Friday, April 19, 2013

does anyone know if this scam has a name?

I vaguely remember hearing about a scam that requires a lot of potential marks who have no contact with each other. The scammer makes a prediction about something succeeding, telling half the group it will and half the group it won't. When the answer's known, he stops contacting the people who think he failed and divides the rest in half for the next prediction. Repeat several times. The group that thinks he has always been right keeps getting smaller, but for them, he soon seems infallible. Then he asks that group to invest so they can all make a killing in his next prediction.

I'm not sure why I want to know the name. It's just nagging at me. I'm not going to be using it as a metaphor for capitalism because the pyramid scheme is far more recognizable and has all the basic ingredients: a tiny number benefit, and the rest think the system works so long as it works for them.

Conspiracy theorists like to believe there are a few people running the world's greatest scams. What they don't realize is that the great scams run themselves, and the beneficiaries are as much dupes as the victims.