The Origin Of Scams
On my website I've reviewed a lot of products, and I've made the rounds in various SEO and internet marketing circles. There are so many scams and poorly made products out there, it's unbelievable. I have seen and featured a small portion of what's available, but there are entire networks of people out there whose sole purpose is to create and promote this BS.
Suddenly, the Salty Droid doesn't seem like such a bad guy.
But the question I want to ask today, is why there are so many scams online. Are people this naturally this horrible that they actually think there's nothing wrong with cheating others out of their hard earned cash?
I'm an optimist, and you'll see this reflected in my ideas below. These are just my thoughts on why so many scam products exist online, especially in the internet marketing and MMO (make money online) niche.
1) People promote products they don't understand
I see this a lot in ‘start making money instantly' type products and MLM products. Nothing is explained about what you are selling or exactly how you are making money until you purchase the program. It's soon explained to you that they way you make money is by promoting product A or product B, usually a PDF guide on how to make money online.
A lot of folks are too lazy to actually look at the product or test the service, and those that do, might not fully understand what it all means. Often, digital information products are industry specific, and without prior knowledge, it's hard to know if the content is worth the price.
Add a little bit too much faith in the products creators (Eh, it probably works, right?), and you have people promoting products they don't understand.
2) People create products just because it's ‘the thing to do'
If you've been around the internet marketing niche for a while, there are two sayings that get beaten into the ground over and over. The real money is ‘in the list', and creating your own product is a sure way to make huge amounts of profit.
Naturally, people gravitate towards those types of slogans, so before you know it, folks are gathering email addresses and creating PDF guides. Their intent is to ‘make money', not ‘provide value'. Heck, I could write a 20 page guide on internet marketing and sell it for $10. But it doesn't mean I should.
Creating a product that is of real value to someone takes time and a deep understanding of your industry. The same goes for providing real value to an email list of followers of your blog. If you're new to product creation it's easy to just see your list as a dollar value and a product as gross revenue minus investment capital equals net profit. This is a fast way to alienate your followers, ask anyone who's unsubscribed from an annoying email list.
3) People don't know they are scamming others
Again, without the customer in mind, it's easy to get carried away and over-hype your own or someone else's product. I have seen some super complicated PDFs that were marketed as a ‘complete marketing guide'. I've also seen some very poorly written content that got ‘rave reviews' from other marketers.
It's hard to tell where things got off track, but obviously things derailed somewhere. Like I said, I have a pretty positive outlook on things, and I think most ‘scammers' don't really know that they are actually scamming people. I think through general apathy and lack of interest, many people can contribute to low-value product and not even realize it.
4) The ‘I don't have a choice' syndrome
Some might actually know what they are doing is a scam, but feel like they don't have a choice. I saw a YouTube video about some Nigerian scammers. I never really thought about it, but there are real people behind those dumb emails. These guys go so far as to meet people in a hotel and take suitcases full of money.
5) The ‘top of the food chain' mentality
I can't say I've ever actually met anyone like this – maybe I've just seen too many movies. But I do thing that some scammers just don't care. It's survival of the fittest, and if someone is dumb enough to believe these things, they deserve to lose that money. In fact, here's an example of a kid who things just that way. Yes, a kid.
Why do you think there are so many scams online? Do you think it's done on purpose or through a series of unfortunate events? Are scams let by one evil genius who wants nothing but money or is it a result of lots of people that just don't care?