Wealth Building Scams
I have some good news and I have some bad news. First the good news. The number of infomercials on television is decreasing.
Some might say that is great news. But, before you yell hurray, here's the bad news. They are reincarnating as web sites. Changes the whole picture, doesn't it?
For those who've never seen an infomercial, it is a program-length TV commercial touting easy ways to make money in a variety of ways.
Real estate is probably the most often run program. Others include low-interest government loans or grants to start a new business or go to college.
Then there are the old standby classified advertisement sections in newspapers or magazines promising "big money" business opportunities and/or work-at-home schemes. The companies behind these infomercials and print ads claim that by using their products and services, you can learn how to increase your wealth or start a business from the comfort of your home.
These infomercials and advertisements make it very clear you can make the big bucks only by purchasing their books, audio and video tapes, or computer hardware and software. The materials range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars.
To clinch the sale, some promoters include a toll-free telephone consulting service with your purchase and offer a money-back guarantee. The fine print in the guarantee is what gets most people.
Web sites promoting these same type of "opportunities" look like an infomercial. Hype, glitz and promises of big money adorn the screen. On the other hand, contact details, other than ordering information, is scant if existent at all.
On television, these infomercials are designed to look, feel, and sound like real TV programs. The FTC says "they often imitate the format of genuine talk shows or investigative consumer news programs."
Because they imitate real programs, "the products being sold often are discussed as part of the program and touted by paid "experts," "moderators," or "reporters", according to the FTC. The programs may last for 30 minutes, interrupted by advertisements for the shows products with ordering information.
As in the offline world, online promoters of wealth-building schemes claim that if you follow their methods, you can make substantial sums of money. The means to easy wealth have shifted from real estate and government auctions to web site sales and development, autoresponder sales, gift clubs and bulk email programs.
The offline world uses the infomercials and advertisements to invite you to attend seminars where you can learn more about their program. You can rest assured the seminar is a slick sales pitch.
The smooth-talking salespeople tout the programs, materials, and services and use testimonials of the people in the back of the room selling the materials to illustrate what easy money you can make. The truth is these people are paid to give testimony. They are on the payroll as salespeople and that's it.
At these seminars the pitch is feverish and it is easy to be lured by promises of success into parting with your money. They are designed to work off the herd mentality. Don't fall for the nonsense.
On the Internet, the herd mentality is engaged through testimonials and a rush to action. You are encouraged every step of the way to BUY NOW! There are only so many days left and this opportunity will be gone forever or some other such nonsense.
The FTC, and everybody else who has studied these programs, gives the following advice:
1. Be skeptical about "get-rich-quick" advertising claims.
2. Ask companies for written substantiation for claims in their presentations, especially those about success rates.
3. Be aware that "experts" who endorse a product often are paid by the advertiser.
4. Be cautious about "testimonials." They may be paid for and probably owrse, do not reflect the experience of most consumers.
5. Be wary of purchasing a program if company representatives give you evasive answers or aren't willing to answer your questions at all.
6. Before you buy, decide whether the price reflects a fair market value.
7. Be wary of promises of free money or low-interest government loans. As a rule, these are available only in limited circumstances.
8. Dont be pressured to purchase immediately. Good opportunities are not sold through high pressure tactics.
9. Before you buy, ask about the companys qualifying requirements and refund policy.
10. Check out the company with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, and state Attorney General's office. They should be able to tell you if any unresolved consumer complaints are on file.
Additional consumer protection resources are available at your local library. Check out materials on personal finance and those geared toward the small business owner.
Your local community college may have a marketing department. Call and ask to speak with one of the professors. Explain the program and ask his/her advice/opinion.
The Small Business Administration and your state and local government have publications and programs for new and potential business owners. Write or call and ask for a list of available publications.
Tap into the Internet. That's right, search engines could turn out to be your best friend. A host of scam busting sites exist and expose scams online and offline.
As always, common sense is your best weapon in the fight against this garbage. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, if you have more than a passing interest, do your homework. Getting too much information is not a crime or a hazard to your wealth.
