Please imagine for a moment. A lady approaches you at a coffee shop and says,
“Hello, I am a professional beautician. My facial skill has helped so many people look younger and prettier. I guarantee that you would look better after my treatment. By the way, you need to pay me $100 up front. Would you like to pay me now so that you can try the service right away?”
Well, what would you say?
You will probably say “No, thank you” and walk away (or run) from the lady with no hesitation.
Anyone in their right mind would know that it is not legit and would not fall for a scheme like that. She is a total stranger. You have no reason to trust her or the great service she claims that she provides.
When it is in the Internet world, however, the same type of scheme deceives us easily. We encounter, for instance, a program that promises to teach us how to make money online. It claims it is easy, efficient, but we need to pay money upfront to start. We somehow give away our credit card information to the total stranger (owner of the website) for the service that we have not yet received. Then later, we end up realizing that we wasted our time and money.
Why do scams get us easily?
Seriously, why do we give away our information so easily in the virtual world? Why do we do such a thing that we hardly do in the real physical world? They say 90% of us who bought an online marketing product at some point feel that we have been scammed. Why is this? It has nothing to do with us not being smart. We are simply not educated enough.
Our parents taught us not to follow a stranger but never showed us how to watch out for bad guys online. The school did not teach us that we should pay money ONLY after we conduct a good research. We simply are not knowledgeable enough as to how to safely swim through the vast sea of the online world. We are quite vulnerable out there, but it should not grant the dishonesty to trick us and take advantage of us, right? We are good people who work hard everyday. Let’s not let the scams get us anymore. I am going to share with you some tips to identify online scams.
How to avoid scams for making money online
Generally, those scams use techniques to lead us to make emotional decisions rather than logical ones. Here are some hints to identify online scams.
1. Outrageous Claims of Success
Starting an online business takes time and constant effort. If the program claims a huge profit in a short timeframe, such as earning $1,000’s of income in the first month or even next month, it is a scam. Basically, they promise a huge payoff for a relatively small investment of time and effort.
In the same light, if they emphasize too much on the great success of a few top members, it most likely is a scam. It is true that online business entails the potential of huge success. It is possible for you to start earning significant income working from home. As I stated, however, it does take proper education, time, and effort. You need to be educated with the appropriate knowledge to succeed in the online world. Legitimate programs offer you courses that teach you and help you learn step-by-step, just like any traditional schools out there. If the program does not discuss much the education it provides but highlights profits, it is not worth your money.
2. Time Limit
Another typical sign of a scam is a call for urgency. “You must act now!” “If you don’t buy now, this great deal is gone forever!”
It gives us a time limit and taps on our fears of losing an opportunity. It is a traditional marketing technique that has existed for decades even by honest businesses. We all tend to get drawn into an offer that is available to us only for a limited time only, don’t we? When it comes to a product related to online marketing, however, watch out for the ones that place pressure on us, as it most likely is a scam. Great products do not have to force you to buy it now. It should prove itself to you first.
3. No Way to Contact
If the company does not provide you an easy way to get in touch with you at their website, expect it to be a scam. It doesn’t matter if it is a phone number or an email address. I strongly recommend you to test it at least once, to see if they actually respond to you. Call the phone number and make sure that someone actually answers your call rather than it going to voicemail. If it is an email address, write to them and see if you get a response. This can be a quick way for you to see if their product is legit.
4. They Do Not Offer Support
If a product is legit and they truly care about their customers, they will provide timely support and answer any questions that you may have. This is another aspect that you can quickly test and see if the company is trustworthy. Send them any questions or inquiries and see how soon they will respond. If you don’t get a response from them within 48 hours, then the chances are that it is how they will treat you even after you become a member. If their focus is helping you succeed and not making money out of you, you will see it in how they respond to you when you need support.
5. A Video “Only” Website
Have you encountered a website that posts a promotional video and that’s it? In the videos, a presenter gives you a long sales pitch. They usually speak so enthusiastically. It may appear as if it is the proof of their passion towards their company/service. In my case, I cannot catch even half of what they say because they speak too fast. lol
“Wait, I forgot I left something on the stove. I need to pause this now… Where the heck is the pause button???” Seriously, I did encounter some videos that did not even give me the option to pause in the middle! Their purpose is to force us to sit through their entire presentation because they wish to gradually lure us into their ultimate goal (purchase of their product)! If you go to a website and see only a video there, it is a big red flag. Do not ever trust a program that does not provide you with any other form of helpful or informative content on their website.
6. Constant Upsells
One of the most common scams online is a “low ticket” initial sale. For example, you purchased a product for $10. It’s inexpensive and no big deal. As soon as you complete the first purchase, however, you start getting inundated with constant upsells until you realize that you have to buy $100’s of additional products to complete the program. This is the reason I recommend people to trust a product that you can try before you pay any money. I have searched and searched for such a product and thus far, I found only one: Wealthy Affiliate University. If you know any other programs that you can join free, do leave them in the comments section below. I would very much like to look into them.
7. Scammy Pictures/Videos
I have seen photos of a big mansion or fancy car in many sales pages. I have seen fancy videos where a successful online business owner is relaxing on the beach with his laptop in his hand. He would pretend that he is typing for a while, turn to the camera and says “I make money even while I am on vacation!” I always wondered how they get Wi-Fi on the beach? (I’m sorry, am I too low tech?) In any case, the chances are that the product is a scam. A company with credibility does not emphasize on hype like that, and you won’t be able to expect much in the quality of the program.
Is it a scam? Do research!
Always think critically and do research before you decide to purchase. Search around elsewhere for independent verification to see if the offer is valid. Google is an excellent tool for this. Google search results are always up-to-date. Just type in the company’s name and the word “scam” and see if anything negative pops up.
There are numerous scams out there. At the same time, there are genuine offers as well. We simply need an eye to distinguish these two.
If this post could save one person from being a victim of a scam, I will be very happy. 🙂
Please feel free to share this with your friends so that they will be aware of scams out there. If you have any comments, leave them below. I always love to hear your feedback.
Happy scam-free day!
Do you want to make honest money online? Here is the best place to start.