For years I've been getting invitations for "Who's Who in -- Fill in the Blanks," and countless Chinese versions of such "honors," but today I received this one from "Princeton." Pretty impressive--except as far as I can tell it really has nothing to do with Princeton. It is just a scam to get you to spend $100 nonrefundable to be included. But some Chinese colleagues are so excited about these frauds and think they're the ticket to fame and fortune abroad.
As Groucho Marx said in his oft-repeated quip, "I would not join any organization that would take me as a member."
Below is the entire letter, but for the record--I think none of these are worth the money they charge you, even if they're legitimate. In High School I paid for the "Who's Who" volume with me in it, and the "Outstanding American High School Students", and a couple others. My parents were very excited about them and did not want to miss the chance to get them. But what prospective employer or school really cares? These "directories" go by information you send them, and as far as I know do not verify anything. If I were a university or a prospective employer, I'd go by a resume that I could verify rather than a commercial "honors" directory.
Don't waste your money!
It is my pleasure to inform you that you are being considered for inclusion into the 2009-2010 Princeton Premier Business Leaders and Professionals Honors Edition section of the registry.
The 2009-2010 edition of the registry will include biographies of the world's most accomplished individuals. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by thousands of executives and professionals throughout the world each year. Inclusion is considered by many as the single highest mark of achievement.
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