So I had an idea on how I’m going to do this week’s prompt. I decided to combine my favorite topic to date, anti-MLM and other scams and a writing prompt to go with it. In this one, Nora (a stay-at-home mom with two kids) gets pitched to join a crypto scam company by Amanda (a rep) and then by Catherine (another rep). She consults Joe (husband), Scott (brother), and Georgia (sister-in-law) for advice on how to handle this. I might do a second part next week, but this is what I have right now.
Nora is a stay-at-home mom who just gave birth to her second child. It’s been two weeks since her daughter entered the world and she is trying to find something to do to keep herself busy. She decides to write a blog post about her experiences as a new mom and how she feels about being a stay-at-home mom. She hopes that by writing this post, it will help other women who are also looking for ways to pass the time while they are on maternity leave or just want to get some work done while their baby sleeps.
However, she received a message from an unknown woman… at least she was unknown to Nora. The woman sent her an email saying she was interested in hiring her for some freelance work. Nora was excited because she needed the money and this woman seemed like she could provide her with a steady stream of clients. The message read:
“Hey, Nora! I know you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed right now—after all, you just had a baby and you’re still trying to figure out how to balance your crazy new life with the regular hustle of an MLM. And that’s okay. We’ve all been there. But I wanted to reach out because I think we could really help each other out in this case. You see, my name is Amanda and I’m the founder of our new crypto recruitment company. We have a unique opportunity for stay-at-home moms who are looking to recruit their friends and family members into crypto-related businesses by offering them free crypto training and access to our VIP list of investors. If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity, please visit us at [link redacted]. We’d love to get together sometime soon so we can chat about what your personal goals are as far as investing goes (or not investing), and then see if we have anything that might work for you!”
Nora was taken aback. She had no idea what this woman was talking about. “What kind of business are you running?” she asked, trying to sound as casual as possible.
“Oh, it’s a cryptocurrency investment website that I run with a couple of friends,” Amanda replied back, “We call it [link redacted]. It’s like a social network for investors—we help people find each other and build relationships so they can share tips about what cryptocurrencies to invest in, etc.”
It sounded too good to be true, Nora thought. Nora’s husband Joe had been scammed before. He was pitched to join Amway with his then-girlfriend over a decade ago. Joe got out after a few months, but his then-girlfriend stayed in it. They had broken up as a result. Joe had mentioned this to Nora when they started dating. In addition, Nora’s brother Scott works on Wall Street and is NOT a crypto fan. He has told Nora that “crypto is a scam.” He doesn’t understand why people are so excited about it. Considering her husband’s experiences and the warnings heeded by Scott, Nora decided to push Amanda further about this.
“So, you run a cryptocurrency investment website,” Nora replied back, “I want to know if this is a scam, and if not, why?”
Amanda replied with a link to her website. It was another page that had been designed by Amanda for her business. She had done this herself and it was not very professional. The site looked like it was made in Microsoft Word, which might have been true.
“I don’t think this is a scam,” she replied, “But I know nothing about the stock market.”
Nora responded, “that doesn’t make any sense. My brother trades on Wall Street and he knows this is volatile and is full of scams”
Amanda replied, “I don’t know what to tell you, but I think this is real.”
Nora replied, “Well, I’m going to do some research and get back to you. It’s just strange that you thought it was not a scam when I told you it was.”
Nora contacted Scott, but it was his wife (her sister-in-law Georgia) who answered the phone instead.
Georgia answered, “Hey, this is Georgia.”
Nora responded, “Hey, Georgia, it’s Nora”.
Georgia replied with excitement, “Oh, yes, Nora. Great to hear from you again. If you’re looking for Scott, he’s on his way home from work.”
Nora responded, “Okay, tell him I need to talk to him because some lady contacted me on my blog about this work opportunity involving crypto.”
Georgia took a moment before responding, “Crypto? Maybe she’s trying to pitch you to join an MLM involving crypto”. Georgia is an anti-MLM advocate and knows all about pyramid schemes.
Nora responded, “yeah, it did sound like one of those MLM pitches. She — her name is Amanda — she told me she works with some ‘like-minded women’ trying to build a crypto empire or something crazy like that”.
A few minutes later, Scott came home. Georgia handed the phone to him.
“Here,” Georgia said, “it’s your sister. Some lady tried to pitch her for an MLM”.
Scott took the phone and said, “don’t worry. I got this.” He then turned to Nora.
“Hey, sis,” he greeted.
Nora replied, “Scott, you would not believe this”. Nora is now with Joe and their two kids. “I got pitched to join some crypto company. I was just telling Georgia about it and it seemed really fishy.”
Scott replied, “Is it the same person who tried to pitch me? If so, she works for someone else and says she’s trying to build some kind of crypto empire”.
“Is her name Amanda who runs [link redacted]?” Nora asked.
“Yes,” Scott replied, “it is the same person. In fact, she is the one who pitched me and I said no.”
“Why did you say no?” Nora asked.
“Because it’s a pyramid scheme,” Scott said, “and I’m not going to be a part of that. And she doesn’t really keep track of who she contacts since this is women-led, and I’m a guy, so…”
Nora turned to Joe, “Babe, what do you think? Should we go back and waste her time”?
Joe laughs, “whatever rocks your boat, Nora. You have a sharp mouth after all”
Nora gave Joe the dirtiest look possible and then turned to Scott. “Scott, Georgia, I’m gonna go waste Amanda’s time so that she and her fellow boss babes don’t scam more people.”
Georgia said, “I think that’s a great idea.”
Scott replied, “I mean, you know, my sister has trolled people before on social media. Never to a ‘boss babe’ though.
“Scott, Nora has a great support system. I know she can handle this,” Georgia reassured him.
“Be careful,” Scott told Nora over the phone, “you don’t want to get into some kind of war with a scammer”
Nora said, “not to worry, I can handle it.”
After everyone hung up and put their kids to bed, Nora opened up her email to see that Amanda had responded telling her not to do any ‘research’ as the company will give her all the info she needed. It was a red flag. Nora replied back, “babe, I just did and between me, my husband, my brother, and my sister-in-law, we all agree that you’re trying to recruit me into a pyramid scheme. Yeah, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and that’s who you’re targeting.”
She didn’t get a reply until the middle of the night when someone else in Amanda’s circle replied with another pitch, this time for a multi-level marketing company involving… weight loss. It seemed that Amanda had visited Nora’s Instagram and Facebook profiles linked to the blog and noticed her pregnancy pictures. She then told another hun, Catherine, who is not involved in crypto, about Nora and essentially made fun of Nora’s weight, prompting this pitch
“Hey, Nora” the message started, “I saw your post about your baby and it made me think of you. I’m in this amazing company that helps moms lose weight while earning money, as well as helping other women feel beautiful. If you’re interested, let me know!” Just then, the newborn baby girl woke up crying and Joe had to run to the bedroom to calm her down. He brought the child over to the bedroom to soothe her. For Nora, this is just the beginning.