Andrew Tate has reportedly made £4.5 million from his “get rich quick” scheme, Hustler’s University? Amid this news, and it is with Safer Internet Day today, Scams.info sought expert tips from psychologists Kelly Cookson and Anna Sergeant to examine the psychology behind why we fall for “get rich quick” schemes, and how to avoid them in the future.
Recent data has shown 39% of all investment fraud victims are between the ages of 20 and 39 years old, potentially caused by the “side hustle” culture which continues to dominate all social platforms.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
“Get rich quick” scams will typically offer an investment plan with profit returns that are hard to turn down, claiming you do not need a specific skill set or prior experience to be successful.
Alongside other benefits, they may also offer remote work, with means to entice the 76% of Brits who desire a more flexible approach to their working life.
Unfortunately, there is no shortcut to achieving such high incomes without hard work. If you feel like you have been given an offer you cannot refuse, make sure to fully research the company and read the fine print of their products/services before making any final decisions.
Be cautious of upfront payment fees
Many of these schemes require you to pay an upfront cost before allowing you to join their network. These are typically advertised as your training fees or an initial investment into the company.
This money will appear reasonable when you are told you will earn a much greater financial reward in the future, however, it is extremely rare that you will make this money back, nor receive any other income because of this scheme.
It is very unlikely that a legitimate company will ask a potential employee to provide any payment as a part of their recruitment process, and so, if you are being asked to do so it may be best to avoid this company.
Always recognise false reviews and testimonials
Scammers will often create false, positive reviews and customer testimonials describing the ‘success’ of joining their network. When determining whether these are legitimate, pay attention to the structure and wording – if they appear to be duplicates of each other in different formats, then they are more than likely not to be trusted.
Look out for negative reviews, too. To appear more realistic, these scammers will add fake ‘bad’ reviews, following the same pattern as fake positive reviews.
Be mindful of deceptive recruitment methods
It has become increasingly common for legitimate employers and recruiters to contact potential candidates through more unconventional methods, such as LinkedIn and other job-seeking platforms, however, it is still important to take precautions.
Scammers were notorious for using email or telephone as their point of contact, but this has since evolved to social media platforms to attract younger candidates, posing as a friend of a friend to gain the trust of potential victims.
To avoid falling into this trap, put your social media accounts on to a private setting and do not engage in messages sent by people you do not know – if you are still unsure, look at their account to see when their account was created, what they post and who follows them as these will be key indicators in determining the legitimacy of their account.
Scams.info has teamed up with Kelly Cookson, a psychologist, to comment on the psychology behind the success of Andrew Tate’s Hustler’s University:
“As human beings, we are drawn to the idea of overnight success. We love to hear stories of people who have “made it” in business and when the success is quick and with seemingly little effort, it’s even more attractive to us.
This is why Hustler’s University is so attractive to people with little to no business experience. The reviews share stories of ordinary people who, with little effort, are making big money while they sleep.”
Cookson also notes that we have a hidden preference for people who are successful due to natural talents, as opposed to those whose triumphs come from raw hard work.
“This fixed mindset will hold us back from achieving our goals because it gives us a reason to quit early. We expect instant success, and we aren’t willing to learn from our mistakes and adopt a growth mindset.
If Hustler’s University is coaching its students on how to develop a growth mindset and passion and perseverance to reach long-term goals – great! This will be more effective than giving all of the HOW to make money online without preparing its students for the downside – trial and error and learning from failure.
Failure isn’t the sexy part of entrepreneurship and to the inexperienced entrepreneur, it doesn’t sell online memberships, coaching, or courses quite as effectively as photos of Lamborghinis and private jets.”
The ongoing cost of living crisis also has its role in the success of these schemes, as financial hardship acts as an instrument that scammers can exploit. Expert psychologist Anna Sergent provides Scams.info
“People that were financially secure before the current economic crisis may be easier to prey on to scammers as they are used to a certain standard of life. Being busier and more worried about getting by, people don’t have much capacity for attention to check the schemes properly.
They may believe that after experiencing financial adversity: “I deserve to be lucky finally’. It is a sort of hopeful way of thinking taken from fairy tales or Hollywood movies that after bad times there are always going to be good times.”
We often like believe that we would not fall victim to these “get rich quick” scams, however expert psychologist Anna Sergent also notes that they are becoming harder to spot:
“If the scheme is embellished with smart language and marketing hacks people are more bound to believe it. For example, scammers may present fake or distorted stories of people who took part in similar schemes and got rich quickly.
You see a seemingly real person and you want to be that person through identification. Perhaps even something about that person is relatable to you.”
If you find yourself to be a victim of a fraudulent scam, contact the National Fraud and Crime reporting centre.