Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Statement Analysis and Internet SCAMs

This was popular, this week, at Facebook, where the warning about a shampoo led to links where users were to register for online surveys, or possibly download a virus that would either damage the computer, or steal personal information.

Scamming online is extreme and appears to grow at an immeasurable rate, especially given how, in any given day, a scam can appear and disappear, in hours.

Recently, the Houston Astros professional baseball team's internal operating system was hacked and sensitive information was put online.

This hacking into an account is not something we can counter with analysis, but we can counter the scams that people fall prey to, using the principles of Statement Analysis.

Although all principles apply, simply keeping two close to your thought process will help.

1.  Intent to Deceive
2.  Responsibility

Keep these two things in mind.

The scam ad has:

1.  Intent to deceive.

This is true of all scams.  For some purpose or another, it must deceive you to get its desired results. Behind every scam is a writer.

The writer (or author) wishes to get you to believe his claim.  The grotesque and fake picture above is  purposed to disgust and frighten the viewer into clicking, without thought, the link.

With intent to deceive, it can be as simple as a photo.  It is very difficult to discern between real photographs and those digitally altered.  Often, an upsetting or shocking photo, when real, will have more words added to it, than those like the above.

Where there is more words, there is more ability to analyze.

When analysis can be done, the intent to deceive, beyond the realm of norms in persuasion, can be evidenced.

The greater the need to persuade, the more you should carefully consider the advertisement's claim.

2.  Passivity

Since passive language conceals identity or responsibility, we know it is appropriately used when one does not know, or cannot discern, but when responsibility should be evident, and it is not, be on alert for the scam.

Remember, the advertisement has an author who is not only attempting to persuade (all ads) but to deceive (scams) and will still likely avoid direct outward lying.

"Studies have shown" is an example of passivity.

"Many doctors have found..." is another.

3.  Practice

Practice using the principles learned here on ads.  Post some.

Do you need some leads on where to look for deceptive ads?

Look no further than the pet food industry in America.  It is amazing how we've come to believe that taking food that isn't good enough for you and me to eat, cooking it to the point where it becomes a small hard little pebble, will somehow be good for our dogs.

Dex says, "no way."

Even as we, as humans, are living longer than just our grandparents did, our grandparents dogs, before commercial dog food, lived longer than our dogs do.

Yet, as the commercial dog food companies underwrite vets, we swear by the advice of a vet as if by divine decree.

"3 out of 4 vets recommend..." is one of my favorites.

Which 4 vets chosen?  The ones the pet food company subsidizes?

4.   Post

Post some examples that you've discovered.  Be especially aware of Hollywood types' quotes.  They can be quite comical.


John Mc Gowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

It's a lotus seed pod and I can't unsee it! Thanks for the heebie jeebies! Look up trypophobia, you probably grossed out so many people with that picture.

Anonymous said...

'Dermatologically tested' - Sounds great but is does not mean anything. You can test anything - for instance hydrochloric acid on your skin and afterwards say it's been 'dermatologically tested'. Does not mean it's good for your skin.

"No fat" - I've seen it used to advertise for lollipops. I don't even where to begin to explain all the ways that is wrong.

Tania Cadogan said...

food that is described as low fat or zero fat is stuffed full of sugar to make it taste nice. No fat foods with no sugar taste like cardboard.
Check the ingredients and you will be surprised how much added sugar is present. anything ending in 'ose is a sugar so you will see ingredients such as sugar, fructose, glucose, corn syrup often in the same product.

I was looking at yorkshire pudding mixes where you just add water/milk/egg and one even had added sugar!
Yorkie puds are made of flour, egg, milk/water and salt and pepper with optional extras such as onion or herbs, sugar is not a required ingredient