks Pending /
Rakuten Insight (country specific links) Surveys Pending /
The Panel Station Surveys Pending /
Remotasks Tasks Pending /
Pureprofile Surveys Pending /
UserCrowd Tasks PayPal /
Sruvey Village Surveys Pending /
InboxDollars/InboxPounds Surveys, offers, videos, shopping Pending /
Qmee Surveys Pending /
MicroWorkers Tasks Pending /
Cinchbucks Surveys, offers, tasks, videos Pending /
Rewards1 Suverys, videos, offers, games, apps, polls, contests Pending /
Vindale Surveys Pending /
PointClub Surveys Pending /
TGM Panel Surveys Pending /
PaidPoints Tasks, offers, traffic exchange, ad clicking Pending /
RapidWorkers Tasks Pending /
AnyTask Sell your skills Pending /
Bounty0x Tasks Pending /
Opinion World Surveys Pending /
Lifepoints Surveys Pending /
Passive (desktop & mobile)
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
HoneyGain Desktop & mobile phone bandwith sharing (wifi + data) Paypal $5.00 if register here
FluidStack Desktop bandwith sharing (Linux needed) Paypal /
PacketStream Desktop bandwith sharing Pending /
LoadTeam CPU power sharing Pending $0.20 if register here
Gener8 Browser extension Pending 10 tokens if register here
Kryptex Crypto mining Pending /
Ebesucher Surfing, reading mails Bank transfer /
Honeyminer Mining Pending 1000 satoshis if register here
LazyBucks Rent out your Facebook account Pending /
HideoutTV and link to Reward XP to cashout Videos Pending /
Honey Discounts & Cashback / 500 Honey Gold if register here
Fitplay Games Pending $0.33 if register here
Mistplay Games Pending /
Money SMS Receive SMS Pending /
McMoney Receive SMS Pending $0.22 if using code '60LGG3PR'
SMS Profit Net Receive SMS Pending /
Simcash Send SMS [risky] Pending /
Cash4sms Send [risky] & receive SMS Pending /
ControlMySMS Receive SMS Pending /
Birdchain Send SMS [risky] Pending /
Sweatcoin Walking Pending /
COIN Explore Pending 1000 coins if register here
Panel App Surveys, location sharing Pending /
Phoneum Games, mining Pending /
Crypto (faucets, mining, GPT)
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Cointiply Faucet, surveys, tasks, offers, videos Bitcoin Enter code 'beermoneyglobal'
FreeBitcoin Faucet, lottery, betting, passive interest Bitcoin /
AdBTC Click ads, active window surfing, autosurfing Pending /
Faucetpay Faucet Wallet, exchange, offers, tasks, trading Pending /
Faucet Crypto Faucet, ads clicking, offers, shortlinks Pending /
More Money Faucet, ads clicking, offers, shortlinks Pending /
Kryptex Crypto mining Pending /
Quicrypto Surveys, tasks, offers, games, videos Pending /
Coinpot Faucet Bitcoin /
Honeyminer Mining Pending 1000 satoshis if register here
BitShark Faucet, games Pending /
Publish0x Read & write articles Pending /
Starbits Faucet (need FaucetPay account) Pending /
Coinpayu Ads clicking, videos, offers Pending /
BTCSurveys Surveys Pending /
Blockreward Apps, surveys, videos Pending $2.00 if register here and earn 20000b + $2.00 if earn 10000b within 30 days
Coinbase Crypto sign-up bonuses Bank transfer See links in thread
LBRY.tv Watch videos Pending /
Pi Network Crypto mining Pending (see here) To join you need a referral link
EarnCrypto Data entry, surveys, offers, tasks, videos, games, apps Pending /
Phoneum Games, mining Pending /
Mobile
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Cointiply Faucet, surveys, tasks, offers, videos Bitcoin Enter code 'beermoneyglobal'
HoneyGain Desktop & mobile phone bandwith sharing (wifi + data) Paypal $5.00 if register here
Google Opinion Rewards Surveys Play Store credit /
FreeBitcoin Faucet, lottery, betting, passive interest Bitcoin /
AppKarma Games, quizes, surveys Pending Enter code 'Proim' for 300 points when signing up
CashKarma Surveys, offers, games Pending Enter code 'Proim' for 300 points when signing up
Cash Alarm Games Pending Receive 25% of my earnings if register here
Cash Magnet Games, offers, tasks, videos Pending /
AttaPoll Surveys Pending /
ClipClaps Videos, games, raffles PayPall $1.00 & Diamond Chest if register here
Quicrypto Surveys, tasks, offers, games, videos Pending /
Poll Pay Surveys Pending $0.30 if using code '4CS6L4SQ8D' when signing up
BuzzBreak Read news, videos, offers, surveys Pending Enter code 'B06472489' when signing up
Userlytics Software testing Pending /
WowApp Games, offers, surveys, videos, chat, phone unlock, calling, cashback, shopping cashback, browsing, news reading Pending /
CuriousCat Surveys Pending /
Quickthoughts Surveys Pending /
Fitplay Games Pending $0.33 if register here
TV-Two Make Money Apps, games, Youtube, browsing Pending 555 credits if register here
Mistplay Games Pending /
FeaturePoints Suveys, offers, apps, cashback Pending 50 points if register here
Money SMS Receive SMS Pending /
BIGtoken Suveys, location sharing, social media account Pending Use code 'GMGALLOIA'
McMoney Receive SMS Pending $0.22 if using code '60LGG3PR'
Pi Network Crypto mining Pending (see here) To join you need a referral link
Roamler Mystery shopping Pending /
SMS Profit Net Receive SMS Pending /
Streetbees Surveys, tasks, create videos, take pictures Pending Enter code '6115GF' when signing up
Simcash Send SMS [risky] Pending /
VoxPopMe Video feedback Pending /
Cash4sms Send [risky] & receive SMS Pending /
Citizen Me Surveys Pending /
ControlMySMS Receive SMS Pending /
Birdchain Send SMS [risky] Pending /
Sweatcoin Walking Pending /
COIN Explore Pending 1000 coins if register here
