You know the old saying, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” Right?

So, how does this work in business or real life?

Mind-map a crime?

I’ve been semi-binge watching a true crime show called, “Cold Justice” on the Oxygen Channel. In this show, a former prosecutor and a hand-chosen investigator (with long experience in law enforcement) join up with local law enforcement agencies in present day to solve cold cases.

In marketing parlance, the cops and the Cold Justice crew then create a mind-map of all the events and people known to be involved with the original crime. It’s a deep dive. Often, a contact or place on the original mind-map will lead to new additions to the mind-map – things that were missed in the original investigation.

Generally, there are at least two people suspected of involvement in an old unsolved crime – usually murder.

The new mini-task force interviews all of the previously known players along with some newly discovered persons of interest. So lots of back and forth talk. They revisit the scene of the crime (if known) and conduct new testing of evidence; like new DNA tests.

Duck Image by Dighini from Pixabay

What amazes me is that as the in-depth interviews with the cast of characters proceeds, it most often becomes startlingly clear who the duck perpetrator of the crime was. The preponderance of circumstantial evidence clearly points to the bad guy or girl.

Often, at the end of the show, a person is actually charged with the crime and arrested.

Internet marketing is filled with scammers.

Good verses bad is a judgement call we often have to make in any kind of business. But the internet marketing and the “make money online” categories seem to have more than its share of scammers. Here is a sampling of some headlines you might see promoting offers of this kind:

  • “No money, no website, no list, no problem. Make $1,000 by tonight!”
  • “No work required – hands-off software makes money automatically.”
  • “Email your offer to 2.3 million people every day for a one-time low fee.”

You get the idea. That last bullet point is the latest offer I bit on. Of course, it wasn’t even close to true. I so wanted it to be true!

By now, I’m pretty good at figuring out the good from the bad (crooked). One easy way is to check the WHOIS record for the website on which the offer is being made. If the offer claims a three year track record of success while the website name was only registered 3 months ago, it’s pretty clear what kind of duck offer this is.

Lately, I’ve learned to check (as much as possible) testimonials on a sales page. It really helps if the testimonial shows a website along with the person quoted. On the last site of a powerful testimonial I checked, there was no site (404 error).

Can a phony telephone scam ever be good?

Telephone scams can be devastatingly effective – particularly those targeting at-risk groups. Here are a few examples of bad duck telephone scams:

  • Microsoft is never going to call telling you your software is bad;
  • The IRS never calls: they send you something by mail or they just see you in court;
  • The call you get letting you know you just won a million dollars is not real.
  • The person calling himself “Robert” with a pronounced east Indian accent is probably isn’t Robert…and he’s not calling from Detroit as he claims.

Hang up on all these kinds of calls. Here’s another idea: Never buy an offer from somebody who calls you.

Here’s a different analogy; if something seems fishy to you, it’s probably not a fish, it’s a scam. Always conduct the ‘smell’ test. Do the duck test, too, and see what kind of duck it looks, walks and quacks like.

As Yogi Berra once said, “You can see a lot just by looking.”

Scammed by a charity? Quick…duck!

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

One of my internet marketing friends sent out to his list a call to support a charity revolving around caring and educating children in an orphanage in Liberia.

Sometimes you’ve got to take a look at all angles of a proposal; which is what I did.

I engaged in some in-depth email correspondence with the “headmaster.” I asked a lot of questions. What were his funding sources? What percentage of donations actually went to the care and education of children? What was the address of his physical facility in Monrovia, Liberia?

I never got a straight answer to any of my questions; just more pictures of children in a purported school. I also checked with the appropriate ministry office in Liberia to see if his “organization” was registered as a non-government organization (NGO). Nope.

I circled back to my internet contact and shared my concern with him that this supposed charity just may not be legitimate. (It looked like a duck scam, etc.) He admitted that he had never personally checked into the group – it just seemed like a good cause to him. (Well, it wasn’t.)

Take a good look at the ducks in your life.

When I attended high school, I had a couple of friends who were not ‘salt of the earth’ types. It didn’t seem like that big a deal in high school. Besides, my free time was pretty much devoted to my girlfriend. When my mother and I moved to another city so I could attend college, things with them went downhill quickly.

These two guys came to visit me at the apartment my mom and I shared. On that particular day, I had to leave them alone in the apartment for a few hours while I went to class. Mom was at work. When I got back, they had, basically, trashed the main living area of the apartment. There were empty beer cans all over the place and ash and butts were falling out of the ashtrays.

I went ballistic. Mad as hell. I threatened them with very dire (physical) consequences if they didn’t stand up and fly right; which meant cleaning up the area so it looked even better than when they arrived while I supervised. When they were done, they were out of the apartment and out of my life for good.

Bad ducks will pull you down but good ducks will help lift you up so you can soar with eagles. Be proud to waddle with the good ducks in life and keep all your various ducks in a row.

Image Credit: Pixabay
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