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Fraud Alert: ExecRanks/AdvisoryCloud

I try to keep my blog and social media presence positive, however, I recently became aware of a scam floating around LinkedIn, and I wanted to share my experience and hopefully prevent others from falling victim to these scammers.

There is a company currently called AdvisoryCloud. In the past, this company has been known as ExecRanks, TheExecRanks, and AdvisoryCloud.

How the Scam Works

Basically the company (whatever it is called these days) posts ads like the one below on LinkedIn targeting mid level managers for board positions in their local area.

Whether these jobs actually exist at all is something for the local Attorney General to investigate, but customers “apply” for these positions by simply filling out a form with their contact information. Once they do that, you are contacted by a friendly representative from the company who will tell you that you can earn around $30k annually from being on an advisory board, (or get equity).

However, in order to apply, you have to subscribe to their platform and pay a $200 registration fee as well as a non-refundable $195 per month for access to their platform.

What’s Wrong With That?

If the platform actually worked in getting people set up with board memberships, there would be nothing wrong with that. But it doesn’t look like many people (if any) have found success with that. I was suckered into this a few years ago, and my experience was exactly like many of the others. You pay the fee, the platform matches you with opportunities with companies you’ve never heard of, you apply and nothing. The platform even sends you emails saying that Company X invited you to apply… So you apply and nothing… When you call the company, if you manage to get through to anyone, they give you a song and dance about how it takes months to hear anything back. I got the impression that their goal is to keep you as a member as long as possible to extract as much money as possible from the customers.

What Can You Do?

First of all, shame on LinkedIn for allowing this company to post these ads. They are clearly not genuine job ads, and LinkedIn should not be allowing these ads. I have reported them whenever I can, but I would encourage everyone to report these ads to LinkedIn and hopefully we can get them removed.

Why Do You Think This is Fraud?

Firstly, there are TONS of negative reviews out there from real people documenting their experience and it is remarkably similar to mine. The positive reviews seemed to be from people who only posted one review, which suggested to me that they were posted by bogus accounts. Secondly, I started to look into who actually works at these companies to see who they are and their experience. I wanted to see if all these companies are actually all the same or not.

I looked at the domain registration information, and while the ownership information is all blocked, the registration dates are available. ExecRanks was registered on 2015-09-02, and AdvisoryCloud on 2010-07-10. Not particularly interesting, but what about their employees? I did a linkedIn search and found several employees who worked at this company seemed to migrate from AdvisoryCloud to another company called BoardSI. What was interesting however was the dates. It seemed that many AdvisoryCloud employees migrated to BoardSI in 2018.

I spoke with the CEO of BoardSI and had a pleasant conversation with him. BoardSI is a completely different company and has nothing to do with the above companies.


If you see an ad for a board seat and the application is a simple contact form, run away. If they charge you membership for applying for the position, report it and run away.

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  1. Dawn Ringstaff Dawn Ringstaff

    Thanks for this article. Just wish I had seen it sooner. I received nothing they promised. No emails, no invites, no assistance at all with what they promise. They charged my CC ahead of the cancel date for something that I obviously didn’t use. They insisted on not giving me a refund but instead offer me the service for 50% off the monthly fee and 60 days of free advisory coaching which I repeatedly said I wanted no part of. Why don’t they offer that price anyway instead of just when someone cancels? I wouldn’t pay them $1 a month for this kind of customer service. Based on all the reviews I’m ready, I’m not sure why they aren’t being investigated by a cybercrime division. Just frustrated with myself for not researching them better first.

    Just double checked my account and even after all this – they have re-activated my account and will not let me remove my cc info from the profile.

    • Anonymous Anonymous

      Submit a chargeback to your credit card and fight it.

  2. Sicario Sicario

    As a former employee I can tell you I can’t believe they are still in business! When I first started I thought it was a decent idea, I thought I was going to help people and I thought everything would go smoothly. I mean, why not right? They did their homework & leg work to get companies to sign on…sounds like it would be easy. NOPE! After a while I got the feeling that things were broken, or companies were not properly vetted and ultimately we were just stringing clients along. It got to the point where I hate to do my job because I felt like I was being dishonest and that didn’t sit well with me at all. Especially because I was just following orders, I should not have felt bad for doing what was asked of me…that is literally my job! But my conscience got the best of me, and luckily I was laid off before I quit. Long story short, I agree that this is a scam and 100% a waste of anyone’s time.

  3. Joe Bago Joe Bago

    It all looks so legit on LinkedIn. I was about to sign up with AdvisoryCloud and decided to a little research first. Even the positive reviews on AdvisoryClod’s own web site are all about a good onboarding experience or how customer service was quick to help them with a credit card issue. I didn’t see a single positive review about a board/advisory role that actually paid the member/advisor a dime. I saw a couple of negative reviews from members that said they were on multiple boards but basically giving their advice to tiny companies for free. I have yet to find a positive review from any advisor/member stating that they earned a positive ROI on their AdvisoryCloud investment. Buyer beware.

  4. Ronald T. Drumpf Ronald T. Drumpf

    My guess is the ivy league thesis students who thought up this scam, also pitched it to Donald Trump. My guess is that his university had many of the same features and difficulties actually pinpointing the benefits that are promised to you. YOU think you have an idea of how this is supposed to work, but there is no actual mention of you getting something in return for your payment.
    But the real Identification of a scam company are the following clues:
    No names – nobody would admit to being in charge of this
    No phone numbers – only email contact which you know is a one way street
    No Pictures – this is what AI was developed for, all the posts on facebook are generic and repeated. only marketing ploys that ask questions like ‘can all rocket scientists report to the green room’ as if they have a single rocket scientist looking at this crap.
    but the biggest sign is the way its worded like a con-mans guarantee:
    1. we wont charge you for 14 days guaranteed (the only guarantee you will find)
    2. we WILL charge you $195 on the 14th day (unspoken guarantee i’m making you)
    3. theres a way to cancel but we control your access to it (read the terms of service)
    4. you must cancel 15 days prior to billing date (you start with 14)

    It’s a sad world we live in that if you have enough balls you can set this up every week for 500 different topics and legally get the profits rolling in.

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