Few things get me going like the subject of internet scams! I fell for one of these rip-offs and almost lost my way when I first started my online business. And for the past few months I have looked long and hard to determine how to spot internet scams so that maybe I can make someone else’s online journey a little smoother!
What exactly makes a scam?
Websters Dictionary defines a scam as a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. And that is pretty much it. Whenever someone makes claims that aren’t true or is deceptive in that claim it is most definitely a scam worthy act!
But to be fair, there are claims of scams that aren’t actually scams!
If you try something that you purchased online and it doesn’t work out because you didn’t do it as instructed, or gave up on it before you could see results, that can’t be fairly referred to as a scam. There are plenty of scams out there without labeling everything a scam.
Since everyone accesses the internet in different ways and for different reasons there are all sorts of people with various intentions. Some of these intentions as to make money legitimately and some use fraud to make money at someone else’s expense The scams that these people come up with very . Some are making attempts to get your confidential information so that they can steal from you. And there are those people who attempt to get you to buy into their scheme so that they can have you volunteer to let them steal from you!
It’s sad but being online means that you should be watchful for these people who want to defraud you and keep your guard up against falling into a scam. Many people shy away from online activities like shopping online for this reason and that’s a shame! You can still have a great experience online and be cautious at the same time.
A great rule of thumb has been in place since long before the internet to guard against scams !
If it seems too good to be true, most likely it is ! And that’s a good and simple rule to remember!
If you are thinking about that 5 bedroom 4 bath time-share in the Bahamas that can be yours for simply wiring $250 for a packet of literature and a tour, someone is most likely laughing their way to the bank!
If you are trying that make money online offer that claims to pay $1000 a day for sending Emails, you can try it if you want to, but I’m not going near it with a ten-foot pole.
But there are scams that are fallen for everyday that are just as easy to spot !
Some Examples of common scams
There are many scams both online and offline! Here is a list of some of the biggest and most well-known scams. We will dive into a sample of some of these and other scams
- E Mial Phishing Scams
- Postal Forwarding or Reshipping Scams
- The Nigeria 419 letter scam
- I.R.S. Scam
- Auction Fraud:
- Congratulations, you have won an iPad
- Make Money testing Video games
- Many, Many !
The I.R.S. Scam
Three absolute rules in life are :
- At some point we all die
- The IRS will tax you before, during and after that fact
- The I.R.S. will never call you to demand payment !
But everyday people fall for the I.R.S. Scam just like it’s a new thing that just popped up ! At some point you would think that people would understand that the real I.R.S. doesn’t accept payment via iTunes cards or Target gift cards ! Excuse me ! I almost laughed at that one !
There are literally YouTube videos of people freaking out and begging the caller to let the pay! And there are even more videos of people punking the scam callers! That’s some funny stuff to watch ! But at the same time it’s sad that so many people fall for this crazy scam !
How you can avoid falling prey to the I.R.S. Target card scam should be pretty self explanatory!
The simple thing to remember is that the I.R.S. will never ever contact you by phone. The end !
If you get a call from the I.R.S. or anyone acting on their behalf (like a collection agency) it’s fake. In case the I.R.S. does call make sure you have plenty of time to run them in circles! It will be a blast! And if the I.R.S. sends you a letter make sure you have plenty of time when you call them! Like eternity!
The Nigeria 419 Letter is an interesting one to say the least !
If you are targeted by the Nigerian 419 letter it should be obvious that you are being scammed ! The letter will be written by someone who obviously doesn’t have a very good understanding of the English language, grammar or spelling ! The letters will always begin with “Dear Friend”, “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madame”.
The letter wants you to transfer a large sum of money for taxes, lawyers and other fees, and will be from a fake government entity, lawyer, businessman or executive in charge on charge of settling a rich relative’s estate, and you will be the beneficiary if you just pay the taxes, and legal fees .
Believe it or not people who have fallen for this scam have been defrauded out of hundreds of thousands of dollars!
