I've already discussed a little bit about cheerleaders and fake voters in the HYIP industry, so I believe now it's time to start having a proper look at trolls. Especially as trolling campaigns against good paying programs in the past led to widespread panic among investors and the subsequent collapse of the target. It's rarely the only factor I suppose, but it certainly never helps matters and undoubtedly speeds up the process.
To clearly comprehend what we are talking about let's first ask the question: What is the definition of trolling and attacking on public forums?
To answer this question maybe go to
Wiktionary and analyze the meaning:
“A person who posts to a newsgroup, bulletin board, etc., in a way intended to anger other posters and to cause drama, or otherwise disrupt the group's intended purpose.”
So in our case trolls are the people who attack the programs not because they have any reasonable complaints about their performance but are just doing it without any reason (seemingly). But is that true? They only do it without any reason or agenda? To find out more about that let's first try to answer the following question:
What are the methods trolls are using when they post on forums and write on their blogs and other media?
Well for one thing to try and show that the program will collapse soon. They will eventually be right anyway, so it's pretty easy to do. You just keep kicking the program until it collapses, and it doesn't mater how long it takes because they'll be right eventually. The faster it collapses the more satisfaction the troll will receive. Then of course there's the wish to show that the program has no real source of income. This is also a pretty easy task, as I know with 100% certainty that all HYIPs are ponzies so you don't have to be a genius to expose something unusual in the stories that HYIP admins create to attract newbies. This way you will also gain a reputation which you can use later for your personal needs.
But what are their reasons to troll and attack any one specific program? There are thousands of such online schemes, so why does one, which may have in fact put a lot of people well into profit, find itself the target of such attacks while the other more blatant scams that never paid a single dime to anyone remain untouched? I would identify the following types of trolls based on their motivation.
First of all it's to attract other people's attention to themselves, or their signature, or whatever promoted program they would prefer you to be a part of. If people see you were eventually right about the program you attacked you gain their trust and can involve them in your own scam more easily. That also means they are building their reputation by attacking others (mostly big programs) and by saying in the end – “you see, I was right about that, I'm a real expert in my field, join the programs I tell you to and you won't regret it.”
This not only applies to HYIP haters, there are many interested parties who deliberately provoke conflict by issuing fake warnings and/or monitoring other programs closely affiliated with their admins. They usually try to mislead you by stating that there are certain HYIPs that can be trusted and by attacking others they deliberately defend their own HYIPs which they protect and cherish. Of course you shouldn't forget that such people always have a vested interest in keeping you spending as much of your money as possible. So they attack certain programs in hope of re-directing your attention to spend money in such a way that favors them.
I think that if you run your own ponzi-based program you have no moral right to discuss other HYIPs and give recommendations as you will remain biased at all times (whether you admit it or not) or warn about something you don't like. I know some other bloggers who previously ran their own HYIPs and now proudly advertise new programs by opening a blog where I'm sure you can find some programs run by themselves. So please be very cautious about such people who are trying to increase their popularity by badmouthing programs which sometimes they don't even monitor. Be smarter than them and try to look into their possible agendas and motives.
There are others who for their personal and selfish reasons choose their targets and do everything to destroy one or another program. For some perverted reason they are almost orgasmic with satisfaction when their target collapses and the belief that it's all due to their endless efforts. This is the most dangerous troll of all as they consider themselves as crusaders and have no other reason for trolling other than their deep psychological complexes or issues connected with their possible personal losses from HYIPs in the past. Beware that the main aim of those people is to destroy the HYIP industry and the good paying programs that are an essential part of it, although they consider themselves as saviors and angels who try to keep you out of the industry completely. The most galling thing here is the smug sense of satisfaction that follows the “victory”. Don't mind that hundreds, possibly thousands, of people lost money they didn't have to. These guys will just continue with the backslapping while the members, 99% of whom were responsible adults who know perfectly well that these things were high risk ponzies but freely decided to play anyway, have their chances of earning money vastly reduced.
Then there's trolls hired by particular HYIP admins to spread lies about potential competitors and therefore get a bigger piece of the pie that may otherwise have went to the HYIP they are attacking. Please be aware of that as this method can be widely used in the HYIP industry and more often than you think. And just like DDoS-attacks on the technical side such paid attacks can be a mighty psychological tool in hands of unscrupulous and dishonest admins. So please be aware of that!
And of course let's not forget the blackmailers. This happy bunch tries to blackmail admins to pay extortion money. Sometimes quite significant amounts if they don't want them to start spreading rumors about their programs on forums. The only difference between this category and the previous one is that those teams of blackmailers are usually acting on their own and have only their own financial interests rather than the guiding hand of other admins.
Others are trying to take revenge even after they made a profits because of some perceived insult. One memorable case recently saw a member of one particular program do everything to make it collapse despite being $600 in profit. This was because the admin deleted his account for a serious breach of the program rules (self referring and multiple accounts). Rules which he agreed to before joining. And no, he was not a newbie but was perfectly aware that that money he demanded from the admin by continuously badmouthing him on forums was a “legitimate” attempt to get another $2,000 at the expense of other members of the program, as he was perfectly well aware of the fact that the program was a ponzi and meaning that the profits are paid from his fellow investor's pockets and not from the admin's. So for selfish reasons he took revenge on a program from which he was in profit resulting in others losing money. But that didn't bother him. Oh no! He only thought about his own profits and couldn't care less if the program collapsed due to his actions which did eventually happen.
These are some most prominent types of trolls in the industry, but now let's try to analyze the role they play in the industry.
Trolls are a sometimes essential evil (for HYIP admins) and good (for HYIP newbies) in the industry. The experienced players will pay attention to what they say but always look out for some hidden agendas as everybody in this industry has one. Be very careful about trusting the trolls because they might dangerously mislead you, just like cheerleaders but in the opposite way. They believe they can do anything as they are protected by anonymity. And sometimes they become a really dangerous thing for even the strongest HYIPs. They keep striking until they plant some seed of doubt in the minds of the regular investors who then start withdrawing and the program collapses. They might think of themselves as some sort of Robin Hood, saving the money of unsuspecting investors from another scam. But at the same time they destroy big ponzies due to which people lose thousands of dollars. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of people can lose money due to trolling activities, but you can be damn sure the admins will not be among them. No way. They made off with a ton of cash a long time before any of this can have a serious affect. So it's all relative and depends on which side of the fence you are looking at it – from the side of the winner or from the side of the loser. Sure, it's always going to happen eventually. But if anyone really, genuinely, wants to combat online HYIPs then there are legal channels open to them they can pursue. Deliberately causing those who freely decided to join to lose their money by bringing about the collapse of the program – as opposed to it's closure by the authorities – are really only helping the ultimate fraud and the escape of the admin behind it.
The part played by trolls is very much destructive and they only helps programs collapse faster. Although you should read what they write but then also look into their hidden agendas. Only then you will be able to differentiate between a troll and a sincere person who puts what he thinks into words. As with all the informational articles on the MNO blog that's exactly what you are invited to do – express your own thoughts and experiences with this or any of the other subjects raised in the series. Feel free to leave a comment, contact me directly, or discuss it on the MNO ShoutBox. Whether you agree or disagree, your feedback is always welcome!