Scam-Free Checklist

Posted: January 29, 2010 by Thrivelearning in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

How to figure out if a company or product is a scam.

Also, how you can see it you are scamming in your own life – or if you simply want to improve how people view you or your business.

If you’ve read “Get Your Self Scam Free” or the lessons from that book, you’re already well ahead of the game. You already know how to get your own freedom and happiness back.

In that book, I tell you that Cialdini, Maslow, and Lester Levenson have the key points you need to find and get scams out of your life. Those same key principles can be used as a checklist to rate the products and services in your life to see how much of a scam they are. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an Internet Marketing or Coaching scam, online fraud, or someone selling at your doorstep – or a telemarketer.

I’ve made a little checklist below. You just check off what you find they are using (or misusing) to get you to do what they say or to buy their products and services. The total number of checked-off items tells you their “Scam Free Rating“. The higher the number, the  more likely they are scammers.

Scam Free Checklist and Rating Guide

_____ 1. Reciprocation – are they giving you a “free” gift in return for your email, phone, or (worse yet) your credit card number. Do they want you to pay for “shipping only”?

_____ 2. Commitment and consistency – Do they just want you to “try the first lesson free” and then pay for the rest on a monthly basis (with your credit card, again)? Monthly books, fruit baskets, or “try it and you’ll be amazed“? Rediculous money-back guarantee you hear about over and over in a 30-second ad?

_____ 3. Social proof – Is this a fad? Is “everyone” doing it? Do they tell you “don’t be the last on your block”? Are they trying to get you to be a lemming and jump off because everyone else is doing it? Does it have a fan club?

_____ 4. Liking – Are the models they use incredibly gorgeous (and well-proportioned)? Have they hired a spokesperson who is “just like you”? Is the sound of the voice and mannerisms such that you would really like to just sit and chat with such a person for hours? (Not that ugly models ever sell products, but there is the reverse of this used in advertising sometimes as well – someone so honestly homely that you begin to feel can trust them with your charge-card implicitly…)

_____ 5. Authority – Are they using a well-known celebrity who you used to watch on TV when you were growing up? Or someone in a doctor’s garb, dressed up like a chef, or maybe a minister – but these people don’t have clients or a congregation and are only actors? Is the government mentioned? IRS? Or some executive of a well-known business?

_____ 6. Scarcity – Are there only a limited number of these? Is the offer only good for a limited time? Are you one of a select few which have been specially chosen to receive this pre-release version? Is the price going up shortly?

_____ 7. Control – Does this product help you control others or get out of being controlled? Does having this product (or voting a certain way) take control away from others? Will this make you free from some sort of nasty situation – like the IRS garnishing your wages? Does this help you “get what you deserve” (favorite of laywers)?

_____ 8. Approval – Will this make people like you? Will this get you noticed? Will this help you have more friends? Does their ads have huge crowds gathered to cheer you (or someone) on?

_____ 9. Security – Does this make your life more secure in some fashion? Will you sleep better at night once you buy one of these or have it installed? Will this politician keep your neighborhood, state, or country safer?

_____ 10. Self-actualization – Is this company actually out to help you on a continuing basis as one of their clients, or are they just wanting a customer (habitual buyer) or pitching a one-off product (in order to get your phone number and credit card so that telemarketers can call you incessantly?!?) Is this company actually interested in your well-being enough to stick with you regardless of how much you spend with them?

– – – –

This post is simply to lay out this checklist. Obviously, there is much more discussion and review of this.

Some examples of organizations which rate a “perfect 10”:

  • Any program (and most people) from or representing any government – 10
  • Any insurance company – 10
  • Any company who uses telemarketers – 9
  • Any and all advertising (but not all promotion) – 10
  • Most organized religions (not their original scriptures or philosophies) – 9
  • Any diet plan advertised on TV or other media – 10
  • All media or any company which relies on advertising for all or most of their business income – 9
  • Most “big label” Record companies and the RIAA/MPAA – 10

Some examples of products which rate a “perfect 0”:

  • Any product you hear about from a neighbor or friend who has actually bought it and used it, and found it works (word of mouth) – 0
  • Books or recordings you’ve read which actually help you improve your life, the ones you’ve tested for yourself – 0
  • Some writers and companies who tell you not to believe what they say, but try it for yourself first – 0

(Now, I don’t rate a perfect “0” myself. So don’t think I’m not a scammer to some degree.)

But do try all this out for yourself and see if this works for you. If you have suggestions on how this could be improved, leave a comment. But don’t accept this until you’ve checked it out personally.

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