Panel App Surveys, location sharing Pending /
GiftHunterClub Surveys, offers, videos, apps, games Pending $0.75 if register here
Phoneum Games, mining Pending /
Research
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Respondent Interviews, research, surveys Pending /
Prolific Surveys, research Paypal /
User testing
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
TestingTime Software testing Pending /
uTest Software testing Pending /
PingPong Software testing Pending /
TryMyUI Software/UI testing Pending /
Testbirds Software/UI testing Pending /
Pulselabs Voice app testing Pending /
PlaytestCloud Game testing Pending /
Userlytics Software testing Pending /
Investing (revenue share)
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
PaidVerts Ad clicking, offers, revenue sharing Bitcoin /
MyTrafficValue Games, investing PayPal /
Selling (designs on merchandise, skills/gigs)
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Fiverr Sell your skills Pending 20% off on first purchase if register here
Redbubble Sell your designs Pending /
Zeerk Sell your skills Pending /
TeePublic Sell your designs Pending /
Teespring Sell your designs Pending /
Transcribing/Translating
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Rev Transcribing, captioning, foreign subtitles Pending /
Gotranscript Transcribing, translating captioning, foreign subtitles Pending /
TranscribeMe Transcribing, translating, data annotation Pending /
Unbabel Translating Pending /
Others
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Wealthy Affiliate Learn affiliate marketing Pending /
Brave Brows internet Pending /
Andromo Develop apps Pending /
The Netherlands specific
For The Netherlands there are a few very good options next to a bunch of ‘spaarprogramma’s. There ‘spaarprogramma’s are all the same where you receive and click a bunch of e-mails, advertisements, banners,... I advise you to create a separate e-mail address or use a good filter in your inbox as you will be spammed to death. I believe they can be a nice piece of beermoney but they take quite the effort.
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Euroclix Surveys, shopping & cashback, offers, energy/internet providers Bank transfer €1.95 if register here
StemPunt Surveys Gift cards 500 points if register here
Cashback XL Shopping cashback, health insurance discount Bank transfer /
Scoupy Shopping cashback, free products Pending /
Cashback Korting Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €7.50 if register here
Lady Cashback Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €7.50 if register here
Enqueteclub Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €7.50 if register here
Snel Verdienen Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €2.50 if register here
Spaar Actief Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Klik Je Zakgeld Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Zinngeld Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €0.10 if register here
My Clics Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
Direct Verdiend Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €2.00 if register here
Spaar4Cash Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Qassa Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending /
My Flavours Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Cash Ze Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Geld Race Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
iPay Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
Double Points Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €2.00 if register here
Mailbeurs Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Qlics Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
Centmail Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Extra Euro Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
Gekken Goud Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Dutch Euro Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Nu Cash Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register
Snel Euro Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Cash Hier Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Betaalde Mails Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €2.00 if register here
Goudmails Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Online Cashen Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Crazy Mails Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Cash Paradijs Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Smart Clix Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €5.00 if register here
24/7 Discount Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending /
Beetje Zakgeld Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.25 if register here
Geldmolen Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.75 if register here
Online Zakcentje Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.50 if register here
Geldcircus Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €0.75 if register here
Lady Clix Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €0.99 if register here
Geldwolf Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Zilvervloot Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys Pending €1.00 if register here
Belgium specific
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Buffl Surveys Gift cards /

