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Scams and Flimflam Ideas

Ideas Which Harm Your Pocketbook

Ever since mankind has learned to communicate with each other, there have been certain ones who dared to use tricks to scam or con another out of something. Most of the time it is money, but there are other levels of fraud to compromise the normal guards one has to do the will of the con artist.

A confidence trick, otherwise known as a con, is to defraud a person or people who develop confidence in the crook. A confidence artist, or con artist, is the criminal who uses confidence tricks to get what he/she wants.

The tricks of a con artist work by developing a trusting bond with the mark [the person to be hustled]. They may approach the mark with flattery, such as complimenting looks or intelligence. They may use a lure of greed such as in promises of money, wealth, or finding secret financial loopholes. Often, loopholes play a part in the game because they will claim to be in on something so unique and you are so special to get that chance.

A con artist can approach you anywhere, by phone, mail, Internet, or even showing up at your door or approaching you on the street. Television is filled with infomercials where the con artists thrive in gaining money from the desperate needing to make a small fortune. Nigerian scams are rampant on the Internet with wild stories that they single you out of the hundreds of millions of people to share their so-called wealth with you.

As long as mankind has existed, there have always been people are actively looking for the easy way out, instant answers, instant wealth, and a problem-free life by doing little or nothing. There have also been people who seek out such people to fulfill their need for quick riches at the expense of others.

Human nature is naturally too trusting. Unless someone has been through an experience to make them cynical, we tend to want to believe the best in everyone and take people at their words. Unfortunately, con artists know that fact and use it to their benefit.

A con artist is looking for someone who is need of a quick fix, quick answers, or quick riches. The more desperate the person, the better the target. They play on a person's desperation and contrives a scam to let the victim think they are not only on their side, but by following the scheme the victim will get what they want and more.

There are many scams around, but the most common ones involve money, sex, and weight loss. This section is dedicated in exposing many common scams. In due time, I will be adding specific articles on different scams to warn you what is involved.

If you wish to scam-proof yourself, you must think before you act.

NEVER RUSH INTO A DECISION! The con artist wants you to rush into a decision. They may say you must do what they want right now because they have a lot of other people wanting in on it now and there are only a few positions available, or the price will increase to a ridiculous amount, or they are about ready to discontinue the product. They have a good reason to pressure you to act NOW. If you take the time to investigate or think about it, you will probably decide not to do business with them.

WHY WOULD THEY WANT YOU? Not to make you feel bad, but you MUST ask this question if someone approaches you with a sure-fire scheme. The Nigerian scam which is sent to people by mail or e-mail is a perfect example. Out of all the billions of people in the world, why on earth would some person in a high social position contact you, a complete stranger, with the offer to handle millions of dollars?? If they were who they said they were, they would have a lot of REAL contacts to help them. If someone approaches you and treats you like you are THE special one who must work with them - RUN!!

READ THE FINE PRINT! Especially in contracts you have to sign or the guarantee on an order form. They may throw in a few things in legal mumbo-jumbo to confuse the issue and it can cost you your money and rights to claim it back.

IF IT IS SO GOOD, WHY AREN'T THEY DOING IT? It's only a fair question. It's one thing if the person offering you a plan is actually making money doing the thing they are claiming, but most who sell get rich quick plans are making their money selling the plan and not actually doing what they claim will make you rich.

CONSULT THE AUTHORITIES! Before you pay your hard earned money to a stranger, check out their credentials first. See if they have a business license. Check out how long they have been in business. Consult the Better Business Bureau and see if there are any complaints. Look up former customers for a testimonial. If they have a clean track record and good testimonials, then you can feel confident that if you are not satisfied you will at least get your money back.

KEEP A RECORD! If you decide to do business with a stranger, keep all sales material they give you. If possible, have them put something in writing. Save receipts. Save any correspondence they send you and a copy of what you send them.

USE A CREDIT CARD! Never send cash payments to a stranger! A money order sometimes is just as bad as sending cash. Both methods make it hard for you to get your money back. With cash it's worse as they can claim they never received it in the first place. With a money order, all the con artists has to do is cash it and can walk off forever without much of a trace. At least if you have a check you can cancel the payment for an extra bank fee, but a clever con artist can open a bank account and clear it out relatively quickly before you can even cancel the check. As it is harder to get a merchant account to accept credit cards, most people will do what they can to avoid charge backs. If the person refuses to honor their end of the deal, you can call the credit card company and dispute it.

WHAT IS THEIR ANGLE? Think about it, if they could make $5000 per hour by calling a toll free number without selling anything, do you really think they would be spending that kind of money in a campaign to reach you when they could instead be doing that plan? Many of these people claim they are "letting you in on their secret" for some noble reason to help you. If they are only "sharing it with you because you really need it," they would just give it to you.

IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE... You know the rest. Use your head before you get sucked in.

These are some of the more common scams floating around:

Pyramid Schemes/Chain Letters/Network Marketing/MLM - All say they are legal and give you "proof" they are not only legal, but different from every other program out there. With MLM and network marketing, there are a handful of legitimate business plans available and some people do make money, but by far the majority are scams based on solely making money through your recruiting efforts.

Under no circumstances are chain letters or pyramid schemes legal. Many will claim there is a loophole approved by the US Postal Office that allows such business deals. If you were to consult the US Post Office, they will tell you there is no such loophole and the line they are pointing out does not apply to such businesses.

Why are these scams? Any business that requires your profits come mostly from the recruitment of others will ALWAYS bottom out. If the business has no other room for making a profit other than selling the business plan to everyone, you will eventually run out of people and the ones on the bottom will NEVER make money using the plan. A good MLM or network marketing plan WILL NEVER STRESS RECRUITING over common sense business deals and offer other ways to make money by selling actual products to customers who may never want to join in order to buy the products.

Gifting Clubs - Nothing more than an illegal pyramid scheme, no matter what they tell you. If you are joining such a club based on the premise you are giving away money with the expectation that you, too will receive similar monies, by that nature it is illegal. Pyramid schemes always bottom out. The ones at the top get all the money and the ones who join last get nothing. The latter ones to join are paying the ones who sucked them in, but it is no guarantee once you join you are ever going to get the same amount you put into it.

Nigerian Plea/Need Help - I find it hard to believe anyone falls for this scam. Think about it logically. There are over 6 billion people in the world. A complete stranger from another country singles you out of the other 6 billion people in the world because he/she "feels they can trust you." Some tell a sob story how their spouse is dying or dead or has been lingering in a dreaded illness while others say they are trying to flee a war torn country, or are a family member of a Prime Minister/King/President in a country they must escape. Bottom line, out of the 6 billion people in the world these people could have contacted, they picked you. Why are you not skeptical at this point?

Phishing pronounced fishing, is exactly what is implied. If you ever get an e-mail that is from a well known company asking you to log in or face the consequences, someone is phishing.

The bottom line is always if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If you are not sure, put off making a decision until you research it. If you are pressured into anything, walk away fast.