Tuesday, 2 June 2015

And the Scams Just Keep on Coming

One of the things you get a lot of when you're a freelancer, and you've been working the social media markets and forums, are proposals for partnership and revenue earning.

Yesterday I received a "Make Money From Home" offer that presented me with the pitch, "All you have to do is Like our postings". Followed by an outrageous claim of making up to $1000 per day.

This of course is just a complete scam. I recommend to all my freelance and start up colleagues, before anyone pursues anything like this, have a read and watch the following expose. Scamworld: 'Get rich quick' schemes mutate into an online monster.

Back in 2002 I took part in a workshop being sponsored by the local economic development committee. The workshop was entitled "How to Make Money", and as you suspect by the title, it was a scam. It should have been titled "How We Can Make Money; While Offering You False Promises".

I don't think the committee had any idea they had invited snake oil salesmen into their town, but for myself and several other recent start ups attending it became very apparent within moments that all these people wanted to do was sell us all on their new book, "How to Make Money".

The thing that I thought was exceedingly bold was their cyclical approach to the scam.

The scam is quite simple:
1) Write and publish a book on how to make money,
2) Invite all interested to attend a paid workshop on how to make money,
3) Then sell the book to all who attend.

The content of both the book and the workshop are the same. They each describes the above three steps! That's it!

I was amazed. I simultaneously thought, "Wow, nice con!", and at the same time, "Is anyone buying into this?" As it turns out more than half did.

Fortunately, I was able to consult with some of the other attendees I was friends with, and we decided to discreetly walk out of the workshop/snake oil presentation without purchasing their book. We were $25 out of pocket for attending but the lesson learned was worth far more.

The internet has introduced many new opportunities for scams, and many new terms have become part of our vocabulary. Phishing, malware, spoofing are all possible pitfalls in the new realities we find when we navigate through the internet. In all sincerity I do hope that those reading this are wise enough not to fall for such a scam.

So many have lost so much, I consider myself luck that I was only taken for 25 bucks.

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