Sign-up bonuses

The one-time sign-up bonus programs are still to be found here. If you find a new one let me know so I can create the post to keep all the ref links together.

Saving money

Although it’s not really about making money online, it’s still nice to save some money as well when shopping online.
Register here How to earn Payment proof Sign-up bonus code
Honey Discounts & Cashback / 500 Honey Gold if register here
G2A Game keys / /
Kinguin Game keys / /
Allkeyshop Game keys / /
AliExpress Save on online shopping / $24 coupons if register here
Gearbest Save on online shopping / /

Other subs & resources

submitted by Proim to beermoneyglobal [link] [comments]

What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
submitted by Soccervox to USLPRO [link] [comments]

How to Make Money with Instagram: The Ultimate Guide [2020 Update]

Making money with Instagram is no joke. On the contrary, BusinessInsider shows that popular Instagram influencers can already charge a minimum of € 15,000 for a single sponsored post on their accounts!
So what does it come down to?
When it comes to making money with social media and how much money you will really make, your results will depend on your experience, how many followers you have, and your confidence.
Of course everyone starts from a different starting point or situation, but here are the 4 main ways that we recommend to make money via Instagram.
What you can do:
You can use one, several or even all 4 of these methods simultaneously to make money via Instagram - it's your choice!
Now that that's said, are you ready to go ?
Following are the details of each method of how to make money with Instagram

How to Make Money on Instagram - The 4 Methods


1 Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways of making money on Instagram.
Simply put, affiliate marketing is when you get a commission when someone clicks on a link from another company from your account, and then buys a product. You usually get a commission when someone buys something, but sometimes when they just click on the link.
Affiliate marketing is so simple because all you have to do is show the product with a “story” around it, for example in a review, a video or a post with a little paragraph about the product, then put it in link your Instagram bio to. You can also have your own website where you send people to learn more about the products you show.
Keep in mind that when you recommend something, your good name and reputation are associated with the product, so only recommend products that you have used yourself, that you trust and like.
Affiliate marketing is an extensive topic, and we have written about it many times. You can dig deeper into it in our article: the Guide to Affiliate Marketing .
You can also visit the following websites that have affiliate lists of products that offer affiliate programs, which will take you one step further in learning how to make money with Instagram

2 Sell ​​your photos

You spend a lot of time and effort to get the scene, light and captions just right… so why not convert all the effort you've already put into your IG account into more money ?
There are many sites online where you can host and sell your photos.

3 Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are another way of making money with Instagram, and it is expected that by 2020 there will be around 32.3 billion sponsored Instagram posts to be paid by brands.
You can also participate and get paid like this !
What exactly are sponsored posts? First you grow your number of followers, by supporting a certain message or by specializing in things like health, things that men / women need (think of cars, beauty, etc.), cats, or whatever your thing . If a sponsor likes what you do, they will ask you to promote them!
Not only do they pay for you talking about them, but they usually combine it with an affiliate link, so you get a commission when one of your visitors buys something from the sponsor!
Some people think that sponsoring and making money is about having millions of followers, but that's not true . Sponsors are not stupid, they know you can just buy "fake followers" to make the number look better.
What they're looking for is the real, engaged followers who trust you. A sponsor would rather have 1,000 people ready to buy what the influencer recommends than 2 million accounts that actually mean nothing.
It's all about trust and commitment .

