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Hey Girl! How Would You Like To Make $1,000 A Week?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Should MLMs be legal?

Yes. It's a legitimate business.
3
5%
Yes but with mandatory and clear disclosures of actual income statistics.
10
15%
No. They are blatantly fraudulent.
46
70%
I want to make easy money for no work!
7
11%
 
Total votes : 66

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Scomagia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Hey Girl! How Would You Like To Make $1,000 A Week?

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:40 pm

Yes, it's time to talk about the so-called home businesses being peddled to stay at home moms and young women everywhere! I'm talking, of course, about Multi-Level Marketing, the hottest legal scam!
https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/201 ... ue-arbonne
https://money.howstuffworks.com/pyramid-scheme2.htm
https://www.truthinadvertising.org/mlm- ... stigation/
A TINA.org investigation found more than 97 percent of DSA member companies engaged in misleading marketing schemes that peddle false and unsubstantiated earnings claims trying to convince prospective distributors to join their MLM network. TINA.org’s probe examined the marketing of every DSA member company as of Nov. 29, 2017 and found that 137 out of 140 misrepresented the amount of money participants are likely to earn — misrepresentations that cause real and substantial harm to consumers.

TINA.org’s findings not only constitute violations of FTC law, they also breach the DSA’s own Code of Ethics and in doing so contradict DSA President Joe Mariano’s public statements on the supposed higher standards of the code:

But what do the earning figures actually look like for MLMs overall?
And this fact, that most MLM participants do not earn substantial incomes, is not new. The DSA acknowledged more than a decade ago that the majority of distributors made less than $10,000 per year from direct selling, with a median annual gross income of about $2,400, or $200 per month, which means that half of all distributors made less than $200 per month before deducting expenses associated with their business.

Moreover, a review of 32 income disclosure statements that TINA.org was able to dig up for current DSA member companies revealed that more than 80 percent of distributors grossed less than $1,200 annually or less than $100 per month before expenses. And for about half of these companies, the disclosures indicate that the majority of distributors made no money at all.

For example, Team National, whose CEO holds a seat on the DSA Board of Directors and also chairs the DSA Education Committee, revealed in its 2016 income earnings disclosure statement that 93 percent of its active distributors (or about 45,000 people) averaged a gross income of less than $500 for the year, or less than $42 per month before deducting expenses. The disclosure goes on to state that about 86 percent of all active distributors “received no income at all,” which equates to almost 42,000 distributors losing money. At the same time, Team National has posted more than 120 distributor testimonials, including over 50 videos, making lavish lifestyle claims.

That's right. Not only are you exceedingly unlikely to earn any worthwhile amount of money, you're actually pretty likely to even out after expenses or, worse, actually lose money! This is despite the claims made by these companies that you can be a self made woman (usually) with her own business. Yet, despite the blatantly false claims made by MLMs, they are perfectly legal businesses in the US and many other countries. Now, you may be asking yourself: "how does a business that follows the same essential structure of an illegal pyramid scheme not get shut down?" Apparently, pyramid schemes are legal if you pretend from the outset that the main goal is selling a product, even if nearly all of the company's profits actually come from sign up fees. Yes, it's that simple. If you make a business exclusively based on profit from new member's fees, that's illegal. If ypu make a business that derives virtually all of its profit from new members but you also sell a product (regardless of its actual marketability) you're totally in the clear.

So, now that you know a bit more about MLMs, what is your opinion? Should these companies be illegal like their pyramid sceme bretheren, or do you think the addition of a product differentiates these businesses enough that they should be legal? Are you in an MLM, or have you or someone you know ever been in one? What was your experience?

My three cents: MLMs are insufficiently different from illegal pyramid schemes, despite the "products" (which are often overpriced and low quality items that are difficult to move) and should be illegal or, at least, should be forced to end their deceptive advertising claims. I helped an ex-girlfriend peddle Avon, which sucked, and in the past year I've seen two good friends get sucked down the MLM rabbit hole. They've become distant because they're always trying to hustle their shit and their Facebook pages have become more fictional than real since they started lying to get new recruits. "Fake it till you make it" is a very real part of MLMs and recruits are usually encouraged to lie openly and often about their profits to boost their downline with new recruits.
https://www.talentedladiesclub.com/arti ... -and-sell/

So, what say you NSG?
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Heloin
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Heloin » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:02 pm

They're legalised Pyramid Schemes and nothing more. They should be made illegal and they owners of MLMs should be in jail for fraud.
Last edited by Heloin on Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Huskar Social Union
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Huskar Social Union » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:03 pm

Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.


