If you are new to internet marketing or wanting to start an online business it is vital to know how to avoid online scams.
Over the years as an entrepreneur, I have seen many scams and I have lost money. I have seen many people scammed simply because they didn’t know the sneaky tactics that these scammers use to manipulate people. Based on the knowledge I have gained over the years; I will show you what to look for to avoid online scams.
What is an Online Scam?
Lets look at the definition. A scam is a ‘’dishonest scheme’’. So everyone knows what a scam is, so the definition doesn’t really help us because we need to know what to look for and how to identify a scam. Scams are not easy to identify and they always seem like great opportunities that will change your life. A scam is created to extort money from you and you end up with little or no return.
I have been scammed so many times in the past, I now know how to detect a scam immediately. I’m going to show you some methods you can use to determine whether something is a scam or a legitimate opportunity.
Beware Of Online Scams – What Signs To Look For?
1) No FREE Trial Period
Would you buy a new car without taking it for a test-drive? If you want to invest in an opportunity, you need to make sure they are unambiguous. You need to test-drive the program and this usually comes in the form of a free trial to see if the opportunity will work for you. If there is no trial period, that should definitely indicate some red flags.
At times you might see, ‘’full money back guarantee, no questions asked’’. If you invested money in a program or product and it doesn’t work, you surely deserve a refund. Why pay for something that you tried and it didn’t benefit you in any way. You definitely want to look for the no questions asked part because whether something is a scam or not, you don’t want to still explain yourself to someone who think their program or product does work.
I literally got a phone call when I wanted a refunded from a program that didn’t benefit me and the marketer attempted to give me a sales pitch on why I should stay. I politely told the consultant that if their product hasn’t helped me in the previous year, it’s surely not going to help me in the future. Needless to say, I got my refund.
A free trial period is a good way of telling the difference between a scam and a legitimate opportunity. If the founder of a product believes in what they are selling, then they should offer a free peek so you can determine whether or not you wish to buy their product or service. If a company if transparent enough, they will offer you a free trial period, even if it’s only a few days.
2) Fake Income Reports
Images of PayPal accounts, earning reports, and bank statements have always been used by scammers to lure people. People have become very skilled with Photoshop, so adding a few extra zeros and post fake earnings is one tool a scammer uses. It might be very tempting when someone posts a screenshot of their PayPal account with a balance of $ 500,00.00. That alone should not tempt you into buying or investing your money into a product or opportunity.
I’m not saying all income reports are fake; just know that they can be manipulated. There are other methods that can be used for a business to prove their authority, so legitimate entrepreneurs don’t need to use this tactic to convince people.
3) The Secret To Becoming Rich
I use to fall for this all the time which is probably why I lost so much money. Online opportunities promising you that they have the secret trick or tactic to make you rich. They come across as so convincing because they know people are desperate and looking for an easy solution to make money online. By telling people they have the secret tool, technology or formula to attain traffic, sales or increase your SERP, they know they can easily grab someone’s attention.
There is no tool or secret formula. The program I invested in didn’t promise me success but they did say I had to work hard. Wealthy Affiliate gave me the tools to build my websites and it definitely was a lot of hard work. There were so many days I thought of just giving up. A lot of my niche websites only started making a profit after 7 months. So if a company says start making thousands right away, be very suspicious.
Failure Doesn’t Mean Scam
There were many opportunities that didn’t work for me and I didn’t make any money but because something doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a scam. People have been told about secret formulas and tools to generate quick money. So when they don’t make money and they realize hard work is needed, they get angry and call it a scam.
No mentor, course or tools will help you if you are not prepared to put in the hard work. If you are investing money into something for your online business, then you have to be accountable for your results. You can’t call a legitimate opportunity a scam if you didn’t follow through or apply the training you were given. Success doesn’t come overnight.
Authentic Tools & Training Are Timeless
A legitimate opportunity is evergreen and timeless, so you will have plenty of time. When it comes to building an online business you have to realize that patience and consistency is vital. Working on your online business every day is key, but you can’t do it alone; everyone needs help. I did all my training through Wealthy Affiliate and they provided me with all the tools and showed me how to create a website and monetize it. If you need a little guidance, you can sign up for the free membership and they will give you two free websites to start your niche business.
I suggest learning in a community-based platform, where you will learn from others who have made successful online businesses. There are many platforms that have helped me, but my top recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate. They have been around since 2005 and have a positive rating with the Better Business Bureau, so this is a learning platform that will give you an edge over competitors.