2000(c) All rights reserved. No one may reproduce this article without permission of the author (firstname.lastname@example.org)
GUARANTEED! Turn your paycheck into a cash flow geyser. www.cashclique.com/page4.htm">Cashclique.com Dollar$ign Newsletter provides proven paycheck stretching money management tips, tools, techniques and strategies to increase your personal cash flow. This is YOUR fail safe money management program. FREE subscription at www.cashclique.com/page4.htm">http://www.cashclique.com/page4.htm
As Tuesdayâs vote looms, Northern Ireland secretary warns issue is tearing UK apart
Theresa May is set to launch a last-ditch bid to win over mutinous Tory MPs before deciding whether to proceed with a vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, as one of her closest cabinet allies issued a stark warning that the UK should learn from Northern Ireland about âthe damage that division can doâ.
With less than 48 hours to go before May faces the reckoning of her MPs, few of the 100-plus rebels who have vowed to vote against her deal showed any sign of altering their positions. Continue reading...
President to break silence as Paris counts cost of âsocial and economic catastropheâ
Emmanuel Macron is set to address the French people on Monday night after a fourth weekend of violence on the streets of major cities left the president under intense pressure to prove to protesters his government, accused of being arrogant and out of touch, is listening and to stop further destruction.
The president will speak to the French people at 8:00 pm, his Elysee office announced. It will be his first public comments after four weeks of nationwide anti-government demonstrations. Continue reading...
Prime minister of New Zealand makes emotional statement as accused appears in court for the first time
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has choked back tears while offering a heartfelt apology to the family of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane, as the man accused of killing the young traveller made his first court appearance.
A visibly emotional Ardern said there was a collective feeling of shame in the South Pacific nation over the fate of Millane, whose body was found on Sunday in dense bushland in western Auckland. Continue reading...
Days of lavish celebrations are taking place to mark the marriage of the daughter of Indiaâs richest man
Celebrities including BeyoncĂ©, Arianna Huffington, Sachin Tendulkar and Hillary Clinton have arrived in the Indian state of Rajasthan for the wedding of the daughter of countryâs richest man.
Dozens of chartered planes flew into Udaipur for celebrations to mark the wedding of Isha Ambani and Anand Piramal, which has been dubbed locally âthe big, fat Indian weddingâ. Continue reading...
âSalvini decreeâ threatens to make thousands not eligible for refugee status homeless
Italian priests have declared their willingness to âopen the church doors of every single parishâ to people expelled from reception centres as an anti-immigration law from Italyâs rightwing government threatens to make thousands homeless.
The so-called âSalvini decreeâ â named after Matteo Salvini, the interior minister and leader of the far-right League â left hundreds in legal limbo when its removal of humanitarian protection for those not eligible for refugee status but otherwise unable to return home was applied by several Italian cities soon after its approval by parliament earlier this month. Continue reading...
Manifesto by progressive Europeans calls for âŹ800bn of levies to tackle inequality, disillusionment, climate change and migration
A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent.
The plan, crafted by more than 50 economists, historians and former politicians from half a dozen countries, includes huge levies on multinationals, millionaires and carbon emissions to generate funds to tackle the most urgent issues of the day, including poverty, migration, climate change and the EUâs so-called democratic deficit. Continue reading...
Princess Masako, who suffers from a stress-related illness, will become empress when her husband ascends the throne next year
Japanâs crown Princess Masako has said she feels âinsecureâ about her duties as empress when her husband, crown prince Naruhito, ascends the Chrysanthemum throne next year, as her doctors warned that she continued to experience symptoms of her stress-related illness.
In an unusually candid statement to mark her 55th birthday on Sunday, Masako added that she would do her best after Naruhito succeeds his 84-year-old father, Akihito, who on 30 April will become the first Japanese emperor to abdicate for 200 years. Continue reading...
Kingdom rejects demands to arrest former Saudi intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and former royal adviser Saud al-Qahtani
Saudi Arabiaâs foreign minister has rejected demands to extradite suspects connected to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as sought by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan.
âWe do not extradite our citizens,â Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh at the end of a summit of Gulf Cooperation Council states. Continue reading...
Terry Branstad urged to cancel arrest warrant for Meng Wanzhou and end her âegregiousâ detention
China has summoned the US ambassador in Beijing to protest about the detention of a senior Huawei executive in Canada after US law enforcement officials issued a warrant for her arrest last week.
