Posts Tagged ‘nigeria’

Is this a scam?

March 3, 2010

Here at 48Days we field a lot of questions where readers want to know if something being promoted is a scam.  Just today someone wanted to know about a Robert Kiyosaki business idea.  The dictionary defines “scam” as to obtain money from somebody by dishonest means.

If someone asks you to send $4000 as a processing fee so he can release his uncle’s money from Nigeria and share the windfall with you, trust me, you’re being scammed.  But most ideas are not that easy to read.

If you see a training course to teach you how to write your own book and after spending $495 you didn’t get a deal from any major publisher, were you scammed?  If you spent $1250 for a windshield repair business and never even recaptured your investment, were you scammed?  What about if you went to an investment training seminar and then proceeded to lose your own capital?  If you purchased a business opportunity to do medical billing – which included you buying an expensive computer system, and then you found out the only key to success in this is being able to market and sell your services, were you scammed?

I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of seminars, workshops, training programs and business opportunity products over the years.  I consider this an integral part of my ongoing learning process.  Yes, I have a library of “millionaire” tapes that provided little useful information, “business opportunities” that consisted of photocopied government forms, teleclasses where there was too much background noise to hear the presenter, and hot cashew vending machines that quickly produced moldy products.

But I have never considered that I was scammed.

The real key is to see the learning that takes place for you in this process.  Not every college course offered any real value – but it was part of a larger process to help you clarify your best options.  I recently worked with a young couple who had just sent over $20,000 to an invention company that promised them wealth and fortune.  We know they will never see any return on the very ordinary ideas they submitted.  But my counsel to them is that some people are sitting in classrooms spending $20,000 a year hoping to get a good idea here and there, and some people are getting their “education” in other ways.  Either way, it’s a legitimate way to be moving toward the right idea for your ultimate success.

Bottom Line:  There’s less risk from getting “Scammed” than there is from doing nothing.

Hey — Look at my “award”

August 3, 2009 member Mike Sparks says he was reading his emails this morning and was told his business (MidTnAutos) had recently won an award for 2009 Best of Smyrna Award in the Auto Dealers category by the US Commerce Association. Of course Mike is a savvy enough businessperson to do a little checking to discover that US Commerce Association “awards” any company anywhere that then agrees to pay $189 for a plaque claiming your status.

Here’s another one I received just this morning.  It had my name in the url link – but for the sake of clarification I’ve substituted my 2-yr-old granddaughter’s name.  You’ll get the point. 

Clara with MP3 player

Continental Who’s Who — Welcome to our Inner Circle. 

Clara Logsdon in Who’s Who

Continental Who´s Who recognizes and empowers executives, professionals and entrepreneurs in a multitude of industries around the world. 

Clara, you have been selected for Inclusion with the Continental Who´s Who. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by talented individuals who hold knowledge and experience in a particular field, demonstrate a commitment to excellence, and seek career advancement or enhancement.

We are confident that this opportunity to be published will be highly rewarding for you, both professionally and personally. Please take the time to complete your online application.

Clara Logsdon in Who’s Who

So you click through and see your personalized greeting and hear the audio message complimenting you on your status in the business community.  Moments after you complete your “application” you will get a phone call again commending you on the contributions you’ve made to worldwide peace, global warming, and eliminating poverty.  And then they offer to let you be a full member of this elite network or successful professionals for only $750 for a lifetime membership or $500 for the first five years.  If there is any hesitation the “editor” of this prestigious organization mentions that she thought you were a “decision maker.” 

Now have some fun with this.  You can put your own name where I’ve put my granddaughter’s and see your own personal invitation to this elite organization.  Of course you can put in your dog’s name, the town drunk or Adolf Hitler. 

I encourage being creative with business marketing.  But I cringe when I see these things that play on someone’s ego and then attempt to sell the “honor” that was bestowed on them.  Beware of awards that appear out of the blue.  You may be notified that you are “Man of the Year,” allowed to be in a Who’s Who in American Colleges, or that you were left $15 million by former prince in Nigeria.  Watch out – they’re all after your money.  Don’t let your vanity empty your bank account.

Incidentally we’d like to give you an honorary doctorate from the University of Hard Knocks.  Just send $39 for shipping and handling to……………