Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Scam Tactic: Moving the Goalpost (aka Special Pleading)

Moving the goalpost is very simple to explain with a single image:

Moving the goalpost, courtesy of zapiro @ zapiro.com
If someone moves the goal post, you'll never to be able to score a goal.

So what does that have to do with scams? Two ways:

1) when scammers promised one thing, then moved the goalpost with some excuses, or

2) when scam deniers tried to deny the evidence of the scam by moving the goalpost.

Scammer Moving the Goalpost

Scam companies that promise an IPO (initial public offering) while offering stocks or options to affiliates are known to move the goalpost because the IPO either will never take place, or takes place but were completely useless.  One such example was Wantong Miracle 萬通奇跡 scam in China, where a known scammer who launched multiple scams in China AND in the US seem to have finally been arrested by Chinese authorities.

Some suspect that recent attempts by Visalus to roll back the promised "founders equity incentive plan" may also be "moving the goalpost" after one side had already satisfied the requirements, only to be met with even MORE requirements from the other side or lose the supposed equity incentive they have gained, that a judge had to issue a restraining order.

OneCoin, which has been accused by multiple regulatory bodies on multiple continents of being a scam or a suspect scam, has repeated changed or delayed its IPO or ICO (depending on when you asked).  In January and February 2017, OneCoin announced they will go IPO in "early 2018", then the date was moved to July 2018 according to a Chinese website on OneCoin. However, in September 2017, the news completely changed. Instead of IPO, affiliates of OneCoin claimed that OneCoin will conduct an ICO (initial coin offering) instead, and it will not be until October 2018. That's at least THREE delays in less than a year, and it's ALWAYS a year away.

"Always delay the day of reckoning" is a standard bull****er tactic.

Let's go onto our next topic, scam denier moving the goalpost

Scam Denier Moving the Goalpost

Scam deniers are people who deny that the scam is a scam, often in face of facts and logic. Clearly, you can't argue against logic without logical fallacies, and one often employed was moving the goalpost.   Following is a summarized and edited version of actual dialog I had with a scam denier:

A: Acme XYZ is not a Ponzi! It does not promise return!

B: Acme XYZ doesn't need to promise a return to be a Ponzi. Other Ponzis didn't.

A: Acme XYZ is not a Ponzi because it cannot collapse because it only shares 50% of its profits.  (move #1)

B: Acme XYZ's "profit" is generated by affiliates reinvesting the money. When affiliates wanted to pull the money out, profits will shrink. When affiliates go to 100% withdrawal, there is no more profit to share.

A: Acme XYZ uses bids linked to real money, not imaginary money, so it's not a Ponzi.  (move #2)

B: Ponzi has nothing to do with "imaginary money". See legal definition.

A: Acme XYZ is not a Ponzi because Ponzi can't pay everybody. There are NO reports of people not getting paid by Acme XYZ. (move #3)

B: Uh, there was one reported the day before...  Not to mention getting paid doesn't prove anything. (Madoff Ponzi paid for a decade)

A: That's an "obviously brand new affiliate..." (who don't know what he's doing) (move #4)

Note how A reacted to being refuted. He simply moves the goalpost, never conceding his point. He used most of the bad arguments outlined here.

Another possibility goes like this:

A: Acme XYZ is not a scam!

B: Countries (), (), and () say it is.

A: It's just the local affiliates doing it wrong! Acme XYZ is fine!

B: That's not what the warning / judgment says.

A: It's just a misunderstanding! It's just missing some registration papers!

B: The charges are violation of laws (), (), and () which has nothing to do with registration

And this goes back and forth...

What to do about others moving the goalpost?

If it's a suspect scam, the winning move, much like Wargames, is "not to play". After all, why play a rigged game where you can never win? How much crap are you going to take?

If it's a discussion, and your opponent chose to move the goalpost, point it out, then ask if your opponent chooses to concede that point. Every point he brought up, answer it, but remind him "so what do you say about that previous topic of ______"?   Do not lose your cool, but if this keeps up, you can start acting a bit condescending. "Have you greased your goalposts today?" or such.  Sooner or later your opponent will tire of losing and leave, or hopefully start really contemplate what sort of beliefs he's holding.

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