I spent some time in the 30th street station waiting for the regional line to the place I'm staying.
Did I tell you I look like a sucker?
Fortunately, I'm not a sucker.
She was perfect. Her technique was down, her style was smooth. She started talking to me, trying to fish for info. I responded, curious. She spoke of her "goods business."
Legitimate businesses which earn people enough money to retire at 30 -- these businesses don't have to approach random people in the train station, looking for business partners.
After talking a short while, I took a card and left. Why the card? I wanted to do some research... The first tipoff? She didn't have her own business card. She had another card, with one email scratched off and another written in. This particular pyramid scam is pretty obvious. They don't even deceive well -- it's an incompetent scam as well. Go to the web address, and you'll be redirected to the unhelpful website of BWW.
Tipoff number two? The website refuses to give you information about the business unless you register. This is an old ploy.
I use a very distantly-related variant of it in the new Elizabethtown College website. I got the idea from Eliza Meets the Postmodern, the first article I ever read about hypertext (read it ages ago and forgot it, but some of the ideas stuck).
On the Etown site, we use the illusion of user power to guide people through our marketing information. Our goal is to offset the skimming habits of web viewers -- by guiding them through a page or two, we make sure they get more information than they would normally.
BWW uses different techniques to present as little information as possible. But BWW doesn't even bother with skillful marketing. They do it this way:
You can't get info if you don't sign up.
I don't know what kind of sucker you think I am, but cults are not businesses. Nice try. Better luck next time.