Scentura

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
I am the crown prince of Nigeria, offering you
Scams
link=:category:
Scams
Financial frauds

Scentura Creations Inc. is a Georgia-based business scam[1] that sells imitation designer fragrances.

The Pitch[edit]

Recruiting is done by "distributors" who find prospective salespeople (frequently local university students) by promising management positions and high salaries. All prospective salespeople then sign a contract that states that each salesperson is an independent contractor, thus attempting to avoid potential legal trouble over the frequently highly questionable sales tactics. Despite the promises of a high salary, the contract also states that their only pay is via commission. Training relies heavily on cultivating a sense of groupthink[2] that includes mandatory ecstatic dancing by salespeople who have made their first "drop". Descriptions of the vast riches awaiting dupes salespeople are entirely based on Larry Hahn's personal fortune, who as the individual on the top of the pyramid, is one of the few people who makes any measurable profit from the company.

The Reality[edit]

Salespeople quickly discover that there are only two methods of actually turning a profit through Scentura: recruiting new salespeople (and thereby becoming a "distributor") or selling massive quantities of the fragrances. The result is that Scentura salespeople are highly aggressive and frequently end up getting into legal trouble[3] over their sales tactics, as well as fueling the fires of an urban legend about robbers using knock-out perfumes.[4] Preferred hang-outs for Scentura salespeople include parking lots and strip malls. Occasionally, salespeople will actually enter businesses and attempt to make sales to other customers.

Most of Scentura's online presence is devoted to perpetuating a bizarre cult of personality centered around its founder, Larry Hahn.[5] Google searches related to Hahn and/or Scentura generally lead to an extended web of incestuous websites, all tied directly to the company or its supporters, unvaryingly idolatrous in their portrayal of Hahn.[6] In true "the lady doth protest tomuch, methinks" fashion, Hahn maintains the website scenturacreationsscam.com, which, despite its name, is entirely devoted to justifying Scentura's legitimacy. In true crank fashion, all the cited "sources" are also sites run by Hahn or Scentura.

References[edit]

  1. in 2001, an Illinois appellate court ruled: "In our view, the consignment contract between plaintiff and defendant is properly characterized as a chain referral sales technique or pyramid sales scheme". See the ruling here: [1]
  2. see this description of their training techniques
  3. See this article for one example
  4. Snopes story here
  5. This is a pretty good example
  6. one of the worst offenders