Last week a TV pitchman that I’ve seen from time to time was indicted on charges of mail fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud, promotional money-laundering, and transactional money-laundering; nice laundry list, eh? His name is Donald Lapre, and he sold and franchised online what he called “The Best Vitamin in the World”.
I see this stuff on TV all the time, all these commercials telling us how great something is that frankly looks pretty ridiculous. It seems to take time for law enforcement to decide how to handle these folks, and often their commercials disappear and they’ve moved on before criminal prosecutions are made. Still, I always wonder how people get scammed by this stuff so often.
I’ve talked about certain scams on this blog. I mentioned secret shopper scams, survey scams, website money making scams, internet marketing scams, domain name scams, Craigslist scams, SEO scams, and affiliate marketing scams. Frankly, I assume that most of the folks that read things I’ve said about scams can count themselves among the educated and aren’t falling for scams anymore; can I get a witness?
Yet, it’s not always so clear. Man, some stuff just starts sounding really good at times, doesn’t it? I’ll go on record and talk about MLM, most of it, as being some of the biggest scams on record. Some of you might not see it this way but in my mind, the Mary Kay model is a scam, and if you do the math you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s just a scam with an air of legitimacy, and most women that sell Mary Kay will come to that realization in an epiphany one night as they’re getting ready to put in their next mandatory monthly order, even though they still have lots of inventory on hand, and feel, well, what’s the woman’s word for emasculated?
Most of us get scammed because we want to be trusting of others. We really think that most people are out there to help us. Yes, there are a lot of people ready to help us, but sometimes we need to be more circumspect in who we trust. Goodness, we have the internet; we have Google! Everything imaginable can be looked up online. The internet is replete with websites telling you about scams, just as it is with websites proclaiming that these scams aren’t scams at all, at the same time they’re trying to sell you something from that company.
The thing is that one has to do a few things not to be scammed. First, you have to take the effort to look stuff up. Second, you have to take the effort to sort out who’s trying to make money off something and who’s actually telling you the truth. Although this was a rant about hamburgers, it’s something that happened to myself and a friend of mine, it has pictures, yet there are a number of people that say “I love that place” or “that didn’t happen to me”. Yet, as I described in that post, the majority of people writing online had the same view I had. Who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, in this instance we’re probably both correct, yet a reader will still gain pretty good perspectives and know what to expect by reading both good and bad things about it if neither of us has an agenda.
And that’s how you avoid a scam; you have to determine the writer’s agenda. If there’s an affiliate link read with a bit of doubt if you don’t know the writer. If the person hates on a product or company but doesn’t give any specifics, don’t get all absorbed. But if you see multiple people in multiple places ranting about the same thing over the over, stay clear, run away fast, and go wash your eyes and your brain. Forget you ever had the thought about purchasing or joining whatever that was and go back to enjoying your life.
Heck; now I have to go wash as well. 😉