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Have You Taken The Gullibility Test?

By Will from Holland

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"Easily duped or cheated" is one dictionary's definition of "gullible." I bet that is one phrase you don't want to be associated with, right?

Guess what? Data defining you as gullible may already be attached to you like glue. If it is, your gullibility definitely determines:

  • How much money you throw away every day.
  • The quality of your life.
  • The amount and type of advertisements you see on the web. (Lots of businesses love to reach out to people who are easily duped!)

So, are you gullible? Let's find out!

  1. Needs vs. Wants
    When you spend money, are you aware whether you purchase on a "need" or "want" basis?

    If you regularly spend money because you "want" something rather than "need" it, you fail this question—and you most likely fall for marketing ploys aimed at "Must Have" customers.

    • Do you really "need" that new phone, or do you just want it? Updating your phone every year or two can cost you hundreds up front, and hundreds more as you play with all those new features.
    • You drive to work each day, so you're car shopping. Do you "need" a new car? Or do you need good, dependable transportation? How about buying a used vehicle? You'll burn thousands of your hard-earned bucks if you actually think you "need" a brand new one.
    • Ice cream would be good tonight. But do you "need" to go out or buy the most expensive brand at the supermarket? Why not try the store brand? It's usually much less expensive.
  2. Impulse Buying
    Do you spend money based on advertising? Or based upon objective research?

    Don't kid yourself when you answer this question. You may be thinking, "Oh, I don't believe all that baloney in the advertisements!" But if in reality you spend money on virtually anything without doing at least a little objective research, you fail this question.

    • You click on the website that says "Cheapest credit card! Guaranteed!" and you actually get the credit card advertised on that page without checking any further or reading the disclosures.
    • The advertisement says "Special deal, today only!" and you immediately sign up for the deal with no further research.
    • You're buying a car. The seller gives you a brochure on the car that says how safe and reliable the car is. You believe the brochure and buy the car right away.
  3. Quick Fixes
    Do you believe "quick fix" advertisements?

    Do you click on some ads just out of curiosity? By clicking on gimmick advertisements you are added to databases loosely defined as "sucker lists".

    • "Guaranteed credit improvement in 30 days!" Sounds good, and you sign up. Bingo! You're in the "easily duped" category. More advertisements like that come your way. An "offline" (not regulated) credit reporting company buys a list of frequent visitors to these sites and guess whose name is on it?? Right! Yours! They sell the list to a credit card company that issues rip-off credit cards. And simply because you are on the list, your credit drops.
    • "Guaranteed killer abs in ten days!" You're in! Money flies out, abs are a no-show. The "these people fall for health and beauty scams" list now has your name, web address and email address on it and you receive many targeted ads.
    • "Make $500/hour with this work-from-home-job!" Sure, if you want to put a lot of money down at first. This is probably the biggest giveaway that you failed the "gullibility test".
  4. Fine Print & Privacy Policies
    Do you pay any attention to fine print and privacy policies?

    This is actually a trick question.

    • Even if you want to read the fine print, generally you can't. It's either too small or too complex to understand (some companies actually hire other companies to make their fine print impossible to understand).
    • Even if you read the privacy policy, you probably won't understand it. For the same reason, in a majority of cases, it isn't written to be understandable or logical.
    • So, we'll give you the translation of the vast majority of privacy policies: "You have no privacy, you have no rights when it comes to your information, and we'll do what we want with it. Now, there!"

So how did you do?

If you, like most (young) people, failed the "Gullibility Test", not to worry. You get to retake it every day, every time you have an opportunity to think before spending your money. When you start passing the test, you'll probably start saving (your) money, too.

Think before spending or signing anything, and you'll be passing this test in no time!

Good luck!

Cheers, Will.