This is the second part of a series on Scam Detection category. Previously, we cited two of the most common tricks scammers use to catch their victims: by appearing impressive and by using celebrities. This final installment continues with some more tips.
But, before moving on, there’s just one thing I’d like to clear out…
I do believe in high-income investments and business opportunities and that they are also associated with greater risk. There’s always this Risk-Reward trade off in everything.
And yes, it’s possible for someone in the Philippines to be earning P 1 million pesos a day! It doesn’t take a calculator to show that P 1 million per day equals P 365 million per year. Now, if your name is Henry Sy and your income is only P 365 M this year, I’m guessing that you’d get sick worrying if your Business Midas Touch has lost its magical powers. Not only you, but all your other investment fans who placed their trust in the company by buying shares of stock from SM Investments Corporation. That’s just too little money for you, my friend. Maybe you should postpone your scheduled retirement time and focus on taking the business to greater heights.
Okay, clear? I’m never opposed to someone accumulating the as much riches as he can take. As a matter of fact, I personally believe that everyone deserves to be rich!
Now, back on the topic of exposing the tricks and the traps employed by rip-off artists in the Philippines and anywhere else in the world.
Ploy #3: Stupid Is In + Applied Pressure Tactics
Well, they don’t always tell you that you’re stupid. Not yet immediately. But sooner or later you will find out for yourself… if you fall for the trap.
Actually, for the trick to really work, they would not directly insult your intelligence. They want you to fantasize that you are really smart. They’ll have lawyers, doctors, or Bible-people (the most dangerous of them all) pitch the products and then slowly sell you the dream of financial freedom.
“Buy right now or you lose the grand opportunity for the rest of your life.”
Scam and Con artists are masters of Pressure Selling.
It’s now or never. If you don’t get in the game now, someone else will take the opportunity that you miss. So strike while the iron is hot… because tomorrow, the scammer will go to another place in search of a new victim. 🙁
The thing is, they don’t want you to think it over, or do your own research, or gather more information from independent sources.
After all, there are so many educated and intelligent people who are poor, right? Just ask Kiyosaki and you’ll know.
If you join the club or bite on the offer, eventually you’ll be smart just like them… and rich, and famous, too!
Street Smart Tip: Be smart even if you look like an idiot. Put your hand on your pocket and resist the temptation of opening it until you leave the place. Plus, remember this words of wisdom from Samuel Goldwyn: “Give me a smart idiot over a stupid genius any day.”
Remember, if an investment or business opportunity is really good, it doesn’t have to depend on timing. It has to make sense in good and in bad times.
Trap #4: You Have Nothing to Lose
Your P 14,000 investment gets you the following:
- A box of multi-vitamins and minerals guaranteed to make you fart in 3 days!
- Sales Kit, Product Brochures, plus a sheet of paper where you list the names of your next victims
- A DVD showing you some motivational videos. (Parokya ni Edgar Scandal, not included.)
- Website access to help you track your earnings. (I can assure you Facebook is way cooler than that!)
- A chance to recruit and make money from other eggheads who will join your team.
- Plus, money-back guarantee, if you’re not satisfied!
Really? Do you have a calculator? Did you compare it from similar products that you can buy over the counter from registered retailers?
Obviously, this item as well as Ploy #2 are examples of Network Marketing (also called Multi-Level Marketing) opportunities.
I’m not really against MLM itself as a product distribution scheme. It’s just one of the many ways of moving a product from the manufacturer’s garage to the hands of end consumers. There are also lot of legitimate network marketing, direct selling, or MLM companies out there. If this is something you are considering as a business, you have to give yourself some serious time researching different companies.
I’m only opposed to the general over-hype generated by the industry’s fan-base.
Going back, do you really have nothing to loose when you join, buy those products and do the business?
Hmm… How about the following:
1. Your money — I’ve heard countless times from friends who invested money to setup Business or Stockist Centers in their respective places never to recover from their loses. I know what you’re thinking, you’re not going to be a Business Center. Aha? How about the intentionally overpriced products?
2. Your friends and family — When you join an MLM, part of the deal is pestering your friends and family members to come and join you also. In Sales parlance, it is called selling to your Warm Market – they are people you are most comfortable dealing with since they already know you on a personal level. There’s just one problem: they are also the most difficult people to sell and the first to snob your offers. I’m sure, all you MLM folks out there would at least agree with me on that statement.
3. Your Time — They say you would generating passive income from this business. Well, maybe. But first, comes the real work such as:
- drawing circles on a piece of paper
- treating your prospects in Starbucks
- giving out sample products
- demonstrating why fart is good
- explaining the 10 reasons why the company’s marketing plan is the best in the world
I could go on and on with my list, but the point is when you hear someone say you have nothing to lose when you invest and do the business, you know you are talking to a jerk.
People may never learn completely from the financial scams and cheats that happen in the past. The styles of world famous con artists like Charles Ponzi, Bernard Madoff, Manuel Amalilio (Aman Futures) and other small-time rip-off artists will definitely leave imprints, which may never completely disappear from the scene. As Mary Darby of Smithsonian.com puts it: “Even today, confidence artists continue to work their scams with great success.” If history is any indication, then these schemes will only repeat themselves, victimizing unsuspecting people.
How to Smell A Rat — The Book (available in Kindle)
“How to Smell a Rat” is a book written by Ken Fisher right after the Bernard Madoff scandal came to surface. It is a valuable guide to help you detect an investment scam before you become a victim.
From the video shown below, the author of the book gives you some brief insights into the signs of a scam.
An electronic version (Kindle) of the book is also available from Amazon. Grab your copy now and teach yourself how to avoid stepping into a financial fraud.