How Much Can You Ask?

Now you're probably wondering how much money to charge per sponsored post.
Unless you're extremely experienced with Instagram and a big influencer, it's likely to be determined by the company itself. It can depend on whether you post a photo, video or story and how long the video is when it is a video or a story.
Good news is that when we look at the rates on AdFactor of some influencers, and the number of Instagram followers they have, it looks like you can already ask € 500 per sponsored post with just a few thousand followers.
That can give you an idea of ​​how many brands are willing to pay, and what number you can play with during the negotiations.

How To Find Sponsors

The easiest way to find sponsors is to compile a list of companies and brands you like, and write them an email describing who you are, why you like them, and how you can help them when you promote them on Instagram.
Here are a few examples of emails you can view and use.
Another way is to list yourself and your account on an influencer marketplace, where brands “shop around” to find the accounts they would like to sponsor or contact.

How to avoid being called a defector (or why you shouldn't have too many sponsored posts)

It can be tempting to turn every post into a sponsored post, but there has to be a balance. Remember, your audience originally followed you for the sheer content of your posts and because they liked YOU, not because they want to see ads all the time.
We recommend that you consider using a #sponsored or #spon hashtag to indicate that it is a sponsored post . If you're worried about using sponsored posts at all, we've got some good news for you!
For example below, you can see that beauty blogger and Instagrammer Mascha Feoktistova indicates that her latest fragrance from Guess is sponsored using the hashtag #spon.
Instagram now also has a "Paid Partnership With ..." tag that clearly identifies sponsored posts. Some brands even require that you use this as an influencer. You can here read about the tag.
When you're trying to find a balance in how you make money on Instagram, fewer sponsored posts are better than more. Try a certain number first (eg 1 per week), and you could even create a live survey with your “Story” feature to ask your audience if they are satisfied with the number of sponsored posts, and if they like the recommendations .
Always try to be as careful as possible with sponsored posts, and keep in mind: LESS is more!

4 Make your own products

Making your own products is a great way to turn your Instagram account into a money machine. And it can also be a lot of fun!

Paid Services

Most Instagrammers start with paid services because they are the easiest to set up. You basically choose the talents you have, and you work as a freelance consultant for someone, while setting your own rates for your talents! If you'd like to learn more about that, check out our guide on how to start freelancing .

Digital Products

Another good example, besides paid services, is that you create something like an e-book about your favorite topic and sell it on your website through an online shop program.
Online products are one of our favorites, because once you have set up your website and your online shop program, the “shop” is always open, and you can get paid for your knowledge while you sleep!
The return on your investment can be HUGE!
If you want to research how to make money with Instagram, we recommend that you sign up on SendOwl for your online shop program and use it to sell your online products.

Physical Products

You can then develop further by delving into physical products with services such as Shopify , which help you to set up a real online shop.
Physical products can be challenging because you have to make sure the quality is good enough as they are made from factories. Services like Printful and Teelaunch can do all the work for you when printing certain photos in shirts and mugs, as well as finding recommended factories.
If you follow this route, we recommend that you always see a sample of the products before selling it to your audience. You can't make money by putting your name on poor quality products!
Reference:
Entreprenuers Hustle Free Style
submitted by yatesmaron to Howwemakemoneyonline [link] [comments]

Circumstantial evidence points to Dominik Schiener, co-founder of the IOTA Foundation, being the criminal hacker known as Cystomatic aka. Alhalama

