10 Tried and True Techniques of the Slot Scammers
by Frank Scoblete
Here’s a trite statement that you have probably seen in many gambling articles: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” The operant word in that cliché is “probably,” as some things that actually sound too good to be true are indeed true: penicillin, aspirin, and card counting at blackjack.
Still, a whole industry has been built on making promises the promisee has no intention of keeping, in fact has no known way of keeping. No, I’m not talking about the “to love, honor and cherish” industry of marriage, as a good 50 percent of the population actually does keep their marriage vows; or the diet industry, where a few people actually lose some weight sometimes before they explode in an orgy of eating that makes them fatter than ever before; or the cosmetic surgery industry where the “we’ll make you look young again” can take an old face and make it look like an old face that has now been stretched beyond recognition.
All those above industries might have some glimmer of honesty and truth in them. But I’m talking about an industry that is built on a lie, promotes on a lie, and sleeps with the father of lies. I’m talking about slot scammers, the seedy underbelly of the gambling advice industry. They prey on the ignorant, the gullible, and the greedy. And they are legion.
Not a week goes by when I don’t receive mail from some slot wizard promoting his or her secret system that is guaranteed to make you millions. A tremendous amount of time and talent, psychology and postage go into these mailings — much more time, talent and psychology than ever goes into the product you receive should you succumb to the allure of “living for the rest of your life like a king or queen.”
These offerings all have many things in common, not the least of which are outrageous claims for money-making opportunities. Yet, no gambling writer or magazine has ever taken the time to truly analyze the selling methods of the slot scammers, as their outrageous claims tend to be dismissed out of hand. Thus, the gambling public, always eager for information, is never shown just how these scamming satans actually sucker in their fish. Until now!
With the help of “Connie,” a former expert scammer who found religion (in prison!), I’ve been able to delineate the “10 Step Approach” that slot scammers use to break down your psychological barriers to buying their obviously phony systems and expose the inherent lies in their schemes.
Soften the sucker with “agreements.”
Prey on the greed of your pigeon by asking questions to which the answers are invariably “yes.” Would you like to live the rest of your life and never have to worry about paying your bills? If you have children, wouldn’t you like to send them to the finest colleges and not strap them with costly loans? Wouldn’t you like to take care of your aging parents? Wouldn’t you like to have foreign vacations, new luxury cars, and houses in several states? Designer clothes? (Note all the plurals!)
Connie: “You just can’t come on and tell someone you’re going to make them a lot of money. No one believes that. Why should they? They don’t know you from Adam and here you are offering to make them rich? No, you have to get them agreeing with you, get them thinking the way you want them to be thinking. You have to get them thinking about what money can bring them. You have to first stimulate their greed. As they start answering ‘yes’ in their minds, you are softening them up. This is like a good jab on a fighter. It softens the opponent up for the knockout.”
Stimulate the sucker’s jealousy and/or admiration.
The second step is to inform the pigeon that you, the mailer, are rich. Explain how you live; the cars you drive; how you’re sending your kids to the finest schools. Let the pigeon know that all this can be his or hers as well but don’t yet explain how.
Connie: “It’s very important to hold up the bait but not reveal just what it is you’re selling. But you want them salivating and thinking to themselves, ‘if he can have this why can’t I?’ Once you’ve got them wishing and hoping, you have them nibbling at the bait, ready to swallow the hook.” Explain to the sucker how it can be done — without effort!
Here some pictures of W2G forms with the scammer’s name on it can work wonders. Many scammers have pictures of themselves sitting at the slots and/or holding up their W2G forms.
Connie: “It is important that you make this money-making opportunity seem very easy, that you have discovered the way to make money without working. After all, anyone can make money by working, you want the poor slob you’re scamming to believe that money will flow in without effort.”
Explain why you are selling this miracle to the sucker, instead of continuing to use it yourself.
At this point people will have the thought: “Why is this guy sharing all this with me? Why doesn’t he keep this a secret and just go on winning at the casinos?” The scammer must now give a rationale for why he is “almost giving away” this super secret. It could be something as simple as, “believe it or not, I’m bored being in casinos and have decided to share my secrets as I will be retiring,” or, “I hate casinos and I want to help take them down.”
Connie: “This is a critical moment in the pitch. You have to give a reason that flies. But, the pigeon is ready to believe anything — almost — because he is softened up and really wants to be rich. So the reason might not sound so hot when we say it in the context of a conversation. ‘I’m retiring from the casinos because I’m bored,’ is about as stupid an explanation as I’ve ever seen, yet it works all the time. The pigeon thinks: ‘See, there, he has a reason for selling this secret to me.’ The pigeon rarely thinks, ‘Why doesn’t he hire someone to play and he can still make a fortune?’ So just about any explanation will suffice.”
Reinforce what this “system” can do for the sucker.
Once the scammer has explained his slot system’s power and all the reasons why he is willing to share his secrets for such a ridiculously low price, he now must reinforce the pitch by reiterating that this slot magic can give you the house of your dreams, the luxury cars, the worry-free life that the person dreamed about in the first set of questions.
