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Don’t fall for this scam selling technique

Mark Shawzin
April 7, 2021

Check out this Trustpilot review I got recently …


This is the oldest scam in the book. You may even have heard of it.

It’s a version of the Straw Man Fallacy.Here’s how it works, including how it’s used to sell Forex and Stock related robots, magic systems, and whatever else: 

Basically, you write a bad review or a criticism of someone else, just to sell your own products. 

This happens to The Pattern Trader all the time.

As soon as people started Googling my name a few years ago, these strange reviews started popping up from people who have never used my service 

And it’s no coincidence that each one of the mis selling something directly or as an affiliate of another service.

 The most famous of these “reviews”... one that keeps popping up time and time again, is from ValForex.

In their negative article about me they are selling some kind of trading robot. The product name changes from time to time.

At the time of writing this post, they’re promoting something called YieldNodes.

Here’s an image of the pitch:


This pitch is repeated multiple times during their article. 

Then across my social media channels they post links to their articles about me. They even have it in different languages.It’s funny, because there were about 50-60 positive comments on the ValForex article from my members that have mysteriously disappeared. 

And honestly, I wouldn’t usually care.

However, this Straw Man selling technique is hurting a lot of people. Why?

Because it’s so effective.

Psychologists refer to this as negativity bias: “Our brains are wired to scout for the bad stuff”.

Here’s an extract from a New York Times article about it: Roy F. Baumeister, a professor of social psychology at Florida State University, captured the idea in the title of a journal article he co-authored in 2001, “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,” which appeared in The Review of General Psychology.

“Research over and over again shows this is a basic and wide-ranging principle of psychology,” he said. “It’s in human nature, and there are even signs of it in animals,” in experiments with rats.

“Bad emotions, bad parents and bad feedback have more impact than good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.”

And that’s why marketers use this all the time to sell stuff. It’s because people believe negativity about someone else before they believe anything positive.

And sadly, when someone convinces you of that negativity, you’re more prone to trust them.

Trustpilot has already removed several fake negative reviews from our account that were promoting other people’s websites.

So beware when you read an in-depth negative article about something (anything). Have a look to see what they are selling first.

One more thing …

Before I sign off today, there’s another important point about negativity bias:

Traders can get pulled into this bias too.After a loss or two, they start losing faith in themselves or their system.  

Once their confidence drops (“This will never work” … “I’m too dumb/emotional/error-prone to be a good trader” … “I can’t believe I thought this idea would help me” … and so on), they start doing silly things they would never do with a more confident, positive mindset.

They do things like constantly changing their method or system every few trades. (Random systems give random results and are no better than gambling, which means they always lose in the long run.)

Or they might trade very recklessly with bets that are too big. Or just completely unrealistic, such as stop losses too close to the current price. (Either mistake pretty much guarantees they’ll wipe out their account over time.)

They might even give up on their trading dreams completely, which is sad when the opportunity is so great and so real.

Yet it’s all because it’s so much easier to believe negative things about a product, system (or yourself) than good things.

So be aware of negativity bias. Understand how it’s used to create “credibility” when selling. And understand how it works to undermine your own trading too.

Don’t be a victim.

Best regards,
Mark Shawzin

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