Several Red Flags for Spotting a Phony or Scam

The world is full of phonies and scammers these days. They use various mediums such as phone solicitation, spam email, magazine and newspapers ads, TV infomercials, and plain old snail mail. They are constantly searching for their next victim. Like P.T. Barnum once said, "there's a sucker born every minute", so there's a plenteous pool.

To all of those potential victims, I offer some tips for spotting phonies and scams. There are several red flags you need to watch out for. Any of the following is almost always a dead giveaway that you have encountered a potential phony or scammer:

1) Someone claims to possess "secret" information. In today's world there are very few true secrets left. The news media is all over just about everything that goes on. Any information that someone tries to keep secret quickly gets exposed and reported to the world. Also, ask yourself, "why isn't the mainstream media interested in that 'secret'?"

2) A person repeatedly states that his/her extraordinary claims are "absolutely true", "not a joke", "completely accurate", or something else along those lines. If their claims are genuine, then those claims should stand on their own merit. Constant repetition of statements meant to reinforce the validity of their claims would not be necessary.

3) Someone's claim is not realistic and doesn't make sense. Remember what they say about things being too good to be true? Someone once showed me an ad in which a "home developer" was looking for people to build homes for and only wanted $500 up front. Curiously, he said he preferred those with bad credit over those with good credit. Obviously, he knew that people with bad credit are often the most desperate and gullible. He was eventually prosecuted for running away with more than $ 1 million in stolen "down payments."

4) Someone is spouting conspiracy theories. First, take a look at those people who believe in conspiracy theories. They are the same ones who believe pro wrestling is real. Do you want to be grouped with them? Second, as is the case with so-called secrets, any real conspiracies would be exposed by the media in a very short time. Major conspiracies such as those that some people are constantly alleging could never be kept secret for very long. At a minimum, the media would be interested in following up on that person's conspiracy claim, if it indeed it had some semblance of validity.

5) A person uses religion to try to convince you that they can be trusted. Their sales pitch consists of the repetitious use of words and phrases like "praise the Lord", "hallelujah", "God bless you", "glory to God", etc. If you ever encounter someone like this, hold on to your wallet and run the other way as fast as you can. True Christians would never use their religion as an advantage to try to increase their sales.

6) Someone claims that his/her get-rich-quick scheme, weight-loss program, etc. is "easy." Anything worthwhile in life requires effort and is never really easy. Besides, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it and people wouldn't be struggling to make a living and/or lose weight, for example.

7) A person makes wild-eyed claims that his/her product (that you have never heard of before) is "amazing" or "revolutionary." If it were actually "amazing" or "revolutionary", someone other that person and his/her minions would also be making that claim about the product.

8) Someone wants to sell you their "system" for making money that will make you rich. The obvious problem here is that if their system is so good, why are they wasting time telling you about it and trying to sell it to you? Why aren't they using that great system to make money for themselves? The truth is that their system for making money consists solely of selling suckers their system for making money!

Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.

