How to Avoid Online Scams

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You’ve seen them all over the internet. They promise you that you can start your own money making website and earn thousands or even millions of dollars doing almost nothing. They promise that – if you pay a small fee – they will show you a way guaranteed to make money. These programs are scams. Here are the warning signs that will help you avoid these leeches.

Pictures of Money

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A  dead giveaway that an opportunity is a scam is if they try to prove to you that making money is possible by literally showing you pictures of money. Sometimes they have pictures of people holding up checks. What does this prove? Only that someone, somewhere, took a picture of someone who had money. Most likely, the picture  is not of a person who has used the product, but rather a professional actor. The money he is holding up is not profits from this great opportunity but the money from desperate people who have been scammed.

They Ask for a Fee Before Giving You the Details

This is another dead giveaway. Why ask for a fee – even a small one – before telling you how the program works? They give reasons like “Well, we can’t give away proprietary information,” but that makes no sense. Would a bank ask for a deposit before they told you how their checking and savings program worked? Of course not. The reason why you are not being given details is that there are no details. The entire thing is a scam.

They Promise a Money-Back Guarantee

Often, these scam business websites try to tell you that it’s really free because you can ask for your money back. Don’t believe it! Many of these websites will deduct a “processing fee” from your money back. Others know the simple math: most people, even those who are dissatisfied, don’t ask for their money back because they try to make the process more trouble than its worth.

The Fee for the Program is Greatly Discounted

If they claim the program has a value of $200, but because of a limited time offer, they are going to let you have it for a measly $9.99, you are being scammed. They never intended to sell it to you for $200. Don’t believe me? Wait a few days and check with the website again. You’ll find it always on sale. When something is always on sale, that means that its at the regular price. And the true value isn’t $200. It’s not even $9.99. Its a big, fat 0.

Emotionally Charged Testimonials

If they have testimonials that contain phrases like “I’ve finally found freedom and independence!” or “It feels so good to be out of debt,” you know you are being scammed. When the promotions for the program focus on the emotional results of the program, rather than the technical details that lead to the programs effectiveness, you know you are viewing a web site that preys on the desperate and the gullible.

Revelations about the “Secret Rule to Making Money Fast”

Studies show that powerless people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Consequently, the idea of there being one, simple, easy to understand rule that all rich people follow but keep hidden from the masses is extremely appealing to some people who feel poor and powerless. I’ll tell you the real secret: There is no secret to making money. None. There never has been, and there never will be. Those who are rich work hard, work smart, get lucky, and know the right people. It’s as simple as that. So don’t pay for some bogus rule.

Program Claims you Can “Fire your Boss” or “Make Money Without Lifting a Finger!”

We’d all love to fire our bosses. And we’d all love to make money without lifting a finger. These scams are trying to pull at our heartstrings, at our deepest desires, because they know they can’t convince us to buy their worthless programs on their merit alone.

Program Claims you’ll Have Access to “Expert Training and Support”

Let’s get one thing straight. A new business venture usually only wildly successful because the business is doing something that nobody ever thought of before, or doing something old in a new way. We all recognize that innovation is the defining characteristic of success. So if someone else already did it, they can’t just show you how to do it and make you a millionaire too. Especially if you really believe you are going to be able to do all this “without lifting a finger.”

“Recruit Your Friends and Gain a Percentage of Their Earnings!”

One way scams work is by convincing you that you can make money just by getting your friends to sign up, too. When the survivability of a company depends on getting people to pay to join it, it is what’s known as a pyramid scheme, and it’s illegal, which is why so many of these scams get shut down eventually. Don’t support them. Besides, why would you want to get your friends involved in such dishonest activity?

Program Claims “This is not a Scam!”

In a stunning display of irony, the absolute surest way to know that a program IS a scam is if they feel the need to loudly proclaim that they are not a scam. Why would they need to reassure potential customers that they are not scamming? Because many of these programs don’t even try that hard to disguise themselves. What’s even worse is when some of these programs claim “You’ve probably seen online scams before, maybe even fallen for a few yourself.” This just shows that they are using targeted marketing, and that they are targeting their site to gullible people who fall for scams.

Bottom Line: Just Say No to Scams!

If you want to get rich, as I mentioned before, you are going to come by it through hard work or luck. You will not attain wealth through rich quick schemes. Don’t support these scammers. When you do you give them more resources to go out and scam others. So just say no to scams. You and your wallet will be glad you did.

Note: I originally published this under another byline here.

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