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TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


AlphaKretin posted:

Is a company called Accenture an MLM? Someone I speak to has started working for them and has evidently been strongly encouraged to recruit others to do the same.

Accenture is a legit company as far as I know but their stock market...symbol? whatever. is ACN, which is an apparently-unrelated MLM company. Learn something new every day.

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TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


MisterOblivious posted:


I don't put much stock in the "TV Detector Vans" actually doing much detecting, but the British absolutely did have the technology and deployed it in mobile units to track down spies cats years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5MnyRZLd8A#t=129s

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Collateral Damage posted:

OpenBSD spoofed that skit when they added network redundancy (CARP) in version 3.5.

https://www.openbsd.org/lyrics.html#35

This is awesome

My wireless is called Cat Detector Van and I swear to god I've had people say "Are the cops here? Why are the cops here? There's something called Cat Detector Van." ...really?

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


MLMs are one of those things I've spent a lot of time reading about (because barely-legal scams are fascinating) and like 99% of the time, probably Primerica also, they don't give one single tiny rat's rear end if a single product is ever sold to a customer; most of them don't even track sales, except to consultants, because that's the only money going into their pockets. MLM ladies/dudes (it's usually ladies) gush about how much money the company is making while conveniently omitting that they made $10 this month after business expenses because they alienated everyone they know by posting super-bubbly image macros with eight fonts and stolen stock photos 18 times a day on facebook. The companies are doing great, but literally 99% of the people participating in them lose money.

Since Primerica doesn't have inventory, the classes are their cash cow - lol if you think it's "one class" or they won't pressure you into having to buy training materials and CDs and DVDs and whatever to make up for not having $200 minimum monthly inventory orders. Recruiting is always the key in these though, because new recruits mean new $250 classes/$2500 initial inventory packages/starter kits/whatever. They can fall out after a month and the company loses nothing. Primerica and the other "inventory-less" MLMs are treading a lot closer to the fine line between MLM and pyramid scheme than ones with actual products and I hope they get smashed into the ground.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


EKDS5k posted:

It's this, even with the ones that have actual inventory. Merchants of Deception was written by a guy who bought into Amway for years, and got all the way up to Emerald level (which according to him is like the top 1%), and barely made enough to get by. Near the end he starts to realise that it's literally only the top 0.01% who are making real money, and that money comes primarily from selling tapes of the training seminars, pamphlets, books, etc, to their downlines. I believe you can still find the free, working copy version (with edited names) online, but when he went to actual publication he changed all the names to their real ones.


here you go friend

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


I'm a fan of pinktruth.com, it's run by a forensic accountant and former Mary Kay lady. A lot of the articles are kinda repetitive, but there's a lot of actual company scripts and documents, the other contributors are almost exclusively former MK ladies with grudges, and she does extensive math on the upper-level suckers' income using MK's own materials to prove they're not actually making money either. Seconding Betting on Zero as well.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Desert Bus posted:

I just got this in my email. It looks legit, so I think I'm going to get right into it. I'm leaving the real email addy there so none of you will miss out on this opportunity:

"Sondra Rangel <alvarezixjkatiaol@outlook.com>

Dec 13 (5 days ago)

to me

If you're looking for a full time job, we have something to offer you in a logistics industry. We are sure that comfortable conditions and developed sense of responsibility is the key to success. So let's have a look at our proposition.


Job Responsibilities:

- Stay at your location to receive packages delivered to your address via USPS, UPS, and FedEx during regular working hours 10am - 6pm on a daily basis.
- Browse the list of arriving shipments, your day to day tasks, and shipping labels.
- Check parcels and take and upload pictures of the contents of each package.
- Merge packages in case of need.
- Forward the mail to clients by printing and affixing labels and transporting the mail to the nearest USPS offices.


Your regular working day will be:

- Receive different packages to your address through postal services
- Receive the list of arriving shipments using a special programm.
- Check the presence of the contents in packages, take photos of the contents and upload them
- Pack packages again if necessary
- Send the packages to the final destination, print logos and deliver to the nearest delivery service.


But we also have some required conditions:

- Qualification is considered, but not mandatory.
- Ability to function independently with no supervision.
- US citizenship with a postal address.
- Capability to deal with packages up to 30 lbs


So if you feel like it's you - write us as soon as you can and don't even hesitate. For a better response, please, write us your phone so our HR-manager could contact you and tell more."

Wow, this sounds completely legitimate! No legal trouble could possibly result from such a great opportunity. Count me in.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Guildencrantz posted:

Wait, so what kind of illegal activity is this part of, apart from just being obviously shady? Is the gist of it is that you're moving some kind of contraband, like drugs or stolen/smuggled goods, or is there some deeper scam to it?