More Resources

Self Improvement:Coaching Articles from EzineArticles.com
08/11/2020 11:42 AM
I Lived In A Cage And It Sucked
I recently bought Glennon Doyle's book "Untamed" and I'm so glad I did. I'm resonating with her stories. She's like my sister from another mister, who like me lived in a cage of expectations to be someone she wasn't in order to fit in with everyone else.
07/10/2020 04:49 PM
Celebrate Good Times, Come On!
Celebrating is good for the old mindset. This article offers from fun ways to do just that, celebrate!
07/02/2020 11:40 AM
To Be an Outstanding Communicator Your Voice Really Matters
"We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us." -Friedrich Nietzsche This is one of the quotes I have on my office "inspiration board," which reminds me every morning to sound my best on teleconferencing calls. We all wish to be "outstanding communicators" who can persuade people of our ideas and our visions of a new strategy.
06/15/2020 02:45 PM
The Differences We Pay Attention To
We have been on a long road as a human race. We should be able to come together by now. This is not the case. What is the difference that you are paying attention to? Is it possible for us to get past what has become an increasing trend in our recent history? It seems as if it can only go one of two ways. We come together and move forward as one humankind... or, we do not.
05/27/2020 09:02 AM
An Everlasting Debate - Which Is Better? Forgiveness or Retribution
This article discusses the topic of an everlasting debate, regarding the importance of forgiveness vs. retribution in man's life. Some people, including religious preachers, prefer forgiveness over the tendency of taking revenge. However, some people feel that retribution to some extent is needed for correcting the mindset of miscreants.
03/28/2020 07:45 PM
What Is Soul Coaching for Purpose?
How can a Soul Coach help me? Why working with a Soul Coach for Purpose - where does this bring me.
03/10/2020 02:46 PM
Coaching Employees in the Workplace for Improved Performance
In today's highly competitive business world, the most important asset of any company is human capital Tens, hundreds or thousands of employees that make up the workforce of a company are the most essential contributors towards profits, growth and success. Improving employee efficiency and performance are therefore major priorities for any company. With this growing need to continually boost employees' productivity, workplace coaching has become very popular among companies. This type of coaching is the best method to empower employees and thus contributing to organizational effectiveness.
02/12/2020 03:32 PM
Why You Should Hire Top Dollar Coaches Online
If you're broken, you should hire a coach. Some people think it's hard to get your life together but it isn't. You just need to hire the right coach to help you put things back where they belong. They sort out your stuff and put the parts back so you can find them. It's better than hiring someone to clean your kitchen. You can find your stuff when you hire a coach. And that's the truth!
02/05/2020 08:45 AM
Wellness Coaching Creating Your Story
We all live stories. Those stories are built on how we live every day. What would happen if you could decide the formula to live your ultimate story? Whatever you think of, you could achieve. This is a well-known path to succeeding at any goal. Because there are no limits on what decisions you make the next part of succeeding at writing your story is choosing what kind of character you want to be. This builds in certain qualities and values that will help guide you on the path you want to live.
01/29/2020 09:56 AM
The Wonderful Benefits of Coaching
VISION - MOTIVATION - FOCUS - CLARITY - ENERGY - SPEED - PRODUCTIVITY - RESULTS - SUCCESS - and more.. What could you do with this?
01/09/2020 06:43 PM
The Deadly Factors of Stress in the Workplace!
Where do you feel stress at work? Does it show up in conversations. Unmet deadlines or a workload that is not achievable? Read about what you can do to manage your stress before it takes a toll on you physically.
01/09/2020 06:41 PM
How Can Leaders Confront Their Blind Spots?
Learn about how to handle blind spots on the job. This can be scary but necessary if you want real growth.
12/16/2019 08:40 AM
The Four Agreements and Why I Take Them Personally
On the surface, the "Four Agreements" seem innocent, perhaps even thoughtful and wise. But then again, I would be a fool if I didn't always want to do my best; I am well aware that assumptions put an "ass" between "u" and "me"; and I have been teaching kids forever about how important "being impeccable with their word" is. As a navigator of life's river, this advice feels obvious. But when I come to "Don't Take Anything Personally," I can't help shaking my head at the simplicity of a journey that navigates on this "personal truth."
11/11/2019 10:37 AM
BYOB (Build Your Own Business)
If becoming a business owner is tugging at your heart there is a reason why. It could be a part of your purpose in life. And it might not be as hard as you think. With the right process and mentoring it is possible.
11/11/2019 10:36 AM
Go From Obstacles to Opportunities
Obstacles will happen, we can't control that. But we can control how we deal with them. Are we going to let them hold us back or push us forward? It's our choice. Obstacles can birth opportunities that can bless your life and the lives of others. Becoming a Certified Life Coach is one way you can transform obstacles into opportunities.
11/01/2019 12:59 PM
How To Get From Where You Are, to Where You Want to Be "Think, Think, Think"
Do you realize how powerful your thoughts are? Do you recognize the fact that your thoughts pre-pave the way to all that you do? In essence, your thoughts are like a magic wand that you wave over any situation. Make sure you are ordering what you want!
10/14/2019 02:06 PM
When "The Cause" Comes With Discomfort
So, how is your career's New Year's Resolution working out? By now, some of us are feeling good about effectively holding true to "the cause" we set out to pursue in the new year - but this is early into the year, I'm guessing most of us are still struggling with the discomfort that comes with the introduction of a significant change in our professional lives. This discomfort can come in many forms - lost time, longing for "the way things used to be," the pain of learning a new process and, of course, the feelings of inadequacy...
