A Rough Guide To Spotting Shady Opportunities (part 3 of 3)Shady Opportunities are out there, waiting to take your money on promises of fabulous income... if you hand over your money first. There are twelve signs. Obviously a shady opportunity may not have all the signs, but the more signs you spot, the more shady the opportunity is.
9) Unverifiable Testimonials / Improper disclosure
Real testimonials were unsolicited from users who have no personal interest in the success of the product.
The problem is "personal interest" spans a huge range, and often in areas that you may not expect.
|Dan Ariely speaking at TED (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Furthermore, the testimonials often came from promoters... who are out to recruit you. They have a FINANCIAL interest in making sure the product works, more than merely effectiveness interest. And when they don't even identify themselves as promoters, they are running afoul of Federal Trade Commission guidelines on online advertising.
Testimonials in generally CANNOT be relied upon. You need large scale scientific studies to verify efficacy. If they rely on testimonials instead of science, they are shady and should not be trusted.
10) Cherry-picked results
11) Unreplicable results
If they only mention the good studies they probably have something to hide.
Mannatech, in attempt to prove themselves, have indeed sponsored many clinical trials for their "glyconutrients", and many were indeed done by large reputable research labs.
Two of the tests was done by Dr. Best in Australia's Flinders University.
Back in 2005, Dr. Best did a research on Ambrotose. The conclusion was:
There were no statistically significant effects of the treatments on the performance on any of the outcome measures.http://mannatechscience.org/files/file/Tbest-An%20investigation%20of%20sacch.pdf
Yet in the 2010 study by the same Dr. Best, with slightly different methodology, she claims noticeable performance increase.
Significant beneficial effects of saccharide supplementation were found for memory performance and indicators of well-beinghttp://mannatechscience.org/files/file/publications_TBest_Sacc_Effects.pdf
But of course, it was the 2010 study that was heavily highlighted and distributed to all Mannatech members, and was even mentioned by Mannatech’s “forward looking statement” to investors. Not a single WORD about the 2005 study contradicting the 2010 study. That's cherry-picking, folks.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence... VERIFIABLE evidence. Unreplicable and contradictory studies are NOT supporting evidence, much less "extraordinary" evidence.
12) Media Coverage and Reviews
Who wrote about this opportunity? If nobody covered it, or only covered as "press releases", then the company is not nearly as big as it claimed to be.
|PR Newswire logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Public Relations Firms are known to issue press releases, which are
sometimes posted on major news outlets. Those that appear on major news outlets obviously cost extra, but you can easily BUY such coverage. Sites like PRNewswire will guarantee posting on WSJ or NYT or similar outlets if you pay them enough.
And sometimes, some website will simply FAKE press releases, by claiming their announcement had been seen on various legitimate outlets but it's hosted on their own website. This happened so often, FTC sued ten of these fraudulent PR companies to stop them from making up fake news.
Remember, scammers are perfectly willing to lie, and you accept the lie.
And you will do so if you are ignorant of the facts, and are just NOT skeptical enough to question "proof" provided, then you should not complain about why could people trick you, when you ALLOW yourself to be defrauded.