bad internet get rich quick schemes
The ones that Suckered Me
I’ve been trying to get-rich-quick since I was thirteen years old. The idea has always held a great fascination for me. Perhaps fulled by an adolescent fascination with Scrooge McDuck, I’ve always thought I was special and that I could do anything I wanted to if I tried hard enough. Usually what I tried hard at was getting lots of money really quickly. Unfortunately, hard work doesn’t cut it when the odds are completely stacked against you.
Advertbar – One of my first attempts. I can’t find any information on it anymore, but, if I remember the name correctly, the advertbar was a banner ad that you download onto your computer that would activate every time you logged onto the internet. (This was in the days of dial-up where you didn’t spend all the time on the internet). Then, as long as you clicked it a few times an hour, it would slowly accumulate revenue for you. The payout limit was about $20 I think. I used it for a month but never managed to reach the payout then got bored of it. The advertbar’s main legacy these days is the headache it caused when people attempted to remove it. Apparently, the program was riddled with spyware.
speedyclick.com – This stands in for a lot of game pay websites that were out there around the time of the dot com bust. Speedyclick was only the most memorable. The object of these sites was to play games like blackjack or Space Invaders and get points for skill which could then be redeemed for prizes. The prizes were paid for by an internet advertising business model. I managed to be reasonably successful with these sites. I got a few checks in the mail but nothing spectacular.
Speedyclick was an exception though. It was the same as the others, except it included within it an online barter system where you could exchange your points or “speedybucks” for goods that people offered up in exchange for your bucks. Now, one day, when I was on speedyclick, I stumbled across a way of cheating the system. When I won a game, I could continue pressing the payout button and it would keep paying me every time I clicked it. I accumulated massive amounts of speedyclick money really quickly doing this then I went on a prize redeeming splurge.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work out quite as well as I’d planned. Most of the really nice items on the barter list where fraudulently put up. So no Playstations or Ford Mustangs for me. I got a few things, though: movies, (like the matrix) some clothes, some money, a speedyclick mousepad that I treasure to this day.
The Grand Internet Sweepstakes Rush – A long time ago, People once thought it was possible to do anything with the internet. They could generate unlimited wealth. They could solve all the world’s ailments. They could win an internet sweepstakes… Internet Sweepstakes used to be everywhere. Maybe it’s my imagination, but the sweepstakes rush seems to have lulled since then. People have found other ways of wasting their time.
One particular site stands out memorably in my mind, Wonderclick.com. Stop me if you’ve heard of this one. It was a site that had hundreds of sweepstakes to enter into everyday. I visited it religiously. Never won a dime--not even from non-wonderclick.com sweepstakes and I entered thousands of them. Others of you from this time may also remember the Gator eWallet program that made filling in sweepstakes forms as easy as pressing a button. Apparently that thing was riddled with spyware as well.
Forex Trading – I got started with this around four years ago. A friend of the family belonged to a company called FX*******. They promised to know all the secrets to making BIG money. They said they looked to the past, (through charts that cost about $100 a month) and used it to accurately predict how the Market was going to move. It was all bullshit, but it pulled me in. They said it was something completely new, that it would change the economy. You could get money from nothing! When China floated their currency we would all be millionaires! Join our Pyramid Scheme! Sucker in all your friends!
Sign up was a thousand dollars and included training which was, essentially, four hours of one guy talking about nothing. They justified the expense by saying that only those most committed would join and be compelled to stay in order to get their moneys worth. Basically, I paid a whole lot of money for someone to sell me charts and show me how to send money to a foreign exchange brokerage and set up live trading. I learned nothing. I made nothing. I got out of it quickly when I realised that I had no idea what I was doing, and I was essentially gambling one way or the other. Of course, Now I know Forex is a zero-sum game, somebody wins only if someone loses. I know it mostly doesn’t follow predictable patterns. I know if there were ways of predicting it, someone smarter than I would have already made all the money from it and kept it all for themselves. (not solicit my money to teach it to me). Now, I’m sure there are people out there making money from trading foreign currencies, but they’re not going to be two month newbies at it, nor are they going to be members of pyramid schemes. Forex was fun, but how about a scheme I actually win at for a change?
Hubpages - Just kidding. No really.
Honourable mentions go out to schemes I was not suckered into: Paid Surveys. Adwords. Bree-X.
I think that’s all of them.
I’m a jaded get rich quicker. You can’t sell me anything. I know what you want and I know why you’re doing it. If you want my money, I don’t believe you can teach me anything about making money because you’ll say anything to get my money. I know because I was/am you.
You’d think all of this would make me stop, but for some reason, every time I hear get rich quick, my ears pick up. Do I stop trying to get rich quick? No. But I’m losing less money than I used to. Maybe one day I’ll even start to make some. Or perhaps it’s simply that failing at getting-rich-quick is my hobby.
I bet it’s cheaper than golf