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Getting Your Career Wish List Just Right
'Tis the season to decorate our homes, drink eggnog at Holiday parties, and buy gifts off each other's wish lists. The experience of asking one another what's on a wish list can always be a little awkward - mostly because they are going to turn and ask you the same question! When they do, are you ready to say exactly what it is so that you don't end up with fruitcake?
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
How To Achieve Your Career Resolution
Years ago I was talking with someone who was training to run a marathon. But as he got deeper into training, he found himself continually more worn out - not from the running, but from trying to keep up with all the other things he still had going on in his life! Simply put, there wasn't enough room in his life for his new goal of running a marathon and all the other hobbies, obligations and responsibilities he was already involved in.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Can You Hear Me?
Have you ever experienced a moment when you realized that the thing you asked your staff, teammates, or even your children to do yesterday still hasn't been done - even when you gave them very clear instructions? It's easy to point blame, but consider this: it could be they really didn't hear what you thought you communicated. We often don't effectively reach our goals because we fail to take into account how we communicate.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
Is Change Making Your Career a Three-Ring Circus?
Everyone has a different reaction to unexpected change. Some embrace it. Others deflect it at all costs.
10/14/2019 02:05 PM
To Find Or Be Found? That Is The Question!
The Labor Department announced in June that the average length of unemployment is at an all-time high, the average being 39.7 weeks. Are these just the times we're living in?
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Your Career Approach - Stop! Drop! And Roll!
I've lost count of how many Career Coaching clients I've worked with who lost their confidence during a job search. It's understandable. When you have been seeking a job for months (and sometimes even years), you're likely to become a victim of self-doubt.
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Why Should You Hire Me?
It's the point blank question every hiring manager should ask in an interview - and the one that applicants almost never answer correctly. "Why Should I Hire You?" Hiring managers want to know what is unique about you, and they're not afraid to ask.
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
Where Is The "Hidden" Job Market?
Whether you're out of a job or looking to advance your career, you might be tempted to start the search on big career search sites like Monster.com or CareerBuilder.com. But studies have shown that the published market (including the internet) contains only about 20% to 25% of open jobs. But why?
10/14/2019 02:04 PM
How You See Yourself Impacts Networking
We've heard it a million times: "In order to find job opportunities, you have to network!" This message is as true as it is obvious. However, if you ask any given association, organization, support group or hiring manager, you'll probably find that everyone has a different idea of what networking actually means.
09/18/2019 01:35 PM
Be Inspired to Go Higher!
Coaching creates change. It can improve your life and the lives of others. Becoming a Certified Life Coach may be a dream of yours, but it won't manifest until you put that dream into action. What can you bring to the lives of others by stepping into your calling? Probably a lot more than you realize!
08/19/2019 10:01 AM
Empower Others to Stress Less and Live Their Best
Inner peace is a benefit available to all of us but not many people experience it. Why not? Because they have allowed stress to overpower them. If you have a passion to help others stress less and live their best then this article may be beneficial to you.
08/12/2019 09:04 AM
If Your Marketing Isn't Offensive, It Must Be Defensive
Do you deliberately drive away coaching clients? If not, why not? By not offending anyone, you're playing a weak and defensive game, and doing yourself no favours.
08/12/2019 08:59 AM
Declutter Your Thoughts With Brain Science
Are your negative thoughts getting the way of your success? Get on the decluttering bandwagon and apply it to your thinking. Improve your thinking, improve your life.
08/01/2019 07:49 PM
Change The Game
When your life is not going in the direction that you want. Follow these steps to change the game.
07/31/2019 08:03 PM
Become a Wellness Coach and Make a Difference
Becoming a wellness coach can provide you with an opportunity to educate and empower individuals to live the life they deserve to live. Many individuals are not living in holistic harmony and that needs to change. Bring your gifts and passion to the wellness coaching profession and make a difference.
06/24/2019 11:41 AM
Happiness End the Rat Race
End the Rat Race Life, like all wonderful vacations, must come to an end. While some may see this opening line as somewhat of a depressing thought, I hope many will also view it as sobering as well. Life is a temporary thing and very much like a vacation, it does not last forever.
06/11/2019 03:23 PM
The Entrepreneurial Success Plan for Coaches
Coaching is a booming industry but success is not guaranteed. But there are some things you can do to help fail-proof your business. Not doing these things could cost you your business, but doing these things can catapult your coaching success.
05/28/2019 09:22 AM
Ten Steps To Personal Freedom
Life can be frantic at times and we can so easily lose our perspective and end up living inside self imposed prisons of our own making. In this article I explore my top ten ways of finding personal freedom, leading to a stress free life which gives us time to breathe and live life to the full.
05/13/2019 09:59 AM
Leap Into Your Calling As A Coach
