Since I frequently try to identify scams, I thought I would discuss the psychology of the scam. The first thing I want to discuss is what actually constitutes a scam.

Scam - a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation.

They also have a definition for people who develop scams. There are of course scammers.

Scammer-a dishonest person who, uses clever means to cheat others out of something of value.

The scam itself is harmless. It is no more than an idea in someone’s head. The problem is the scammers. Most of the scams I have seen lately are no more than a different version of the same old thing.

MLM, Pyramid, Inverted Pyramid, upline, downline and referrals have been used since the sixties. The Multi-level marketing model was developed by companies like Amway, Mary Kay, Avon and many others.

The model is simple enough. You sign up and then sponsor 2 or more people to join business with you. Then those 2 people sponsor 2 people and so on. Amway’s model had you sponsoring 6 people then they each sponsor 6 and so on.

The problem is, finding even 1 person that will get involved. The other issue is, they need to stay in the program for you to get paid. No matter what the scammers say it is not that easy to get other people involved.

Even in this weak economy, people are looking for real opportunities on the internet . But, it is so plugged up with scams it is hard to find a real opportunity to create income. And the MLM itself isn’t the problem.

Most multi-level marketing plans are tied to a product. What I am seeing lately is so much time and effort is put in to the developing “the system”, the product becomes secondary.

That is the case with One24. They have a convoluted system to get people involved, but the product is a food supplement program that has been around for years. And you don’t have to go through One24 to get involved in their program.

The scammers tell you, you don’t have to sell anything, ever!! Well, if you don’t sell anything and the people you sponsor don’t sell anything, why have a product? And where does the money you will be paid come from?

The scammers don’t care about an end game. They want to get as much money up front as possible (your sign-up fee), then they bail out and start the next scam. Just because they have a presence on the web (names, addresses, photos of offices and buildings), doesn’t mean you can easily track them down and sue them.

The only real person you know is the one who sponsored or referred you. Most likely it is a friend or family member. And most likely they got scammed as well.

 Here is a statement I found at the bottom of a “terms of agreement” page. The Terms and I quote:

 “Information on this website may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors.
Information may be changed or updated without notice. *************.com may also make
improvements and/or changes in the products and/or the programs described in this information
at any time without notice.

 If you notice it tries to remove all liability from the company. It basically says if this whole thing doesn’t work out, you’re just out the money you have invested.It was also in a completely different font than the rest of the terms

I think a real big motivating factor for the scammers is the small amounts of money the can easily take from each person. They bank on the fact you won’t go after them to recoup your $47 dollars (random number). Now, if they were getting thousand s of dollars from each person that’s a different issue.

They make money with volume. The one thing the internet has accomplished for sure is making it easier for scammers to get to people. It’s not like the old days when you had to actually speak to someone to get them involved in a scam. And you can scam folks all over the world from the comfort of your own home.

It‘s not just the sign-on fees either.  Buying and selling your email addresses are a huge market. Like I said I get 5 to 20 spam emails every single day. I did not give my email address to any of these spammers. But, someone did.

So, you get a few hundred people to give you $47.00 and then sell those names and addresses to another scammer. And then six months later you close everything down and move on to the next group of suckers.

 Remember what P.T .Barnum said?

I believe we are a long way from not seeing scams every day. No one wants the Internet to be censored or moderated. As long as it is not, scammers have free reign. All we can do is to keep identifying the bad guys and letting the masses know who they are. I will continue to do my part.

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