cons http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2556/all en-US Everyone's Using Spare Change Apps — Are They Really Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping_woman.jpg" alt="Shopping woman" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Dad had one. His grandfather had one, too. And today, despite using credit cards for most transactions, I, too, have a change jar sitting on my dresser.</p> <p>As people shift from cash transactions to paying for everything with credit cards, debit cards, and even their phones, is the opportunity to invest &ldquo;spare change&rdquo; lost? Not if you try one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/with-micro-investing-your-smartphone-pays-you?ref=internal" target="_blank">micro-investing apps</a> that purport to effortlessly grow your savings. Let's review some of the most popular apps, including their pros and cons.</p> <h2>1. Acorns</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: After you link one or all of your credit cards to your account, <a href="https://www.acorns.com/">Acorns</a> rounds up each purchase to the nearest dollar and takes the difference from your checking account. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-i-learned-about-money-after-using-acorns?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What I Learned About Money After Using Acorns</a>)</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free for college students for four years, $1 per month for others; 0.25 percent for accounts of $5,000 or more.</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: Automatic saving is great because you don&rsquo;t have to remember to do it. Your investment account is auto-managed in ETFs (exchange-traded funds), so the money that grows there will feel like pennies from heaven.</p> <p>Partners including Jet, Airbnb, and Hulu have agreed to give Acorns users cash back, which they deposit straight into your account. Free money, people!</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: If you are only investing a few dollars a month, that $1 management fee could turn out to be an outrageously high percentage of your investment. Also, if your bank account tends to run low, the money this app withdraws could cause an overdraft and cost you a nasty fee.</p> <h2>2. Stash</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: <a href="https://www.stashinvest.com/start-investing/wisebread">Stash</a> is simply an ETF investing app, but unlike stockbrokers who require a $1,000 or larger initial investment, Stash keeps the initial investment threshold at just $5. Pre-arranged portfolios have cute names like &ldquo;The Activist,&rdquo; to help people with no interest in financial jargon figure out what funds to buy. The Auto Stash feature will periodically transfer a predetermined amount of money from a linked bank account.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $1 per month for balances under $5,000; 0.25 percent per year after that (which starts at $12.50 per year for $5,000).</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: If not knowing what to invest in or not having enough money to buy into a mutual fund was keeping you from investing, user-friendly Stash could be a good jump start. It could be a good way for kids or young adults to experiment with investing on a small scale.</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: As with Acorns, the $1 a month fee is actually quite expensive for small account balances. Then there&rsquo;s the question of whether you&rsquo;re getting good advice on what to invest in. The funds currently offered on Stash have a relatively high expense ratio, meaning that, market performance being equal, other funds might yield more money to the investor after fees. And Stash doesn&rsquo;t auto-balance your investments over time like other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-trust-your-money-with-these-4-popular-financial-robo-advisers?ref=internal">robo-advisers</a>.</p> <p><strong>Special offer:</strong> Want $5 to get started? Use our referral link: <a href="https://www.stashinvest.com/start-investing/wisebread"><strong>Sign up for Stash and get $5 to start investing today!</strong></a></p> <h2>3. Qoins</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: <a href="https://qoins.io/">Qoins</a> skims the &ldquo;change&rdquo; from transactions, and then uses that change to pay off debt. The company estimates that most people end up paying down an extra $40 in debt each month they use Qoins.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Quoins deducts $1.99 from each monthly payment sent out on your behalf. If your monthly total is less than $20, Quoins won&rsquo;t send out a debt payment and won&rsquo;t charge you; instead it will roll over your accumulated spare change into the next month&rsquo;s payment.</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: If you&rsquo;ve got high-interest loans, you can probably save more in interest by chipping away at debt than you could earn from saving at today&rsquo;s low interest rates. And unlike investing, paying off debt is risk free.</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: Again, that fee is going to erode gains. Paying $500 extra each year on a student loan might save you $25 in interest, but the app costs nearly $24 a year to use. You could achieve the same benefit for free by setting your monthly automatic loan payment $40 higher.