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The Time I Saved Victims From A $350k, Several-Year-Long-Running Digital Marketing Scam

Those most familiar with chaos, are the least beholden to it.

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It's October, 2019. I'm 25. I've moved across the country to work as a writer for a marketing company.

So what happened?

A Canadian known as Patrick Corwyn (aka Patrick Vivian [Patrick β€” if you find this message, it's on-sight) had swindled a local professional out of his personal network of colleagues and associates.

What was he selling?

Digital Marketing & Branding

But not just any type of branding: personal branding.

He was an awkward person, he was uncomfortable when he spoke to people but he did it anyway.

He talked fast & thought faster.

This man had put himself in the center of a pretty sweet scam: he was living in a house rent-free for him & his family, selling services he couldn't provide, hiring people he couldn't pay, to deliver results that never came.

Where do I fit in to the story?

It's 2019, and Patrick was a few years into this grand illusion, selling his services and scaling the business to relative success.

And with this newfound success, he needed people.

He hired a good friend of mine as his VP Operations, tasked with finding talent to help with copy & content writing.

I was first on the list to receive a call about this opportunity in September 2019.

For those that don't know, I'm Southern Californian - from where the valley meets the desert, in the Inland Empire. 🌴

I am not one to be unfamiliar with:

  • scam artists

  • people who will rob you

  • people who will put up a friendly front, then rob you

I was born to teenage parents, my father being a runaway & my mother growing up so poor the school would alert them when new clothes were in the lost and found.

This upbringing provided a number of lessons that integrated into an ability to sniff bullshit from a mile out.

When was my first clue?

It was the first day at the office at the new job. No paperwork. No documentation of my identification. No background check. Nothing to sign.

I walked in, said, "I'm here." and got "to work".

Which, at the time, wasn't much.

But there was trouble brewing behind the scenes.

My new coworkers hadn't been paid for the last month.

Okay, that's bad. Why didn't anyone tell me? I'd known about this position for a month before moving my life across the country.

My upbringing kicked in & I started to run down the possibilities:

  1. Could I trust those that brought me out here?

  2. Was everyone a victim equally?

  3. Is this a targeted move?

  4. Am I the mark?

Needless to say, it was a wild couple of weeks and this canadian dude was feeling the pressure.

His agency lasted another 3 weeks before the first person quit.

The dominoes began to fall.

The heat was on.

People were asking questions.

He was full-on in damage control.

Now - I was still a few weeks fresh to North Carolina.

There were changes that I had to become familiar with before I could sink my teeth into the situation.

I didn't know when my opportunity would be, but I knew I know it when I saw it. (word to Bumi iykyk)

As the days past & the work stopped, the pressure got to be too much.

Patrick fled the country not long afterward, back to Canada I have to assume.

It was at that point that myself, along with those other marketers I had met, restarted the company under a new name, without the scam artist.

I soon became known as the person to 'fix' the mess that he created.

It took work, but that earned me a reputation out here.

I did what I do best...

I took pictures.
I shot video.
I built websites.
I wrote content.
I automated social media.
I consulted many.

After all of that β€” what happened?

Did Patrick get caught?


We did report him to every Federal Agency under the sun, he will never make it back into the States.

But it presented a level of strife I hadn't encountered before, created relationships that have stood the test of time, and created a hell of a story to tell my friends back in Cali.

"Damn Vic, only you would find a way to make a scam work out."

"I don't know why you didn't just come home. I would have."

"You are the exact same β€˜fuck it’ attitude as your father, but exponentiated."

That my friends, is the story of how I brought a small professional community in Raleigh out of a scam that lasted years, to fall apart within a few weeks of my arrival.

You can't bullshit someone from the ghetto.

I don't care how Canadian you are.

Thanks for reading,

β€” Vic

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