The official Xinhua news agency said the vice-foreign minister, Le Yucheng, had âlodged solemn representations and strong protestsâ with the ambassador, Terry Branstad, against the detention of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese technology firm. Continue reading...
Firm fears Brazil-born former chairman may destroy evidence if granted access
Nissan is seeking to block its former chairman Carlos Ghosnâs access to an apartment in Rio de Janeiro, citing a risk that he may remove or destroy evidence after being arrested for financial misconduct last month.
Brazil-born Ghosn has been detained in Tokyo since his arrest on suspicion of conspiring with the former Nissan director Greg Kelly of underreporting his income by about 5bn yen (ÂŁ35m). Continue reading...
As the cityâs homeless population has grown, squatting projects have become more organised in an attempt to secure abandoned houses as homes for the poor. All photographs by Sanne Derks Continue reading...
Survivors of the 2015 quake that killed almost 9,000 people around Kathmandu now face another challenge they didnât expect
Ratna Awale counts herself lucky. She and her husband, Prem, and their two sons survived the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015 that killed almost 9,000 people.
But her narrow four-storey home in Patan, a sprawling, historical city south of Kathmandu, was badly damaged. âThere were big cracks from the back of the house to the front wall, and half the ground floor collapsed,â she says. Continue reading...
Teachers and activists in Heraklion explain how they drove the ultra-nationalist, far-right Greek party from the island
Washing hangs from the balconies of an unassuming apartment block on Irodotou street in Heraklion, the capital of Crete. Outside, children ride bikes and old men play cards in a coffee shop. But before May this year, this building looked rather different. A sign hung outside reading: âGolden Dawn, Heraklion regionâ. The ultra-nationalist, far-right Greek party used this street as its local base.
It was local teachers who first spotted its influence. âTwo of my 13-year-old students had family problems,â recalls Maria Oikonomaki, 50. âGolden Dawn approached them in cafes and the gym, presenting themselves as family and protectors. They took them for coffee and gave them lessons on Greek history.â Continue reading...
The worldâs biggest iron ore tunnel mine is about to swallow the Swedish city of Kiruna. The companyâs answer? Move the city
The crack appeared a few years ago, and has been creeping towards the town of Kiruna ever since.
âThe mines are underneath us,â says GĂ¶ran Cars. Itâs early afternoon but the sun is already setting behind the mountain, colouring the clouds and outlining the townâs most prominent feature: two huge smokestacks. âAnd you can see the direction of the cracks â coming from the mine, and going straight up to the city centre.â Continue reading...
Roger came to fame when a photo of him crushing a metal bucket like a paper cup went viral
Roger, the beefcake boxing kangaroo who came to fame when a photo of him crushing a metal bucket like a paper cup went viral in 2015, has died at the age of 12.
The death of the male kangaroo, who weighed 89kg (14 stone) and stood more than 182cm (6 feet) tall, has sparked an outpouring of grief from his 1.3 million Facebook and Instagram fans. Continue reading...
Ministers are reportedly about to admit London rail project needs further extra funding
Crossrail could swallow up another ÂŁ1bn in funding and be delayed beyond 2019, ministers are expected to admit this week.
The flagship construction project to create a new high-capacity train line across London had originally been due to be opened on Sunday by the Queen, but problems with complex new signalling systems delayed testing trains in the central core. Confirmation that the opening was postponed by up to a year was only announced at the end of August. Continue reading...
Populism preys on rose-tinted memories of past glories and distorts it into something ugly
âThe Russians blame everything on their government, the Americans on their parents, and the Poles on history.â So said the Russian-born American poet Joseph Brodsky. If he were alive today, he might have added: âAnd the leading Brexiters blame everything on the loss of an imaginary past.â The seeds of this nostalgia were, of course, present in Britain long before the referendum, but years of austerity and inequality, topped with incendiary debates on refugees and discontent with the status quo, generated a feeling of longing for the âgood old daysâ.
