I've met a lot of people online that have been bitten by scams, and the thing that struck me the most is not how easy we seem to fall prey to these scammers, but how many of them there are!
I find it pretty frustrating that these guys are out there, eating up bandwidth, taking up valuable Internet space (not that the space is limited or going to run out), and generally competing with ME, somebody who is trying to put something legit and good out into the “make money online” space.
It's almost a case of there being so many of them that we start to believe they must be true. A good friend of mine, Nathaniell from onemorecupof-coffee.com, writes two or three reviews of these scams per week, and still doesn't have time to get through all the ones he can find. Incredible right?
Getting Sick Of Online Scams?
People are becoming so jaded that they are no longer just weighing up the good offers for their value, determining whether or not they are something that they might be interested in, or choosing when to get started. Instead, they're asking “Is this real?” “Does this really work?” or worse, they're complaining “You mean I have to WORK?”
You see, we are so used to claims of instant riches and success online, that even though we can identify scams, we still expect to be able to find something that really is a get rich quick answer.
It's a stain on my industry, and I really do get angry about it.
I've seen people turn away from my help and offerings in favor of a “shiny object” – a scam promising easy, automated, overnight riches. I don't know who exactly I'm angry with, myself for failing to help them, them for failing to listen, or the scammers for being scammers. Probably all three.
If I could just put this rant aside for now though, I'd like to try to address what exactly it is that makes so many people turn to creating the scams in the first place. I honestly don't believe that there are that many shysters out there to begin with. Something turns them down the dark path.
Here's how I think it works.
You've got your average Joe, let's call him “Joe”. Now, Joe wants to make money online. He's got some reason for doing this. Maybe he hates having to commute 60 minutes per day to work for a boss who doesn't really care about him. Maybe he doesn't have a job at all because he dropped out of school, maybe he just thinks it would be better to work at home than leave the house.
We've all got our reasons for wanting to earn online, and they all get exploited by some sales pitch or other.
So that's what happens to Joe. He's doing some research and he comes across some crappy product. Let's call it “Some Crappy Product”. Now, the sales page at somecrappyproduct.com is brilliant and genius. Only it's not.
It's got that nice big headline, with the yellow highlight underneath it. Claims of how some crappy product owner made some ridiculous amount of money with some “unknown” loophole in Google (It's a search engine, not a contract with Rumpelstiltskin), and how now, because he's such a nice guy, he's going to teach it to Joe. But only if Joe signs up right away, because the video's going to be taken down in the next 24 hours. Crappy Product Owner has already said too much.
This is why the sales page isn't genius. It's just been made over and over again, but with a different name. Today it's called “Some crappy product”. Yesterday it was called “Totally legit product for sure”.
By the way, the crappy product comes with a bunch of testimonials (social proof wins here), some jargon about being different from all the other crap out there (apart from having an identical sales page and the same price – seriously, who is this guy that churns out all these different pages for all these scammers?).
Long story short, Joe buys some crappy product, and like the kid poking a snake with a lollipop, gets bitten.
If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them?
Various things happen next.
Joe can keep looking for another product, thinking that he just picked the wrong one this time. He can wash his hands of Internet money making and walk away, or he can start doing research and looking for something more long term (like this).
A lot of the times, each and every one of those paths can lead Joe the same way. After blowing all his life savings, failing method after method after shiny method, he lies awake at night, and comes to the grim conclusion:
“The only way to make money online, is by selling one of these products”
This is of course far from the truth, but for a lot of people, it represents the only ultimate truth. These “Joes” might not even realize that they are going to end up scamming people. They just want to own a product and be the guy on the other end of the fake product testimonials.
The desire to succeed, the over-exposure to stock photos of guys with Ferraris and Mansions, the “wannabe” mentality. It doesn't matter the exact cause, but people end up heading down this path.
Places like Black Hat World and The Warrior Forum actually have people who will create products for others to sell. Joe can pay them a fee, and they'll turn him into the next guy with the Lamborghini, even if he doesn't have one yet.
Gotta fake it before you make it right?
I honestly think that a lot of these Joes think they're selling something good. Either they force themselves to believe it, or they assume that the guy that created it for them is a top dude. After all, look at that nice sales page he created with the yellow highlights.
Some people of course know that they are ripping others off, and don't care. The less said about these guys the better.
When you can market “becoming a guru” and sell it for a cheap price, a lot of people are going to buy it. Why wouldn't they?
They see the options as follows:
- Keep falling for scam after scam.
- Put some time and effort in and learn how to build your own business from the ground up.
- Make your own crappy product.
Number 3 is easily the most popular answer.
The thing Joe doesn't realize is, he's going to have to keep creating crappy product after crappy product, because before long, people will realize he's selling junk (if he's actually selling anything at all), and as a lot of these products are sold via Clickbank, the refunds start coming in and piling up, and all that effort is made for a few hundred dollars a month.
In the meantime, those that followed the correct path, such as the one we teach at HumanProofDesigns have gone from nothing, to a little bit more, to a lot more, to a real online business.
Don't hate the player, hate the game? I disagree.
Hate the whole damn establishment.
Silly Joe, you should have paid more attention to this page.