>Cambridge Who’s Who: or How I Almost Got Scammed

Posted: 31/12/2008 in Cambridge who's who, cutco, scam

>About a week ago I got some very special letter in the mail. I was informed that I was a candidate for the Cambridge Who’s who of America’ something or other. I was so flattered! After years of hard work, I had achieved the vaguely defined standards of Cambridge Who’s who which is proudly (not) associated with Cambridge University. Turns out they’re a scam. It’s a good thing I figured that out when I “interviewed” for my position of prestige.

I was initially suspicious before I called and spoke to the Cambridge people. First, I don’t ever recall applying for this. I remember hearing about people signing up for the various “Who’s who” lists, but I never bothered to check it out. It is pretty harmless to give a company a call though, so I went ahead and did it anyway. After all, the chance to network is never something that I would reject.

I became increasingly wary when I was talking to some lady over the phone. She told me that I was being interviewed for inclusion in the 2009 Who’s who. The first question was one that clearly intended to get me excited about the program. After listing off all the benefits, she cheerfully asked me “how I might benefit” from the program. I pretended to not hear her clearly and asked her to repeat herself, and she did so word for word. The subsequent questions seemed almost too easy. “What is your proudest accomplishment? How long have you worked in your industry? What do you attribute your success too?” All of this was quite nauseating. If I was really “applying” for some prestigious association, they’d be asking me to send them an essay about my own biography, along with letters of recommendation, and proof that I accomplished what I said I did. Instead, this lady was just taking my word for it and massaging my ego in the process.

The final blow came when she tried the close. She gave me two options, a life time membership ($900) or a five year membership ($500). My first thought was, “I wonder if this is like when I offer customers the homemaker or the complete set before moving on to the smaller, less expensive, sets?” You don’t play a player, and when I offer someone something, it is something good. I almost called her out on it. Yet, I also knew that I would probably have to say “no” four more times before she’d hang up. Sure enough, she dropped down to some $200 offer before finally letting me go. Oh well! Looks like I’ll have to stick earning a reputation and finding employment the old fashioned way!

Let this blog be added to the hundreds of others letting people know of this scam. This organization will try to sell you on the feeling of prestige and the chance to network. But you don’t get prestige without working really hard for it first. If you need to network, use meetup, facebook, or any of the other free associations out there. When you get one of those stupid letters, go ahead and shred it.

Thanks for reading, and thanks Cutco for teaching me how to sell. Now I know when I’m getting scammed.

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