</p> <h2>4. Debitize</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: Aiming to help people avoid credit card debt, <a href="https://debitize.com/">Debitize</a> links your checking account to your credit card and makes a checking withdrawal every time you make a credit card charge. Then it pays your monthly credit card bill with the money it withdrew. The end result is the ability to use a credit card like a debit card.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: At first it&rsquo;s hard to grasp the point of Debitize. I mean, if you want to pay for all your purchases at the time you make them, you could simply stick to a debit card, a choice millions of conservative spenders make.</p> <p>However, Debitize positions itself as a way for previous debit users to take advantage of all those rich credit card rewards out there, and build their credit score, while avoiding the risk of getting into credit card debt. I can imagine this as a training wheels program for people who have had trouble with credit card debt before. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Way to Pay Off $10,000 in Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: To me, this service would add an unnecessary layer of complexity to life. It doesn&rsquo;t offer to increase my savings or cut my expenses, just to save me from myself by putting aside money to pay my bills.</p> <h2>5. Digit</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: Instead of focusing on transactions, <a href="https://digit.co/">Digit</a> analyzes your checking account inflow and outflow. Every day that it judges you can afford to, it moves a little money from your checking to an FDIC-insured savings account.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: $2.99 per month.</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: Digit's &ldquo;no overdraft&rdquo; promise means that if a transfer causes your account to go negative, it&rsquo;ll cover the fee. It&rsquo;s also nice that Digit will allocate your savings toward goals of your choice, such as a rainy day fund or a new TV.</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: When you save and invest, your money is supposed to grow. But unless you&rsquo;re saving large amounts each month, your savings may shrink a bit with Digit. Digit is putting your money in a savings account on your behalf, and paying you a 1 percent annual &ldquo;savings bonus,&rdquo; broken into four quarterly payments &mdash; which is not a bad rate. But it also charges $2.99 per month. So if you invest $1,000 over the course of the year through Digit, you&rsquo;d earn $10 in interest, but pay $35.88 in fees.</p> <h2>6. Change</h2> <p><strong>What it does</strong>: <a href="https://gochange.co/intro/s/4?tk=AF78188" target="_blank">Change</a> monitors all your transactions and texts you with reminders and suggestions for wiser money management. For example, the app might point out how much you&rsquo;ve paid over the course of a year for a service you forgot you were signed up for.</p> <p>Change also offers &ldquo;auto saving&rdquo; which, like Digit, analyzes your account and transfers money it thinks you don&rsquo;t need to a separate account that pays you &ldquo;savings bonuses&rdquo; instead of interest. The standard bonus rate (like today&rsquo;s interest rates) is low at 3 percent, but you can increase your rate by referring friends to sign up for the auto-save service.</p> <p><strong>Cost</strong>: Free.</p> <p><strong>The good</strong>: Fans of the app appreciate getting insight that they would not have gleaned on their own. Unlike the other apps in this post, which focus on saving in small increments, Change is looking to change big picture and long-term behavior. Its impact on your savings efforts could be huge.</p> <p><strong>The bad</strong>: If you already get a lot of texts, having your phone start notifying you when you've spent too much money could be annoying.</p> <h2>The takeaway</h2> <p>One drawback to all of these accounts is that they focus on adding money to after-tax accounts. If you are earning income, you should really focus on contributing to your tax-advantaged retirement account. That said, if you&rsquo;re already paying into your retirement fund, one of these apps could be a way to contribute to a rainy day fund, or to chip away at debt.</p> <p>Another concern that applies to all of these apps is that you're inviting a second or third company to peruse and make use of your financial data, meaning that your privacy and the security of your accounts could be diminished. Of course, each app has reassurances on its website about how great its data security is, but hacks happen. Before handing over your account information to any service provider, make sure you understand how it plans to handle your data.</p> <p>Personally, I don&rsquo;t like paying fees. I don&rsquo;t dump my real change jar into one of those machines that charges a fee to turn it into folding money, and I wouldn&rsquo;t pay a monthly fee for a company to make micro-withdrawals from my checking account for me. Instead, I&rsquo;d be inclined to emulate their effect for free by setting my checking account to autodeposit a set amount of money into savings or an investment account.