Sunday, June 14, 2015

Scam Tactic: Redefine Common Words / Doublespeak

The term doublespeak was introduced to the world by George Orwell's book "Nineteen Eighty-Four", where it was defined as "using language to introduce ambiguity and confusion to block out facts and aims that does not fit in the program." (slightly paraphrased)  It is no surprise that it is among the arsenal of the scammers.

One such example of doublespeak is the appropriation of the term "sharing" to mean promoting / selling, and "selling" as buying.

According to the Vemma promotional material updated in late 2013, members are no longer representing the brand as "brand ambassadors". Members are instead, "affiliates" in affiliate marketing where member affiliates refer customers to the company, and earn some commission for sales they brought in. And affiliates are encouraged to buy some products as "some to enjoy and some to share". There are special bonuses for those who buy large starter packs.  The following screencap is how it was explained on most Vemma affiliate sites:
Screen cap from a Vemma "affiliate" website explaining what you need to do to get paid: BUY STUFF FIRST!

Did you see the problem yet?

HINT: Your upline (who recruited you) gets commission for the stuff YOU buy, both the starter pack, and the monthly autoship.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Let's say you joined, and this sounds perfectly innocuous. Right? WRONG! YOU are the CUSTOMER, if you bought drinks and drank them. Your "sharing" the drinks with others means you are not selling. You are CONSUMING what you paid for by drinking them yourself and giving them away.

Rhetoric: "I am helping the company sell the drinks."

Reality: "I am buying the drinks (for consumption, and making my upline money)."

Has the reality sunk in yet? You've been exposed to a reality inversion field. You're being taught to ape buying, but calling it SELLING.  You've been taught to call black white.

Note the sequence of events:
  1. Pay Vemma (buy either "Silver Pack" @ $499+ S&H + tax or "2pk" @ $136+S&H+tax )
  2. Recruit people (who also buy Silver Pack or 2pk)
  3. Keep paying every month ("2pk auto ship" @ $136+S&H+tax)
  4. Earn money from people you recruited every month (see step 2) 

You are not selling the stuff. You are BUYING the stuff (and recruiting people who do the same)

You don't want the product. You only bought the product because you were told you need to to join the opportunity and earn money. Yet you are buying them nonetheless, NOT FOR RESALE.

Rhetoric: "We are distributors of the products."

Reality: "We are customers of the products (and we don't resell, we only buy stuff to 'share')."

Furthermore, the BMW bonus and the Frenzy bonus are only available if you buy the $499 pack vs. the cheaper $136 pack. You are BUYING your earning power (i.e. a potential raise), rather than earning them through your sales prowess.  Which is yet ANOTHER reality distortion...

Rhetoric: "We are rewarded for our sales."

Reality: "We are rewarded for amount of money we put into the system."

Would you work at a company where you are encouraged to "contribute" 350 extra just so you get a CHANCE (not even guaranteed) to earn more money or benefits... before you actually start? Where pay's not guaranteed, and depends on how many OTHER people you drag into the scheme like your recruited recruited you?

But those in the scheme don't see it that way.

Don't fall for doublespeak. Watch and make sure the actions matches the rhetoric. When they don't, run away and never look back.

P.S.  Vemma was accused by Italy of being a pyramid scheme in 2014 and ordered to pay a fine.

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