There are a lot of moneymaking schemes on the World Wide Web. If you are anything like me your inbox and Spam folder already hold hundreds of these offers. Most sound too good to be true. This is where the adage “if it sounds to good to be true it usually is” has been proven time and again. You can find numerous blogs and tweets from people just like you and me who’ve been suckered in by these crafty scam artists. Though there are no 100% fool proof ways to tell which are scams and which are the real deal there are things you can look for that will save you time and ultimately money. Here are ten things that I have found to be true of most sites that are not quite what they seem.
1. If it sounds like an ad by a snake oil salesman or “used car dealer” then it is best to just not bother with it. A lot of the make money at home emails sound like a sales pitch or infomercial. While not all are scams the majority are. These ads will have a lot of bold print, capitalization and exclamation points. The best ones have videos with pitchmen that sound like the guy that used to sell oxyclean.
2. Offering to teach a lot for very little. This is a free market system and while I would love to be able to start a successful business for a onetime investment of 19.95 the chances are slim that it can actually happen. In the Internet marketing game knowledge is power and who actually parts with power for a small price. No one. This is generally a pyramid or multi level marketing scheme taken straight from the conference rooms and church basements across America and brought on line.
3. Be leery of opportunities that ask you to pay them to work for them. I mean really isn’t the sole purpose is for you to make money not spend it. Most of these are not jobs but an offer for you to be an independent contractor.
4. “ I will send you the blah, blah, blah start up kit for the amazingly low price of 9.99” Start up kits are a gimmick and the information is usually old and useless with out of date contacts. Some are even for contacts to closed business or web sites that no longer exist.
5. Guarantees that you will make thousand with little or no effort. I can only imagine the level of laziness needed to respond to an ad like this. We all know deep down that in order get you have to put in. And it should ring a bell that you are actually considering paying money to someone to teach you how to do nothing.
6. Be on the look out for ads that seem to be hiding exactly what the good or service is any reputable company or person for that matter will want you to know who they are and what they are selling. I cannot believe I received 20 of this type of email in one hour. Good rule of thumb if they want you to pay to find out what you will be selling “PASS”.
7. Phony testimonials are used to hook some of the unsuspecting. They come at you with a niche angle like “stay at home mom makes millions in just weeks”. There is this photo a lady with a kid and a missive about how she was fired or downsized. It generally goes from “sob story” to “now I am a winner” and “let me show you how” in a short amount of time. The clincher “Act now before this opportunity is gone forever” or something along those lines.
8. NO EXOERIENCE REQUIRED - This is just a way to weed out the experienced people so they can take advantage of the inexperienced. Most of these have you paying to train or take classes with them. You sign up at one price and end up spending hundreds on modules and software. The only one who makes money here is the scammer.
9. Cash a check and keep a share. This is one of the most dangerous scams around as it can get you jail time. If you are asked to share your bank account information run. They send an email saying they are from another country and need an American bank account to handle the high volume of checks received what they really do is rip you off. Another on say they need someone to forward checks from shoppers in the states, yet another out of country scam, you cash the checks on your account but the checks turn out to be phony. Lastly you process ebay orders accept the payments from unsuspecting buyers for non-existent wares. Any of these could potentially get you a share of jail time.
10. Post an ad and make hundreds – Not so much the whole title is a red flag. These scammers generally, do not tell you where to post the ads. There is a lot of work with little pay off. I mean most forums and Web sites do not allow you to post outside advertisements and if you do manage to get it posted it usually is deleted with prejudice. Then there is this little catch most of the employers disappear before you get paid.
The conclusion is that you have to be careful and do a lot of research to find the right fit. There are forums and blogs that can steer you in the right direction. Check the Better Business Bureau and Rip-off Report. The Rip Off Report actually gives you both sides the story. Do not let what you have read discourage you just use this information as another tool to help you get the right business on line.