Circumstantial evidence points to Dominik Schiener, co-founder of the IOTA Foundation, being the criminal hacker known as Cystomatic aka. Alhalama. See sources below.
Several pieces of evidence show the connection between the hacker Cystomatic (aka. Alhalama) and Dominik Schiener:
Crimes committed by Cystomatic aka. Alhalama include hacking and defacing websites, installing keyloggers, selling administration logins, selling site databases, and buying, using and selling remote access trojans.
After starting IOTA, Dominik Schiener described his hacking experience:
"I started hacking computer games when I was 14 and then sold these modifications and earned a fair amount of income for my age and effort. With the money, I then tried to build an advertising platform"
"And so with that experience I started going on this quest, kind of hustling, like bring out what kind of product I should create to make money because at the time I really wanted to be independent. I wanted to make money so I don't rely on anyone".
Since I published the above on Twitter this Monday, many people have justified Dominik Schiener's possible criminal hacking past saying that he was an immature teenager, that the crimes have already prescribed and that he has already talked about his hacking experience.
That might be true. However, they conveniently forget, or left unexplained, that Dominik Schiener has recollected his hacking experience once he was already an adult, already a co-founder of IOTA and the IOTA Foundation, and that Dominik's recent recollections only refer to "hacking computer games".
This circumstantial evidence is not about "hacking computer games", but about hacking and defacing websites, installing keyloggers, selling administration logins, selling site databases, and buying, using and selling remote access trojans.
Dominik Schiener, already an adult, has never referred to such criminal hacking. He has only talked about the somehow harmless and joyful act of "hacking video games". If Dominik is Cystomatic aka. Alhalama, then Dominik Schiener, once an adult, has been misrepresenting his past.
The IOTA community and investors have the right to know this information. I have posted this information in Iota and IOTAmarkets but the posts have been removed. I have contacted several media outlets focused on IOTA but all of them have decided to remain silent. Only Block-Builders is covering all sides of the story.
Sources:
submitted by Hund_cleanIOTA to CryptoCurrencies [link] [comments]

In response to the post asking how to stay safe online - How to actually stay safe online

There was some advice thrown around in that post, but to me the explanation given did not do it justice, or it wasn't an informative enough explanation at least. So here's my advice! I use majority of these every day. In the post I added subheadings that gives you a summary of what software/alternative to use. If you want to read my reasoning why, feel free too. It can get lengthy though!
Disclaimer: This post is just to give you something as a starting point. You can always add to these measures to be safer online! So the purpose of this is just to have a solid foundation that you guys can add/modify. Stay safe!

To begin with, you might think that browsing in incognito is safe enough for the government not to track you. The only thing this protects you from is your history being tracked. That's it. Despite them heavily marketing it as a "private" way of browsing, it's not the entire picture. https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-faces-class-action-for-allegedly-tracking-private-browsing-activity/
Just remember that in every single app/software that you download, and each device you use, think of it as a person you're handing off your data to. Is the person trustworthy? Will this person betray you and sell your data to the highest bidder? What's stopping this person from running away with my data? Are there privacy laws in their country of origin that make it illegal for them to do this? Is it possible that these guys just put privacy as a front and actually have an ulterior motive? What's their track record?
Now with all that in place, let's pick out some of the things that are known to not track you.

