Work Ethic and Scammers

Bear with me tonight, I'm free writing this as I think it up. Lately, in the real world, I've been coming across a lot of people who don't want to work for their money. The idea is one of, “You make the money, and I'll share it with you.”

This has gone on forever, but it's really getting prevalent today. I see people forming bogus franchises to teach someone how to get rich quick. They sell the franchises to suckers who are looking for a work-free way to make a fortune. The buyer gets the right to use the name and company logo. Many times there is a multi-level marketing concept behind it where the franchise guy gets a cut of everything the buyer earns. It becomes a kind of pyramid scheme.

Most of these businesses involve using a computer to scour the Internet for addresses and such. Then they sell “referrals” to actual business folks who have to work whatever field is involved. This means the consumer is getting a professional who is earning less. Consumers are working an angle too. Do you really want a discount professional working on your project? Discount brain surgery anyone?

Someone striking it rich doesn't actually happen very often. Many of the most successful people have a string of failures behind them. I remember the stories of Col. Sanders failing at all kinds of things before he tried marketing chicken. There is a famous statement about how many ways Edison learned not to invent a lightbulb. Edison and Sanders put their time in.

In the real world people put in their ten-thousand hours. Writers put down the million words to gain expertise. Would you respond to an Internet sweeper who promised to find you a literary agent, only to wind up with an agent with limited (or zero) experience working at a discount?

I saw a report about some newish hotel scams recently. One involves a phone call in the middle of the night. The hotel suffered a major computer malfunction and they have to collect everyone's credit card again. Except the hotel didn't really have a computer meltdown, and the caller isn't with the hotel.

Another one involves a wifi spot inside the hotel. There will be a sign with name and password for guests, usually a paper sign on the bulletin board. Again, this one has nothing to do with the hotel, and someone is scouring the user's computers for personal info.

The last one involves something I would have fallen for myself. Someone slides pizza coupons under the hotel door. They have an actual franchise name and logo, including photographs of the franchise's product. Think Pizza Hut here. Glossy paper, same font, same photos — fake telephone number. Give them your credit card number, maybe the expiration date and code off the back. What's keeping that pizza??? There is no reason someone couldn't circulate these at your house either. Maybe they head out in the dark and shove them all in the Sunday paper.

Twitter is full of folks calling themselves SEO experts, marketing experts, and even lifestyle coaches. These might be services of value to some folks, but I can't believe these are all on the up-and-up. There are way too many of them.

The other thing that's bothering me lately is the bending of facts, or complete abcense of them, to make arguments. Now that I'm on Facebook, I see this every day. They are logical fallacies, but I don't know all the formal names of them.

It works something like this: Someone shoots up a public square; therefore, we should vote for X (or against X). They twist tragedy before we even have time to process it. This is cold blooded opportunism at its worst.

Another version involves someone posting a silly video or meme. One of the comments will certainly be, “Looks like a real X supporter.” Substitute the politician of your choice for X. I know these are supposed to be jokes, but there is a twist in them that renders the comment un-funny. There is a serious desire to engage in the character assassination of politician X.

From my point of view, support someone, don't support someone, but be honest about it. Stomping down politician X doesn't make politician Y look good by default. It's a logical fallacy, they might both be terrible. Maligning someone's supporters doesn't make the commenter look intelligent.

In a perfect world, I'd like to see a human experiment. I believe we can educate ourselves out of this situation and make a difference. I'd like to take one class of high school seniors per year, teach them a class about such things, and see how they fare vs. their classmates over time.

The class would include logic, rhetoric, facts, evidence, and responsibilities. I might add some budgeting and long term planning. I know it isn't common core stuff, but it might prove valuable to the students who took the class.

This was kind of a rant, and I apologize for that. Maybe someone will be saved from one of the hotel scams, and that makes it worthwhile. Maybe one person won't send their hard earned money to someone promising the moon without any qualifications.

Maybe an author will use one of these situations to ramp up the pressure in a story someday. That would be cool.