Anyway, scam's a scam, doesnt matter how you dress it up.
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Scomagia
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:04 pm

Heloin wrote:They're legalised Ponzi Schemes and nothing more. They should be made illegal and they owners of MLMs should be in jail for fraud.

That's my feeling exactly. After seeing my friends "invest" literal thousands of dollars in this hokum, I am infuriated that they are legal! It's no different than three card monty or any other base hustle.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Kowani
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Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:05 pm

Whammy, blammy, ban the scammy.
Narcissistic (Hedonistic) Nihilist. Yes, I am edgy. I know.
Dorgival R. Seč of the NS Parliament!
Atheist and still proud of it.
Post-Capitalist, Post-Nationalist.
Rights are functionally just privileges society has deemed important.
Prydania wrote:
As a Canadian? I find Americans and their deep, deep distrust of the government to be fundamentally, critically, laughably flawed. And I say this as someone who is, all and all, quite comfortable and happy in his new life in the US. The humidity's a bit much, but yeah. I like here. Still? I find some aspects of your country completely absurd. The distrust of anything remotely resembling authority is one. The gun problem that stems from that is another.

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Cekoviu
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cekoviu » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:07 pm

Yeah, they should probably be illegal. They can also disintegrate into some really awful shit like with Keith Raniere's sex slaves.
\begin{center}
NationStates should support \LaTeX
\end{center}
Torrocca wrote:"Your honor, it was not mein fault! I didn't order the systematic genocide of millions of people, it was the twenty kilograms of pure-cut Bavarian cocaine that did it!"

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Scomagia
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Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:07 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.


Anyway, scam's a scam, doesnt matter how you dress it up.

Is it wrong that I've suggested such things to Mrs. Scomagia? :p Talk about some real easy money.

Right but the trouble is legally they aren't scams. MLMs have a powerful lobby and, additionally, several members of the Trump administration are or have been heavily involved in the "industry", including Trump himself. Any moves to make MLMs illegal are going to have to wait for a new administration and have some serious financial backing.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Scomagia
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Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:08 pm

Cekoviu wrote:Yeah, they should probably be illegal. They can also disintegrate into some really awful shit like with Keith Raniere's sex slaves.

That's the NXIUM sex ring, right?
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Cekoviu
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cekoviu » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:09 pm

Scomagia wrote:
Cekoviu wrote:Yeah, they should probably be illegal. They can also disintegrate into some really awful shit like with Keith Raniere's sex slaves.

That's the NXIUM sex ring, right?

Yep. Though you spelled it too reasonably; it's actually NXIVM for some reason...
\begin{center}
NationStates should support \LaTeX
\end{center}
Torrocca wrote:"Your honor, it was not mein fault! I didn't order the systematic genocide of millions of people, it was the twenty kilograms of pure-cut Bavarian cocaine that did it!"

User avatar
Kowani
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Posts: 12812
Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:11 pm

Cekoviu wrote:
Scomagia wrote:That's the NXIUM sex ring, right?

Yep. Though you spelled it too reasonably; it's actually NXIVM for some reason...

Well, the V is just Latinate script U...
Narcissistic (Hedonistic) Nihilist. Yes, I am edgy. I know.
Dorgival R. Seč of the NS Parliament!
Atheist and still proud of it.
Post-Capitalist, Post-Nationalist.
Rights are functionally just privileges society has deemed important.
Prydania wrote:
As a Canadian? I find Americans and their deep, deep distrust of the government to be fundamentally, critically, laughably flawed. And I say this as someone who is, all and all, quite comfortable and happy in his new life in the US. The humidity's a bit much, but yeah. I like here. Still? I find some aspects of your country completely absurd. The distrust of anything remotely resembling authority is one. The gun problem that stems from that is another.

User avatar
Scomagia
Post Marshal
 
Posts: 18405
Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:12 pm

Cekoviu wrote:
Scomagia wrote:That's the NXIUM sex ring, right?

Yep. Though you spelled it too reasonably; it's actually NXIVM for some reason...

Ah, of course it'd be spelled as fucktarded as possible. Man, that one is seriously dark. MLMs in general often have a cult-like atmosphere but they rarely become a legit cult. Most of the time they just indoctrinate things like magical thinking via the "Law of Attraction" and similar junk.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Oxes Republic
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Founded: Nov 08, 2018
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Oxes Republic » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:13 pm

The only reason to keep it legal is the subreddit r/antimlm is pretty good
Pro: Life

Anti: Signatures on RMB posts

Poitiscales Score

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Ors Might
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Founded: Nov 01, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Ors Might » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:13 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.


Anyway, scam's a scam, doesnt matter how you dress it up.

