Who wouldn’t want to work from their bed or couch, right? But let’s face it, the internet is full of so-called “digital nomads” and online money making (MMO) scams that promise the world but only leave you broke and frustrated. Don’t worry, I got your back.
In this article, I’m gonna share some tips on how to spot and avoid these shady schemes so you can finally be your own boss and make money online.
So, grab a snack and let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What are Make Money Online Scams?
Defining a fraud can be tricky. According to Wikipedia, it involves trying to trick someone by gaining their trust. But where do we draw the line? For instance, fast food chains use misleading ads to make their burgers look better than they actually are. Does that make them scammers?
One thing is certain, though: scammers are everywhere. They’re the ones who con you into downloading malware or swindle your hard-earned cash. Then there are those who make half-hearted attempts at deception, offering partial solutions or luring you into their business models with incentives that fall short of their promises.
Take, for example, the “make money online” market. Some sellers offer products that only provide a piece of the puzzle. It may be because that’s all they know or because they want to leave a trail of future purchases. But are these products scams?
Recently, I reviewed a course that promised to teach viewers how to get their videos to the top of YouTube rankings. The instructor even admitted that it probably wouldn’t work for high and medium competition videos, but it could help with low competition ones. Although the course contained some valuable insights, it didn’t meet its ultimate goal.
So, was it a hoax? Some could perceive it as a deception since it was sold with a misleading hook. But it’s a gray area, and we must be careful not to label everything we dislike or disagree with as scams.
At the end of the day, it’s up to us to do our due diligence and decide whether a product is worth our time and money.
The Legit Way to Make Money Online
10 Ways to Identify Make Money Online Scams
Let’s talk about something that we all can relate to – making bad decisions when it comes to our finances. It happens to the best of us, and often, we are blinded by our emotions and desire for a positive outcome.
While it may sound obvious, there are certain identifiers that we should always look out for to avoid falling for a scam. Even people who should know better fall for online money-making scams because the promise of a better life is so enticing.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 10 red flags that can indicate a scam. However, it’s important to note that while these signs are very indicative of a scam, they are by no means conclusive. So, it’s always worth digging deeper if something still seems promising.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that even legitimate goods and services can use questionable advertising practices. I mean, have you ever seen photos of giant burgers with lots of toppings? Yum! But, it doesn’t necessarily mean the burger will taste as good as it looks.
With that said, here are 10 red flags to keep in mind when trying to spot a scam:
1. They Don’t Tell You What You’re Going To Do
Are you someone who always checks the total amount before using your credit or debit card? Me too! And it’s just as important to be cautious when shopping online.
Unfortunately, scammers rely on people not being careful and making upfront payments without knowing the whole story. They lure you in with a flashy sales page, but the truth is only revealed after you make a purchase. It’s like there’s some kind of “secret” they’re keeping from you.
But the reality is, there’s no such thing as a “secret” to making money online. It takes hard work and some new skills to be successful, just like in any other field. Think of it like auto repair or playing the piano – you need to gain the right background knowledge, receive proper instruction, and practice enough to master it.
So, if you’re considering an online money-making course, make sure it’s legit. Look for a basic outline of the skills you’ll learn and the work you’ll be doing. A reputable course won’t keep anything hidden from you.
Remember, there’s no shortcut or magic formula to making money online – it’s all about putting in the effort and acquiring the necessary skills.
2. Promising Quick Riches
If you’re thinking about making money online, be careful not to fall for scams that promise quick riches. It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, especially when it comes to making money on the Internet.
Some of these programs might seem legit, but they often involve a three-step method that guarantees you a fortune if you follow it. Unfortunately, these promises are usually too good to be true.
Sure, some practical programs might simplify their process by dividing it into steps, but don’t be fooled by their wording. Always do your research before investing your time and money into anything that seems too good to be true.
3. Keep An Eye Out For The One Dollar Trial And The Money Back Guarantee
Let’s talk about the $1 trial and why vendors sometimes ask for your credit card information. Firstly, it’s important to note that this isn’t always a sign of fraud. In fact, it’s a common way for businesses to verify that you are a serious buyer and not a scammer.
When you use your credit card to sign up for a trial, even if it’s just for a dollar, it shows that you have a genuine intent to buy. This is perfectly normal and doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is trying to scam you. However, it’s always good to keep this in mind and be cautious.
This strategy is also used by car dealerships, who require a small deposit to confirm that the customer is serious about buying. In some cases, this deposit may be refundable.
