Don't get caught stealing pennies

From time to time I get asked for my opinion on programs people see online or on late night TV informercials that tell them how easy it is to make money online and how they can teach you how to do it yourself. Some of these charge you to buy books, cds, videos to teach you their, others get you to use their software and web hosting services at very high rates and some do both.

I find it hard to believe that so many people will spend their money on these get rich quick schemes, but many do. Some people may think that it's only a small amount of money so they give it a try. What could it hurt? The problem is many of these companies put in the fine print that you're actually signing up for a subscription and they charge your credit card repeatedly. Some people have trouble getting the charges to stop based on complaints I've seen.

The Video Professor is one that's on TV frequently. When I saw his commercials, they seemed genuine. Especially the Video Professor eBay commercial where he says he's not going to promise you you're going to become a millionaire. Not everybody knows how to use a computer or do stuff online and it seems like a good product. I don't know, I've never had a need for it. I've been working with computers for a long time, my background is in computer engineering and I registired my first domain name over a decade ago. Plus he's not on a yacht or by a pool surrounded by hot models in bikinis. But there are many complaints online about the Video Professor from people that have had their credit cards charged more than they thought as well as having issues returning the trial videos that they sometimes ship. I've never purchased any of the videos but if you absolutely want to see them for yourself, I would strongly recommend you order your Video Professor videos from Amazon. Amazon is a very reputable company and if you order through them I'm sure they would help get any issues resolved. Like I said, I've never seen them, from what I guess they seem to cover basics.

But you don't need them. A lot of what you'll need to learn can be found online for free. If you want to buy some books I've always found the "For Dummies" books to be worth it. You can even find them in your local library. Don't feel embarassed about buying something for Dummies. It is a very respected brand that produces quality material that many can understand. There are two non computer related ones on my desk right now.

There are also programs that say they don't charge you anything, so why not give them a try? They'll try and explain how they can afford to give these services away for free and how you help them earn money, but it's usually not worth your time. Some people may make some money, a few may even make a lot of money, most won't make anything. The only people sure to profit are those that created the program.Some of these programs don't even have legitimate ways to earn money. Some are just trying to get you to reveal personal information so that they can use to steal your identity.

To explain basically how most of these free money making programs work, let me use a non Internet example. This way everyone can understand even if they are new to doing business online.

You've probably seen the Take a Penny, Leave a Penny trays at many stores. People don't want to carry spare change around and can opt to drop a penny or two in the tray, then if someone else is short a penny they can take it from the tray. It's basically money someone doesn't want and anyone can use. It's not even money that belongs to the store.

If you wanted to, you could always make sure you were short a penny when you went to the store and save a penny on every purchase. Or even better, every time you go to the store, take a penny or two. You go to the store anyway, so it's not inconvinient. But a penny or two a day is chump change.

Even if you found a way to go to a couple dozen stores a day, you're still not making anything significant. One person can only go to so many stores. But there are millions of pennies sitting idle in trays around the country. Put them all together and you're talking some serious coin. The only way to get at them is to have more people helping collect pennies.

But why would anyone want to go around collecting pennies for you? No sane person would. So that's why you decide to convince them that they will make money too. Probably through some multi level marketing scheme wehre you tell them they get a share of everyone they recruit. Imagine you get 100,000 people to grab just 10 pennies a day. That's $10,000 each day right there. Even if you gave 50% back to the penny-takers you're still making almost $2 million a year.

Some people will be able to convince others to join and be happy with what they earn, most will feel stupid explaining to their friends and family that they should steal pennies for them and drop out, but the guy implementing the plan makes out like a bandit.

Is this technically stealing? I'm not sure, let's say it's not, but at some point it may be or at the very least, the cashiers will likely catch on to many people and pull the tray back when they see you. The whole take a penny system may be abandoned entirely by storeowners. If you didn't get in early, you likely won't find enough takers before the jig is up.

This may seem like a lot of work for pennies, but the Internet makes it easy to implement a scheme like this because you have access to over a billion people and the Internet facilitates commerce. What's worse, we're not talking about just pennies with most of these schemes.

You may think it's not bad, give it a try, you might be one of the few that makes it big. Chances are you won't. All you will do is help make someone else rich and possibly get yourself in legal trouble. And let's not forget about the risks regarding identity theft and credit card fraud I mentioned earlier.

There are legitimate ways to make money online, you don't have to resort to stealing pennies for someone.
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Bart Ski said...

lol someone is a little paranoid
great advice, yes, we need to remain careful nowadays

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