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What is a Scam?

We all see the word, "Scam" all over the place. Some of us even use it ... But do we really know what it is? I spent sometime looking it up. Here are some ... of theword Scam: From Camb

We all see the word, "Scam" all over the place.

Some of us even use it ourselves.

But do we really know what it is?

I spent sometime looking it up. Here are some definitions of the
word Scam:

From Cambridge International Dictionary of English:
scam, noun [C] INFORMAL, a plan or action for making money
which is dishonest, illegal and often clever. He burnt his own house
down so that he could claim the insurance money - what a scam!

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
scam Main Entry: Pronunciation: 'skam Function: noun Etymology:
origin unknown Date: 1963 : a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation
(an insurance scam)

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language:
Fourth Edition. 2000:
scam ...Slang A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle. Inflected forms:
scammed, scam·ming, scams To defraud; swindle. Origin unknown.
scammer -NOUN...

From The Newbury House Online Dictionary:
scam n. a plan to make money by deception or fraud, (syn.) a swindle:
They ran a scam where they burned cars and collected insurance

scam (skm) Slang n. A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.

From the Dictionary of Slang:
scam Noun. A trick or con.

As you can see there are very specific definitions for the word.

A scam is something that is set up to rip people off. To take
their money.

It is not, as we sometimes think, a company that is having
problems with their systems. All companies have problems. Look
at AOL. They have lots of problems with their systems. But they
are not a scam.

Just because we loose money or don't make money, doesn't make
the company a scam. Just because a company is having problems
getting their members paid on time, does not make them a scam.

Companies do have problems that are beyond their control.

It's how they handle them that tells you a lot about the kind of
company that they are. If they are honest and up front about the
problem, that is a good thing. If they hide the problem with a
lot of double talk or no talk at all, that is a bad thing. It
doesn't make them a scam, but it does say a lot about how they
can be expected to do business.

When you look at companies, really look at them.

What is the first thing they say about themselves? Do they talk
about the product or the service they offer? Or do they just
launch into how much money you can make? If the first thing you
read is all about the money to be made. Watch out. It might not
be a scam, but it tells you that is all they are about. To them
it doesn't matter what the product or the service is, it's all
about the pay plan.

These companies, may not be scams, but they maybe illegal. There
has to be a real product or service being offered. If there is
no product, if it is just passing money from the ones below to
the ones above, it is illegal.

How many of you have seen this kind of thing?

A program sets up a list of members for you to pay directly or
with the help of the program, and you then take the first name
off the list and add your name to the bottom. It doesn't matter
if they tell you that you are ordering a report or something
like that from each of the members, it is an illegal Chain
Letter. It will not last and most people will not make money.
Most people will loose money. The ones who will make out like
bandits, are the people who started it in the first place.

Or how about Gifting Clubs.

I don't care what they tell you on the Website to make you
believe it is all legal. I don't care what they say about
Gifting being a time honored way of sharing. To do it in a
program like this, is illegal. It will get shut down, and most
people will again loose money. Only the ones who start it will
get the big pay offs.

I see both types of programs being offered all the time. Don't
fall for them. If you want to have any kind of reputation DO NOT
promote these kind of things.

"But what about the ones who get in first… won't they make

They can, but think about this. Think about the people who will
be asked to join later. Think about the money they will be asked
to pay. Think about the money they are going to loose because
all the greedy fools who are going to join have joined and they
can't find anyone to cover their costs. Think about all the
people who will be out if the thing gets shut down by the Law.

Most of these things never get big enough for the Legal
Authorities to get involved. They just die of their own wait.
Are you the type of person who can sit back and tell yourself,
"It's all right, I got mine."

It's not all right.

You are setting people up to loose money if you join and promote
things like this.

But just because someone sets up a Gifting program or a Chain
Letter type deal, doesn't make them scammers. They may have the
best intentions and honestly believe what they are offering is
perfectly legal. It isn't, but they may think it is.

In case you haven't noticed, PayPal is coming down hard on a lot
of Network Marketing companies. They are not doing this on their
own. MasterCard and Visa, are the ones who are forcing them to
get out of Network Marketing companies. Why? Because the Credit
Card Companies are getting hit Very hard with Charge Backs, and
Fraud. Stolen Credit Cards are being used all over the World to
join Network Marketing companies. The Thieves clean up, and the
Credit Card Companies and sometimes the honest programs take the
hit. MasterCard and Visa have both long had clauses in their
contracts that people could not use their services for MLM type
programs. Now they are enforcing it.

If the company you are with has not had these kind of problems,
they will and they should be prepared for them. Companies that
are going through this, are not all scams. In fact my guess is
that if this happened to a scammer, they would just close up
shop and move on with whatever money they could. A Real Company,
will find a way to work around the problem.

So the next time you read someone calling this or that company a
scam, think. It maybe a perfectly good company that is working
through some problems.

A Real Scam is something that is set up just to take your Money
and Run. A Real Scam will not try and work through problems.
They will just pack up and go on to something else.

Source: Free Articles from


Written by John Olson Owner and Webmaster
(c) Copyright, 2003
Reprint rights available with this Signature only.

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