Operating Systems

Mobile Phones
A lot of mobile phone brands used by Filipinos are Chinese phones. Huawei, Vivo are ones that I can think off the top of my head. Huawei has had multiple scandals that proves that they cannot be trusted. Other Chinese brands cannot be trusted as well because you're giving them free access to a window of your life. They're also the role models of our current government, so any data they have about you our government will have as well. I decided to put this section at the very top because even if you follow everything else in the post, it will be for naught if you have a Chinese phone. It's time to get rid of it for other brands, or even Apple.
However, if you are unable to, then you must explore the custom OS route. This does not solve everything because if the tracking is in a hardware level, which it likely is, then this would still be for naught. But if you have an Android phone that isn't a Chinese brand, keep reading.
In this post are a list of custom operating systems, some built on top of Android with a focus on privacy. Yes Android is under Google, but Android is open sourced and the worrying parts can be removed. This will require some technical skill though to replace your phone's OS. So unfortunately, I cannot provide any help with this. You have to do your due diligence and research about it!
ttankdestroyer:
Importante din ang smartphone. This comment might be controversial but I will say it anyway, get rid of your chinese phone. Pero if you still want your chinese phone, you can install custom rom. I highly suggest LineageOSas a custom rom pero you need to remember na select phone lang siya compatible. For security and privacy out of the box ang hanap nyo at nahihirapan kayo maginstall ng custom rom, just use iPhone.
For Android phones, you still have to configure your phone to harden its security, aka hardening. doppelbot linked a great resource for this!
Mobile Apps
Our commonly used apps have a lot of tracking in them by default since this is how they earn money, through ads. For android, as pointed out by boywithapplesauce, you can find a lot of open source versions of your commonly used apps in FDroid (open source version of the Play Store).
Other FDroid apps to consider: Blokada, DNS66, WebApps, Nextcloud, Firefox Klar
Disclaimer: Using these FOSS (free and open source software) alternatives aren't a silver bullet to the problem. There's still the fact that that you're using the service of a company that doesn't care about your right. I would use this as the very last option if you have no other choice but to use their service.
Desktop
Stay away from Windows 10. They're a privacy nightmare and they're infested with tracking even if you "disable" their telemetry (tracking). Opt for Linux or at the very least macOS if you're able to. Linux is free and they have great distros like Ubuntu, PopOS, Linux Mint, and Solus. You could also try installing Arch if you're feeling brave :).
With this you'll have a clean base, free from tracking! Generally Linux distros are great, but this is a double-edged sword since one can advertise it as a Linux distro while adding trackers to it. Be careful.
Be sure to enable disk encryption during installation. Use a strong password for this encryption too. This way if things go really bad for you, let's say you get raided by the cops and they confiscate your PC, your data will be difficult to extract from the disk because it's all encrypted. You can see the password manager section to help* you keep track of your passwords.

VPN

Use Mullvad. ProtonVPN is a second choice too.
VPNs will not make you anonymous online, their only job is to make sure that your ISP cannot spy on you because your traffic from your computer and the website you're connecting to is encrypted. Normally this traffic can be intercepted and peeked into, but VPNs prevent that from happening. However, one thing to note is that you have to trust the VPN provider. To protect you from your ISP, your traffic has to go through their servers. This means, your traffic can be monitored by these guys. This is why it's crucial to pick the right one. This is also why it's time to ditch those janky ass Chinese VPN or Opera VPNs. Those are shit.
Nord, Express, PIA, and any other USA-based VPN cannot be trusted despite their no logging policy. You can't say for sure that they don't log your data because because their privacy laws are not as strict and not as heavily enforced as their EU counterparts. The account is also tied to your personal information such as your real name, payment info, and email. This is extremely dangerous because once they get compromised, your data can be traced back to you. Your only options really are Mullvad VPN ($5.5/mo) and ProtonVPN. I am in no way affiliated with these, I just like to point them out because they're the gold standard of VPNs. Mullvad is also much cheaper than ProtonVPN if you want to get their paid plan.
Why Mullvad? mullvad.net
Mullvad does not store any information about you, at all. Not even an email, password, username, names, none. The only thing tied to your account is an account number that was generated for you. It does not store any payment information, it does not log anything. There's no way that account can be traced back to you, unless Mullvad gets sold off or hacked. In terms of security, they have an independent party to audit them.
Warning about TOR and VPN
After checking out ProtonVPN, they have this option called TOR over VPN. You might think, hey this is more secure right since you're connected to a TOR network? Nope. The purpose of TOR is to make you anonymous, by having a VPN while being connected to TOR, this will leave a permanent trail, and that's not something you want because it means you can be traced, which defeats the whole point of TOR. In fact, it's more dangerous that you're connected to a VPN while using TOR, than just using a VPN.
But Tor doesn't encrypt your traffic. So how can you make sure that you can't be spied on by the government? You can use Tor Bridges to hide the fact that you're using a Tor network. Bridges are ran by volunteers. Read more
In terms of hiding your data from the government, VPNs are sufficient because that's the use case they solve. Connecting to Tor might be over the top for this purpose. However, if you want to go beyond government tracking then Tor + Tor Bridge is a way better option than Tor + VPN.

