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Friday, March 18, 2016

TANSTAAFL

The title for today's entry isn't some obscure Russian word, or the name of an exotic ethnic food.  It's an acronym coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his book "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and it stands for "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."

But some people are always looking for that elusive Free Lunch...and when they do, they are laying themselves open to con artists, thieves, and scammers.

Over and over in Second Life, people ask me, "How do I get free $L?"

The answer is, "You can't."  Oh, you can get $L without paying money for them, sure.  You can win a contest at a club, or get paid for teaching a class.  You can get a job as a stripper or an escort and earn pretty good tips.  You can try the "Fish Hunt" or "Gold Hunt" gaming systems.  You can play Linden Realms and exchange the crystals you collect for $L.

But all of these cost you time, even if they don't cost you money.  Time that you could have spent exploring SL, or learning to create beautiful things to sell, or enjoying the company of your friends.

Some people looking for a Free Lunch don't want to spend either money OR time.  These are the people who become the scammers' victims.  They fall for things like:

"Click this link for Free Stuff!"  They click the link, enter their user name and password, and their account is stolen by a phisher.

"Wear this object and click Allow to win $L10,000!"  They do it, and the object sucks all the money out of their account.

"Sign up to Take Surveys and get paid!"  The survey sites they visit install malware or spyware on their computers.

"Here's $L50,000.  Pay $L45,000 of it to my friend ShadyCharacter and keep the rest as a service fee."  They do that, and find LL has banned them from SL for participating in money laundering.

It's a law of nature.  You don't get something for nothing.  You get something for SOMETHING...your time, your skills, your talent, your investment.  True in Real Life, true in Second Life.

TANSTAAFL!

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