The Impact of get-rich quick ads on Gullible Victims

The Internet is abuzz with 'get rich quick' ads or what are popularly referred to as 'blind ads' because one never gets to know properly about the product being sold. The frauds usually succeed in snaring housewives and those in immediate need of a good sum to tide over financial difficulties.

Attraction strategy

All Internet surfers have seen ads featured in income opportunity publications. The ads show a person who has supposedly made anywhere from Rs 5,000 to Rs 500,000 in a few days or weeks. He claims he got rich quick with very little effort and in his own convenience. The person attributes this success to a secret plan or product he is willing to part with for a small sum.

The 'fine' print

Such ads are usually a page in length with the print so small that the viewer’s eyes start smarting. They also contain as many details of the person’s supposedly wonderful life in one corner for the reader’s enjoyment and envy. The person’s 'rags to riches' story is mind-boggling and usually begins with how bankrupt he was but can now afford to buy luxury cars and new houses every year. The strategy these blind ads use is very subtle.

The persons usually refer to themselves as "a little guy" just like the reader. This strikes the right note among those looking for a way to achieve financial freedom or simply an escape from boredom. However, the truth is that there are no real get- rich quick plans.

Issue for debate

The legality of such schemes is often debated hotly as they are not outright illegal scams, but they use extremely misleading sales tactics to entice victims to sign up. Users should always be aware before signing up for online schemes that promise financial freedom, especially if they require an initial investment.

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