I had the same thought.

Somehow this is even more disgusting, albeit a different kind of disgust.

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Heloin
Negotiator
 
Posts: 6656
Founded: Mar 30, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Heloin » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:15 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.

I'll sell you all my dish water for next months rent. I'll even spit in it for free.

Scomagia wrote:
Heloin wrote:They're legalised Ponzi Schemes and nothing more. They should be made illegal and they owners of MLMs should be in jail for fraud.

That's my feeling exactly. After seeing my friends "invest" literal thousands of dollars in this hokum, I am infuriated that they are legal! It's no different than three card monty or any other base hustle.

An ex briefly got sucked into on of them and it took basically everyone, friends and family, to convince her that she was caught up in a scam. The biggest danger really that MLMs have is that they have the legal protection so they can paint themselves at legitimate so easily.
"Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!" - Joe Hill

Rabbit and Rhodie Girl in her 20's. Proudly Zimbabwean, living in sunny and humid Florida. Join your Union.
I love Rugby. Go Springboks, Go Sables! I draw things. Take a look!

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Scomagia
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Posts: 18405
Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:16 pm

Oxes Republic wrote:The only reason to keep it legal is the subreddit r/antimlm is pretty good

I love r/antimlm. I found that subreddit when I was investigating the bullshit my friends were buying into.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Cekoviu
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Founded: Oct 18, 2017
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cekoviu » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:23 pm

Kowani wrote:
Cekoviu wrote:Yep. Though you spelled it too reasonably; it's actually NXIVM for some reason...

Well, the V is just Latinate script U...

Which would make sense if they had any other Roman imagery, but their entire point as an organization is removed heavily from that.
Scomagia wrote:
Cekoviu wrote:Yep. Though you spelled it too reasonably; it's actually NXIVM for some reason...

Ah, of course it'd be spelled as fucktarded as possible. Man, that one is seriously dark. MLMs in general often have a cult-like atmosphere but they rarely become a legit cult. Most of the time they just indoctrinate things like magical thinking via the "Law of Attraction" and similar junk.

Yeah, and even the publicly visible side of it is seriously fucked up. There's a bunch of indoctrination into being completely self-hating if you're a woman and putting men into misandristic, yet chauvinist roles.
At least according to my understanding; most of what I know about it is due to the CBC podcast Uncover.
\begin{center}
NationStates should support \LaTeX
\end{center}
Torrocca wrote:"Your honor, it was not mein fault! I didn't order the systematic genocide of millions of people, it was the twenty kilograms of pure-cut Bavarian cocaine that did it!"

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Valrifell
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Postby Valrifell » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:25 pm

Give 'em the old wham bam blam ban, like most countries already have.
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Kowani
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Founded: Apr 01, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Kowani » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:25 pm

Cekoviu wrote:
Kowani wrote:Well, the V is just Latinate script U...

Which would make sense if they had any other Roman imagery, but their entire point as an organization is removed heavily from that.

In that case, I’ve got nothing.
Narcissistic (Hedonistic) Nihilist. Yes, I am edgy. I know.
Dorgival R. Seč of the NS Parliament!
Atheist and still proud of it.
Post-Capitalist, Post-Nationalist.
Rights are functionally just privileges society has deemed important.
Prydania wrote:
As a Canadian? I find Americans and their deep, deep distrust of the government to be fundamentally, critically, laughably flawed. And I say this as someone who is, all and all, quite comfortable and happy in his new life in the US. The humidity's a bit much, but yeah. I like here. Still? I find some aspects of your country completely absurd. The distrust of anything remotely resembling authority is one. The gun problem that stems from that is another.

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The Huskar Social Union
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Founded: Apr 04, 2012
Left-wing Utopia

Postby The Huskar Social Union » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:27 pm

Heloin wrote:
The Huskar Social Union wrote:Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.

I'll sell you all my dish water for next months rent. I'll even spit in it for free.

No offence but im gona have to turn you down.
Scomagia wrote:
The Huskar Social Union wrote:Thought this would be about your woman sending tap water to thirsty boyos on the internet for some reason.


Anyway, scam's a scam, doesnt matter how you dress it up.

Is it wrong that I've suggested such things to Mrs. Scomagia? :p Talk about some real easy money.
you.... do you, cuz that girl is a genius as far as i am concerned, she is playing her audience like a fucking fiddle.
Scary Spooky Leftist #19879417 An Atheist Irishman from Belfast Loyal to Dragonstone and the King in the Narrow Sea

Yeh: The Red Agenda, Purging the Xenos, Not being a prick, Vidya Gaemz, Art, Science, History, Old Gregg, Blondes, Redheads, Tattooed girls, Erecting fortifications, Tanks.
Neh: The Blue Agenda, Being a prick, Xenos, Racism, National/Religious wankery, Zealots, Gatekeeping, Alt-right/SJW Snowflakes, Random lists, Dismantling Fortifications, Cabbage.