</p> <p>If you value novelty and convenience over a buck or three a month, and you have never invested before, any of these apps might help jump start your savings and investment career. If that&rsquo;s you, take one of them for a spin. But be sure to re-evaluate after six months or so to see if you&rsquo;re getting enough value from your monthly fee, or if you&rsquo;re ready to graduate to another form of saving and investing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everyones-using-spare-change-apps-are-they-really-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-savings-strategy-that-works-for-you">How to Find the Savings Strategy That Works For You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-you-can-make-while-stuck-in-an-endless-tsa-line">6 Money Moves You Can Make While Stuck in an Endless TSA Line</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Technology acorns apps cons debitize digit fees micro investing pros qoins saving money spare change stash Mon, 05 Jun 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1957903 at http://www.wisebread.com “I see dumb people” – Learn to cold-read like a so-called “psychic.” http://www.wisebread.com/i-see-dumb-people-learn-to-cold-read-like-a-so-called-psychic <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/i-see-dumb-people-learn-to-cold-read-like-a-so-called-psychic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_50512.jpg" alt="Paul Michael psychic sign" title="Paul Michael psychic sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="198" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don’t believe in psychics, palm readers, telekinesis or mediums. Not because I’m a huge skeptic but because I’ve been researching them for years and have found NO evidence that their skills are real. And what’s more, I’m seriously angry that these frauds prey on people who are mourning, and very open to suggestion, just to make money. It’s sick. Now, I’ll show you some of the fruits of my labor and how you, yes you, can cold read just like a psychic. Maybe this will help prove once and for all that it’s all bunk.</p> <p>By the way, I’d like to point out that I don’t think people who go to psychics are dumb. Far from it, I’m trying to protect them. The title of my article is more aimed at how psychics see their stooges. Hope that all makes sense. Ok? Good, let’s continue.</p> <p>When I first saw a psychic at work I was in my early teens. I saw a documentary on Uri Geller (a favorable one) and was blown away. What a guy, what power, what an amazing man. “How does he do that dad?” is said. “Must be magic” my dad replied, in a sarcastic tone I never picked up on at the time.</p> <p>Then I grew up and saw another Geller documentary, this time featuring James Randi. He systematically shattered every single “power” that Uri had demonstrated. And of course, there’s the infamous Johnny Carson clip (below) in which James Randi simply made sure Uri Geller could not gain access to any prop before the show. Sure enough, he just wasn’t feeling strong that night. He sucked. He was powerless. Coincidence? I think not. </p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-9FjjrbQabw&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-9FjjrbQabw&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p>The James Randi Educational Foundation offers $1 million to anyone who can prove psychic, paranormal or supernatural powers. Thousands of people have applied for it; no one has ever come close to collecting the money. Why? Because the tests are done under strictly supervised conditions, where these people with magical powers have no access to props, stooges or hidden devices. James Randi also has a secret object placed in a vault, which he changes out every two weeks. Not one psychic or mental projectionist has ever been able to see it. How strange, when they can see other things so clearly. Could it be that their powers are weaker when under duress? Or that they have no powers at all?</p> <p><strong>Mr. James Randi, founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation.</strong><br /><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/1035317819_8972358821_m.jpg" alt="Randi" title="Randi" width="180" height="240" /> </p> <p>I have heard people say, “well, why should these psychics have to prove anything to anyone?” But think about that for a second. They are offering a service, aren’t they? Just like your local plumber, or to use a better analogy, your average psychotherapist. They couldn’t root around in your head without proof that they know whet they’re doing. But psychics can confidently claim your dead relative has a message for you with absolutely no proof whatsoever, and then take your hard earned cash for the “service.” I call it not only unfair but also more closely related to a crime. In fact, carnivals and sideshows have often been the breeding ground for these super-beings, until TV legitimized them and gave them fame into the bargain. Well, my strong stomach can only take so much.