Connected Investors Largest REI Scam on the Internet

101 Replies

We signed up for Connected Investors 9-4-16. At the same time we where gullible enough to likewise put out information through the CiX site looking for lenders. Allegedly all the lenders on the CiX site have been vetted and are legitimate. Having said that, let me share with you what we've learned and experienced in the time (nearly 6 mos) we have been on this site.

!. Since 9-4-16 we have been contacted by 63 so-called private money lenders not affiliated with CI or their supposed list of vetted lenders. Not 1 lender has proven to be legitimate. Never mind the qualification that may have been requested. When these lenders were investigated; addresses turned out to be phony, licenses when claimed false and virtualy 61 of them wanted up front fees in order to process the loan. The smallest upfront fee was $1200 and the largest $10,000. 58 of the lenders required copies of our passport.

14 lenders were in the criminal data base of Interpol; 28 were in the in the financial crimes data base of Nigeria and 4 were listed in the Interpol data base connecting them to Russian mobs!

2. Of the dozens of REI's we shared deals with; not one was able to complete a deal. Ultimately it always boiled down to their inability to close due to funding problems. (Lack of money period in 85% of the transactions).

3. It is true that Ross Hamilton as assembled the largest social network for real estate investors. And like all the gurus, (Childress, Dave Galegor, Cantwell and the list goes on)...they pitch their seminars and courses; charge ridiculous amounts of money for outdated or information one can obtain for free with just a little bit of effort. The stats for 29,000+ investors on CI, who have successfully built or substantially expanded their business through CI is less than 5%. Just ask some of those who are begging for business many deals have they closed directly with another CI investor. You will be shocked!

4. Rip-Off Report has plenty of people that have finally awakened to the fact that CI is nothing but a very cheap and ineffective gathering spot for REI's wishing against hope that somehow they will connect with a successful transaction.

5. During our miserable experience we presented 14 deals; not one of them closed as a result of CI contacts. We did however close successfully all 14 by simply using reputable resources such as Oncarrot, AWeber, Sales Genie and several other sites. If you pay attention to these gurus you begin to realize they are similar to a "tag team" wrestlers on WWF (fake too by the way) so-called "expert" REI will ply his crap for a while and then all the sudden another guru pops up touting the advantage of using this other gurus slop...but in the end its all the same swill.

6. Ross Hamilton knows full well the kind of people that promote their garbage on his site. In fact we know that two separate state law enforcement agencies are currently investigating several so-called lenders who were advertising on the site.

7. One of the most glaring signs of the scam oriented site that is CI...should be the fact that CI and CiX support Josh Cantwell. Cantwell is even more odious than CI.

In short we have determined to work with several agencies to see that CI is held accountable for the rip offs and scams that are perpetrated daily on the site.

If you are truly in search of legitimate funding; private or otherwise, you will find that real, honest lenders have nothing to do with these kinds of sites. They realize that licenses and possibility of severe criminal prosecution isn't worth the risk. Do your due diligence and search out legitimate lenders.

It's worth noting that COGO Capital is on the CiX "hit parade" but I can tell you with certainty that our experience has been nothing but 100% positive. They have funded many of our deals. Another agent of integrity can be found at funding by mary at g mail.

8. Lastly in taking the CI training we soon discovered that it is a gigantic sales pitch for more money and products that are never delivered. Again as we have reaffirmed in our business; there are far more effective products and tools available for ultimately far less money. The deals referenced above all came to a successful close as a result of those tools. Oh...and by the way we made a total of $143,582 total off those 14 deals. CI had virtually nothing to do with any one deal...period. 

I will give credit however to CI, in that we learned a multitude of things NOT TO DO and how to better refine our associations with those who are real REI's.

Conclusion: Connected Investors is a rip-off, scam and nothing short of a criminal enterprise!

interesting ...  I looked at CI and did not like it.

however be aware that those same nigerian scammers troll BP.... anyone looking for up front money is until proved otherwise a scammer. end of that discussion.

CI wanted me to advertise on their site for my funding operations I refused to do so.. Just like I don't advertise on BP... too many rookies drive you nuts.

Crooks are everywhere. CI, Craigslist, BP, anywhere they have an opportunity to find a sucker. Note the most common trait all the ripoff lenders have: they want advance fees. 

Thank you for the heads up. I've been checking out CI and haven't been impressed. Even less impressed with Josh Cantwell. You saved me a lot of time!! Thank you!! 🙌

Thanks for the tip on avoiding Cantwell, got on his list and just unsubscribed. Ahhh, the Guru's, hate them also, you are so right, avoid all Guru's... 

