Personal Finance

Don’t Believe? Don’t Call!

There have been a number of signs that have gone up in my area that promise “EARN CEO INCOME FROM HOME”.  On the face of it, this is clearly a scam.  The way to make CEO income is to become a CEO.  There is NO WAY anyone will sell you a program that easily let’s you earn a massive salary at home.  It’s a claim that’s inherently ludicrous.  Sadly, some people will believe and will call (and I’m not sure if there’s any way to protect them from themselves).

What really got me about this sign (I still chuckle every time I see it), is that these scammers aren’t even willing to sell to pretty stupid people (who would call with a few questions before handing over their credit card number).  Nope!  They want COMPLETELY IDIOTIC people who believe them based on nothing more than this sign and a phone number!  And if you don’t believe?  Don’t call (their life in the fast lane doesn’t allow them to explain their fabulous system or listen to people tell them off for being crooks).

Years ago, I was involved in “buy and sell” communities on newsgroups or BBSes.  Occasionally someone would advertise something that was very overpriced for what it was.  Often other members of the community would call them on this, which invariably was met with some (less polite) variation of “mind your own business”.

Part of what was surprising was that this would normally shut the critics up (and they would then let the scammer try his best to sucker people in peace).  As a society, we’ve allowed the same thing to happen when slander and libel laws are abused by people behaving badly.  This happened to Lazy Man at Lazy Man and Money when Monavie sued him.  The same thing happened to John T. Reed for criticizing Russ Whitney.  Sadly, with deep pocketed low-lifes, this is a standard approach to suppressing their critics (and really, should critics be expected to subject themselves to the ordeal of a lawsuit just to publish the truth?).

Heck, I even covered up the phone number of the picture in this post (since I didn’t want them coming back and accusing me of defamation).  And for the record, the only labels I’m applying to Monavie and Russ Whitney is to call them low-lifes (which is defensible as opinion).  Nothing else in this post applies to them.  At all.  In any way.  I’m not even sure why I included that paragraph in this post…

I think Ellen Roseman does a fabulous job as a consumer advocate, but I sometimes get the feeling that she’s holding her comments in check (and being careful how she criticizes companies).

I don’t offer any suggestions on the best way to strengthen the role of people sharing reputations about shady dealers in society.  As John Reed described his battle:  “No one was paying me to put on such a show. I was just defending my home and life savings.”  I think it’s vital information which is being provided by Messieurs Reed and Man and Ms. Roseman, and I don’t think it’s right that they have to put themselves in such a vulnerable position to do so.  It’s my belief that society (that’s us!) should go to greater lengths to protect them.

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