Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Bubble: It's Just A Scam!

For the past few months, Nick has been looking at several options to earn his own keeps. No doubt he's currently earning a small monthly allowance being a personal training apprentice at the neighbourhood club but he's hoping to work on something bigger. Not that it is necessary yet but I'm proud of him just for making the efforts. It'll be a good learning curve for a 19-year-old young man.

Out of the blue yesterday, his former Sunday school classmate called him out for a drink, supposedly to share with him a part-time opportunity for college students that's tied to Education Ministry. All that's required is a desktop or a notebook. What the heck! If it means working for some government agency, it should be something safe and reliable. In fact, if it's truly feasible, I'll be interested too!

When he got home, he so excitedly explained to me the real deal behind this opportunity. The initial details:

- It's something related to the Education Ministry's computerisation programme for schools, The Electronic Book Project ... exploring the benefits of replacing conventional textbooks with electronic, or e-books, and how they might contribute to improvements in learning and teaching.

- It's not a part-time work with any government agencies but with some private company that has developed several e-portals riding on the Education Ministry's Electronic Book Project. [So who's this company, how long have they been in operation etc ???]
- Each person interested to participate in this opportunity has to purchase 5 sets of these e-portals which will cost RM380 each. [Why the need to purchase so many sets?]

I don't know about you, but I'm already smelling something fishy here but Nick insist on telling me more! Then ...

- There's no necessity to sell these e-portals to anyone and the company guarantees that the product will never expire.  [How can this company give such a guarantee when political situations will always change government plans and what is a person going to do with e-portals?]

- Each participant just have to recruit several other participants and it's guarantee to earn money. [No need to sell products but can earn money?]

- His classmate has joined since 3 weeks ago and he's already earning more than RM300! [wow! really?]

I quickly pointed out to Nick that this is a classic sign of the 'Multi-Level Marketing' scheme. Explained to him that I've been there and done that ... it's all too familiar. It's a pyramid system where you get recruited and then you recruit several others. The recruitment levels just go down and further down, expanding the network as more and more recruits join in. It's achievable but not without time commitment and determination. The product viability is also very important and it just don't seem so in this case. Immediately advised Nick to abandon the idea ... it's just a SCAM! Mostly 99.9999% of the time!!

I further pointed out to him that his former classmate had not been in touch at all since their Sacrament of Confirmation more than a year ago. It's just too obvious that he should suddenly call to offer some kind of work opportunity. He's just trying his luck and Nick's just another potential customer!

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.

2 Bubbles:

Google the name of the company, it's a great way to find out how other people who have attended similar talks find it.

So I presumed Nick said "No" after you told him it's a scam?

Yeah, he did. He was actually seeking my opinion and advice on the matter. He normally does that before he jumps into anything, more so if it involves dollars and cents.