Enough ranting. I have a couple of emails I need to get to before bedtime. There are going to be some fun guests here the rest of this week, so stop back and tell them “hi.” Maybe check out their wares. It's easy to hit the tweet button and help them spread the word. Maybe one of them will do the same for you one day.


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28 responses to “Work Ethic and Scammers

  1. I paid money for a coach who was supposed to teach me how to secure an agent. That was a waste. Now I have CreateSpace (whom I spent 8 months trying to get my last book published through…think I might have learned something). They sent me a file to be approved. I looked at the file and immediately saw on the title page that the book imprint logo was three times the size it should be. Nobody covers one third of a page with a book imprint logo. EVER. They agreed to go back into the file and correct it for half of their usual $80.00 fee. Meanwhile, I spotted a duplicate word on a page and called and asked if they could correct that while they had the file opened. Yes, they said. A week later they send me the corrected file. The duplicate word is gone, BUT nothing has been done to resize the book imprint logo.NOTHING. and they want another $80.00 to reopen the file.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of the pizza scam. I’m in a hotel now and someone slipped a pizza flyer under the door. It is so unprofessional it might just be legit. Loved Night Bump Radio and Rocketman

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We came across ‘forced add-ons’ yesterday … you buy something on-line, and the amount appears on your credit card statement … then soon thereafter, lo-and-behold, there suddenly appears a magazine subscription, and then s’more of the same product, at a special low price to our valued customers … and then …
    … and on it goes. If we hadn’t caught it we’d’ve been out to the tune of $400+

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hear, hear Craig. Do not get me started. I have my head in my hands at politics at the moment. It’s not a personality contest people it’s about policies!!! As do SEO experts sheeesh, if I had a pound to every e-mail, oh and a lot of their strategies will get you wiped off the face of Google if they catch you. In the world of publishing, publishers that approach you with an interest in your work, implying they are a traditional publisher, when in actual fact they send you a contract asking you to pay them a contribution of over £3000 and will edit/market your work ‘at their descretion’ are, in my opinion, con artists! Right I’m done sorry Craig, nice ranting with you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I spent a year teaching in public schools, ended up working in three different counties in two states. Your idea of teaching logic just wouldn’t work. Half the schools I taught at can’t even teach “stop punching that other kid in the head.”

    There’s essentially no education going on in most public schools, at least in those two states. I later taught at several universities and colleges and saw the effects of this. I taught a microbiology course for pre-med college seniors, and almost none of them could do decimal math. I would have been held back in 7th grade if I hadn’t mastered that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree everything you say! And a rant does you good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Scams are everywhere these days (we got the latest IRS one on our answering machine….we don’t even answer the phone anymore unless we know the caller). Sickening and sad.

    As for Facebook? UGHN! Everyone has an opinion on everything, which is why I’m only active on my author page.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. And it’s so sad (and disgusting) that scammers target them for that very reason!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting pizza scam. I bet that does work on a lot of people in a strange new place.
    I share your curiosity and cynicism when it comes to all these “jobs” people have. Like, how are you 25 and a consultant on anything? I believe in professional environments, consultants are at least roughly my own age, with 20+ years experience and are considered experts, hence, they assist when others need advice. Pshaw.
    I get downright furious over copy jobs I lose to non-native English speakers. Yes, they’re cheap. But ffs, no American business should have wording like, “We will enjoy to do the working items for yourself.” Fury, I tell you. Ya get what ya pay for, A******.
    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I so hear you. FB is loaded with political crap. I keep scrolling by. Thanks for the tip about the hotel scam. I’ll be staying at The Marriot in a few weeks for the Writer’s Police Academy, and I’ve never heard of wifi scams. There’s also a new Amazon scam for authors. You’ll receive an email that looks like it comes from Amazon telling you they’ve shut down your account. When/if you respond, they grab your info from your computer. The people who scam others are disgraceful. They should be ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately, they never are.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Actually, the “you do the work and I’ll take the money” thing sounds a lot like my kid.

    Liked by 1 person

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