Scam Income vs. Legitimate Income

by Chris McGinty of

I wrote in a previous blog post about
how they be opportunists lurking on the internet. It got me thinking that one
of two things is happening.

People believe that setting up a
false account and promoting things like adult websites will make them rich, and
there is a new sucker getting onto social media every minute who will try it.
People are actually making money
off of it.
Either way, it’s not going away
any time soon.
I tend to believe the first. Even
I was smart enough to get the stupid idea to spam people on AOL when I was in
my 20s. It was so early on in the internet that I don’t think I’d even heard
the term spam. I certainly wasn’t thinking about how much ill will you would
probably get by doing it.
The simple fact is that it took a
lot of time and effort to send people an unsolicited message, and it didn’t
seem to do anything for truly making people aware of you. I gave up after
sending a couple of hundred messages. If I’d been savvy enough to know about
software that would spam for you, I would have realized sooner that it was
probably a bad idea.
By the time I was doing an e-zine
(yes, I said e-zine… I didn’t misspell blog, unfortunately) I’d figured out
that it was better to allow people to make the first move in contacting you. When
I was working on the e-zine, people just found it through web searches and sent
emails. I spent more time creating, and when people replied it was genuine
It would be interesting to know
if people actually make money being disingenuous. I’m not talking about a few
dozen people over the entire course of internet history, because more than a
few dozen people have built legitimate businesses in that time. What I mean is
do enough people fall for the Nigerian scams and the Twitter accounts that
claim to be hot women who just want you to check out their personal website? If
you had no moral compass would it be worth your time to do such things?
That doesn’t really end the
conversation though, because there’s a question of income efficiency. If I make
more per year delivering pizza and we work roughly the same number of hours
then why are you wasting your time? If you could take the same amount of time
and effort and build a legitimate business, it seems like that would be more
This has always been my argument
against the scam culture. The people who are smart enough to make a ton of
money scamming are usually smart enough to do it legitimately too. And it doesn’t
matter anyway, because people don’t seem to retain the money they make whether
legitimately or by scamming. Why get rich quick if you’re going to become poor
again quicker?
Chris McGinty is a blogger who learned
his lessons about spam. He has no money and no following. But he doesn’t spam.
That’s the important part, right? Right!?

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