This is an area where two principles come in that will keep you from being scammed!
The “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” rule combined with “never wire money” should be a complete fix all and keep your funds with you instead of an unscrupulous con man. Be smart folks! Don’t fall for something as thin as this !
The you have won an iPad scam
This one is very simple and from what I have read, there are tens of thousands of people who have fallen for this scam!
.The scam makes the victim think that they have won an iPad, iPhone or some expensive piece of electronics, and all you have to pay is shipping and handling. Of course, they need a credit card for this !
Then the next thing you know you are getting crazy charges from Pakistan on a kit to build a house, or a new Ferrari!
I shouldn’t have to tell you how to avoid this scam if you have been reading up till now ! If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
It wasn’t many years ago that if you heard of an online survey it was absolutely a scam! But today many marketing agencies have realized that there are fortunes to be made by doing market research through paying for surveys! I haven’t found any surveys yet that are going to make the kind of money but I have found some Survey sites where you can make money.
Beware though! There are still quite a few online survey scams out there. By checking multiple reviews you can determine whether the service you are looking at is a scam. While surveys aren’t always accurate. A high number of negative reviews is a sign that the offer might be something to steer clear of!
Nothing is better than the good old get-rich-quick scheme !
THIS is the one that got me the first time I was scammed ! And I will elaborate a bit more on it! Right now there are con men cringing at their loss of profits !
If you see an opportunity that is related or is directly to do with make money online, there are some simple things to watch for that will help you avoid the pitfalls and a thin wallet in the morning! But there are some subtle, well-thought-out scams that are hard for even pros to pick up on. I will explain both!
“Make $1000 a day with my awesome plan!” Is a way that scammers take advantage of people every day! Stay at home moms and dads as well as the unemployed fall for these in the thousands! One of the big ones is “watch YouTube videos all day and make $1000 a day”
Just as you have talked yourself into the realm of reality with the simple if it’s too good to be true rule, you start to wonder if it’s valid. Some people turn back at this point, but if there is ever a slight crack in the door, most people run through it ! And what’s on the other side is a magical, never ending sales video explaining why this is the greatest system ever devised ! It will explain how big companies spend a lot of money in video advertising and pay people just like you to watch YouTube all day and test their advertising, with the results recorded via a survey! Who would have thought that you could make that kind of money with a survey! (Intentionally sarcastic)
These types of scams are easy to fall for if you ever allow yourself to be pulled down the Alice in wonderland rabbit hole, and watch the sales video ! The best thing to do is turn from it as if it were Medusa !
The make money online home study course or training scam!
This was the second and most costly scam that I fell for and the one I lost the most money on, by a long way !
This is the dream for many people ! A point and click training that will teach you the ways of the pros and make you an entrepreneur lever internet marketer without knowing how to do anything to start! While these opportunities do exist, the bulk of them fall into the category of a scam in the plainest sense of the word !
Before we go further, remember the definition of a scam that Websters gives us ! “A fraudulent or deceptive act or operation”.
My Scam story!
I looked online for a while and got scammed a couple of times by small-time offers of making money online before I finally found a real way to build an online business ! Looking back, I’m kind of glad that I got scammed, because I realized the right way to make a living online isn’t by taking people’s money! It’s by offering a service that adds value to someone’s life by helping them with a problem, or solving that problem. After you do this for a time, you earn that person’s trust and they will be receptive to your offers of a product or service that will also help them ! Simple right?
But if you are an internet scammer the entire purpose is simply to get that credit card number and make money! That’s why they never last long. They offer no value to other people!
My scam experience actually started while watching YouTube. I had picked a few YouTubers who were doing some training on Affiliate Marketing and I was beyond interested!
