Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Scam Psychology: Crank Magnetism and Sheeple Magnetism

"Crank magnetism" is a phenomenon describing that a crank for one idea often is also a crank of one or more unrelated but equally unorthodox and often irrational ideas.  The term was coined in 2007 by Mark Hoofnagle to describe a particular Holocaust denier who also latched onto some crazy DNA theory of disease from someone else.

When I encounter this term, I immediately thought of how "sheeple", i.e. those victims ready to be fleeced, tend to fall for one scheme after another, not necessarily at the same time, but they are vulnerable to cross recruitment, i.e. "here's something else that'd be good for you". To my surprise, there is no such term.  While sheeple is defined, and there are related terms such as reload scam, the phenomenon that a sheeple can believe in multiple unrelated scams is not a term.

So let me coin the term now: sheeple magnetism... phenomenon describing a sheeple, who fell for one scam, is often vulnerable to other scams.

Ponzi scheme victims are the most often found examples of sheeple magnetism, esp. if they were among the "net winners", i.e the minority who got more out of the scheme than they put in (so the rest are net losers).  They were often given "contrafreeloading" tasks to make them believe they "earned" their money. Such "victims" will go on to a different scheme that they recognize to be of a similar structure: way too easy work, way too much money, and believe they found their path to riches.

Many schemes are started by former members of another scheme, esp. if they are of the "inner circle", the few who are privy to the actual backend operations. The perpetrator of Ad Surf Daily scheme, "Andy" Bowdoin, was a member of 12DailyPro ponzi operated by Charis Johnson. Ad Surf Daily was started merely 6 months after Feds took down 12DailyPro.

Many members of Ad Surf Daily went on to found or join several other ponzi schemes. Indeed, when you trace "career" of such, many of them just join one scheme after another and start their own at times. Indeed, most MLMs can be traced this way as well.

What they don't understand is they had entered an alternate reality where they BELIEVE they are entitled to the money that had been taken from others through false promises. Some may even accept that they are spending other people's money, but then they take the indignant attitude "they shouldn't play if they can't afford to lose", i.e. victim-blaming.  Paul Burks, head of ZeekRewards, was well known to have told a newspaper reporter to tell everybody not to blame him, that they should not play with money they can't afford to lose, after Zeek was shut down by the US Secret Service.

And even the victims who LOST money are vulnerable to such pitches, because they believe there is a shortcut to money, and whatever they encountered that victimized them was an aberration, and they just need to try a few more to find the "right" one, not believing that there is no such thing, and only insiders and a few judas goats actually make money from Ponzi schemes.

Sheeple, those who are vulnerable to scams, being lead around by judas goats, are also vulnerable to sheeple magnetism, in that they also believe other crank ideas about making money. This will lead them to fall for further scams.

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