</p> <p>I could write a book on the phony methods and scams used by psychics, but lets just keep it to the most well known and easy to master – cold reading. </p> <p><em>Note: There is a more foolproof method called “hot reading” which has been utilized by the likes of magicians and phony faith healers like Peter Popoff. Here, a stooge surreptitiously gains real information about the “mark” and passes it to the faith healer or magician, who then recounts it to the astonishment of the crowd. Palm readers can go through wallets and purses. Some will even dig through your garbage before your appointment. But this is a difficult method for most people as it requires more people and more preparation. </em></p> <p>You can, however, garner very successful results from cold reading. Anyone with a modicum of common sense and a good eye for detail can cold read. And I know you can do it to. I’m revealing these techniques not so that you can go out and use them on other people (unless you do it as a party trick for no money) but to show you how easy it is to do. There really is no such thing as a psychic, I assure you. And if you say I’m lying, don’t tell me…apply to the James Randi Foundation and claim the $1 million. Something tells me that won’t be happening though.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/35598094_7562c1dfa4_m.jpg" alt="flyer" title="flyer" width="181" height="240" /><br /><strong>Cold reading – the art of being vague</strong><br />Have you ever wondered why dead relatives are so vague? Why is it that psychics don’t get information that’s solid, but more “sketchy?” Well, the answer is simply that they’re not really getting messages from the dead. They’re cold reading. It’s a simple technique that magicians have used for centuries and it’s very effective, especially when you’re in the presence of people who genuinely want to believe what you’re saying. As Wise Bread readers, I suspect most of you were wise enough to have figured this out already, but here are the details, step by step. </p> <p><strong>1: People WANT to believe you – tell them what they WANT to hear.</strong><br />This one is a basic premise but one that’s based on the human condition. We don’t want to hear negative things about ourselves. If someone says to you “you’re a very honest person, but it takes people a while to really get to know you” then you’re almost certainly going to agree, because it’s not negative in any way. Turn that around and say the opposite – “you’re deceptive and people can read you like an open book” is awful. No one wants to hear that, it makes him or her sound shallow and evil. Other vague information, often referred to as the Forer effect, uses statements that apply to almost anyone.</p> <p>“You have a box of old, unsorted photos at home.”<br />“As a young child, you had an accident near water.”<br />“You’re having some emotion problems with a friend or relative.”</p> <p>In the psychic realm, the same applies. People who go to see a psychic usually want to heal the pain left by a deceased loved one. If that’s the case, no one wants to hear that grandma was a crabby old bag that hated everyone, even if it was true. No, best to stay generically positive and let you make it apply to your loved one. </p> <p>Example of vague, positive readings: </p> <p>“Your mom was dearly loved by everyone, although she often had a difficult time of expressing her true feelings.”</p> <p>“I sense a lot of frustration from this person, he was clearly meant for bigger and better things than he was doing.” – this applies to anyone, even the President. </p> <p>“This man dreamed of things before they happened and often had a strong sense of Déjà vu.” </p> <p><strong>2: Use the SHOTGUN technique.<br /></strong>Sylvia Browne (more on her later), James Van Praagh and John Edwards are some of the many psychics that have been accused of using this technique. It basically involves throwing enough questions and suggestions out at the audience that some of it is bound to stick. You’ve often seen this parodied in comedy sketches. </p> <p><em>PSYCHIC: “I’m getting the name John. Is there someone with a connection to John in the audience? Maybe Johnny? Jonathon? Perhaps he worked with a John, or spent a lot of time in the John? Did he go to a supermarket with a cashier named John? Or Jenny? Or Jimmy? Or Timmy? Or Sammy? Samantha?”</em></p> <p><em>AUDIENCE MEMBER: “My mom’s cat’s name was Samantha!”</em></p> <p><em>PSYCHIC: “Ah yes, she’s coming through clear.”</em></p> <p>Okay, so I took it a little more to the level of parody than it usually works, but seriously it’s not that far fetched. When you watch shows by Edwards or Van Preach, you’re seeing edited content. You don’t get to see all of the countless “misses” that the psychics make. They can often throw hundreds of questions out before hitting a target. And it’s just another series of shotgun questions from there. Basically, they’re playing guessing games and your reactions and body language provide the answers for them. You should see the contracts people have to sign before going to these shows, too. They’re huge, and are basically non-disclosure agreements. What happens in the show, stays in the show. Just like David Blaine and his “flying powers”, this stuff looks way more convincing on TV. But unlike Blain, Penn &amp; Teller and even Copperfield, there is no admission of magic or trickery on the part of the psychics. Nope, they are the real deal. Trust them!</p> <p>Anyway, here are a few nice shotgun methods to get you started…</p> <p><em>“I see a father-figure with chest pains.” (A nice way to combine the very vague with a very common illness).</em></p> <p><em>“I see a woman who was very important to you, but you often disagreed.” </em></p> <p><em>“I’m getting the powerful memories of cancer.” (1 in 3 people get cancer, what are the odds?)