Thursday, February 27, 2020

Are MLMs Empowering?

Do MLMs empower people?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer (but still short enough)...
While some people can get the “feeling” of empowerment by being part of an MLM (Multilevel Marketing), the reality is usually quite different.

Most MLMs will often lure people in with the idea of lavish lifestyles and financial freedom.  They show people in with flashy cars, big houses, travelling to exotic places, etc.  The truth of the matter is that in most MLMs distributors end up losing money (99%), and very very few make anything but a thousand a year or less.

Most MLMs are chalk full of inspirational quotes and speakers.  They push “guru” books that give very little real world advice on how to run a business.  Basically you are hiring a cheerleading squad that does little else but cheer.  It’s not much value to a “business owner.”

On that note, most MLMs would like to make you think you are a business owner.  Here’s the truth.  You are not.  For comparison, McDonald’s Franchise owner go to McUniversity to learn how to do everything, including finances.   Most MLMs don’t offer that type of support or advice. 

Most distributors (or whatever name the MLM wants to call them),  lack a registered business name.  The reality is that they are really working for the MLM, but because of a legal loophole they don’t have to pay you like a regular employee. 

Here’s just some of the things a real business owner has to consider:
*Business registration, business licence, vendor permit,  etc. (the basics to just starting your own business)
*Business Insurance (are you covered if something goes wrong at a party at someone’s house?)
*Vehicle Insurance (you are using you car for business purposes.  You need to let your insurance company know that you are because you can be denied a claim if you don’t)
*Health Insurance (most business owners are responsible for their own as they are not working for someone else)
*Office space/Home Office Insurance (again, make sure you are covered. If you are storing retail goods at your home, that needs to be covered)
*Accounting/Finances (most business owners learn how to run basic finances so the can know exactly how much they are making.  That includes all the licenses, insurance, gas/mileage, office supplies, business attire, miscellaneous supplies, advertising/marketing, internet, phone, rent, etc.    This is why most distributors don’t realize they are not making money.  They have no idea what costs they actually incur.)

Most distributors don’t consider the amount of time they put in and make sure their “income” reflects that.    They are making next to nothing while the company is raking in boatloads.  Doesn’t quite seem “empowering” now does it?

Most MLM products are over-priced.  They couldn't compete in the regular retail marketplace.  Their business model then focuses on selling to their distributors (and thus creating the down-line/up-line pyramid scheme type format) who have little hope of selling to regular consumers.  When little is going to end-users is where most MLMs get into legal trouble.  Distributors lose money as MLMs try to convince that if they only worked hard enough they could be wealthy.  If distributors fail, MLMs/Uplines will blame the distributor.  Is that empowering?   I don't think so.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Contest Scam

Be aware that when you enter a contest on social media, like Facebook, that there are lots of ways scammers can attack you.  First and foremost, make sure the contest is legit.  Check to see if that page is the actual product/company page (scroll to see if they have years of postings and not just a week for example).  Never click on links without being sure they are legit.  If you can't tell, then don't click on it. 

Scammers will also send you false winning notifications.

Here's a screencap of a scammer imitating Sweet Baby Rays. 

The first thing I notice is that the name is different.  They have their name as Sweet-BabyRays.  That's a big redflag that it is a scam.  Always be vigilant in checking everything.  Do not let the emotion and excitement of winning lower your defenses. 

I view the legit contest rules and it says winners will be announce 2/28.  Well this person posted on 2/20.   That doesn't make any sense.  I think the person is betting on people not noticing this fact and reacting to the "win". 

This is what the scammer's page looks like:

This is the only post on their page!   Instant red flag!!   They want you to click on a link.  Never click on that link.  They want your email (your email will also be sold to other scammers to let them know that you are gullible, a potential mark), and for you to create a password.  They are banking on the idea that your password will be similar to other passwords you use (something1, something2 etc) and thus will be easy to hack.  