Coaching is an amazing career that has space for you! If you feel called to be a coach then it is time for you to take a leap into your purpose. There is an abundance of opportunities waiting for you!
04/24/2019 11:55 AM
Why People Invest in Peak Performance Coaches
Obviously, there are many different things that can spur someone to invest in a Peak Performance coach, but they all boil down to the same basic reason: to get better quicker. If you want to become more efficient, break through a seen or unseen barrier, learn how to communicate more effectively or learn new innovative strategies, they all involve doing what you do better. There is a common misconception that the more we do something the better we will get at doing that activity or vocation, however, the law of diminishing returns enters the picture rather quickly...
03/26/2019 12:27 PM
Joining the Army
The Law of Polarity states that everything has an opposite. For every bad situation there is something of equal or greater good or benefit on its way. After about 7 years into our marriage my husband started having a feeling like there was more, we should be doing in life.
01/30/2019 02:31 PM
What Are the Benefits Of Judiciary Coaching for Students?
Today, students of law are so busy with the theoretical aspect of their studies that they don't think about putting together some practical strategies for success down the road. As time goes by, competition among lawyers go up. Therefore, it's important for law students to get proper judicial coaching so that they are well prepared before you get into the practical phase of their life.
01/17/2019 02:46 PM
The Benefits Of Judiciary Coaching
Nowadays, most lawyers are so busy with their clients that they don't take the time to learn the most effective strategies for their professional success. With the passage of time, it's important for lawyers to reevaluate their strategies to ensure they are updated. We all go through ups and downs in our private and professional life. And lawyers are no exception. When they go through the feelings of dissatisfaction, most of them don't try to change just because they don't have any problem-solving tools. This is where law coaching comes into play. Let's find out why lawyers should opt for a coaching service to hone their skills.
11/06/2018 02:42 PM
How to Magnetically Attract Your Dream Coaching Clients
You can be the best coach in the world but if nobody knows you are there that is a disservice to you and to your potential clients. Knowing how to attract your dream coaching clients is a critical to your success as a coach. Once you know how to magnetically attract your dream coaching clients it can increase your impact and your income.
10/22/2018 02:02 PM
Move In the Moment
Divine opportunities are all around us but we have to move when the divine inspiration is there. If we don't we might miss it. When we are in the divine flow it can increase our purpose and prosperity.
10/16/2018 04:36 PM
3 Keys to Being a Successful Life Coach
Being a successful life coach means that you are excelling personally, professionally, and financially. The life coaching profession is booming and there are some great benefits available. This article will discuss three keys that can inspire and empower you to be a successful life coach.
09/17/2018 10:52 AM
Unleashing Faith In Business
Faith and business are not separate. Your faith is a important factor to your business success. As a entrepreneur things may not always be easy, but faith can give you the power to overcome any challenges, and succeed in a way that "blows your mind!"
09/17/2018 10:51 AM
Your Life Story Matters
You have a powerful story that can transform the lives of others. And your story matters. You might be surprised at how sharing your life story can catapult your success, and make a difference in the lives of others. And never think that your life story doesn't matter, because it does!
07/23/2018 08:08 AM
Formulation of Coaching Themes
The Coaching Programme is based on the purpose of the client's coaching intervention. This is recorded in a form of a coaching theme or topic. We should not coach without any coaching purpose. Once the theme is determined, the coach and the client formulate the coaching goal, and objectives. Whereas the coaching theme is responsive to the challenges and the client's desires, there are some common themes that may even be considered to be special coaching areas. The coach is informed by the context of the area and the client's perspectives. In this article I am addressing such common and generic themes, namely sport personality, community development, life & personality development, youth development, entrepreneurship development, relationship management, celebrity status, diversity management & inclusion, management & leadership, change management & transformation, and executive business.
07/11/2018 09:20 AM
Life Coaching Success - Life Success Planning
Planning to improve your life through coaching is based upon the partnership formed between the coach and the client. No goal is too small or to big for the coaching process. When you tackle a large goal you simply break it down into manageable pieces.
07/11/2018 09:18 AM
Do You Know What a Life Coach Does Exactly?
Many people do not understand what does a life coach does exactly but they have that a life coach can help them. This article focuses on explaining what a life coach actually does to help you reach your goals and obtain the results you want in life.
07/10/2018 10:09 AM
What Life Coaching Is Designed to Achieve
Life coaching is turning into a standard calling presenting abilities that numerous look to get. You might find that more individuals around you are getting instructed or notwithstanding concentrate to end up mentors. Significantly previous Google CEO Eric Schmidt advocates training, saying, "Everyone needs a mentor... each well-known competitor, each celebrated entertainer, has some person who's a mentor... somebody who can enable them to consider themselves to be others sees them."
06/30/2018 08:16 PM
Honour Your NO!
More and more I am discovering that we feel we can control others and we are giving our power away. We are justifying why we say NO, because we want approval, acceptance or feel the need to apologize, instead of honouring our NO!