</em></p> <p>Like I said at the start, these are not intended to arm you with anything other than knowledge. Next time you see someone pulling these comments out of thin air, you at least know where they’re getting them from. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/129124058_db30f4cebb_m.jpg" alt="two faces" title="two faces" width="153" height="240" /></p> <p><strong>3: The rainbow ruse</strong><br />This one covers all the bases. It’s so transparent it’s very easy to see through later, but at the time it gets you. Basically, the psychic gives you both sides of a personality trait in the same sentence. Usually, a very positive statement but with the addition of a negative Here’s a typical example…</p> <p><em>“ You have a bright, cheery disposition but there have been times when you have been a little down, upset and closed off.” (duh!)</em></p> <p>Try this with anything, on anyone, and it works. Just remember, tell people what they want to hear. No one wants to be a misery-guts with occasionally moments of happiness, even if they are!</p> <p><strong>4: Gimmicks are a psychic’s best friends.</strong><br />Tarot cards, bones, crystal balls, palm reading and tealeaves give the psychic a nice crutch to hold onto. If they can think of nothing to say, they can be studying the messages in their prop of choice. The props also come with some terrific psychic baggage, people do believe in their mystical powers. And regardless of what kind of palm you have, it relates to your life as much as the lines in your car parking space. Look up palm reading, learn the techniques, and then say the exact opposite things to your test subject. You will still be accurate. Try it. </p> <p><strong>5: Include the “magic” of current polls &amp; surveys and study people well.</strong><br />I’m sorry to say that quite often, judging a book by its cover works very well. If you’re a young lesbian woman with tattoos and a penchant for outlandish clothing, it’s doubtful you’re a Republican. You may well be, but it’s doubtful. Psychics will use these visual clues to guess your background, voting preferences, likes and dislikes. And they’re very good at it. Someone like Derren Brown can guess your phone’s ring tone just by looking at you. But he’s no psychic, as he himself tells you at the start of each show.</p> <p><strong>6: Flattery gets you everywhere; stay positive. </strong><br />People don’t want negative reviews of themselves or their relatives. If your granny was an old bag, you don’t want to hear it. Luckily, you never will. Psychics are great at giving you the happy news, they rarely sprinkle in the bad stuff. Although one who does is Sylvia Browne, who has told troubled relatives all sorts of horrible things that turned out not to be true. Watch these clips and see if you can figure out why she’s still around, or why Montel would ever have her back on his show. </p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6jF-d2pE9Ls&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/6jF-d2pE9Ls&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/hRc4LkBRjIc&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hRc4LkBRjIc&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WbCvBkWx3Zc&amp;rel=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WbCvBkWx3Zc&amp;rel=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="355"></embed></object></p> <p><strong>7: Use the co-operation clause.</strong><br />This is a great way to put the blame for incorrect statements back on you. Simply tell your test subject in advance that you may not interpret or convey the messages you get as intended. Thus, your subject needs to make sure that he/she concentrates to make that interpretation work. End result – if you say you’re seeing an old man called John, and her father was an old man called Robert, it’s her fault for not getting the translation! Huh? The psychic always puts the onus on you to grab onto the generalities they spew out and make them your own. Don’t fall for it.</p> <p><strong>8: Listen.</strong><br />Always go back to part 1 when you’re in doubt. People want to believe you, and will tell you things, subconsciously, to make part 1 come true. For instance, they’ll often tell you that they want to talk to their dead mom and just want to know she’s ok (gee, I wonder if that will happen?) Many psychics will spend half of their time listening to what you have to say, then use that information against you. When it comes down to it, you’re actually doing your own reading. The psychic is simply validating what you say. Clever? Yes? Paranormal? No way.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/272900992_18af4400c3_m.jpg" alt="confident" title="confident" width="240" height="180" /></p> <p><strong>9: Be confident, and give it some drama.</strong><br />Psychics could teach used car salesmen a thing or too about believability. They use great facial gestures, expand upon their points and make it seem like they genuinely are talking to the dead. There’s nothing wrong with being hammy. I believe it was Adolf Hitler who said “the bigger the lie, the more the people will believe it.” Well, these are some pretty big stinkers you’ll be telling, so add a little acting to the role. Remember, they want to believe you so ham it up. </p> <p><strong>10: See rule one.