Any number of things, generally shady customs avoidance and/or barely-disguised money laundering

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Absurd Alhazred posted:

I just got a call earlier today from the "Windows Department in Microsoft about my computer". I egged the guy on, told him the whole thing sounded suspicious, then asked to speak to his manager, so he hung up.

He said he was in Oregon, but I looked up the number and it's a Quebec, Canada area code. That spoofing is really annoying.

I recently got a couple of texts/calls from an angry dude here in town that was absolutely convinced that I, a drat-near-40-year-old cook with kids, was pranking him or harassing him by calling his number repeatedly. I had to tell him multiple times that scammers spoof phone numbers, including screenshotting my call log screen to prove the only calls to his number were incoming, before he stopped - never heard back from him so I'm assuming he finally just blocked the number. Fuckin number spoofing is a pain in the rear end.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


I mean, Avon is probably one of the less exploitative MLMs but it's still an MLM, one of the oldest and most well-established ones. The fact that they focus more on sales just helps to legitimize them, but I doubt anyone would see significant money without pushing recruiting hardcore just like any other MLM (also lol if they think they'll be making significant money with that either).

The bits to look out for are "which is more important, recruiting or actual sales?" "do they track product sales to customers or only to consultants" and "are you encouraged to keep a massive inventory of poo poo you will likely never sell". Bonus points for "does the product actually do anything" and "does it work better than something you can get from the drugstore for $3" Any MLM that hits any of those red flags is not worth even spending the effort to listen to a pitch for, because it's guaranteed to be Mary Kay/LuLaRoe/ItWorks! level of scammy garbage

e: also, in tangentially related news, every single facebook post from a "millenial" MLM (LLR/Scentsy/ItWorks/etc) is a copy/paste from their upline and/or the company website. I see a lot of people (not necessarily here) wondering why every MLM shill post has the same feel to it, well, that's why.

TheKennedys fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Dec 26, 2017

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Adnachiel posted:

I got a message on Facebook yesterday from someone I haven't seen or spoken to since middle school. (They said elementary, but it's been less than that.) When I was going through their profile to figure out who they are, I noticed that all of the public groups they belong to are LulaRoe related.

I have a feeling this isn't purely an attempt to reconnect with a childhood friend that just popped back into their head one day. I don't even wear leggings.

Must be fairly new to the game if they're still in the "people you knew in middle school" part of their warm market. If they'd been doing it a while, they'd probably be harassing people at Starbucks or passing out gilded business cards in the subway

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


goatsestretchgoals posted:

Gathering up phone numbers of known idiots similar to confirming emails via unsubscribe links?

it's this one, yeah. she'll probably start getting even more "courtesy calls" than usual from spoofed local numbers soon, goondolences

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Don Gato posted:

English dialects are all mutually intelligible minus minor grammar points, it's not like Chinese where I feel like I have to relearn large parts of the language when talking to people from the countryside, let alone the other Chinese dialects in the south.

I feel like I appreciate English more as a totally hosed up language after working for a Fujianese man only a few years older than me who speaks three variants of Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese/Fujianese) fluently. Even he regularly trips up trying to figure out English grammar, and his native language is basically black magic.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Achmed Jones posted:

That’s why you use the phone number you got in 2003 when you lived on the other side of the country.

What, your cell phone has the area you actually live in? RIP

I did this and it was great until I moved back to the original area like 12 years later, now it's a pain again.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet



Wasn't this an episode of Black Mirror except with pedophilia

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Don Gato posted:

My grandpa put in copious amounts of msg and it tasted amazing.

Just worked at a Chinese restaurant for a year and a half, can confirm. Everything has "corn sauce" or "wok seasoning" which is very specifically not labeled MSG

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


The Lone Badger posted:

One teaspoon of pure msg fed to a person is very excessive. Use extremely small amounts or bulk it with dextrin or salt so you can sprinkle it freely.

This is relevant as well, idk what other places do but ours was bulked with salt and/or dashi (I think) most of the time. Might be thinking of the wrong word. It's in goddamn near everything though, including "salting" the water we steamed veg in

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


My 73-year-old mom got a "your Microsoft Windows is about to expire!" call the other day and while she knows less than nothing about computers, she hates the phone and hangs up on anyone she doesn't know, and is an old school mild racist that doesn't trust anyone with an accent. She called me to make sure it wasn't something real and I got a chance to fill her in on some scam call/robocall info, which she appreciated, as well as letting her know that no, your Windows doesn't expire and you can hang up on literally anyone that says they're calling about your computer. At least some of the Boomers can learn.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Do y'all's apartments not accept money orders/cashier's checks? Getting to the bank is a pain in the rear end but I don't have to dig out my checkbook that I've used like...three times since 1999

in fairness I've got free money orders at the bank

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Televangelists/megachurch preachers in general probably qualify as con artists, in fairness, but yeah might not be the best derail

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


HerStuddMuffin posted:

There’s already the fear that being on a donor list makes you more likely to be preemptively declared dead by hospitals if you go in there looking like a promising organ box.