I logged signed into my YouTube account to join these guys e mail list and get some beginner e books and such to get better ideas of what I needed yto learn to get started. But in the related videos on the right there was a video that said “Learn How I Make $250 a day with Clickbank”. Well In knew ClickBank wasn’t a scam because it’s the worlds biggest affiliate marketplace for digital products and services. So I felt comfortable clicking on his video. And when I did WOW !
This guy is a pro ! He walked through a really simple tutorial on how he sets up a landing page, his auto responder, funnel software, and promotes his offer with solo ads. As a complete newbie I was very impressed ! But even more impressive was the fact that he offered a complete, step by step Teachable tutorial for free, just for subscribing! I almost broke my fingers filling out the opt-in form! And true to his word, there it was
I started working on the 22 video training and started taking notes as I went! It was great and completely honest and ethical! I was amazed !
The training taught how to promote this certain product with solo ads. And explained step by step and click by click how to set up the auto responder, funnel software, and link tracking software. Of course, you need this stuff anyway so I didn’t hesitate to click his affiliate links to sign up for these services. I figured that was the reason for the training.
But when it came to the offer that was on a blurred screen until now. You had to sign up for the training to be able to promote it. The excuse was that they wanted to train people on the proper way to promote their product instead of having people spamming links everywhere.
Well just like the services I had signed up for to this point, I figured that paying $49 per month for the training wasn’t that bad. After all you were going to be promoting the product so in the sense of honesty it was best to purchase what you are promoting. So after checking on the product/training for a few days, I signed up.
Then once I paid for my first month, I found out that not only do you have to be a member, you have to be a promotional partner for a one time fee of$197. And as you can guess I signed up!
Then as the training went on you had to sign up and purchase the up sells along the way totaling over $2000 !
I couldn’t believe it! But when you look at the fact that everyone you promote the product to doing the same thing, and You as the promoter gets a commission of their sales too, It had to be a no brainer!
You’re not kidding it was a no brainer ! Just the wrong way !
As it turned out the promotion required building a YouTube channel, paying for a bunch of PPC advertising, and then. (of course paying for their website builder, so that you could use the $2000 traffic plan to get traffic to the website!
At This point I FINALLY WOKE UP!
This guy is a multi-millionaire by peddling this to the tier 1 people like me, because there aren’t that many stupid people to become tier 2 members so that I actually make money!
By the time the dust settled my wallet was $2600 lighter and the overwhelming excitement I felt in that video tutorial course turned into embarrassment, because everyone in my family said this guy was a snake oil salesman, and I kept saying that it was sound internet marketing! But the biggest problem wasn’t the embarrassment, but the failure and being taken to the cleaners!
I had been taken to the cleaners and had a terrible taste in my mouth! Suddenly everything became a scam, and I wasn’t trying again!
It Is Far Easier to determine if something isn’t a scam than if it is sometimes
If you are seriously contemplating something and fear that it is a scam, you simply have to look at the startup costs, and the upsells. There are rare occasions when you find a product or service that allows you to sign up for free, and stay on a freemium membership for as long as you want to! These products and services can’t be scams, because there is no revenue involved unless you want there to be!
If you find a product or service that is free now and free forever if you want and you can get a membership without a credit card or PayPal account, there is absolutely no risk. But these offers are few and far between !
It finally worked out!
I have a friend to thank for helping me out in getting an actual start in online business and affiliate marketing!
This friend told me about this website where he started training a few years earlier and was now making about $2500 per month helping people in a couple of niches and making money from affiliate marketing.
I was hesitant for a while, but after my wounds healed I decided to check it out, and the rest is history! I love it, and it restored my faith that there are actually great offers of training online ! If you have been scammed, or scared to get scammed you can check out the same training I received HERE .
We have talked about a few of the online and offline scams that people fall for everyday. But simply following the “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” rule, you can avoid many scams and have a great experience! you can even have your own online business where you get compensated for helping other people !
I want to thank you for your time and reading this article! If you have comments or questions, I would appreciate it if you left them below in the comments section, and I will get back with you ASAP!
Have a wonderful day !