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Scomagia
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Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:31 pm

Cekoviu wrote:
Kowani wrote:Well, the V is just Latinate script U...

Which would make sense if they had any other Roman imagery, but their entire point as an organization is removed heavily from that.
Scomagia wrote:Ah, of course it'd be spelled as fucktarded as possible. Man, that one is seriously dark. MLMs in general often have a cult-like atmosphere but they rarely become a legit cult. Most of the time they just indoctrinate things like magical thinking via the "Law of Attraction" and similar junk.

Yeah, and even the publicly visible side of it is seriously fucked up. There's a bunch of indoctrination into being completely self-hating if you're a woman and putting men into misandristic, yet chauvinist roles.
At least according to my understanding; most of what I know about it is due to the CBC podcast Uncover.

A lot of MLMs do encourage misandry, even to the point of directly lying to your husband about your expenses because "he just doesn't want you to be an independant woman!"

It's really sad. :(
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Heloin
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Founded: Mar 30, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Heloin » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:31 pm

The Huskar Social Union wrote:
Heloin wrote:I'll sell you all my dish water for next months rent. I'll even spit in it for free.

No offence but im gona have to turn you down.

Prude. Don't help me pay my rent, fine. See what I care.
"Don't waste any time mourning. Organize!" - Joe Hill

Rabbit and Rhodie Girl in her 20's. Proudly Zimbabwean, living in sunny and humid Florida. Join your Union.
I love Rugby. Go Springboks, Go Sables! I draw things. Take a look!

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Petrolheadia
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Petrolheadia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:31 pm

Look, I don't wanna be the asshole here, but if you enter an MLM scheme in 2019 with all that is known about them, it's kinda very much your fault.
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Scomagia
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Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:38 pm

Petrolheadia wrote:Look, I don't wanna be the asshole here, but if you enter an MLM scheme in 2019 with all that is known about them, it's kinda very much your fault.

The same could be said about any scam, though. These companies deliberately prey on desperate young women and stay at home moms, two groups eager to make money selling things to their friends and, in the case of moms, too busy to really get the facts straight. I have a lot of sympathy for those being hustled.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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Petrolheadia
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Founded: May 02, 2015
New York Times Democracy

Postby Petrolheadia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:40 pm

Scomagia wrote:
Petrolheadia wrote:Look, I don't wanna be the asshole here, but if you enter an MLM scheme in 2019 with all that is known about them, it's kinda very much your fault.

The same could be said about any scam, though. These companies deliberately prey on desperate young women and stay at home moms, two groups eager to make money selling things to their friends and, in the case of moms, too busy to really get the facts straight. I have a lot of sympathy for those being hustled.

You can have sympathy, but it still does not invalidate their ability to reason by themselves. If you don't know what you're getting into, don't get into it.
Capitalism, single-payer healthcare, pro-choice, LGBT rights, progressive personal taxation, low corporate tax, pro-business law, welfare for those in need.
Communism, socialism, Nazism, edgism, dogmatic statements, multiculturalism, most of Abrahamic-derived morality (esp. as law), welfare for those not in need.
We are not Albania and I am not Albanian, FFS!
Male, gearhead, classic rock fan, gamer, agnostic, centre-libertarian.
Where you can talk about cars!
"They're always saying I'm a Capitalist pig. I suppose I am, but, ah...it ah...it's good for my drumming, I think." - Keith Moon,
If a Porsche owner treats it like a bicycle, he's a gentleman. And if he prays to it, he's simply a moron. - Jan Nowicki.

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Scomagia
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Posts: 18405
Founded: Apr 14, 2009
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Scomagia » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:43 pm

Petrolheadia wrote:
Scomagia wrote:The same could be said about any scam, though. These companies deliberately prey on desperate young women and stay at home moms, two groups eager to make money selling things to their friends and, in the case of moms, too busy to really get the facts straight. I have a lot of sympathy for those being hustled.

You can have sympathy, but it still does not invalidate their ability to reason by themselves. If you don't know what you're getting into, don't get into it.

That's sort of fair but I think you're overlooking the social pressure that gets a lot of people hooked into these scams. Oftentimes it's a trusted friend or relative giving you the pitch and that makes a lot of otherwise smart people buy into dumb things.
[Insert bizarre political diatribe here]
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