THIS IS A FULL SCALE RANT
Definitions of scam:
a dishonest scheme; a fraud: swindle
As always, THAT WORD is running around. And frankly I am getting rather annoyed. Why? because this word is being misused and over used far too often.
I am sick of seeing people promoting illegitimate and illegal opportunities--HYIP/ blatant pozis/bitcoin doublers etc., "revshare" programs with "shares", "royalty positions" or other illegal instruments, as TRUSTED PROGRAMS, NOT SCAMS.
As all of the above are swindles, dishonest schemes and in many cases frauds that are only operating well at the moment because THEY ARE PAYING PEOPLE, and more gullible/hopeful newbies are adding money, those are the real scams.
But those who promote illegitimate/unsustainable business models---- that would almost every "rev share" site on the planet, and 100% of sites that "rent referrals", and 100% of ML /Matrix programs that pay everyone 100% commissions PLUS BONUSES say : oh, no, dear friend, it's not a scam BECAUSE THEY ARE PAYING.
ATTENTION: EVEN CRIMINALS PAY THEIR OBLIGATIONS for a while, BECAUSE THE CON DOESN'T WORK IF YOU DON'T PAY THE MARKS.
But a scam, by any other name, is still a scam.
So, newbies to our corner of the internet face a veritable forest full of scammers, aided and abetted by the lazy, the greedy, and the uninformed, and get scammed. And our industry sector gets yet another black mark added against it with payment processors like paypal, like banks, like government agencies--and everyone looks at us even more closely. And we become more and more marginalized.
THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE WE ALLOW IT. AND ENCOURAGE IT, BY GIVING THE PROMOTERS OF THESE TRASH PROGRAMS THE ABILITY TO PROMOTE THEM, AND OPERATE THEM.
Things like the newest round of industry killing federal regulations and banking laws, and Paypal policy changes that stop us from doing business honestly--came about because we as a marketing community have never bothered to get our collective act together and SELF POLICE THE PTC/TE/Mailer/Advertising industry. So now every yo-yo and feral government on the planet is doing it for us.
But there are two sides to this because there are two groups involved--the owners and the members.
On one hand, we have the full on scam crowd--the serial HYIP site owners that open their new HYIP/PTC with rental refs, whatever, every chance they get. The scammer members flood in for the big opening referral contest, grab the cash, the program collapses, and the same people who called it an amazing program on Monday are screaming SCAM on Tuesday... But the very next week, when the SAME SCAMMER opens a NEW SITE, or brings the old one back under a different Paypal address claiming the system reset was because of hackers and the not being able to pay is PAYPAL STOLE MY MONEY...The same lazy, greedy, or uninformed people throw them MORE MONEY.
It costs less than 125.00 for one of these scam BUX sites to go into business, claiming to be U.S. Registered and all, and there are a forest of marks waiting to hand them money, hoping to get in quick, get the big payout, then leave. IS IT ANY WONDER THE PTC INDUSTRY HAS SUCH A BAD REP??? Or that Paypal doesn't want to risk the hundreds of million of dollars in fines dealing with these businesses?
Then there are the TE sites. I own one, of course, and according to some other owners I am "lucky"--because I have had only a tiny handful of cheaters. I reward my members very well--far better than many-and I am a dedicated, ethical owner. Yet this week I had a member who has been paid every single month within our seven day payment window, without fail. This member has also been one of about 5 that always has an issue, a complaint, a demand, whatever--but I guess 5 out of several THOUSAND isn't too bad..
This person emailed me at 12:03 a.m. the first day of the payout period (they are automatic at FortunesTraffic), demanding to know where his money was. I pointed out the terms, and he demanded his payment first, right then--or he would tell everyone I was SCAM OWNER. I waited until the next morning to regain control of my temper, and sent his money, with a note informing him if he was dissatisfied with our policies he could cancel his account, and I would refund him the balance of his upgrade.
Sadly, he did neither.
BUT THEN THE LAST STRAW--because of the major upgrade sale we're having and a large promotional push this month, we've gotten a larger pile of new members than usual, so this yo-yo had earned another 6.00 or so in commission by yesterday--and pay period ends tomorrow.
so he sends me an email last night DEMANDING THOSE COMMISSION BE PAID NOW. Never mind that the amount is less than half the cashout at fortunes. Never mind he already got paid well ahead of every other member (I typically hold pay out until the last day of the period so those who are really close have a chance to make it on the mass payout).
It is his contention that if I don't add these commissions--which are technically, under TOS PAYABLE NEXT MONTH, NOT INSTANT (though I pay them in the month they arrive in if they come in before mass payout, no holdovers), I am A SCAM ADMIN/OWNER.
I emailed him back the link to TOS, and told him he was welcome to spam every forum he could find and scream--but he might want to remember I am online and in the forums since the 1990s, I am well known, and I have a heck of a lot of money I could use following him around and advertising, publicly, all his abusive emails over the last 11 months. As of yet, he hasn't replied. But if he shows up here--there WILL be a forum war, (sorry, Capt Kirk and Darren, but I am way annoyed).
So scam blackmail is alive and well.
It's high time we began actively fighting back against this, starting with stomping, HARD, on people that use this blanket S-Word, thereby diluting its legal power AND also altering the meaning in some highly negative ways. It's time we stopped being part of the problem, and began denying advertising to "true" illegitimate business models, illegal activity, and cons/scams. And it;s time we used our power and reach to EDUCATE OUR MEMBER BASES, so they can get free of scams and get down to making real money, honestly, with honest effort--and helping others do the same.
Sorry this was so long, but I was so fundamentally offended by these events I really wanted to get the problem out there. And , as there is a new update to the Fortunes Guide coming out next week, I have decided to become part of a solution (again) as well--clean the site up, change the TOS (I'm figuring tackle one problem per month, so people have time to react) and begin educating my members.
Because educated members are happy members. And they are making money. And, they also spend money.