Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The 311 on 419

With a lot of time in my hands but no business to enjoy my newfound freedom shopping (Oh, the irony!), I thought I'd have a look around the net and see what money-making ventures exist for little hobos like me with nothing better to do.

Sadly ladies and gentlemen, all of those "Make Money Fast" schemes are nothing more than the brainchild of Nigerians swindlers trying to get people to give them what little money they have left in their meager bank accounts. I mean, you won't be pruning about the information superhighway for some miracle way to grow your pennies into thousands of dollars if you were well-off now, will you? Damn scammers trying to clean out people possibly even needier than they are.

When desperation sets in, of course it's easy to believe that some dead guy from some exotic African state actually wants to give you his millions - because there are many millionaires in Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire, silly! This story, and its countless reincarnations now widely known as the "419 scams," is so incredible, so out of whack that it's quite astounding how many hopeless hobos have fallen into this crazy-as-Michael Jackson trap. Which is why Her Hoboness took it upon herself to stop more of her fellow hobos from following the same pointless and calamitous route.

I put together a nifty list of some of the more popular web schemes designed to wipe your balance clean. I might or might not have fallen for these phony plots myself *cough cough* but just take my word for it when I say that these findings are verifiable.

Google Profusion Kit


Who hasn't seen those "make thousands of dollars a week posting ads for Google" banners around? All it takes is a software that you purchase for something ridiculous like, $3.85 (0.99 if you try to navigate from the page before entering your credit card details - dead giveaway) and that which would erase your entire hard drive if you try so much as to put it in your CD tray. There have been reports of cards getting charged for $38 or $385, all for a crappy CD that can only be good for checking if there's salad stuck between your teeth.

Singapore Net Jobs (or whatever it's called in other countries)
UPDATE: Their international site is apparently called Part Time Net Jobs with the same misleading claims on potential earnings.


You can supposedly make up to $25000 (shock! horror! disbelief! :O) per month answering surveys and doing interviews for companies who conduct them. All you need to do is deposit $20 to gain access to a "database" of companies that pay good money for your opinions - a list that the bastards kind people behind this scheme have painstakingly put together for hobo-dom's benefit. Well, the "database" turns out to be a skint index of about 90 or so survey firms, most of which no longer exist, and the ones that still do, you can easily find on your own by doing a simple Google search. No surprises there.



While not fraudulent, this "Financial Entertainment" site reels you in with their daily "Special Free Cash Game" where you can win real money without having to pay for anything. What you won't know right away though is that, you can only win in a Free Cash Game once and you won't be able to withdraw your winnings unless you have at least $50 in your account. Not very convenient when the top prize is only *drumrolls* 30 bucks...ta dah! Sad but true...



It's a bidding site where people raise bids by mere pennies! How absolutely cool is that? Bidders have apparently won all sorts of high-tech gadgets for spare change - a song would have practically cost more. $2.75 for a PS3 console? GPS systems for 6 cents? iPhones for something like a dollar, even 700 big ones in exchange for 50 pennies! You know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It's not such a steal if you need to pay to get in the action and it doesn't come cheap. Depending on the package you choose, each bid could cost you a dollar or so. Before you go thinking you can win an auction simply by placing a bid around the closing time, know that this is no ordinary bidding. In the dying seconds of the auction, the clock gets topped up ten ticks every time someone places a bid and the game could be quite literally never ending! I feel like dancing to Limahl right now while riding on a big giant puppy - rock monster optional. Fill up on Twinkies and remember to keep a bottle for pissing by your side. There could be hundreds of people battling for the same item and the process could take hours, possibly even days and a few hundred bucks worth of clicks with no guarantees of a win.

Free Lotto


You won! This is not a joke! Claim your prize now! Just enter your credit card details! Yeah...you might as well just hand your card to some drunk dude at a Vegas casino and tell him to max it out at the craps table. As long as you don't subscribe to the dodgy FAST system - the auto-betting service they're offering, you're all good. Save for the bombardment of mails that keep saying you MIGHT have won something in order to trick you into signing up. You can join their free drawings by visiting the site on your own volition - gotta keep the "free" tag somehow - but it's possibly just a waste of time and effort as you have better chances of getting hit by lightning than win anything. True facts.

The moral of the story? There's no easy way to make fast cash aside from maybe drug-dealing or stripping, but that calls for another blog entry. ;)


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