Where do con artists and scammers get their credibility?
There are countless examples of online consumers being hustled by foolish scams, schemes, and frauds.
Fake Nigerian princes offering a chance to get millions tomorrow if you only send him $10,000 today.
Fake “Microsoft agents” selling “technical support” in order to gain access to grandma’s bank account.
Frauds that most people can spot, but how do they gain credibility?
One recent scam artist making waves online is CBD salesman Joe Vargas.
Vargas’s company has made headlines recently with claims that his CBD is watered down, short of the ounces marked on the labels, or even fake.
Vargas was recently suspended from Twitter after many reports that he was running scam giveaways.
With the new popularity of cash giveaways and philanthropy on Twitter, Vargas apparently joined a disturbing trend that has emerged – fake giveaways for retweets.
Vargas would offer people money for retweets, and as tipsters informed me, he would not give away the money he promised. Many have speculated that Vargas would simply give the “prize” to an employee of his that he owed money to anyway.
Like many con artists do when running a scam, Vargas tried to gain credibility by warning people against other scams.
Only when people look beneath the surface does the truth emerge, and the light shines to reveal the phony and the fraudulent.
Joe Vargas’s credibility disappears when people take the time to look closely.
Maybe the reason schemes like those of Vargas succeed is we don’t look closely enough.
It’s sad we have to look so closely to make sure everyone we deal with is not a scam artist. Online rating companies have not yet reached the point to truly tell consumers where the frauds really are.
To avoid being cheated by the Joe Vargas’s of the world, we must all be vigilant about who we trust online.