by Malcolm Mathieson Published 01/06/2005
I have lost 20 kg in two weeks, I now have a full head of hair, I have purchased three genuine Rolex watches in a week for 20 quid each. And my wife? - well she has now got no wrinkles at all, a body like a Playboy centerfold, two degrees, a handful of genuine diamonds and a million US dollars in her bank account from her long-lost, dead uncle, who has a gold mine in Nigeria and needed to give the money away... Every day I get heaps of email offering me all sorts of opportunities and yes, I believe them all; I mean the other day I got the chance to purchase a degree, no work, no exams, from a prestigious university in Outer Mongolia, well for 50 quid I can be a Dr of Photography and for another 50 quid I can be a Dr of Dentistry, now let me at your teeth and I will alter your smile... I hope you are smiling!
The Internet, it has opened up a new world of opportunities for the genuine marketing of real products but at the same time it has allowed some of the more unscrupulous to operate scams, as we call them, in a way never seen before...or have we? Snake oil salesmen have been around as long as humans have been and, as we say in Australia, "While ever there is a "sucker" there will be someone willing to take his money". Cures for baldness, weight loss, ways to enlarge certain parts of one's anatomy are everywhere, and I have not even mentioned get rich schemes, and ways we can all be millionaires, working one hour a month, on our home computer.
The world has not changed, suckers still abound, all that has changed is the way such suckers get sucked in... email is the new tool to find suckers!
These days email scams abound and suckers are everywhere - I mean in our industry. You know, the other day I got three wedding enquiries from various exotic parts of the world... now I have a web site, and so do most professional photographers, BUT you have to be honest, why would a bride from some tropical island want to fly a photographer around the world to do her wedding? "Sure", I replied by email and asked for the contact details, including phone numbers, so as I can call them direct. I might get lucky BUT let's remember to be realistic, let',s wake up and ask ourselves, "why me?" What is it that attracts this person to my website, or maybe is it a scam? Is someone after something - not you to photograph their wedding?... think about it.
Let's be aware and alert for these schemes, look before we leap and be realistic... sorry I do mean realistic... you know what your work is like, you know what your reputation is and where you fit in the industry and the client base you appeal to. So why would someone from across the world ask you for a quote and then more details and then maybe bank details and oopps then you seem to be some money short!
I know we all want to dream, but there is reality and in the "real world" we need to be aware that there are some out there ready to rip us off. If it looks too good to be true then it most likely is too good to be true or as they say in Bangkok, if it's too beautiful it's got too many bits. I hope you get the drift. In this world it is Buyer Beware and you need to be. Think before you send off personal details, identity theft is a growing crime and you need to ensure that those that get your details and promotional materials are, wherever possible, genuine. You must also consider the costs of sending stuff halfway across the world; it is not cheap I can tell you, email is BUT then again time is time so a standard letter will do. Just make it good and sort out the spam and scam, do not be a sucker!
Anyway enough of writing for the ImageMaker magazine, I have a new email, I need to rush and send money, it is guarantees my manhood will double in size if I send 20 quid...what a bargain I get an extra foot for only 20ww quid
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