Too Good To Be True

Private Property South Africa
Shaun Wewege

It’s not something I am proud of but I am a pretty lazy person. While one should never will one’s youth away, there is a part of me that is counting down the days till I am able to start collecting my pension. The thought of not having to clock in every day, sit in meetings, fight traffic and end up arguing with co-workers about which shelf in the fridge is mine is something I will be all to glad to leave behind.

Despite my desire to retire young I am cynical and the axiom, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” is usually never far from the front of my mind. I was online looking for a new restaurant to try and a web banner caught my eye. Not because of brilliant design or engaging content, but because its promises were as believable as the ones we’re going to hear in the run up to the next elections.

According to this banner, a local stay-out-home mom was able to earn R3 750 per day. Further down the page a similar banner for the same company claimed that another part-time worker from Sandton was earning close to R100 000 per month. The thing that struck me as odd, is that CEO’s, high-level government ministers and managing directors fall into that salary bracket. Cadre deployment aside, the aforementioned posts require a certain level of qualification, years of experience and ability to cope with extreme pressure.

How is it possible to earn that kind of money, at home, with no qualifications or experience, in only a few hours a week? I’ll venture a guess and say the only place you’ll find more fantasy is in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Or for the more innocent, a Harry Potter novel. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to click on one of the banners and landed up on a testimonial on what appeared to be a legitimate news website.

The testimonial included a photo of “Michelle” and her baby in her home and a copy of “Marie’s” paycheque. The comments section is populated with further testimonials from other happy, wealthy users. The overly-supportive reader comments were the biggest giveaway. Where are anonymous internet users EVER nice to each other? There was not one troll insulting Michelle and her alien-looking baby; and no curmudgeons suggesting that Marie probably isn’t bright enough to read.

The devil is in the details and look at the disclaimer right at the bottom of the page tells us that the “article” is actually an advertisement, that the multinational corporations mentioned are used for illustrative purposes only, as is the photo of Michelle and E.T. In fact, the disclaimer even tells us that the above is “not to be taken literally.”

Looking at this website I realised that it might just be my ticket to kissing the working world goodbye and retiring early. I have no doubt that it’s a lie and once I send my $50 to these miracle workers in return for the fool-proof system, the only thing I’ll get in return is regret and a lifetime of being branded a moron by my friends.

But it got me thinking, if I set up my own website I might just be able to catch others who are not so wary. Dishonest, I know, but in my defence I did mention in paragraph one that I work as hard as your average royal.

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