And i found a great way to quickly find out if any lender is a scammer. In Google Chrome, right click on the picture and "Search Google For Image." I have done that with some "lenders," and it exposes them as the fraud they are. Great post to share with us, thanks!

I  was just emailed this by

Hello, I purchased your loan request , may I know if you are still interested in the loan and how much are you willing to collect?and provide more details on it. please reply email back to receive more info,thanks 

How can they buy my loan ?I havent received a loan,yet?

lender one is the only request I made, once. There not legitimate either?

So I am getting my info sold to highest bidder?


Agree that CI is not living up to Ross Hamilton's boasts when the site first came out.  I was an early adopter, joined in 2015, but since then have seen it go down hill.  I joined for the CIX, only to find that I get one, maybe two lenders responding to my applications.  

I am out as soon as my current membership expires.

Interesting insights to this one. I found CI through another "podcast"... not sure who's, possibly Michael Blank or Jake & Gino.... anyway, was doing some research on other courses adn found this thread.

I have a free account on CI and have found it rather dubious myself. I did reach out to one private individual that had a building listed in my area that was of interest, and although priced right at retail the numbers that were provided were so "high level" and lacking any detail that I didnt pursue it any further. Ive personally found the CI site to be not only slow (as in page refresh times), but borderline hokey in the content... it just has the look-feel of something that isnt quite right.

I tried to sign up with CI as a lender, and I find out that I have to go through the verification process, it seems they are working on the lender's scam issue. After reading this post I am not sure if I should sign up with them, but there is still a good source of potential borrowers. Is anybody tried to work with biggerpockets registered lenders  Is this lender's platform more reputable?

 Any advice will be appreciated

Well well well.....Is there not anything in this God 'forsakin' land that is not a scam?

I really got excited when I found both 'Connected Investors' and "Jerry Norton" thinking I had finally found a way I could make some decent income through the different avenues of Real Estate promoted by these online gurus! Alan you just blew it all apart but in reality, thank you for saving both my arse and another broken heart! Surely to God though with all the software can do Alan is there not anything honest about the deal? You mentioned you still made a hefty profit from 14 deals but the CI Lending component is the BS right? Other than that, is Arizona a good market anyway or are all the deals back East?. Thank you, MB   

I went through the same painful process of losing money to few so-called private lenders/scammers. I learnt my lesson the hard way. 

Now, if anyone offers me loan (or) upfront fee, I would ask to go through "Escrow". If they say 'no', that is immediate red flag and I will ignore that.

Do legitimate and genuine private lenders go through 'Escrow' process ? Is it normal to go through Escrow ?

Hello Everyone, 

As a member of Connected Investors over the past 2 years... I can tell you one thing, THE SITE HAS VALUE AND THE COMPANY HAS GREAT CUSTOMER SUPPORT. After a long conversation with their team about 5 months ago about the very complaints listed above, they promised me (as a daily user of CI) they would fix the problem. There are very harsh claims in this discussion but has anyone been to the site as of lately? 

From what I can tell, they have taken drastic precautions on their site to keep your data (email and phone number) safe. They assured me it is impossible to rid the entire site of scammers (BiggerPockets has the same problem), but they have limited them greatly. 

I am a daily user of the site using it to connect with other investors across the nation as I find wholesale deals and sell virtually. Now I know many do not do that. But, I got my first 3 flips done through partners and lenders on CI. 

Just like the recommend when I need funding I use and don't go through lenders from the "Discussion" board. Maybe you guys should check it out and utilize the parts that make it worth it to be a member. 

That is just my 2 cents...

No problem! I think that a lot of the information on this thread is outdated and no longer represents the Connected Investors community. Not only is it a good way to network and build your buyer/sellers list, but CiX is also a great tool that I use to get funded. 

Disclosure: former customer

I have to add my experience with Josh Cantwell & all of his businesses. What he tells people in his webinars is that you can obtain a loan from his companies Freedom Funding & Freeland Lending with no money down, no credit check, no income verification, nothing that the banks require.  This is ALL LIES! They do require all these things & more! Cantwell continues to market his $40K Flip & Strategic Real Estate Coaching with these lies plus he charges fees for the lies!  I had signed up with him & then found out I did need money to get started, so I waited for months & finally got the money together. I had a great property under contract, I submitted the offer to him, waited days & never heard so I called them. I was told that they wanted all the requirements, just like a bank. When I complained, they told me that their "requirements" had changed since I signed up! I am on a mission to make sure everyone knows about Cantwell. I post anywhere & everywhere I can. I even told Cantwell's people I was doing this & no one cares. They did reply to my post on one of the ripped off websites with more lies!