Joke's on them, I'm an organ donor and a career smoker with lovely vision, they won't be able to use a goddamn thing by the time I kick off

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


More accurately, the consultant is the customer. Once the product moves from the company to the consultant through them making (mandatory) bulk inventory orders, the company gives not one singular gently caress what happens to it after that. The wholesale price that say, Mary Kay ladies pay for their poo poo from MK is more than you could get Revlon for at Walgreens, so the company has its money.

The entire risk falls on the sales people, who have been told explicit lies about market saturation and saleability of the product. They can ostensibly sell it at "retail" price (twice wholesale) but that obviously almost never happens between unsellable product and discounts/bribes to host parties/expenses. Most MLM products end up in a basement/garage or on eBay for a fraction of "wholesale", and the consultants end up in terrifying amounts of debt.

MLMs are cancer.

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Mouse Dresser posted:

I see them pop up on Facebook marketplace from so many different people in my city. I was also gifted a pair a while back and they aren’t even that nice of leggings. I got better quality ones at Target. And those were half the price my friend was charging for Lularoe.

Lularoe was absolutely baffling to me because Walmart has leggings for $5.99 and they aren't falling apart (though some of them are LLR-level ugly) and they come in sizes that actually fit humans. I have three pairs from two years ago that are still in perfectly good shape. whyyyyyyyyyy

makeup MLMs are mind-blowing too because Sephora/Ulta and drugstores are right there and objectively better quality, but it's ultimately a cult so I guess that explains that. Some people just need to feel like they're part of something, and if they have to spend money to get that rush of positive attention and adulation and feel important by "owning their own business" by god they're gonna join every MLM they see.

the Venn diagram of people who take MLMs seriously and people who fall for 419 scams is basically a circle

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


ToxicSlurpee posted:

Cults, MLMs, terrorist cells, and hate groups tend to target the same demographics, actually. Now, not everybody in those demographics will potentially fall for all of them but they use the same tactics and hunting grounds. Usually what they go for are the disaffected, the disappointed, and the lonely. Like you said; the need to belong to something is a big thing. People need tribes. The tribe is basically an evolutionary superpower and is why we won the biological arms race. Forming tribes is inherent in what people are. We can't get away from it; it's how we survive. This is why loneliness stresses people right the hell out and ultimately kills them. It's also why the threat of social rejection is such a strong threat against people. It isn't that people are threatening to throw you out of the group; they're threatening to throw you out of your tribe which is extremely dangerous in the wild surroundings people evolved in. People actually pick up little tribal identities like quirks in how they move, talk, dress, and what have you. We can't not.

So they target people whose lives kind of suck, who don't have a lot of friends (or any, really), or who are disappointed with how their lives are turning out. This is why MLM meetings resemble cults. They use the same recruiting tactics and know precisely what they're doing. They're finding people without a tribe and they're offering them one. That's a siren song that's difficult to deny. They also target people who are struggling and clinging to anything that might let them get out of the situation. Somebody strolling along and saying "hey we'll help you start your own business and get you rich" is extremely tempting. Of course they go after people who don't have a head for numbers or who don't have the math skills to see how impossible the odds actually are. This is also why they do that whole "oh but you are a hard worker that will totally claw your way up to that half of a percent that actually makes money." Well, no. Those slots are already filled by the time you've even ever heard about the MLM.

MLM bullshit should be 100% illegal.

This is a good post, y'all read this

TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


I really enjoy that I've been hopping my phone number between carriers for 20 years, because even if I didn't already know about the spoofing, there's almost no legit numbers still in use on that exchange so it's automatically suspicious. I've gotten a whole slew of nasty messages on occasion when someone spoofs mine though, which I usually just ignore since I don't have time to give a master class on phone number spoofing

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TheKennedys
Sep 23, 2006

By my hand, I will take you from this godforsaken internet


Inceltown posted:

The sort of person who believed them before saw the conviction as vindication for just how right they are and that the state is trying to hold him back. So no people aren't loving morons they're worse than that.

I get a lot of mileage out of the phrase "willfully dense"

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