Connie: “Reinforcement is crucial. You have to hammer it into the pigeon’s head that all the things he wants is his if he only forks over the $39 or the $79 or the $199 to you.”
It comes with a money-back guarantee.
If the sucker is not completely satisfied, the scammer states unequivocally that he’ll send the sucker back all his money.
Connie: “You have to make the pigeon think he has nothing, absolutely nothing, to lose by buying this slot system. After all, he’ll get every last penny back if he isn’t completely satisfied. This also can play on the greed of people who are themselves slightly dishonest, ‘Hey, I’ll order this, use it, win money, and then tell that guy it didn’t work and it will cost me nothing and I’ll win a fortune!’ Of course, no scammer gives back any money.”
Make the sucker feel stupid if he doesn’t buy it.
Now that he has been shown what this wondrous slot system can do for him, and the fact that he has “absolutely nothing to lose” by trying it, he would have to be stupid not to buy it, right? So now the scammer keeps harping on the fact that this is an opportunity only an idiot, a moron, a jackass, would pass up.
Connie: “No one wants to be thought of as a fool. So you make the pigeon think you’ll think of him as a real moron, as will his whole family, and the whole world, if he passes up an opportunity like this. You might remind him that he might have passed up some opportuni-ties in the past because he was afraid to take action — who hasn’t missed out on something in life? — and this will push him even harder into buying your slot system.”
Make the sucker feel guilty if he doesn’t buy it.
Now, the person must be made to feel guilty if he doesn’t buy it. “Do you want your kids to have to pay-off huge college loans when you could have simply, easily and with no effort at all made more than enough money to send them to college ten times over?” The person has to start thinking how much he is depriving his family of if he doesn’t take this offer. He has nothing to lose. It comes with a money-back guarantee!
Connie: “Greed, fear of being thought stupid, and guilt are the tripod of scammers. If you can get the person to experience all three, you have a definite sale.”
Put the “bum’s rush” on the sucker!
Thinking is the enemy of the scammer. He does not want his potential customer to have any time to reflect, so he has to put a rush on him. “You must buy within the next 60 days as I am withdrawing my offer after then.” Or, “I am only selling 1,000 of my systems and then I will sell no more!”
Connie: “Now that you have him hooked, you have to reel him in. The bum’s rush is a standard technique used in almost all mailing offerings, even legitimate ones — a time-limit galvanizes the will of the buyer to take out his credit card or checkbook. In the case of scammers, you’ll rarely be able to take out a credit card, because credit card companies allow their patrons to get refunds on items they are not satisfied with. Those policies are anathema to the slot scammer, so most will not go the route of getting the okay for taking credit cards. This is one of the best methods for knowing you’re dealing with a phony — he won’t take credit cards!”
Summarize all the benefits; poke at the greed, the guilt, the feelings of inferiority, and then offer a discount for prompt action!
A time limit has been placed on the offer. But if someone acts “right now,” he’ll be entitled to a discount.
Connie: “Generally, if a person is wavering, he’ll succumb to the discount. He’s been softened, hammered, and rushed — and now he gets an even bigger benefit. And the slot scammer’s made another sale!”
So what exactly are the slot scammers selling? Dreams, desires, fantasies — pie in the sky — yes. But they are also selling outright lies. Hear me carefully now as I shout this out: “There is no way to beat the programming of a slot machine!”
If a slot machine is designed to return 95 percent of all the revenue put in it over the cycle of the machine (cycle is the slot term for long-run), then that is what it will return. However, the return is never smooth. The machine might return hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a short span, then return nothing for a long, long time. The programming of the overall percentage payback, coupled with the hit frequency, will tend to determine just how often and how much a machine returns in its cycle.
Slot scammers know that a certain percentage of people will win money in the short-run on just about any machine in the casino. If this never happened, no one would ever play the slots. This is how the slot scammers get all those pictures of themselves with those W2G forms for hitting the jackpot. If you play the machines long enough, anyone can get those W2Gs! The slot scammer just plays and plays and plays some more until he has a sufficient number of the forms and then he puts them all in a collage in his mailing or has pictures taken of himself holding up his forms.
And these folks are brazen, too, as are most criminals. One such scammer ripped off sections from my book Break the One-Armed Bandits! then sold them (word-for-word!) as if they were his insights and revelations. His price for photocopies of a few pages from my book? An incredible $99! His thrust in his mailing was that he would show how a person could win “millions” by finding “99-percent return machines” and exploiting them. He failed to inform his pigeons that not only had he ripped off all this information from my book (which sells for a mere $9.95) but that a 99-percent return machine, while comparatively great for slot players, is still a losing proposition in the long run!
The fact that one can’t overcome the programming of a machine is not the same as saying that there are not better and worse machines to play, or better and worse ways to play them. Even in negative-expectation games there are approaches that can reduce your overall risk, increase your chances of winning, and of having some fun. But that’s not the same as offering the public the sun, the moon, the stars — and the winnings to buy all three!
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