Sunday, January 09, 2011

Two Internet Scams that Perturbed Me (Still Does)!

On the internet I am awestruck at the number of mails I receive promising to make me a millionaire. I don't know if I should take the net seriously at all. All are con jobs by con artistes and should have gone directly into my junk folder. But it doesn't. They are smart, they can overcome those gateways, hoodwink the gatekeepers (are there any, these days?) slip in through the cracks and make your life miserable. 

I, me, myself was victim of two such attractive-looking carpetbagging offers. 

First was a multi-level marketing company whose name begins with the letter "A". The sponsor was here and I became a member of his network and made around six members in one year. Then I realised what a cruel game it had played on me. Here I was doing all the work and my bosses were getting points and moving up the echelons. A person who had voluntarily joined my network asked me to give back his money. Network marketing didn't work for me. I don't know about people for whom it has worked. Does it work at all? Are they beyond the 3 per cent commission stage? How long have you been rotting away at this stage while your bosses made huge profits on the promotional seminars they asked you to attend without fail and the books they fobbed on you? You may be super beings whose hide are as tough as a hippo's to take all the rejection that I took. Big time rejection. Their seminars cost Rs 400 for a half day and you are supposed to bring 10 people to the seminar, or, you lose favour. They can be quite mean if you don't do the minimum target. Their smiles freeze, their warmth grow cold. I told some friends, "Come on, just show up for a seminar, I will foot the bill." I bought their tickets, no one showed up. The seminar money pays for their jet-setting and lavish parties. They become richer, I stay poor. Greed! I quit. 

Second was a job offer in England which seemed like the best job for a writer. For around Rs 1,00,000 a month I had to teach two children (you know, history, geography, what the heck?), living as an au-pair in their furnished home with a television in my room and a working time of only four hours, with all meals paid. I found out on Google maps that the area is a tony side of Edinburgh. Wow, I thought, I have made it, at last. As a writer I can peep into the lives of rich Brits, and write about their decadent ways. Plus, Rs 1,00,000 a month could make me a millionaire in ten months and I could retire after that. My elation was short-lived. It's called the "au-pair scam." I did some furious online searches and I discovered this was (and still is) a neat bit of deception. They promise this cushy job but ask you to pay a small sum (around Rs 50,000) which will be given back with your first salary. You think what the heck, it's a matter of waiting for a month and getting double of that. Sadly, there's no job in a swish area of Edinburgh and no salary. They vanish into the thinness of the air. Read about it here.

I guess the Internet is a reflection of modern society, of how corrupt it has become, and of how sorely it lacks in sincerity. Dear reader don't be a victim, stay smart. Good luck!

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