Browsers

Use Firefox mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
Browsers are the gateway to the internet, so it has to be secure. Use Firefox. Ditch your Chrome browsers! I know, you're probably used to it and have it customized the way you like it. But Firefox is the only browser that fights for your right of privacy. Chrome is under Google and they are notorious for tracking and selling your data to advertisers. All the Chrome variants out there that haven't been "unchromified" are all terrible browsers in terms of privacy as well. Yes, this includes Edge and yes this also includes your mobile browsers. Use Firefox! Firefox is the only browser where you can configure it to block trackers and even features that will risk you getting tracked. Chrome has extensions that do these, but the fact that it's not baked into its source code makes it inferior to Firefox.
Configure Firefox https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#about_config
Recommended Firefox addons https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#addons
After configuring be sure to run tests like DNS leak and WebRTC leak tests. Check https://am.i.mullvad.net if you want a comprehensive rundown of tests. You can also configure Firefox to delete all browsing and download history, and cookies. In case your PC/phone get seized, there will be nothing on it. No evidence against you that you were conspiring against the government.
Mobile Browsers
It's time for you to ditch Chrome and Safari.
For Android you have Firefox, and Bromite. Bromite is pretty much an unchromified browser and is pretty good.
For iOS you can use Firefox, and DuckDuckGo.

Password Manager

Use Bitwarden bitwarden.com/
I have a lot of friends that still use basic passwords like their birthdays or nicknames, and this is dangerous. If they become a suspect of someone, their accounts can be easily accessed without much effort because of how ridiculously easy their passwords are to guess. (See PLDT's twitter account getting hacked for example!) So, what do password managers have to do with security and privacy? They greatly enhance your security of your online accounts. You can have a 100 character password (as long as the website supports it, which most do) and won't have the burden of remembering it. You just need 1 master password, which you can use a passphrase password for. Be sure this is a strong password. Try to remember just one long password, I know you can do it! Some password managers also allow you to have TOTP or OTP code generation built-in to them. If you don't already know, 2 factor authentication makes sure that there's an extra verification step before you can login to your account. OTP is one of them and it generates a unique code combination every 30 seconds. I really suggest setting up OTP for all your accounts. Ditch SMS verification because you can easily be a victim of SIM hijacking. Ditch email because, it's more inconvenient than having a TOTP generator.

Okay, hopefully that explains why you need a password manager and that you have to enable OTP verification. Now what are your options? Bitwarden. It's an open source password manager and is available in all platforms (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS). It's frequently audited and its free tier is extremely generous.

Instant Messaging/Social Media/Email

Instant Messaging: Use Signal App signal.org/
Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and I don't know what other hip and cool social media platforms are out there. These are all not secure. It is an extremely bad idea to have privacy-sensitive conversations. Any app under Facebook you should not use because they're one of the worst offenders of privacy. Anyone that sells ads to you tracks your information and keeps it in a database. Telegram may tout that it's privacy-focused but that really isn't the case. Telegram by default does not offer encrypted conversations. That's only available in "secret chat", which you can't set up for group conversations. So your group and individual conversations are all unencrypted. I can't even begin with Tik Tok, just stay away from it, please.
What IM should you use then? Signal https://www.signal.org/. It's open-source, audited and peer-reviewed to provide the highest quality encryption out there. Its entire premise is to fight your right for privacy by providing the best privacy IM out there. If you're a developer, you can review their code here https://github.com/signalapp. Try your best to convince your friends that are afraid of the government but still want to have conversations against them to use Signal.
Social Media
This is difficult because social media greatly depends on its audience. If you need social media to schedule protests and if Signal won't suffice then look into these options:
Source: https://www.privacytools.io/providers/social-networks/
Email: Use ProtonMail protonmail.com/
I know that gmail is widely used, but given my reasons above, do not trust Google. Ditch Google, opt in for a service that actually cares about privacy. I'm personally using ProtonMail. With these guys you can manage multiple emails in ONE ACCOUNT. You can set up burner emails that only receive emails and not send. You can dispose these burner emails and make new ones in case it gets compromised. These guys are based on Switzerland and if I'm not mistaken, ProtonVPN are under these guys as well. Always prioritize software under EU because of their privacy laws, unless they don't respect it of course. Which means legal trouble for them anyway so I highly doubt it.

Search Engine

DuckDuckGo is your friend. Google search, Yahoo, and Bing aren't.

