Cryptocurrency and the Utter Stupidity and Misperception of What People Consider a "Scam"

6 Min Read
1271 words

The other day, I mentioned to someone that part of the reason we were able to pay our property taxes this year was that we had sold some Bitcoin.

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Blinded by the light?

It's a Scam!

Whereas this person was happy for us that we could pay our taxes and not get foreclosed on, there also followed the comment "I hope you're bring careful with that stuff, it's sort of a SCAM, isn't it?"

The situation was not worth salvaging, so I didn't engage.

Also not very long ago I explained to a "Facebook friend" (who asked) why I seemed to have "disappeared" from the giant social website's pages. So, I explained that I had been over on Hive for the past four years for the bulk of my social content creation needs, and that I had found a really cool community there.

Again, a similar comment: "Oh, I looked at that once, but it seems kind of scammy."

Side note PSA: I have stopped calling Facebook and twitter by names like Farcebook, Fartbook, Fakebook and twatter because I really don't think it helps places like Hive onboard a more mainstream user if we always sound like we're angry and "have an axe to grind" with everything that's NOT Hive. /End PSA

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But THIS is Legit!

Meanwhile, I just received I received a credit card offer in the mail to get a "Milestone Gold Mastercard" with the following terms:

  • 35.9% Annual Percentage Rate for Purchases
  • $175 Annual Fee
  • $12.50 Monthly "Maintenance Fee"

Clearly, not a "scam" because it was mailed to me by a bank and it has the MasterCard logo on it. Right?

Of course right!

IF it LOOKS Like a Duck...

Having been in — and a writer about — business opportunities and network marketing since the late 1980's, I am pretty intimately familiar with the world of "scams" and dynamics of what makes something an actual scam vs. (for example) just a really bad idea.

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Bottom line, for something to be a scam, you have to put up money (or some other form of valuable security) and subsequently not receive what was represented to you.

Bitcoin, clearly, is not a scam.

The fact that you misplaced the keys to your BTC wallet is no more "a scam" than dropping your wallet with $500 cash in a shady part of town and calling it "a scam" that the wallet was empty when you got it back.

The fact that BTC was $61,000 when you bought in and then immediately declined to $53,000 does not make it "a scam" any more than the tech stock you bought for your retirement portfolio at $100 and which now trades at $17 is "a scam."

The fact that "criminals" use Bitcoin doesn't make it "a scam" any more than drug cartels sending entire shipping containers of dirty cash around the world makes fiat currency "a scam."

Hive, clearly, is not a scam.

You make an account, write some good quality posts (hopefully) and get rewarded with some Hive. The fact that you're getting Hive rather than US dollars, does not make it "a scam." The fact that you don't get rewarded as much for a picture of a hot dog as someone who has tirelessly been blogging for four years, does not make it "a scam."

You don't "work for" Hive, and you were never promised "an income" for being here.

The ridiculously costly MasterCard, clearly, is not a scam.

The paperwork is quite open and transparent about the fact that they will charge you a shitload of money to carry their little piece of plastic around, and then a shitload more if you ever use it to purchase something. That card may be a really BAD idea, but that does not make it "a scam."

Some people have such depth of bad credit that such an offer actually looks good. I'm not one of them.

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People, and the Rationalizations We Use

The uncomfortable fact for many people to wrap themselves around is that there are FAR more "really bad ideas" in the world than there are "scams."

We like to identify those bad ideas as "scams" because the semantics of doing so allows us to enter a "victim" position ("I was scammed!") rather than having to face the fact that we made some really bad choices to get involved with some really bad ideas.

And it only gets worse when greed and desperation are involved: Suddenly we develop huge cognitive blind spots that somehow enable us to completely overlook information that's right in front of our faces.

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Scams... and Cognitive Blindness

Let's just take the very expensive MasterCard, clearly targeted to those who have horrible credit and are trying to rebuild.

What a person in the target market SEES when they open the envelope is "Congratulations! You're PRE-APPROVED for a MasterCard with a $700 Credit Line! even though what they should be seeing is that it'll cost them $325 a year + 35.9% interest.

A very similar thing happens to people when they read that "Bob J. from Hoboken makes $19,000 a month trading Idiot Options™!" and they completely overlook the $495 signup fee and the fact that "Bob J. from Hoboken" (who really DOES make $19,000 a month!) has been doing this for 15 years and is an expert trader while YOU had never heard of Idiot Options™ till five minutes ago.

The fact that you will not start making $19,000 a month does not make Idiot Options™ "a scam." And nobody held a gun to your head... you made the connection between Bob's income and yourself!

Be Careful Out There, Folks!

Maybe I'm preaching to the choir, here... I don't know. I just know that I see a lot of people get sucked into some pretty ridiculous things... only to have to listen to them whine eternally about how they were "scammed."

No.

No, you weren't. You just fell asleep to the obvious, and now you're afraid to "own" it.

Thanks for reading, and have a great remainder of your week!

How about YOU? Are you clear about what is a "scam" and what is not? Have you ever been genuinely scammed? What happened? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!

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Created at 20210318 16:03 PST

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