BEWARE of scams during tough times...

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by themagician, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. themagician

    themagician Regular Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Brit in Thailand
    BEWARE of scams during tough times...

    If I wrote in depth about this I doubt anyone would read it all.

    Suffice to say then that following the economic downturn, such a nice way to say we're all basically screwed, the financial cockroaches will come out of the woodwork to prey on vulnerable people. It is a well-known fact that scams are on the rise during tough times.

    As Black Hatters, we don't mind a bit of constructive naughtiness every now and then if it helps to re-stack the dice a bit more in our favour and away from Big Brother and the Institutions, but I would hope no one here stoops so low as to kick a man when he's down.

    I can think of several websites I could set up offering loans with extortionate interest rates hidden in the small print or bogus ways to financially assist troubled people. Like they say, "There's a sucker born every minute"...But is that really how I want to make money?

    Teenage model websites where the eager, innocent teen model has to pay for photographs and for a webpage with the promise of work that they never get.

    Envelope-stuffing part-time work which ends up costing you more than you earn.

    Pyramid schemes, phishing, Nigerian email money-laundering scams and dozens of others, all on the rise.

    While I appreciate the craftiness of some scams, I shudder at the naivety of some of the victims. If it sounds to good to be true - It probably is!

    Scams can be very subtle and as a Marketing man myself, it is often my job to scam YOU, the consumer, albeit it a nice and lawful way and hopefully, one you don't notice.

    Take the following advertising campaign for example. It is clever, effective, will make millions and I had nothing to do with it but can appreciate it's cleverness:


    How does this company get away with these before and after photographs and get them past the Government watchdogs?

    Easy! Look closely at the right-hand side image and on the far right you will see verticle text which reads "Simulated Imagery" That's marketing-speak for bullshit.

    Even better is their FREE TRIAL offer with just a payment of $3.95 for shipping. Great Deal, yes? Er, actually NO!

    Before you place your order in fine print of about 7 point type it explains that if you don't return the product within 30 days, you will actually have your credit card debited for the, cough-cough DISCOUNTED price of $95.70.

    Wait for it, it gets better; As this is what is known as a 'negative option offer', they will continue to ship you a hundred dollars worth of this stuff every 60 days until you stay STOP, or your credit card company do.

    Marketing is fascinating and I love what the experts can do to make us buy their products like we are all on Rohypnol.

    My number one rule of marketing, which I have repeated many times on this forum: Don't sell the sausage - Sell the SIZZLE!

    Do that and you can sell anything.

  2. Atlas

    Atlas Regular Member

    Mar 31, 2008
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    Interesting read, but this has always been going on. This is your basic mail order subscription BS, only coming from a web ad instead of a TV ad or newspaper ad.