When Is a Scam Not a Scam
I was looking into a review of another product today and got so exasperated at the concept, that I’ve veered off to write this update instead.
I call the income generating idea behind the product a “concept,” but the only concept it really entails is one of a sheer brass balls shakedown of your income, to get you to hand it over to the peddler of this junk.
This is what annoys me about the whole money making side of the Web – that these hucksters object to being called scammers, because they argue that they don’t technically scam you – they would have to give you nothing to be accused of that – and they do actually provide you with something.
Whether that something is worth the three or four figures they charge for it, is another story.
It’s like a builder charging me $1,000 for a garden wall that’s crooked, unstable and likely to fall down at the next strong puff of wind.
I wasn’t scammed – I got something – and it is technically an attempt at a wall!
I mean, I may have expected a wall built by a person with experience of building walls, and ones that don’t fall down, but I guess that’s asking a bit much; the work, after all, never comes with a guarantee.
And lot of these online scammers don’t make that promise or any promises (except to bill you on a given date every month) at all. None of them do. All of them have disclaimers in their products absolving them of all responsibility for their advice. If it doesn’t work, that’s your fault, not theirs.
It doesn’t matter how absurd and far-fetched the advice is, either.
They’re like those guys who run martial arts clubs, claiming they can they can knock out attackers without even hitting them. Once upon a time, these ads used to be confined to just the back pages of comic books and magazines, but in the days of Youtube, it’s more up front (as in, in your face, not truthful) ‘testimonials’ and all:
Amazing – until he runs into someone willing to call him on this BS
Just like get-rick-quick schemes used to be confined to the back pages of the same magazines, too.
See the old guy above? He’s not a scammer, those people are getting instruction. He’d be scamming you if they were getting nothing, but they’re getting taught how to flap their arms about and even do somersaults too evidently.
Note, that none of this would be possible without the students buying-in to this BS. I bet they defend him and his ‘method’ to the hilt, all without ever having gotten anything but an ass-kicking themselves from it. That it was useless when required to be put into use in an actual self-defence situation was their fault for not being experienced enough.
This is what I see being played out in the money making ‘guru’ scam, time and again. Some dude dreams up some half-assed ‘method’ based on something, which if studied over years and with dues of blood, sweat and tears paid, may have legitimacy – but instead they just short-circuit the work and results bit and regurgitate the theory, and hey-presto they’ve got a packaged program promising financial freedom for $997 before you can scream “Hai-ya!”
If folks purchase this shit, then they’re not going to want to admit to being duped. These scammers rely on that. Inductees will defend and sing the party line no matter if they never see one bit of promised return from it. These people bind their whole sense of identity up in the group, of being a “tribe” privy to “secret knowledge.” Just not any knowledge they can ever to get to work for them, but that doesn’t matter, what these people have really paid for is a sense of belonging and feeling special for the first time in their lives.
Jeezo, it’s not hard to see how full blown cults get rolling. I’ve seen this behaviour played out at all levels. Take the workplace – the classic “company man” is a product of the same process, though less harmful. It’s the same psychology at play, however.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to have team unity or a strong sense of loyalty to something that gives you tangible benefits like a job, family or country, just that these natural traits can be subverted or employed against our better interests.
By ourselves, because we allow it to happen.
Them guys in that video above, no one’s got a gun to their head making them flail about like that, or forcing them to stay in that club, they’re buying into that all by themselves.
It only looks ridiculous from the outside. And those guys will have invested money and time in ‘learning’ that, and that’s what people don’t really want to admit to having wasted – because they’ll never get that back.
That martial arts “master” above gets his ass handed to him later in the vid when he faces someone who knows what they’re doing and prepared to back it up.
The same’s true of the money gurus online. Very, very, few of them will be prepared to engage in full disclosure of how they make their money – by their method or from selling it – or try to get by on just the results of the method.
Timothy Marc and Chris Cobb spring to mind.
Timothy Marc had at best a year’s experience before launching his signature product, and little to no experience in many of the areas he later went on to advise and coach others on.
Chris Cobb fronted a similar product to Marc’s on outsourcing (1k Commissions) without ever having done it himself. By his own back story it’s hard to come up with any evidence of affiliate marketing anything but his own products, yet he teaches Clickbank affiliate marketing of third party products.
Yet whenever questioned or examined or called out, they all maintain (not just the the two examples in Marc and Cobb above) that they’re not scamming people.
It doesn’t matter if the advice is unqualified BS, but simply that the advice was given: you received goods for payment and the contract was satisfied. Never mind if said advice wasn’t exactly proprietary or worth a damn.
I get sick of it.
What kicked this off is the review I was working on, and this one’s con trick is based off selling on $10 Fiverr gigs to business owners via LinkedIn for a x10 markup. Claiming you can make tens, and hundred, of thousands of dollars a year at this.
Selling business people, entrepreneurs who know how to get things done, cheap junk they could find at source if they wanted…
You can make a lot of money berry picking in summer, too.
I look forward to the program telling me how to make YOU millions from selling me on the idea.
Yeah, I had to get that out of my system. I’ll maybe return to that review now that I have. I’ll see. If it doesn’t set me off again, I’ll finish it.
Thus far the only non-BS method I’ve found to making some money online has been via the affiliate marketing route as taught in Wealthy Affiliate.
It’s not get-rich-quick or “big ticket” or relies on having to get you to sell your soul by convincing people to buy shit they don’t need or want – it’s simply an education and all the tools you need to start earning from blogging essentially.
If that interests you then check out my review here.
It suits my personality as I like to write and I accept that there’s nothing comes fast or easy, it has to be worked for.
Maybe that’s you too. Have a look, make your own mind up, and get away from the pushers of the instant riches BS. The only people it’s enriching is themselves.
I watched the movie of this with Robert DeNiro as Madoff, and followed up with the book – because how did he get away with it?
A Ponzi scam of the sort of magnitude the MLM scammers dream of – but of getting away with.
Bernie Madoff, The Wizard of Lies
by Diana B. Henriques