</strong><br />If there’s one thing you can learn about cold reading, it’s rule one. They are hanging on your every word, they want to believe you, like you want to laugh at a favorite comedian who’s telling a poor joke. </p> <p>That’s it. Long article I know. And I also know I will get a ton of abuse from people on this one. To anyone who is a psychic or medium, I’m sorry. Not because I apologize, I’m just really sorry you’ve taken that ridiculous avenue in life. Stop deluding people and get a real job.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-see-dumb-people-learn-to-cold-read-like-a-so-called-psychic">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-of-the-trade-share-an-insiders-tip-about-your-profession">Tricks of the trade: Share an insider&#039;s tip about your profession!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-costs-nothing-to-be-nice">It costs nothing to be nice.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-to-avoid-watching-a-crappy-movie">7 tips to avoid watching a crappy movie.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-for-making-do-with-the-right-now">5 Tips for Making Do with the Right Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs cons future life palm reading predictions psychics tips Tue, 20 Nov 2007 23:51:34 +0000 Paul Michael 1414 at http://www.wisebread.com Street market scams. Don't believe the hype. http://www.wisebread.com/street-market-scams-dont-believe-the-hype <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/154051594_0450e98e4e.jpg" alt="Market" title="Market" width="315" height="252" /></p> <p>Part three of my Real Hustle compliation is the one I have wanted to feature for a very long time. The other two posts were lighter in nature, this one is more grim as it involves more of your hard-earned cash being swindled from you. And it&#39;s personal to me because, well, I fell victim to the first con featured. I consider myself a fairly smart guy, but I was way too naive in college. A hard lesson learned. </p> <p>It&#39;s a long story, but I was in my 1st year of college at the time and had very little money in savings. I wanted to stretch my money as far as I could, and as Christmas was only a month away I thought the &quot;auction&quot; would be a great place to bag some presents for my folks for super-cheap. As you&#39;ll see from the first video, Jam Auction, it was nothing but a scam that played on your dreams of getting a great deal. </p> <p>In my case, I thought I&#39;d be getting a $1000 Kenwood audio system for around $200. What I got was $50 worth of junk for $200. It was a horrible scenario, over 60 of us thought we were getting something amazing. It turned out that the sheep mentality worked, coupled with the fact that &quot;plants&quot; in the crowd get freebies that kick-butt. Trouble is, those plants are in on the game and the free gifts go straight back in the van.</p> <p>Here we are then. Remember, living large means being careful with your money. If it seems too good to be true, 99% of the time it is.</p> <p><strong>1: THE JAM AUCTION</strong><br />As I said, it&#39;s a scam that dangles an amazing deal in front of you. Packages of PSPs, Digital Cameras, all kinds of goodies. They promise bargains beyond anything you could get in a high-street sale or even on the Internet. They hook you with cheap giveaways, and the bait is a huge bargain. But that huge bargain never ever materializes and everyone is left shell-shocked and out of pocket.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0orfzAZWeOI" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0orfzAZWeOI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>2: NOT-SO-MIRACLE BLADES </strong><br />With a home video camera, a few chef outfits and some repackaging, the gang are reselling cheap &amp; nasty knife sets as superior kitchen utensils. And it works. The fake infomercial and the new packaging, plus the story about it being a hot-seller, convince people in no time.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OmmZ_1vBN0E" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OmmZ_1vBN0E" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>3: ORGANIC FOOD FAKES</strong><br />Taking advantage of a growing market is something scam artists do all the time. In this case, organic food is the big draw. Genuine organic olive oil, real organic hand-made sausages. Sounds great. Trouble is, they&#39;re really selling cheap mass-produced oil and sausages at a massive mark-up. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/FjTbKtzhLT0" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FjTbKtzhLT0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>4: THE SKIN CARE SCAM </strong><br />This one&#39;s even more convincing because the hustle team rent a store for their product. And this is one of the most common cases of daylight robbery around in the UK right now. If it&#39;s happening there, I guarantee it&#39;s happening here. All they do is buy a ton of cheap lotion, mix it with parsley (mmm, parsley) and repackage it in tiny bottles. The same idea goes for the soaps and hair care products. It&#39;s all sold at a <strong>3000%</strong> mark-up!</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5r5_YlFfClw" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5r5_YlFfClw" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>5: DON&#39;T EAVESDROP</strong><br />Sometimes, you ARE meant to overhear a conversation. Especially when hustlers are trying to convince you that they&#39;ve just found an incredible bargain (like an $800 plate selling for $60 on a market stall). You may think you&#39;d never get taken in, but this con works exceptionally well because you believe you have insider information. All you&#39;re actually buying is a worthless piece of junk.