@Donna Carroll its nice that your venting here on BP.. and in the for whatever its worth file... real estate requires some money some experience and some credit 95 to 99% of the time to pull deals off.

the only way you can do this without it is finding a money partner first that is close to you... and that wants to help you with no expierence or other qualifications.. its just tough.

this is why I like to advise folks to at least get a real estate license and if you can work part time that will get you hob knobing with those in the business and you may just run into a client or someone that really takes a liking to you and your drive .. and will over look these other things and do a deal with you.  Short of that your going to frustrate yourself.

Real estate by and large and I know some on BP will disagree but by and large its a capital intensive business that is a long game...

@Jay Hinrichs 

Thanks for the advice but I have quite a few years experience but because I was ill for several yrs I lost everything. So I was starting from scratch, again. The problem I have with Cantwell is that he lies over & over. It's just not good karma, good morals or professional to deceive people for any reason but especially for your own gain!  

@Jay Hinrichs - As usual spot on. Unfortunately most of the folks on BP don't want to hear the bitter truth. There are dream merchants and their followers. Only few of them have comeback and reported their broken dreams , rest are gone with the wind. Nothing unusual in my 35 long years of working in different specialty.

Thanks for helping the BP community


Disclosure: Executive

Ms. Carroll,

I am sorry to see you are still upset year(s) after we have spoken on a few occasions, but do understand your right to discuss or disclose how you feel you were treated by our companies.  I must state as you mentioned, you purchased a program of ours in 2015 and you are correct our terms for lending have changed since then as tighter restrictions and guidelines are dictated at times by ownership, other times by federal regulated policies and other outside sources we have no controls.  This is an ever changing business and we must not only do our best to protect our borrowers from purchasing a "bad deal" but also our investors and our company.  

As you are aware, we have many affiliate partnerships with other lending institutions,  if you ever felt we were not the right fit for you.  There are numerous ways to get and find money and we never tell a student to put all their hopes in one partner, general contractor, lender or other facet of their real estate investing business. 

Our lending company, Freeland Lending, has lent millions of dollars and closed numerous deals over the years with many successful students.  Our other company, Strategic Real Estate Coach has been in business over 10 years and have an "A+" Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau. 

While you are entitled to your opinion and outlook of your circumstance, it is disappointing to see that you are still upset years after your initial purchase and that you have not been able to move on with your real estate career.  If you do want to discuss other options or perhaps reopen this discussion in a more professional, private manner i would be happy to speak with you or have one of my top level employees in either company reach out.

Please let us know if we can help or even direct you to other partners of ours that might be a better fit for your needs.

Very Respectfully,

Donna and Bigger Pockets Community, we appreciate and support all the investors here. We look forward to funding deals for the Bigger Pockets community. 

Donna, we hope that since we've addressed this issue with you 6-8 times over the past 18 months, offered a refund, we've offered numerous other lenders for you to work with, and free products we hope you'll see success soon. 

As far as our funding goes we do offer no money down funding. 100% no money down doesn't mean no money at all. 

Borrowers / in every real estate transaction need to pay for their own site inspection and appraisal....and we disclose this in the 40k Flips, One Flip and Freedom Funding classes. So that isn't a surprise to anyone. We also disclose our points and interest in the class. We also disclose that if the property needs repairs that we do rehab / construction draws. We need your llc docs, operating agreement. We lend to companies not to individuals. So you must have an llc. We also disclose this too. We also need proof you can handle the investment / loan we give you. All of this is disclosured in the class and in the PowerPoint slides. 

We are sorry if you were confused or unclear on the criteria. As Jason mentioned, my COO, we'd be happy to help you in other capacities and we've offered you a refund and other free courses to help you along.

Sorry to see that after all those things we've offered you're still on some personal crusade 20 months later. 

If we can do anything else to help you, please personally contact me. Our phone number is on our website as Bigger Pockets won't allow phone numbers to be placed on this thread. My team will connect us in a 1 on 1 call. 

Happy investing. 

Josh Cantwell

CEO Yellow Jacket Properties 

CEO Freeland Ventures Private Equity and Direct Lending 

CEO Strategic Real Estate Coach 

Thank you so very much for your review. I had seriously been considering purchasing the CI DEAL DOG package due to its 'simplicity'. But now I am looking elsewhere. Any suggestions for a newbie like myself? I do not have any real estate investment experience but I am very motivated to get started. I've seen sooo many webinars and don't know who to trust.

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