We had this hilarious thread going on over at CoasterBuzz with this dude who said he was an amusement industry consultant. Finally, I decided to call him on it because my bullshit detector started going off. When I did, I got flooded with e-mail from people telling me about all the bullshit they told him. My instincts were right, so I went after him some more.
Is there anything wrong with him saying he's a consultant? In itself, no, of course not. I tell people the same thing. I also tell them that I have a normal day job and that my business only pulls in a couple of grand a year, and even that money ends up going toward my stupid Web sites (where ironically I have to put up with people's shit). What I don't do is pretend that I know Bill Gates or have the next version of Windows or whatever, not to mention go on and on about it in various forums.
That's the problem with the Internet... it's hard to figure out what's legit and what's not, because the novelty of just being online in the first place is still, well, novel. You can put something online and say whatever you want, true or not, and some people will believe it. The Internet has paved the way for all new kinds of fraud.
While some megalomaniac makes for good forum fodder, "retailers" are outright dangerous. I watched in one forum complaints roll in about a guy who was selling a specialty electronic part, only see in the long run that he never shipped anything, and more or less just took people's money. Makes you wonder if it's safe to buy anything outside of Amazon or Buy.com when you see stuff like that.
I suppose it isn't any different than real-life, it's just creepy that it happens more often now.