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/x10PtjDKeyk" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x10PtjDKeyk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p>As I always say, it&#39;s a jungle out there. Watch your backs folks. </p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/toniphotos/">Toni V</a> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/street-market-scams-dont-believe-the-hype">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carnival-of-scams-top-4-fairground-cons">Carnival Of Scams - Top 4 fairground cons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-ripped-off-by-one-of-these-8-unnecessary-services">Are You Getting Ripped Off by One of These 8 Unnecessary Services?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-jungle-out-there-spotting-fake-reviews">It&#039;s a Jungle Out There: Spotting Fake Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">5 more ways to hustle free drinks.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks cons flea market Real Hustle rip-offs scams something for nothing street market warnings Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:21:55 +0000 Paul Michael 486 at http://www.wisebread.com Carnival Of Scams - Top 4 fairground cons http://www.wisebread.com/carnival-of-scams-top-4-fairground-cons <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/27529_fairground.jpg" alt="Fairground" title="Fairground" width="300" height="224" /> </p> <p>Go to the fairground, get taken for a ride. Yep, those sneaky Real Hustlers are at it again. This time they&#39;ve been uncovering the basic tricks and cons performed by your friendly neighborhood fairground staff. </p> <p>I looked these up before going to a fair (just doing my homework, as any good Wisebread reader should) and was quite glad I did. Of course, I&#39;m not implying ALL carnivals rip you off. No no no. That would be a terrible thing to imply (wink). But take a look at some of the &#39;oldest tricks in the book&#39; and then decide for yourself whether you want to give your money away next time you fancy winning a giant teddy bear for the love of your life.</p> <p>Note: All of these videos were filmed in my home country, good old England, but the same rules apply around the world. Where there&#39;s a carnival or a fairground, there&#39;s a con just waiting for a &#39;punter.&#39; Here we go...</p> <p><strong>1: The Steadfast Stack of Cans</strong><br />Looks easy for any eagle-eyed ball thrower. Just knock &#39;em down with three balls. No problem. Until you find out that three of the cans are light and three are heavy. And the way they are stacked makes all the difference. Check it out. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zlF7lZBGP8g" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zlF7lZBGP8g" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2: One Dart, Many Balloons...No Chance.</strong><br />I can play darts. No shock there, I spent many years after work in many a public house in London. But I challenge even the sharpest of sharp shooters to pop one of these balloons. The reason...they&#39;re really underinflated, making the skin thicker, and the dart is as blunt as a butter knife. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/wuT0EtE-Nr4" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wuT0EtE-Nr4" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3: Bottle Bowling BS</strong><br />They were doing this trick hundreds of years ago on the streets of old London town, and it&#39;s still working today. The reason is that it looks very very easy to win, but it is in fact almost impossibe. Knocking down two bottles with one ball is simple if the bottles are set-up evenly. Bt if you offset them, one bottle takes all the energy out of the shot and the other bottle will almost always be left standing. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/O1qMxn69_3s" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/O1qMxn69_3s" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>4: Hoops Hoopla</strong><br />I&#39;ll be honest. I&#39;ve tried this one a few times. Most of the time, I didn&#39;t even get close. Once I got so close I almost cheered. But it was still a failure. And that&#39;s because the way the trick is set up makes the chances of winning almost zero. The secret lies in the base...an offset bunch of blocks covered in velvet that grab the hoop and stop it from sliding down. Sneaky? You bet. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tP9hAkPqojI" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tP9hAkPqojI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carnival-of-scams-top-4-fairground-cons">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/street-market-scams-dont-believe-the-hype">Street market scams. Don&#039;t believe the hype.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-launder-money">How to Launder Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks carnivals cons deception. fairgrounds fairs hustles money scams stealing tricks Mon, 26 Mar 2007 21:06:32 +0000 Paul Michael 398 at http://www.wisebread.com