Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Exploiting the Gullible

Maybe you've seen it on TV, an exclusive offer to purchase (limit 5 per customer) a September 11th commemorative "coin"

They include their website:

Here's part of their description of what they are selling (my emphasis):

Today history is being made as National Collector's Mint releases this Government Authorized Non-circulating Liberian legal tender September 11th Commemorative. This $20 Silver Leaf Coin-Certificate is payable like a Silver Certificate in coin-of-the-realm.

Its giant 3-1/8" inches by 7-3/8" inches size dwarfs every U.S. legal tender note in circulation

Struck in .999 Pure Silver Leaf!

Each is individually numbered!

On the front, the frosted Twin Towers stand out against a mirror-like background, much as they did in the gleaming sunlight of that fateful morning, double dated 2001-2008 with our promise - "We will never forget!"Another historic first: This Silver Leaf Coin-Certificate displays a standard $20 denomination on one side. But on the other side, it's the first time ever that two separate numbers have been used to add up to the full $20 face value - it uses 9 and 11 to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy.

The final issue price was to be set at $39 but during this special release, it can be yours for its face value of just $20.00!

Now, let's not forget that this is Liberian legal tender. The U.S. dollar is worth approximately 57 Liberian dollars, making the face value more like 35 cents.

Please folks, DON'T buy one. Oh, lest I forget, you can purchase a box for your "coin" for $9.95. And wait, there is shipping and handling too.

1 comment:

Marianaria Sra. bibliotecaria said...

Reading "Do Economists need Brains?" in the July 26 -August 1 issue of the Economist, I thought of this post when I read the quote that follows. The article (a "briefing" meaning longer than usual) is about neuroeconomics: the use of MRIs to detect what part of the brain is activated by various economic-related games.

The quote: A standard MRI identifies activity in too large a section of the brain to support much more than loose correlations. ... [A]nalyzing individual neurons ... is possible only with invasive techniques -- such as sticking a needle into the brain. For economists, this 'involves risks that clearly outweigh the benefits.' [La bibliotecaria says hurray] .... Most invasive brain research is carried out on rats and monkeys which, though they have similar dopamine-based incentive systems, lack the decision-making sophistication of MOST humans. [Capitalization added.]