More Coaching Information:

Related Articles

A Fresh Look at the Choices We Make
We are frequently held back from making future plans or reaching goals based on the perceived wrongness of choices we've made in the past. I want to give you something to think about.
Moment of Magic
Laughter may or may not be a shock, relieved, but its' therapeutic effects are recognised in most cultures. It allows a positive distractive moment or moments.
Plug in Your Systems for Success
Have you ever noticed that so many of us who work diligently and ethically rarely achieve our objectives? And, why is it that those who-seemingly-work half as hard and half as long experience one success after another?The answer is twofold; successful people succeed because they implement proven, systems for success. Secondly, successful people have mastered the art of making time, work for them.
Managing Your Perfectionism
What Is Perfectionism?This is the first of two newsletters that address perfectionism. In this issue, we will explore what perfectionism is and why it is destructive.
Listen To Me Lad Says Jack
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, when I was first starting out as an apprentice engineer, I was told to sit next to Jack.Jack was the longest serving Draughtsman in the organisation and he was one of the most lazy people I have ever met.
Good, Good, Good, Good Intentions
I always do a lot of thinking about good intentions in December.It's not because I'm inspired by the holidays.
Feeling Self-Conscious? 6 Tips to Turn it Around Fast!
When you feel self-conscious it means you are putting too much attention on your self, too much focus on what you are doing and how you are doing it. And this is a formula for poor performance.
The Real Truth About Working Smarter, Not Harder
Running a business or department can often stretch you to the limit.To be effective at doing what you do best, it's imperative to look at what tasks you can either delegate or outsource.
4 Steps to Successful Goal-Setting
Successful people have always had clear, focused goals that guide them to greatness.It took Thomas Edison thousands of attempts and thousands of failures over many years to invent the electric light bulb, but he new exactly what he wanted, and his goal kept him going until he achieved it The rest, as they say, is history.
Coaching for Physicians
Is Having a Professional Coach a Solution to Optimizing your Practice's Performance? "What do you do?"The proverbial question we get asked day in and day out by strangers, acquaintances, family, and friends. We are conditioned to answer with our current job or career.
The Need to Feel Special
From the time Jennifer was a little child, she was demanding of attention, especially from her mother, Sarah. With two older brothers, Jennifer had a "special" place in the family as the baby and the only girl.
Kabbalah Coach: Love the One Youre With
IntroductionEvery one of us came to the planet to figure out how to experience love in the human form. It is amusing to observe all the ways we try to find love, especially since most of us don't even know what we are doing.
You Have The Right
The other day I was having a interesting conversation with an acquaintance, but it soon turned out to be surprising and unpleasant. The other person blurted out an unwelcome comment, in a tactful manner by pin pointing a personal issue within the conversation.
Drop and Gimme Ten!
Every one of us have dreams, desires and goals that we put on the shelf. In front of them are a litany of excuses -- but not one reason -- why they aren't being pursued.
The Non-Conscious Mind at Work. Harness it for Your Success
Thoughts are real things. As soon as you realize how to control your thoughts you are on your way to making vast changes in your daily success.
Burn-Out ...Whats Next?
If you feel the heat of burn-out, it is possible to stop the fire before it stops you. Burn-out burns out confidence trust hope Burn-out can burn up your job your marriage your friendships There is a simple strategy for helping yourself prevent burn-out, especially if you are a person with more responsibilities than choices.
Saying NO to Good Opportunities!
Tracey started her video production company 2 years ago, and after struggling through the start-up phase, she was finally reaping the fruits of her labor. When we talked, it was clear that she was ready to move onward and upward but didn't know how to go about doing it.
Training is Not the Same Thing as Exercising
What it takes to GROW!In almost every workshop we deliver, we try to teach the principle that the mind is a muscle. What does this mean? Well, your mind and really your whole life operate on the same growth and strengthening principles as any muscle in your body, and almost everyone misunderstands what it takes to make a muscle grow.
A Perrverse Confidante
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 15, 2002Dad passed away years ago and Mom lives alone. She is still young and healthy, yet she always plays the victim.
Beware of Psychic Vampires
I am often asked how I stay happy and motivated all the time. The answer has two parts to it; positivity and self-talk.