In this episode of the Coach Yu Show, Marcelo Bermann shares his story of how serial scammer Aaron Gobidas backed out of a contract after he’d received the payment.

Marcello has been painting for 51 years. He started out in Boston in 1971, and has been serving the San Diego community since 1992. You can find him at bestsandiegohousepainting.com

Like so many expert tradesmen, Marcelo needed help with his website and SEO. He used a business bartering side, BizX, and stumbled upon Aaron Gobidas and GoBeRewarded. Unfortunately, he was left with an empty wallet and no website.

Aaron Gobidas is a great salesman.

Marcelo’s story:

“He reminds me of some of these people that are on speed and they can read your mind and they tell you everything that you want to hear. The one thing is he insisted that I drive up to Oceanside, which I did not understand.”

“But in any event, I drove up to Oceanside. It’s a long drive. There’s a lot of traffic. He wanted to show off his place. I’m familiar with the area I used to live in Oceanside.”

“And he did a presentation meeting where there are a couple of women there. One of them was constantly on her smartphone. The other one was somewhat present. They really didn’t know much about the subject. He also had another guy there. I guess he wanted to impress me with the staff, you know, that was on their hand and the plans where he had the thing.”

the truth about Aaron Gobidas
The office Aaron Gobidas was so desperate to show off.

“And one of his selling points was that his dad had been, I think, a curtain installer, like on windows and, and that, you know, he knew how being a specialized business with a particular gift that he would know how to present me to the world so that I would get the right kind of clientele and, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah.” 

“He was very convincing and everything. He did like an hour long presentation with maybe even videos and a whiteboard and so on. Basically, he wanted $2,500 to redo my website and he was going to do a super-duper thing. He was going to have some staff that was going to do some video. So he was going to do a shoot as well as, and they were going to come out on site and, you know, and, uh, shoot while I was working.”

“So it was going to be a very comprehensive, well mounted, professional  website.”

Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t.  

There was some confusion over hosting and eventually GoBeRewarded backed out of their contract with Marcelo, keeping the money. Truth is, Marcelo fell for a nicely packaged scam.

Unfortunately, this happens more frequently than you’d expect.

There are a ton of agencies out there who will promise you the moon, but in reality they lack expertise.

So when you see a scammer like Aaron Gobidas try to take your money and try to make all these promises and tell you all these stories. But then you start asking questions and then things kind of start changing, that’s when you know that you have an issue.

So to Marcelo’s point never pay the whole thing up front. Always check out the reviews. You should go Google, Aaron  and see what shows up on the first page for his name. And if he’s good at SEO, then those horrible things about him are not going to show up on his name, right?

My expertise is in SEO. My advice for everyone out there is that SEO is completely measurable.

It can be hard to find someone you trust. But if you start getting a bad feeling about someone or an agency, if they can’t answer your questions clearly, or they seem to be using a lot of jargon, take it as a red flag. Trust your gut.

Check out the entire interview.

And while you’re at it, you can read about what Aaron Gobidas did to my good friend Philippe.