According to the Federal Trade Commission (PDF), more than 30 million Americans fell for one of the top 10 scams of 2005.
10. Business Opportunities: .8 mil
9. Credit Repair Scams: 1.2 mil
8. Advance-Fee Loans: 1.7 mil
7. Unauthorized Billing – Internet Services: 1.8 mil
6. Credit Card Insurance: 2.1 mil
5. Work-at-Home Programs: 2.4 mil
4. Prize Promotions: 2.7 mil
3. Unauthorized Billing: Buyers Clubs 3.2 mil
2. Foreign Lottery Scams: 3.2 mil
1. Fraudulent Weight-Loss Products: 4.8 mil
Part of me wants to feel sorry for these 30 million people — just because you can exploit the ignorant doesn’t mean you should. But the other part of me thinks these dupes got what they paid for: succumbing to naivety or believing that cutting corners can produce superfluous results.
Enter the most absolute of all cliches: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” But alas, people don’t want wisdom — they want to avoid hard work at all costs.