Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

The Gold Dust Corporation


To fully understand the scope and mechanics of the multitude of scams, telemarketing frauds, investment schemes and interrelated deceptions that affect millions of victims yearly, it will perhaps help to fictionalize a single entity which will be entirely responsible for all of them, the Gold Dust Corporation.

This organization will have a Chief Executive Officer, a sales force, a marketing division, a telephone call centre, legal and accounting departments and foreign branches. The employee base requires over 120,000 people and generates revenues of over $45 billion dollars per year.

The outlandish and unrepentant mission statement of the organization is as follows:

The corporation , without attracting undue attention from law enforcement agencies, shall without physical violence and in the most economical and efficient methods possible, seek and attract customers who we will, through deceptive and unscrupulous means, induce to part with as much of their financial resources as possible based on their demographics and time available to do so.

The name of this organization is derived from the fact that while gold has always been an indicator of wealth and value, it is also so malleable that the tiniest amount can be pounded so thin and wide as to contain no significant value. Imagine then, a worthless item covered in gold dust so fine that, while appearing lustrous, a simple puff of wind or breath reveals its true value.

That then is the goal of this organization. To offer items, services, investments and opportunities which appear valuable, but have little, if any, value at all, in exchange for as much or more money than an actual, substantial offering of the same items might attract.

Certain products will require the "sales force" to be in the physical presence of the customer but it is statistically more efficient to utilize the phone for the sales process. It also allows us to contact customers anywhere in the country in an instant, without the needless expense of travel.

As some of the enterprises unfortunately contradict several laws, the reduction of observable contact is a factor as well. The intervention of third parties and the presence of witnesses is reduced by using a phone. The inability of enforcement agencies to work beyond their jurisdictions is also a factor in the branch office selection of customers.

Divisions will administer operations broken down by the following: product class, mode of contact, per sale expectations and general or specific demographics.

The call center will be divided between incoming and outgoing calls. The marketing department will ensure that a steady volume of incoming calls is established and that the database of potential and existing customers is kept current, accurate, and detailed.

Because the call center must be operated efficiently and productively, both during and after business hours, a target audience must be selected for each. With the majority of middle age people occupying their day with work, the Business Section will deal with both small, medium and institutional businesses and organizations while the Home Consumer Section will deal with those available at residential numbers, primarily seniors, entrepreneurial individuals and housewives.

crimes of persuasion chart

While revenue expectations per call may be rated large and small, it is expected that with the increased call volume and shorter sale cycle of the low-take operation, both will net out similar in their total projected earnings.

The apparent legitimacy of the operation is enhanced when customers are induced to call us for their requirements. Therefore, the marketing department shall use other mass-marketing mediums to achieve this goal including mailings, draw ballots, infomercials, radio and televisions ads and most cost effectively, the internet.

A database of all respondents will be kept for future offerings and they shall be upgraded to preferred status if sales warrant.

The integrity and believability of the large potential divisions must be maintained by an advanced-level sales force conversant in financial terminology. Entry level positions are to be filled first in the lower potential, consumer incoming call centre.

Aptitude and psychometric tests will be given prior to the hiring process to screen out empathy and displays of conscience. We will be seeking the same outgoing and enthusiastic nature found in all good salespeople, but they must be lacking in basic morals to some degree. As bonding is not required, prior criminal records are not an issue and actually boost the potential of being selected as a good hire.

Progressively greater remuneration will ensure a deadening of any latent concern for the customers' personal well-being. This factor along with internal controls should also prevent the ever present threat of internal embezzlement.

The entire sales force will use time-tested sales scripts with accompanying rebuttal sheets. The marketing department shall quantify the effectiveness of newly tested phrases, baits, and overall campaigns and make improvements as necessary.

The legal department shall screen all changes so as to circumvent existing laws where possible, but so long as the risk/reward factor is in our favour, no steps will be taken to reduce maximum cash flow.

The warehouse shall maintain at all times an adequate supply of consumer awards and prizes secured from select manufacturers in Asia which make items so cheap and shoddy they can not be sold in regular retail outlets.

The publishing department of the marketing division shall be responsible for the emulation and production of any "official documents" or "financial instruments" along with the various "how-to" manuals and mailers that are shipped daily in great volume.

The salespeople who are both photogenic and adept at social intermingling shall be promoted to field status in our Affinity or Prime Bank Divisions. Our more senior and distinguished staff enjoy the travel and semi-retirement aspect of this opportunity, after a career on the phones.

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