Online presence

This is where a lot of people end up making a mistake. You can follow all of the previous bullet points but when you use an account that has your real information in it, you've undone all your up until this point. DO NOT use your real name. DO NOT use Facebook because I have several friends that used aliases and they were forced by Facebook to use their real name and to provide an valid ID before they approved the change. I'll just outline these:

Why? Your friends cannot be trusted. I know you guys have DDS friends and with the new bill, this is very dangerous. Facebook groups for protests are also very dangerous. Group chats are dangerous.
If you haven't already and if you are able to, just delete Facebook/TwitteInstagram/Tik Tok. Your life is better off without them. Trust me, and well all the other people that have gotten rid of these. It makes your life so much better.

Deleting your data/Temporary sessions

When shit hits the fan, you're gonna have to have a method to delete everything, quickly. Unfortunately how your data gets removed largely depends on the website/app you're using. For example, it'll take 30 days for Facebook to make your account inaccessible. Even with this there's no guarantee that your data has actually been wiped clean from Facebook's database.
Directory of links for deleting accounts online
Disclaimer: Deleting your account does not mean your data was actually deleted on the servers. Which is why you have to be really careful on what website/app you use.
Computer data
If you have to delete your data right away you simply just have to destroy the medium. Reformatting is not enough. Data can always be recovered from disk which is why disk encryption is so important. To delete your data for good from your disk, you have to destroy the medium.
  1. Remove storage (hdd/ssd) and memory modules
  2. Drill a hole in them
  3. Break the ram modules in half
  4. Microwave RAM modules
If you prefer something less violent and destructive, make sure (as mentioned in the post) to install your OS with disk encryption enabled. A lot of Linux distros offer this and it's not difficult to set up. Then, all you have to do is just to boot into a live USB and wipe out your disk. This option is not as safe as destroying your disk. It's really best if you have something that does not store data on disk (See temporary sessions).
Mobile phone data
You can factory reset your phone and pray to god that your data wasn't sent to a server. You can also remove your phone's storage and memory but that's way more difficult than a computer. You could also just drill a hole in your phone's storage and memory!
Temporary Sessions
This is when you need a medium that's temporary and that doesn't store data. Live OS are great at this, but they're only as good as your hardware.
Tails Linux is great. Put it in a USB, boot into it and you can carry on browsing. It also has Tor built into it as an added bonus.
See more: https://www.privacytools.io/operating-systems/#live_os

See also:
https://www.privacytools.io/
https://ssd.eff.org/ - Thanks LecheKaFlan!

Edit 1: Added links
Edit 2: Added reference links
Edit 3: Added search engine
Edit 4: Added explanation for why Tor + VPN is not a good idea, and what you can do to encrypt your Tor traffic.
Edit 5: Added section for mobile phones and desktop operating systems. Thanks boywithapplesauce and ttankdestroyer!
Edit 6: Added social media alternatives and data deletion. Thanks Yssl!
Edit 7: Added mobile browsers. Thanks r4iv3n!
Edit 8: Added more FOSS operating systems and smartphone hardening resource. Thanks doppelbot!
submitted by InvertedDick to Philippines [link] [comments]

The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
submitted by pogacsa_is_life to soccer [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

Using social media for affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and quickest ways to begin making money online. Affiliate marketing is a partnership between a company and an external website, where the external party helps to promote a product or products, and the company pays the external party a commission for each click that transforms into a sale. An elegantly straightforward process, affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, webinar software, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be utilized. Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance For example the image below is what my Marketing Income Lab training product looked like. 4. Use Social Media to Grow Your Email List. The best way to use affiliate marketing with social media is to use social media to build your email list, and then make affiliate promotions via email. Affiliate Marketing On Social Media – Introduction . Affiliate Marketing on social media is a great way to get started for beginners. Although affiliate marketing can be done in many different ways, social media is one of the easiest methods. Affiliate Commissions: Earn up to 30% per Sale (first and recurring sales within 1 year) by promoting PromoRepublic. Affiliate Signup Link: Click Here Affiliate Website: Here Affiliate Description: PromoRepublic is the only social media marketing platform with 100,000 post ideas for major types of Small Businesses and marketing campaigns one might need.

[index] [7622] [13747] [7449] [13011] [3077] [6547] [2711] [2617] [2782] [3522]