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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Scams


Alas, hard times also bring out hard people. When you get desperate for business, for opportunities, the dishonest play to your emotions, with enticing and apparently appealing offers for work, bidding opportunities, or new business.

With experience hopefully you know what seems fishy -- stuff out of the blue which looks too good to be true, or is just plain unexpected but 'good', often isn't.

Your usual first line of defence in fighting scams is to check with people you know and trust -- hopefully you've already built a network of professional advisers (including your accountant and lawyer). They are trained to think conservatively, and usually are.

Unfortunately, the worst and most difficult scams catch the vulnerable in positions of trust. When a scam infects a church group or community organization, it can spread like wildfire because people believe and trust their peers and colleagues.

Be wary of any situation where you ship goods or provide services to people you don't know; any arrangement where you are spending money on "finders fees" for further opportunities, any situation where you just hope it is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Sometimes it is. Read the postings at the beginning of the blog and you'll see how, at the bottom of a self-induced business collapse, amazing things happened, suddenly, and wonderfully, to restore the business. So, in a moment of vulnerability you may confuse a scam for serendipity.

(I think the sign that the matter is serendipitous rather than a scam is that a variety of unrelated amazing and positive things from different sources happen at exactly the same time -- the opposite of the perfect (negative) business storm. If you see surprisingly good news happen on several fronts all at the same time, you truly know the tide has turned.

2 comments:

philippine real estate said...

nice article...scam is one of the worst thing that a person can do to the other people or organization...we should be very careful!

Mark Buckshon said...

Seth Godin has posted this relevant entry on his blog: "Too good to be true (the overnight millionaire scam)"
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/11/too-good-to-be.html