Deconstructing the Tai Lopez scam

If you’ve ever seen an ad on YouTube, chances are one of them was for Tai Lopez. “Here in my garage”, “Lamborghini”, “knawledge”, “fuel units”. Yea, that guy... Now, there’s been a lot said about Tai Lopez already (here, here, here) but what’s not often discussed is how the scam actually works.

I have to admit, when I first saw the “here in my garage” video I was receptive. If you put aside the mansion and the cars, he regurgitates some pretty solid advice. Read books, find a mentor, etc. Nobody can argue with that. It’s kind of like how horoscopes work. If you put aside the astrology bullshit for a moment, those things are so vague that they can apply to anyone. Likewise, if you quote people more successful than yourself and tell people things they already know, they tend to believe you more. It’s a super common sales tactic. You see this all the time, especially with religion. *cough* Scientology *cough*. Yes we can teach you to be a better person, just don’t ask about Xenu.

Of course to draw people in he shows off his lifestyle in the Hollywood Hills, the mansion, the cars, the rich and famous people he somehow manages to get on camera. It’s part clickbait and part proof that he’s successful so you should trust him. The problem is it’s all a bedrock of lies. This is the foundation of the scam. He leases the cars. He rents the mansion. He rents his life. Fake it ‘till you make it as they say. The truth is he’s a nobody trying to project a carefully crafted image of himself. Before this he was selling insurance and running scam dating websites. And now, by exploiting hordes of stupid people, he’s actually made it. What a perverse world we live in.

Here’s the $10,000 question: why is it a scam? He never makes any claims. He doesn’t tell you you’ll get rich quick. The answer? Everything is implied. He very craftily sells you a bill of goods but doesn’t make any promises he can be held accountable for. That’s still fraud in my book. From a legal perspective it’s golden, it’s rock-solid, it’s practically bullet-proof. The problem with scams of the past is that the scammer always made a promise and failed to deliver on it, creating legal liability. If you can’t nail down Tai Lopez on anything, he can’t ever let you down. It’s all your fault if you don’t follow his advice properly. That’s the beauty of this scam.

It’s kind of like those late-night Bowflex infomercials. They don’t tell you if you use their equipment you’ll lose weight and look like the slim and sexy actors they show on it. But when the average person sees those images, they fill in the blanks and think “buy Bowflex, lose weight” without Bowflex having to say a word. If Bowflex showed a bunch of fat people on their shitty gym, nobody would buy it. Duh.

So when Mr. Shlubinski buys Tai Lopez’s 67 Steps program all he’s getting is rehashed self-help advice from a guy who wears glasses to make himself look smarter. If you mix the social proof, the enticing imagery, and the desperation of the viewer all together, you have a recipe for f̶r̶a̶u̶d success. Scamtastic!