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Topics > Life in General > ID: 1136

The Fig Leaf-Adding respectability to a scam

Posted Date: Oct 6th, 2008 09:49 | Hits: 798
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  • pplcheryl63
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The Scam issue has reared it's ugly head again, There is a program out there right now that I firmly believe is a scam.  It has all the classic earmarks of a Pyramid/Ponzi scheme yet people believe in it and will argue with you even when the evidence from Agencies such as the FTC and SEC are presented to them.  Why are they so convinced it is for real?  Even one of their own reps states "A free program like this cannot last forever."


There is a reason people get duped by scams like this one.  It's called the "Fig Leaf" concept.  Most of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Adam and Eve ran around naked as jaybirds in the garden until the serpent convinced Eve to eat the apple.  Eve then convinced Adam to do the same thing and they immediately realized...they were naked.  The next time God came to the garden they hid, because they realized they were naked.  They then came before him using fig leaves to cover up their "naughty bits".  This is the same principle with a scam.  The scammers uses the same tactic (Fig leaf) to cover up the naughty bits of the scam and give it respectability.


Fig leaves can take any form when dealing with a scam. 

1.The scammer may partner with a respectable industry or company, using the respectibility of that entity to cover the scam.  Because there is a respectable entity involved you think it can't be a scam.

2. The scammer may pay a few people to give the impression that money is there to be made.  This is simple enough in the beginning bacause the cash flow allows it.  Once enough people sign up the entire thing topples because there is no money to pay anyone else.  However those few who first got paid have a belief level and will push the scam on others arguing that it cannot be a scam because they got paid.

3. The scammer may offer an overpriced or cheap product for sale.  The product is not worth what you pay for it but because they are "selling" something it must be respectable.

4. The scammer let's you join free or for a minimal cost, yet promises to pay you when you recruit more people to the program.  But there is no product being sold outside of the members of the opportunity.  You think you are among the elite few who have access.  The truth is that money is only made when new people come into the program and buy the products.

Before you get scammed, before you join any opportunity; due your research.  Forget all the company hype, all the promises, all the respectable partners ,all the products and check the opportunity against accepted definitions of the Pyramid/Ponzi scheme.  If it fit's the definition, that's exactly what it is.

Covering your naughty bits with a fig leaf does not change them or make them go away, it just hides them.  A fig leaf in a scam has the same purpose, it doesn't miraclously change a scam into a legitimate opportunity, it just disguises the fact that it is a scam.



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Member's comment

pplcheryl63  Oct 7th, 2008
It seems some people still don't understand the purpose of the fig leaf and why we need to be aware of it. I'm having a similar discussion to this one onother sites and had someone mention Scambusters and MLM watchdog to check for scams.

So let me say this DO NOT RELY ON WATCHDOG GROUPS TO IDENTIFY SCAMS!!!!! Scams only show up on their radar after someone realizes that they have been scammed! the whole purpose of the fig leaf is to mask the scam as long as possible. If it is listed someone has already been burnt!

pplcheryl63  Sep 23rd, 2010
Due to the heavy promotion of a scam site currently happening, I thought I would resurrect this one. Beware of the Fig Leaf people. Copycatting a legitimate site is a huge RED FLAG!

pplcheryl63  Oct 7th, 2008
That is so true, and what most people don't realize is those who have "made a little money" not the top dogs that end up holding the bag.

peaceful  Oct 7th, 2008
My thought exactly, Cheryl!

Most good scams are never detected until AFTER the fig leaf has been blown away...

pplcheryl63  Oct 6th, 2008
The financial industry, is not a case of fig leaves but entire Trees!

peaceful  Oct 6th, 2008
There's so much "Fig Leafing" at the bottom of the economy's collapse, the the 'Justice" Department had better hire several thousand people who have technical experience with those leaf-blower machines.... They're gonna need 'em! :)

pplcheryl63  Oct 6th, 2008
Thanks BJ,
It just works my last nerve when people not only fall for a scam but defend it with their last breath ignoring all evidence of the scam. All it takes is for a scammer to slap a fig leaf on it and they think it's the best thing since sliced bread.

If more people were aware of this tactic, less people would get scammed by the "appearance" of respectability.

Bjantiques  Oct 6th, 2008
Hi Cheryl,

This deserves to be topped by everyone that reads it.
I thnk this is the best article about scams that I have read in a long time.

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