What's a Shill?
Step Right UP!
If you look at the photo above you'll see a Carnival Barker; the archetypical Shill. He stands by the cash registered, inviting the public to buy a ticket, and enter the tent.
That is his job. He gets paid. He gets paid to get as many people inside as he can.
Often, at 'random' he'll have a 'satisfied customer' (a fellow Shill) who is
'just like you', tell the possible customers of all the wonders he saw inside.
No matter the nature of the scam, the nature of the Shill remains the same.
He is to rope in suckers to be ripped off by his employer.
Anatomy of a Shill
The most important facet of a Shill is that he is to appear 'one of us'.
No matter where he is situated in the scheme, he must appear absolutely average.
He looks like a working guy; stopping at that Three Card Monte table, making his bet, and winning!
He looks like a top executive;
"I invested with Bernie Madoff, and man....my money doubled in one month!!!!!"
Or he or she joins an online writing site, and prospers and you think to yourself,
'Hey...I could do that!!!!"
The nature of the Shill is that he must seem to come from among the 'ranks'.
You are never to learn he is the Scammer's Partner.
Shills, Dupes and Wookies
The Scammer would be nothing without the Shill to drum up business.
It is the Shill who does the advertising, who gives the testimonial, who brings in the marks, then fades into the crowd.
Actual Shills are paid. They take a cut of what the Scammer collects.
Many Shills get Dupes to do unpaid work for them. Some Dupes don't know they are Shills. They are just dupes who bring in other Dupes.
Take the average Ponzi; there are those who are hired at a set salary and paid a percentage for each Dupe they bring in. They know what they are there for.
They know they are Shills.
As a blind, Shills allow a few "Wookies" to "Win". These Wookies will run around raving about the scam and attracting new blood.
Once the Wookies have served their purpose they are tossed out as so much garbage.
Shills are every where.
They lurk in Forums enticing you to participate in this scam or that one.
They post endorsements, testimonials...
"I lost 50 lbs in One Month using..."
"I make $1k working from home every week!!!"
"I made 6x on Factoidz what you make on Hubpages!!!"
These are shills.
You have no way of knowing what they are posting is true or false.
Why believe them?
If you do step into a scheme, read the fine print, read it again, and as soon as you
start to lose, cut your loses by getting out.
Anything that sounds too good to be true is.