Quite some time ago, I posted an article about words that signify a probable scam.
This recent article from the Puget Sound Business Journal illustrates that concept beautifully.
In this story, the Better Business Bureau is slamming (yeah!) schemes called “Search Profit System” and “Money Mastery,” both operated by the same company.
Both of those names contain red-flag words: “profit” and “money,” respectively. Right away, if you know what to watch for, you know you’re dealing with something that’s probably not legitimate. The fact that it’s a “work-at-home” program might also cause your “scam detector” to go haywire.
You’d be right, too. People who signed up for this program found themselves paying $1.95 for a starter packet, and then $49.95 every month for absolutely nothing. When they tried to cancel their accounts, they found it impossible to do.
However, if the names of the programs didn’t tip you off, this should:
“Quit living paycheck to paycheck, get rid of debt, and have enough to retire when you want to. Pay off all of your debt including your mortgage in three to nine years.”
That’s a pretty hefty claim, isn’t it? It’s not exactly screaming, “Become a millionaire instantly!”—it’s a little more subtle than that—but it is promising an answer to all your problems.
Think about that first sentence. When was the last time you were hired for a legitimate job where the interviewer used the phrase, “quit living paycheck to paycheck?” It’s a weird thing to say when you’re advertising a job.
No, a phrase like that is designed to lure people who are desperate for money and have reached that “any port in a storm” point. However, if you pursue a claim like the ones being made by this advertisement, you’ll quickly learn one hard lesson: if there’s one thing worse than being broke, it’s being broke while getting charged $50 per month for absolutely nothing.