Look at this perfect response to a pyramid schemer

Originally published at: Look at this perfect response to a pyramid schemer | Boing Boing

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Reminds me of this classic:

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So it’s a “win win” for everybody!

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Back when I was commuting to work, I would see a dozen or so cars on the freeway each day, decorated for these pyramid scheme companies by the participants. It always made me sad that people get so sucked into these things that they pour effort into building a business around it. Handing out cards, turning their daily driver into a rolling billboard, etc. It’s all so doomed, but the person doesn’t see it.

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I feel like the perfect response to a pyramid schemer is a dope slap, but this is good too.

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I’m guessing that nobody with an “Ask me about Herbalife” bumper sticker has ever been asked about Herbalife. :-/

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Let’s find out how many slaps it takes to cook a schemer.

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I have a lot of mixed feelings about this. I’m sure some MLM sellers are well-off Karen types doing it as a Marie Antoinette cosplay of work, and/or assholes who consciously want to weaponise social norms to get your money. But the main driving force is obviously desperation, and most sellers are victims of a social disease.

Like, if all your friends are into MLM, maybe there’s a problem with your social scene (and maybe you’re part of it)? They’re obviously getting the idea from somewhere that mortgaging their house to buy Herbalife and cosplay as a Successful Entrepreneur is what’s missing in their lives.

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Yeah, it’s definitely weird. Probably people from some large and terrible facebook group judging from how they refer to each other as “mommies”.

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I’ve been bored lately and using my time to sport fish scammers of the hookup variety.

One asked for my phone number to help “verify” their account for vague reasons. I gave them the FTC fraud hotline number. They kept asking fore the code I would be texted that would allow them to steal my account. Then a long pause. Then they were like hey, that not your number. I responded with don’t be mad bro, you tried to hijack me. They laughed and then abandoned that account.

A short while later I got a new “friend” request. They immediately, without much of any chatting, sent me an address to come over immediately to hook up. I used google street view to snap a photo of the front of the house. I sent them the photo and said I was at the house but no one answered. They abandoned this account as well. I’m still unsure what the plan was with sending me that address. If it was to waste my time by pranking me they should have said have said that to let me know they “owned” me. If they had someone waiting near the house I think they would have argued I wasn’t there.

I’ve done enough research to know the 419 scammers do sometimes have people on the ground here that can be called to do in person surveillance and physical intimidation on targets. So if messing with these folks don’t assume you have a safe geographic barrier.

I loled the other day when a “blonde haired”, “blue eyed”, born and raised “American” kept using a common Nigerian expression. But they were so used to using the expression they couldn’t see the mistake they were making. I finally asked why do you think I am a maghas? This “American” immediately knew what that meant and said I was no white fool and that added I was very handsome. Little sugar never hurts to sell the lie. lol

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And if only it was just bumper stickers. These people have turned their cars into rolling billboards with big window stickers with their contact info and such. Like monuments to corporate grift.

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Yah, the lines are blurry. To some degree these people think they are signing up for a get rich quick scheme, so shame on them for greed and not knowing better. That said, a lot of these people don’t have a ton of great options in life, and if you don’t dig too deeply, the slick presentation from the regional rep can make a lot of sense. They are victims in this as well, and the only pure villains are the execs running these companies. Those animals know exactly what the fuck they are doing and I still can’t believe MLMs are legal. Such a transparent scam.

Mommy bloggers are a huge portion of the base for these scams. There’s a lot of overlap there with alternative medicine woo, antivax, etc. All things these unregulated “supplement” companies cater to. That, cosmetics, and kitchen implements have long been the core of MLM. The up and coming market is the bro gym bunnies, pushing Alex Jones protein powder on each other.

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heston2_phixr

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Yeah, I think it’s important not to immediately assume people at the bottom of MLMs are stupid. The presentations are honed over years to effectively psychologically manipulate people into joining, handing over their money and evangelizing to new people as surely as any cult. And and many of the MLMs are legal (by hook or by crook] and have been around for years - so people, reasonably if naively, assume that the company couldn’t make the claims of wide spread success they make if they weren’t true.

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What expression did they use? I need to be alert for 419 scams!

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Whatever they were doing seems super sketchy. Do you think they had someone ready to burgle your home when you left?

I believe it, but there’s a big failure mode to this one: Alex Jones is a terrible fitness spokesperson. Do think he has ever lifted weights, let alone tested his one rep max in the deadlift? There’s a crowded field of juiced hucksters ahead of him on this one.

(For the lurkers, the best supplement advice on YouTube is from Alan Thrall: https://youtu.be/xUXfVUaZDtU 100% comprehensive supplement advice for athletes of all types. He did do a couple follow up videos, but the first one is the definitive guide.)

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The word used was ALAYE.

The first search result I got was a region in Nigeria. But that didn’t seem correct in this context. They typed just that word like: ALAYE!

So I searched more and found several meanings but got the gist it could be exclaimed in many different contexts that would alter its meaning.

I don’t think they were using it in the thug manner described below as everything else they were saying in English was attempting to be flattering to win my trust. But I was starting to piss them off because nothing they could do would convince me to do whatever stupid thing they wanted. So who knows.

Just now I did another search and found this on Quora:

Firstly, there is nothing like “Nigerian” as a language.

Nigeria has over 200 different local languages, not one common one. The common national language is not local. It is English or a derived form of it called “Pidgin English”.

“Alaye” is a word from the Yoruba language spoken in South West Nigeria.

It is a syncopation of two words used as a phrase: “Ala aiye”

“Ala” which is one of the means of referring to “Owner” in Yoruba and “Aiye” which means “Life” in Yoruba.

So, literally, it means “owner of life”.

Figuratively, it means (and is used for referring to) a (i) “thug” or (ii) “someone powerful”. The use as the former is negative, while the use in context of the latter might be out of respect, banter or endearment.

It is used to refer to thugs because thugs can be violent and in the process take one’s life, hence effectively saying they are the owners of life because they can take it from someone without the person’s permission. Thugs don’t mind being called Alaye, it is not disparaging to them, they find it respectful. It is very similar to calling a Mafia person a “Don”.

It is used to refer to the power of someone by telling, or highlighting to, them that ‘they are so powerful, they can impact the quality of life of others’ OR ‘they are so successful, they are enjoying life as if they own it’. Mostly used in this context amongst friends.

So, generally, it is not an offensive word as the people it is directed to can appreciate it based on their own life and context.

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All I could imagine was it was either a prank to send me to random house to ask for sex and then boom I’m embarrassed, OR someone was going to be nearby and mug or otherwise make my day go bad. But I think I caught them off guard by appearing to be at the house in just a few seconds and I said no one answered the door so if it was a prank it failed. If someone was supposed to intercept me they had no time to get there.

Oh I just re-read your question. They didn’t know any of my personal details. All they knew was that I was in location based group (Seattle) so I either lived in Seattle or had spoofed my location like all the scammers do to join the group. If they did try to burgle me I live in a secure building with security at three locations (2 electronic and 1 human guard plus security cameras) before they get to my locked door several floors up.

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