Some 63% of British citizens think life was better and easier in the past. The Brexit hardliners exploited this emotional nostalgia for their own political interests. History is purged of its dark chapters, stripped of its complexity, simplified and sanitised. Facts do not matter. Historical accuracy is sacrificed for the sheer lure of rhetoric. When Boris Johnson claimed: âIf Chequers were adopted it would mean that for the first time since 1066 our leaders were deliberately acquiescing in foreign ruleâ, he was only following a trend. But while hardcore Brexiters rave about British exceptionalism, it is worth underlining that there is nothing new or exceptional about this. They are simply joining a dangerous trend that has taken hold at the fringes of Europe. Continue reading...
Italyâs harassment of MSFâs efforts to rescue migrants at sea is a stain on Europe
It was the most shameful piece of news from the past week. Yet it was barely covered. The charity MĂ©decins Sans FrontiĂšres (MSF) has been forced to end its rescue operations in the Mediterranean because of pressure and harassment from European nations, most notably Italy.
âA sustained campaignâŠ to delegitimise, slander and obstruct,â as MSF put it. For the past two months the MSF rescue ship Aquarius has been docked in Marseille after Italian pressure led Panama to revoke the shipâs registration. Last November Italian magistrates accused MSF of illegally dumping toxic waste at ports in southern Italy and ordered Aquarius to be impounded. Continue reading...
âą River Plate beat Boca Juniors 3-1 to lift Copa Libertadores
âą Second leg of tie moved to Madrid because of crowd trouble
River Plate fans thronged on to the streets of Buenos Aires when their team scored the decisive goal, yelling âDale campeĂłn! Dale CampeĂłn!â (âCome on champion, come on champion!â)
Despite heavy rainfall, groups of fans headed for the Buenos Aires obelisk on the wide downtown 9 de Julio Avenue, the traditional scene of football celebrations, to watch River beat Boca Juniors 3-1 in the much-delayed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final in Madrid. Continue reading...
Sorrow and shame sweeps nation, with many using social media to express sadness over murder of British backpacker
New Zealanders are mourning the death of British backpacker Grace Millane by posting images of the sky to Twitter along with the hashtag #HerLightOurLove.
A body believed to be Millaneâs was found in dense bushland in western Auckland on Sunday and a 26-year-old man has been charged with her murder. Continue reading...
Report queries arrangements at Stellar, Serco and Outsourcing Inc, which provide labour or help run ATO call centres
Multinational corporations providing labour and call centre staff to the Australian Taxation Office either share links with tax havens or engage in questionable tax practices, a new report has found.
Texas-based firm Stellar, the UK-based multinational Serco and Japanese giant Outsourcing Inc have repeatedly won lucrative contracts with the tax office, typically to provide outsourced labour or help run the agencyâs call centres. Continue reading...
Exclusive: firms supplying health service allegedly exploit thousands of migrants
The NHS is using medical gloves made in Malaysian factories where migrants are allegedly subjected to forced labour, forced overtime, debt bondage, withheld wages and passport confiscation.
A Guardian investigation has revealed that at least two companies supplying rubber gloves to the NHS â Top Glove and WRP â are allegedly subjecting thousands of migrant workers from Nepal and Bangladesh to exploitative working conditions. Continue reading...
In the West Bank, at the third most holy site in Christianity, work is under way to clear thousands of landmines and reopen seven ancient churches abandoned since 1967âs six-day war
Bravery comes in many guises, but in those whose work demands courage on a near-daily basis, it often takes the form of a certain studied nonchalance. Lasha Bluashvili, who makes his living clearing landmines, is a case in point. He would rather go to the trouble of making me a cup of tea â here in the Judean desert, the kettle stands on a gas canister inside an old oil drum â than talk of what I regard as his everyday heroism.
âOh, donât worry,â he says, fingers lightly tapping a cigarette packet. âWe never forget the dangers. But everyone here knows their job. We are all very well trained.â Continue reading...
Inquiry urges leadership change amid claims UNAids chief Michel SidibĂ© has presided over culture of favouritism and bullying
A culture of favouritism that tolerated harassment and bullying has been allowed to fester within a major UN agency, according to a damning independent assessment that calls for a change of leadership.
The independent report, commissioned following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and bullying by senior staff at UNAids, said Michel SidibĂ©, the agencyâs executive director, had created âa patriarchal culture tolerating harassment and abuse of authorityâ. Continue reading...
