Insomniacs lose sleep for a wide variety of reasons, but
they all have one thing in common: if they turn on the TV at 4 a.m., they will
be able to choose from any number of infomercials from odd gadgets to divorce insurance.? These are half-hour long advertisements designed
to mimic documentaries or news stories. Almost any product or service may be
featured, but often the infomercial contains a mix of testimonials and ?proofs?
We have seen examples of infomercials where the set is an
almost exact copy of the one used for Larry King Live. Other ones show studio
audiences applauding on cue as spokespeople deliver demonstrations of the
latest whiz-bang gadget.? Some
infomercials are perfectly fine, and even enjoyable to watch (at least
once).? Our onions still quake in terror
whenever we pull out our OnionMincer 9000, as featured on one particularly
enticing infomercial.? However we are
more interested in infomercials that are obviously scams.? Here are a few varieties:
- Government money: ?A fast-talking dude explains how his books will unlock Uncle Sam?s coffers and get you money courtesy of the taxpayer. ?Besides being intrinsically repugnant, the book doesn?t contain any information you can?t get from government websites for free. And you?ll find that most of the schemes in the book require unusual qualifications, rendering them useless for most people.
- Magnetic bracelets: ?Feeling tired, need pep? ?Try diet and exercise, because these bracelets are 100% worthless.
- Domain monetization: ?If only you could cash in on those crazy domain names you bought one drunken night. ?This infomercial has the supposed answer: park them for cash! ?You allow a parking company to use your domain name to host advertisements, and you collect a few cents whenever an ad is clicked. Unfortunately the perils of parking far outweigh its benefits, and the only one making money on this scam is the guy selling you the books, videos, newsletters, etc.
- Real estate foreclosures: ?This is a great way to turn a large fortune into a small one.
- Reading babies: ?Have your 9-month baby read a law book on consumer fraud ? maybe she can get you your money back.
- Beauty cream: ?Grandma is looking real good, thanks to that $35 jar of hope. And with all the free extras they throw in, like wrinkle inverter and liquid jowl lift, the nursing home is going to be the hottest spot in town.
- Male enhancement: We don?t even want to go there.
The list is endless, the lesson is simple:? keep your credit card in the freezer whenever
an infomercial starts tempting you with something that is too good to be true.