Are you young, naive, and looking to escape the rat race? Don’t fret. A new breed of fake gurus can help. Luckily, they have discovered the ultimate “formula”, “method”, or “code” to building wealth on autopilot. For only $3997, they will teach you how to turn $20,000 into $2 million in Forex, how to become a superstar Amazon seller generating $100,000+ in sales, or how to make a killing in real estate.
These tricksters are not your average thief. Having learned from the best charlatans, past and present, they have mastered the art of the hustle. Take Rajneesh who pulled off the greatest deception in modern history. The “spiritual guru” convinced doctors, nurses, pilots, even Hollywood stars to give up their houses, cars, jewelry, everything, just to join his 80,000-acre “spiritual” commune in Oregon, USA. By the time the FBI descended upon “Rajneeshpuram”, he had amassed a 55 million dollar fortune including 93 Rolls-Royces, and his commune bore a private army, secret police, and biological warfare laboratory.
This is not only a remarkable story but it shows even the smartest people fall victim to obvious frauds, knaveries, and swindles. A talented, devoted confidence-man has the power to brainwash you into never contemplating reality or, with today’s income-stream COVID-19 scams, accepting how difficult, challenging, and expensive, emotionally and financially, it is to make significant money using the platforms and products they sell and promote.
You have likely run into one of these guys on YouTube, Facebook, or Google either by accident or you have typed in “Forex”, “Dropshipping”, or “Passive income” out of curiosity. Interacting with their content becomes a death sentence. From your Facebook wall to your YouTube feed, your screen fills with the cheesiest, scummiest ads. And since your social media accounts live on all your devices, you can’t ignore them. They follow you around until you fall for one of many scams.
Forex trading — a phrase that makes any finance professional cringe — has become the fake gurus’ most popular mechanism to fleece their victims. 19-year-old “wonder kids” claim they have turned twenty grand into millions in just six months. Please. It’s only after you’ve been active in financial markets for years that you know bi-monthly 10,000% returns are impossible. The average hedge fund — a group of well-trained finance professionals — returns 0.06% per trading day or 16.5% per year.
Then, you have the insufferable dropshipping gurus who claim that selling via Amazon, the most crowded online marketplace, is now the opportunity of a lifetime. Meanwhile, research from Marketplace Pulse shows that only 4% of Amazon sellers make the same as a Costco employee. The real money is earned by selling the dream. This is the reality, yet many keep falling for it.
But, this could change. Just like how short-sellers continue to expose high-profile corporate fraudsters, online scam busters are doing the same to fake online gurus. Fraud investigators have become content creators, exposing charlatans via social media platforms. From flat-out exposés to interviewing previous victims, they deliver a public service — sometimes better than the authorities.
The most prominent online detective, Coffeezilla, reveals the most prolific cash grabs, frauds, and Ponzi schemes online, from Steven Mayer’s Amazon Automation to Nour Trades’ day trading chatroom. And as more and more fraud investigators and financial analysts join this scammer-exposé movement, fake gurus keep falling like flies.
But if you don’t want to sift through hours of video footage (like I have), here are the red flags: In the backdrop of their videos, they always have a Lambo and a mansion — both rented. Their product title contains one of these buzzwords: method, technique, or system. They convince you to buy an overpriced course ($1000+) that claims to give you all the answers. They sell you something in a saturated market. They try to silence anyone who exposes them. And they always — always — quote Warren Buffett. It’s repugnant.
Fake gurus sell a fantasy, a fiction, that only a few achieve, and the worst part is they target the vulnerable: people who have just lost their job, experienced loss, or hit a dead-end. Fake gurus earn millions off of desperation and misplaced euphoria.
Real gurus stay in the shadows. But if they do emerge, they remain 100% transparent. They give away their “secrets” at a price anyone can afford. They don’t advertise. You will find them; they won’t find you first. They are older and wiser. They will tell you everything you need to know before you hand over a cent, and they will only peddle the two things that deliver results: hard work and perseverance.
We will never rid the world — and especially the internet — of fake online gurus because, as they say, a fool is born every minute. But thanks to the scammer-exposé movement, we’re less likely to become victims to scams that push us further off track. The interconnectedness of the internet paired with the emergence of scam-buster-style entertainment may turn minutes into hours, and that’s a start, at least.