Local charities call for donations after blaze wrecks 500 homes in Alexandra
A fire has devastated one of the most crowded neighbourhoods of Johannesburg, destroying 500 homes and leaving thousands of people homeless.
The fire broke out late on Thursday afternoon in Alexandra, a township in the South African city that is home to more than 400,000 people. Continue reading...
References to Bushâs support for Hillary Clinton have been reverently repeated, as has his unlikely friendship with Barack Obama
George HW Bush was no oneâs idea of a great president. His 1988 presidential campaign was the first I followed as a child in the US â supporting, under my motherâs instruction, his hapless rival, Michael Dukakis â and even then he seemed strangely unquantifiable, a blank. His presidency bore this impression out, in which his credit sheet was cancelled out by enough debit that the balance ultimately came to nothing.
A war hero and famously polite, Bush Sr signed the Clean Air Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act (protecting, among others, people with HIV, from discrimination), and eventually spoke out against the National Rifle Association. But he was also arrogant, careless and self-serving. He exploited racial politics and pardoned the defendants in the Iran-Contra hearings to protect himself from investigation. Continue reading...
Socialist partyâs support collapses in the heartland it has ruled since 1982
The far-right Vox party took 12 seats in the AndalucĂan regional election on Sunday, becoming the first such group to triumph at the ballot box since Spainâs return to democracy after the death of Francisco Franco in 1975.
The small but increasingly vocal party, which opposes Catalan independence and has vowed to crack down on immigration and abortion, exceeded all predictions and could now hold the key to the formation of the next government of the populous southern region. Continue reading...
A planned rise sparked the gilets jaunes protest â hereâs how their fuel costs compare with the rest of Europe
Despite a backdrop of riots against high fuel levies in France, European commission data shows that taxes on all petrol products have actually fallen in the last two years across the eurozone. The level has fallen from almost 70% of the cost for consumers at the pump to 60.9% at the end of November. In France, it is a similar story, with taxes on fuel (before the increased levy on diesel kicks in) accounting for a smaller proportion of total prices than they did at the start of Emmanuel Macronâs presidency.
Related: Share your reaction and experiences of the French gilets jaunes protests Continue reading...
Despite horrifying statistics of death and starvation, regional players and their backers are using a ceasefire as a bargaining chip
More than three years into Yemenâs war, the horrifying statistics induce a sense of hopelessness: 57,000 people killed, 14 million at risk of famine, 10,000 new cholera cases each week. Save the Children estimates 85,000 under-fives have starved to death. Thatâs an average of 77 a day since 2015. If 77 children died from avoidable causes on a single day in the UK or US, the roar of grief and anger would be heard around the world.
But the story of Yemenâs war is a story of international indifference, self-interest and cynical manipulation. World leaders at this weekendâs G20 mostly paid lip service to the issue, if they discussed it at all. Continue reading...
New Zealand police said on Sunday they believe they had found the body of missing 22-year-old Grace Millane following a search of Auckland's Waitakere Ranges. They have charged a 26-year-old man with her murder Continue reading...
French police have clamped down on thousands of yellow-vested protesters in Paris on Saturday, firing tear gas and water cannon at projectile-hurling demonstrators angry at Emmanuel Macron and France's high taxes. At least 55 people were injured in protests across the country Continue reading...
Panicked concertgoers ran for exits at a concert after someone released a substance similar to pepper spray. Five teenagers and a woman who had taken her daughter to the event were killed in the stampede Continue reading...
New Zealand police confirmed on Saturday that the search for missing British backpacker Grace Millane is now a homicide investigation.
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said police had not located the body but were questioning a 26-year-old man who was with her when she was last seen.
Police said they had not yet established a motive for the murder. Continue reading...
Yellow vest protesters again take to the streets to demonstrate against Emmanuel Macronâs policies Continue reading...
German chancellor Angela Merkelâs CDU party marked her 18 years as its leader with a lengthy standing ovation on Friday. Speaking at a convention in Hamburg, Merkel said she was overwhelmed by a single feeling â thankfulness Continue reading...
Donald Trump confirmed he will nominate William Barr for attorney general and Heather Nauert as US ambassador to the UN. Barr has already served as attorney general during George WH Bush's administration, while Nauert is the State Department spokeswoman and a former Fox News reporter Continue reading...