Conmen, scammers, and rip-off artists or how to find a vendor you can trust

No doubt, there are good, trustworthy vendors out there. But don’t get your hopes too high because finding them is not so easy. In fact, it’s very hard. That’s because only about 5% of the entire Universe of vendors belong to this category. The remainder, and a huge one at that, is not what you are probably after.

The remainder consists of con men, scammers, and rip-off artists, and these categories, unfortunately, overlap quite often, which means that you can get conned, and then ripped off. Being just ripped off may actually not be such a bad deal, overall, assuming you still got some value in what you paid for.

We believe, though, that these categories should be treated separately, because not every rip-off artist is a con man or a scammer. A conman very often (practically always) is a scammer, but does not have to be a rip-off artist. Yes, that’s sort of complicated, but we hope to clear this up in future so that you know how to recognize these people and use the right vocabulary when disclosing them and their business practices online.  It is better to do this responsibly because claiming that someone scammed you, while they might have only ripped you off, may carry legal consequences and you may end up paying even more.

We will return to this in one of our future articles.

Originally posted on the web on March 6th, 2011.