Their Get Rich Quick Schemes
I’ve used a sarcastic tone while describing the gurus’ practices and referred to their customers as “victims”. Why have I been this harsh? What’s wrong with this business? Are the ones I described in the previous sections not just standard marketing tactics? Find the right client, establish a connection, make him want the product, explain to him the benefits, underline the value for money and give him a special offer. Pretty legitimate sales strategies, right? Of course, not! Aside from the fact that I feel that this whole sales strategy is an insult to the intelligence of any human being, what is really wrong about the whole deal is that the product being sold is totally and completely worthless, and no one will manage to make a cent with it, let alone the promised millions upon millions of dollars. The guru’s get money quick schemes will make cash to one and only one person. You guessed it, right? I am talking about the guru himself, of course! As long as there are people who want to improve their lives and the lives of the ones they love with little to no effort, the gurus will come up with new strategies to steal off money from the hands of unwary consumers. Achieving wealth with no effort is very rare and occurs only under exceptional circumstances such as winning the lottery, falling in love with a millionaire or being born with Brad Pitt’s body and face. It’s definitely not something anyone can do as the gurus claim. In this final section I take a short look at some typical contemporary scams they use.
Binary Options Method. There are many ways to define binary options but the only truthful definition is this: A form of gambling disguised as stock investment. The money-making guru provides a tutorial, for a fee or for free inviting the victims to sign up for an account with a company he is affiliated with. Then, the guru proceeds to show them how they can make hundreds of dollars every sixty seconds. Binary options work like this. You choose any stock such as gold, the dollar, CBS, Google or whatever and place a bet on the stock going up or down in the next sixty seconds. If you guess right, you can earn something like 170% of your initial investment. If you get it wrong, you lose everything. The behavior of any stock in sixty seconds is totally unpredictable. Although it is possible to make predictions effectively, for much longer periods of time (months or years), in 60 seconds the value zigzags up and down so quickly that any prediction is to be considered gambling, and is equivalent to betting red or black on a roulette.
Advanced Binary Options Method. This involves providing the customer with free software that supposedly predicts the behavior of the stock based on historical data. Thus, rather than guessing whether the stock goes up or down, the guru provides this application to the buyer, saving him the stress to decide call (up) or put (down). The catch here is that the software does absolutely nothing. You will remember my example with the guru providing free software for a month and expecting a payment of $50,000 per month once the user starts making millions. Why would he lie? Simple. The software will connect to a binary options broker and register an account on behalf of the buyer. The guru is an affiliate with this broker and will get paid once the victim makes a first deposit. That is the money the guru is really interested in, not the $50,000 per month. He knows that no one will subscribe to his software because they will be completely broke after a month using a piece of crap that does nothing.
Facebook Fans Scam. This scam involves the guru selling Facebook fan pages with likes from hundreds of thousands of fans. The guru’s client is supposed to monetize the fan pages by sharing affiliate links with these fans. This is quite a dated scam. It was introduced before Facebook restricted the audience to a page’s posts. At present, only a portion of the fans will have the page’s posts delivered to their timeline. To get the post to more fans, a ‘boost’ is needed. Needless to say, ‘boosts’ are not free. But when this scam was still popular, all people on the page had full free access to every single post. The math and business model behind this scam seem flawless at a first glance. So where is the catch? As the guru explains, we would indeed make $1000 per post if 1% of the fans supplied reply to a sales advertisement for an $1 item. The catch is that the fans supplied by the guru are all fake profiles and while 1% may seem like a low conversion rate, with the kinds of fans that one gets from link exchanges or Fiverr, a reply from one single fan out of 100,000 (0.001%) would be considered extraordinary!
Martingale. Ever played Roulette at a casino? Well, the casino guru is going to teach us a secret method for us to make a fortune at the roulette. We just keep betting on red all the time. Every time we lose, we double our bet. Sooner or later red will show up. When that happens, just restart another round with the minimum bet. A bit of mathematics shows that, every time red shows up we win $1 and recover 100% of our losses from the spins in which black wins. That is the final result, no matter how long it takes for red to show up. Is that cool? Well, not really because this is not a ‘secret system’. It is a simple very well known technique: the Martingale. This has been used for centuries by betters all over the world with many variations. The loophole is that casinos place a maximum betting amount on every spin. This stops the player from doubling his bet, at a certain point. The typical maximum bet is $100 per spin. Take a look at what happens when black shows up seven times in a row, and the player is betting on red:
At the seventh black, we can no longer double the bet and lose $226 total. While seven blacks in a row do not happen that often, they do happen often enough to make playing for a profit using a Martingale mathematically impossible. Every time we win (six or less blacks in a row) our profit is just $1, but when we lose, we lose $226. In the end, it is possible to show using probability theory that if we play for a very long time, we always end up losing 2.7% of the initial capital. The gurus make their profit here by affiliating themselves with the casinos and filling their ebooks or sales pages with affiliate links. They insist that their victims should make a consistent deposit with the casino because they earn their commissions based on this sum.
Free Money-Earning Sites. One of the oldest scams on the Internet is to offer on-line-mone-making websites for cheap or free, provided that the prospective victim signs up for hosting. The guru underlines the pros of having a functional website such as the opportunity to make money with AdSense, Amazon and other affiliate programs, the value of a unique domain name that keeps increasing in value with time, the exposure, the micro niches and all that cool stuff which my whole blog is about. The catch is pretty obvious. The Web sites sold by the gurus are worthless. The site itself is the same copy of the same Web site sold by the guru to thousands of people. Even the domain is completely worthless such as, for example www.mypillow1234.com. There is absolutely no on-site SEO for target keywords and, of course, no off-site SEO either. In other words, it is impossible to make a cent from these sites. A variation of this scam involves selling a software that will create money-making sites. Some software works better than the rest but the result is always a very poor looking Web site that will end up as food for Google’s pandas.
These are just a few of the fake products that many gurus try to profit from. Iphone applications, memberships to secret millionaire forums, special applications, magic affiliate link generators and many more also exist. Gurus’ creativity goes beyond our wildest imagination. One guru tried to sell me Paris Hilton. Yes, you read that correctly. His secret to making money was a sponsorship from Paris Hilton herself. Of course, some of these scams are less credible than others. A few are out of this world. The important thing is seeing the pattern in each and fully recognizing the scams and avoid them. Do you have a better understanding now of how the gurus work? If my article helps at least one person avoiding their traps, it will be worth all the effort it took me to write it. And this was one heck of an article to write! Hopefully no one will use it as a ‘tutorial’ on how to setup get rich quick schemes or scam innocent beginners. On the other hand, please do not think that any use of these techniques makes any marketer a dishonest one. Drawing a client’s attention to the benefits of a product or establishing a connection with prospective customers are legitimate sales techniques. The key feature that turns make-money-fast gurus into nothing other than scammers is that they fail to deliver or deliver a subpar product that does not work as advertised. Whenever you notice the sales tactics which I described in this article, you should raise your antenna. Do not throw any stones yet, though. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Some of the tactics are more indicative of a scam than others for example avoiding the use of technical terms. Here is a little exercise for you. Go find a money-making guru and watch one of their videos or sales advertisements. See if you can identify all the stages of their sales tactics and find out what the catch is. Let me know how you do in the comments below. Please do not link to actual scam sites or mention names, if you decide to play this game. One last thing: remember that there is money to be made on the Internet. The scams are many and the real opportunities are very few, but they are out there. You just need to distinguish between the two.