Getting rich without having to put in a lot of time and effort is a tantalizing goal. Most people are realistic enough to realize that trying to get rich quick via some sleazy sounding scheme isn’t going to work for them. However, some people are desperate or gullible enough to fall for get rich quick schemes, and enough of them do to support an entire get rich quick industry.
History of the Get Rich Quick Scheme
Get rich quick schemes have been around since the beginning of time, but the actual phrase ‘get rich quick’ only began to be used in the early 1900s. As the name implies, get rich quick schemes claim to offer high rates of return within a short period of time at a very low risk. Con artists try to find their victims by advertising through infomercials, magazines, newspapers, spam emails, cold calling or online ads.
One well known get rich quick scheme is known as envelope stuffing. Envelope stuffing is the term used to describe putting papers inside of envelopes. Theoretically, by stuffing enough envelopes, you can make good money. The problem with this is that envelope stuffers are paid so little per envelope that it is nearly impossible to make any decent money off of this scheme.
Some schemes say they can teach you how to sell high-value things like coins, gems and real estate – for a fee, of course. Once you fork over the money, you’ll receive “educational” material that is old, inaccurate or copied straight off of Wikipedia. Other schemes promote e-Books that supposedly reveal big secrets like how to make big money on eBay.com or through affiliate marketing with google.com.
More sophisticated get rich quick schemes include pyramid schemes and matrix schemes. Pyramid schemes promise participants money or services in exchange for those participants recruiting other people into the scheme; the problem with pyramid schemes is that they collapse once they get too large. Most countries have made pyramid schemes illegal. Matrix schemes are similar to Pyramid schemes, but they involve the sale of products. In this scheme, you pay money for a product, and in addition to the product, you are put on a wait list for a product that is worth even more than the money you put out. If you recruit enough people to also buy the first product, you move up in the scheme and receive the wait listed product. However, not everyone will ever receive the more expensive product since you have to recruit a ridiculously large number of people to sign up to make it happen.