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What is so appealing about a single mom?

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I typed that title first then instantly thought to myself, “Man, that probably isn’t going to go over well” which made me want to use it even more. This post isn’t about the social attractiveness of single moms, but rather, why are they so successful at luring victims into scams.

From teeth whitening to weight loss to working at home, there are hundreds of scams out there all using the ‘single mom’ approach. I know you’ve seen the ads. They’re EVERYWHERE. Maybe this will refresh your memory, “Learn the secret a single mom discovered that your dentist doesn’t want you to know about white teeth.”

I recently came across an article written by the Springfield Computer Guy addressing these fake single mom ads. He writes…

At first glance, the “idea” presented seems like a legitimately neat little trick. “Cathy Anderson” at www.myteethtrick.com (who just happens to be from Springfield, Missouri – wow! what a cool coincidence!) advises you to hit your teeth with a combination of two different teeth-whitening products, one right after the other.

And you can do it for under $5! Because BOTH of the teeth-whitening companies provide free samples of their products! So you only have to pay for the shipping.

[…]

1) To start with, this is a scam because “Cathy’s” story is a lie. In marketing-speak, and in the fine print, “Cathy’s” story has been “modified in multiple ways including, but not limited to: the story, the photos, and the comments.”

Excuse me? What else is left?

(Not much, it’ll turn out, and there’s not a lot of truth there, either…)

The fine print goes on:

“…this blog, and any page on this website, are not to be taken literally or as a non-fiction story… THE STORY DEPICTED ABOVE IS NOT TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY.”

So in other words, it’s all a marketing ploy which is factually untrue. This is what most normal people (such as you and I) would call “a lie.” But you have to read the mess of fine print to find that out.

[…]

2) More importantly than the deceptions above, this offer is a scam because they dangle a deceptive offer (that ordering the two trial products will result in you whitening your teeth for under $5) to lure you into a situation in which they have your credit card info and in which they are going to charge you close to $200 (or even more) every single month… From now on. Or for as long as they can get away with it.

Oh, I’m sure they’ll send you some product. And all of their fine print might cover them legally. Neither of those is the issue. The deception and the almost-$200-charges, every month, are the issues.

The “Denta White” site says (in small print on another page that you access by clicking a tiny-printed “Terms and Conditions” link, of course): “In the event you do not cancel within ten days after you order your trial product, you will be automatically enrolled in our convenient home delivery plan and your credit card will be charged $92.37. Thereafter, 30 days from your initial order, you will be billed the monthly charge of $92.37 each month when product is sent to you.”

Note that “free trial” is ONLY “free” if you meet the special condition of “calling and canceling within 10 days.” If you don’t do that, then the “free trial” for this one product alone IS GOING TO COST YOU $96.13.

So my question to you guys: what is so appealing about a single mom? I don’t see the appeal. If I wanted my teeth whiter or I wanted to lose wight, I’d ask a dentist or a doctor or someone who knows what the hell they are talking about. The last person I’d turn to is a random website featuring the story of a single mom who “beat the dental industry” and wants my credit card information.

Why do you think these ads are so successful?

Read more: Learn the trick, discovered by a mom, to RIP YOU OFF!

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3 Comments

  1. Joe,

    Love your comments! Cute single mom with perfectly styled hair and a designer t-shirt that no doubtedly came from the Salvation Army!

    Reply
  2. What Deborah said. Plus, a single mom who is working so hard just to put food on the table would never rip you off. She knows that you’re a hard-working stiff, too. Also, it doesn’t hurt if the “single mom” is cute and wearing a tight t-shirt. I’m just sayin’.

    Reply
  3. This article about the use of “single mom’s”, or as is now known in the industry WAHM’S -“work at home mother’s” in scams had me laughing. I had truly never noticed the regular use of that in the scam emails. I think it is a stereotype that we think of single mothers as struggling, uneducated people, clipping coupons, living in squalor to support their children because obviously there is a deadbeat father who is not paying child support. A fascinating point about this single mother scenario is that these so called needy single mothers have computers and probably high speed connections! Also interesting is that I am or rather was a single mother raising my son who is now 23 and believe it or not I was not on welfare or living in homeless shelters–in fact we lived quite well.
    I think the scammers may be channeling J. K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame who, according to Wikipedia states that “aside from writing the Potter novels, Rowling is perhaps equally famous for her “rags to riches” life story, in which she progressed from living on welfare to multi-millionaire status within five years. ”

    Somehow though I think her extensive education and talent made her rich and not the work at home mom scams, stuffing envelopes, writing grants and doing data entry. A quick look at google and there are pages of hits for single mother work at home and work at home mothers.

    Thanks again for a new way of looking at these scams–I now fit the single mother and blonde stereotype–wonder what is next?!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply

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