You'll note the weird language "WANT WINNER!!!".   Ummm a legit big company like Sweet Baby Rays would not usually use awkward language like this (Yes sometimes companies can make grammatical mistakes, but bad grammar can also be a red flag...again be vigilant in checking to make sure it is legit).   

They say "this is not fraud".   Ummm no actual company would say that.   

If you see posts/pages like this scammer report it to Facebook, Admins, and even the actual company.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

EMF protecting crystals

I came across a website that claims a lot of things.  Most of what was said was complete nonsense.

The first thing I noticed is that this website/blog is loaded with links to selling crystals.  So the bias is clear.  They want you to buy their crystals.  Keep that in mind.

She talks a bit about what EMF is and while very simplistic, I can’t see much fault there except in the fact that she leaves out important info that would, of course, go against her ideology and prevent the selling of the crystals that she has.

She mentions electromagnetic sensitivity.  People who have claimed this have been tested and every single one fails a double blind test.  Check out the multiple studies and systematic reviews

Ok, so EM sensitivity is psychological and phsyciological.

Are there any concerns about EMFs?   
As I’ve discussed before on my blog.  No, not really.

So do the crystals have any EMF blocking ability?
Some do have some magnetic properties and metals in them that MAY disrupt EMF...BUT that would only be blocking within the crystal itself and not creating some forcefield around you.  Also any metals blocking would have completely surround the person, like a Faraday Cage to be of any actual use.  So even if it could work, a crystal on a chain around the neck is not going to protect you.

Further down she mentions Mercola, whom I’ve discussed many time here on Scambusting as a quack who constantly give bad and misleading information.

She suggests turning off your wifi at home and use a cord to connect to the internet.  Well, EMFs are everywhere my dear.   They are created by things like...electricity.  Also sunlight is part of EMFs.  You can see how silly this person is being with the suggestions as it’s clear she really does not understand EMFs at all.   The EMF spectrum:

She mentions about EMF Blocking paint.  I’ve never heard about this.  Sounds hokey to me.  And so it is.   Assuming EMF blocking paint would work, it’s on your walls.  Again, you have electricity, lights, etc all in your home.   You are not blocking really anything.  Again, if you want to block you have to create a Faraday Cage.  Such paint with conductive metals in it have very limited ability, if any.  Especially if they are not grounded.  Purchasing it is just a waste of money, unless of course if you paint your windows to block out the sunlight!

There is so much wrong that is said in the blog that I won't tackle it all.  Suffice to say, this is just nonsense plain and simple.   It's important to remember this...

The old scam artist rule of thumb:  Create a fake problem and then create the fake cure for it

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

A "study" put out by EWG (Environmental Working Group) has claimed that there are dangerous levels of Glyphosate in cereals. 

 Is this this true and is there something to worry about?

First let’s consider the source:  EWG.   This group is funded by the organic lobby so it has a clear bias.  Critics have labelled EWG tactics as "alarmist", "scaremongering" and "misleading".  They have been debunked many times so anything that they put out is highly questionable.  The EWG also likes to position itself as an official agency.  Many people are unaware of this and just assume it has credibility.

Second: The EWG admits that “The Products meet the regulatory standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.”  The EPA is a legit agency.  So any levels the EWG are claiming are recognized as safe then.

Third:  The Environmental Protection Agency has said that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.    The EWG likes to bring up a recent court case where a farmer sued Monsanto as proof that it is a problem.  Remember that court cases are not science.  Court cases are not always about the truth or reality.  The bulk of the scientific evidence is that glyphosate is perfectly safe.  “Even at the highest level reported by the EWG (833 ppb), an adult would have to eat 158 pounds of the oat-based food every day for the rest of their life to reach the strict limits set by the EPA."  The safety threshold level proposed by the EWG is 100 times lower than any oversight agency around the world.

Fourth:  The study was a round of tests and not peer reviewed.  Hardly a credible study by any means.

Suffice to say, there is no concern and disregard any info put out by the EWG as they have shown time and time again to be misleading.