Clown college

The art of pretending to be successful


Gracie Tucker

photo illustration

Story by Williams Nguyen, Staff Writer

“I sure love tossing my money down the drain!” said no one ever, yet the emergence of a new kind of scheme, commonly referred to as guru scams, preys on the most vulnerable and impressionable audience of the online market for everything they’re worth.

Guru schemes are get-rich-quick schemes, promising wealth for minimal effort in as little time as possible, provided the victim pays a fine at first or throughout their stint with the organization which hosts the scam.

Though most are indiscreet and make little effort to hide that they are pyramid schemes; however, guru schemes actively conceal the nature of their operation.

Most of these scams wear the facade of being self-improvement courses, offering to not only bring someone cash quickly but also reaffirm and bring the scammer security they may have previously lacked for whatever reason.

These schemes are especially despicable as they target the insecure and desperate, often playing into their victims’ insecurities and appealing to them on a more personal level. These measures are done not out of the goodness of the scammers’ hearts but to get deeper into your pockets.

Once they build rapport with their target, these scams strike hard and fast to get any and every last penny out of their victims, made easy now due to the trust they’ve built.

Additionally, these scammers play the long game, working to isolate their prey from support networks and indulging them with lies appealing to ego and a false image of independence. Once the victim is on the side of the scheme, they’ll start cashing out as they have nowhere left to go.

Preventing this new brand of scams is particularly difficult, yet incredibly important, as they target the most vulnerable of us. They make money by preying on those already knee-deep in problems and offer false hope only to sink them further into despair.

The evident lies promised by guru schemes, such as a guarantee of incredible results for little work and a fee, may seem obvious to spectators; however, the person affected could care less about reasoning as they’re already in too deep.

The singular best way to counter these schemes and the financial or social consequences that come with them is by reaching out for the support of others. The only way of demystifying the gospel of self-improvement that these scams preach is by proving it wrong in a way that makes their illegitimacy as apparent as possible.