Now, I don’t want to discourage you from trying out products with free or low-cost trials and money-back guarantees. Many reputable vendors offer these options, which can be a great way to try out a product before committing to a purchase. Just remember to be careful if a vendor specifically asks for your credit card information.
So, to sum it up – the $1 trial and credit card information are often used to verify that you’re a serious buyer. It’s not always a sign of fraud, but it’s important to be cautious and aware of why the information is being collected.
4. No Contact Information
One of the biggest warning signs is if the company doesn’t offer a reliable way to get in touch with them.
Sure, some of these schemes promise you’ll make six or even seven figures, but if all you’re given is an email address that looks like gibberish, it’s time to start questioning the legitimacy of the operation.
When it comes to companies that deal with such large sums of money, transparency is key. You should be able to easily find information about the company’s ownership, management, and other relevant details. And before you hand over a large sum of cash (which is often required in these programs), you deserve to have access to some form of customer service.
So, before you get too excited and start transferring money, make sure there’s a human being on the other end of that email address by asking a question about the program.
After all, if a company is truly legitimate, they should have no problem answering your questions and providing the support you need.
5. Watch Out For The Auto-Renewal
Signing up for a free or heavily discounted trial period for website memberships and subscription services can be tempting, but it’s important to do your research before committing. Many of these services will automatically renew once the trial period ends, which means you could be charged without realizing it.
To protect yourself, make sure the payment mechanism is secure before providing your banking information. Contact customer service to find out the details of the refund process and whether a 30-day cancellation notice is required.
It’s important to keep in mind that even if every customer cancels their purchase, a scammer can still make money. If they charge new members the full 30 days before they cancel, they could be raking in the cash.
While some customers may want a full refund, others may prefer to just cancel their subscription and write off the first month as a loss. If there is a “money back” guarantee, keep in mind that it may be difficult or even impossible to get your money back if the whole thing is a scam.
So it’s best to find out in advance what to do and how to get in touch if you need help.
6. The Sales Funnel That Promotes Itself
Have you ever stumbled upon an online money-making opportunity that promised a sales funnel tailored to your audience? You might have been skeptical, and for good reason. While some programs that heavily promote themselves are legitimate, others can be scams that result in financial losses.
But let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are legitimate programs out there that offer well-crafted sales funnels. The trick is knowing what to watch out for.
The biggest red flag to keep in mind is whether you’re expected to pay for clicks when promoting the product. The scam works by luring you in with the promise of a ready-made sales funnel, complete with landing pages, sales videos, and email sequences. All you need to do is buy their marketing tools, such as an email autoresponder, and drive traffic to their sales page.
Sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, driving traffic can be the most difficult and expensive part of the process. That’s why they want you to do it, not them.
But here’s the catch: you have to pay for the visitors. Sponsored advertising is the most effective way to drive potential customers to the sales page, and the company won’t foot the bill. You will.
Now, the commissions you earn might cover the cost of advertising, thanks to the proven sales funnel. But something about this setup just doesn’t sit right.
So, before you dive headfirst into a program that requires you to pay for clicks, do your research. Make sure it’s a legitimate opportunity and that you’re not just throwing your money away.
7. Don’t Believe The Fake Testimonials
We’ve all been there: you’re considering buying something online, but you’re not sure if it’s worth the money. That’s where testimonials and reviews come in handy. They can give you a good idea of what to expect, but beware of fake ones!
Fraudsters know that testimonials are an important factor in your decision-making process, so they often use fake ones to try and trick you. Luckily, there are some things you can look out for to spot them.
Firstly, check where the testimonials are coming from. Platforms like Amazon, Google, and Yelp are good sources of real reviews. If you’re on a website you’ve never heard of before, be cautious.
Next, keep an eye out for repetitive phrases and a suspiciously similar tone. If every review is using the exact same words, it’s a red flag. Also, if the same person seems to be responsible for multiple testimonials, they were probably all written by the same person.
Poorly translated quotes can also be a sign of fake testimonials. If the English doesn’t sound quite right, it might be a scam.
Another thing to look out for is posed photos. If the subject is clearly posing and the surroundings look staged, it’s probably a staged photo. And if you recognize the same image being used across multiple scams, it’s likely a stock photo.
Finally, don’t be fooled by video reviews either. Websites like Viral Bucks use paid actors to give the impression of credibility. If you’re unsure, try searching for “spokesperson video” on Fiverr to see just how easy it is to fake a recommendation.
In summary, be careful when reading testimonials and reviews online. Look out for repetitive phrases, poorly translated quotes, staged photos, and paid actors. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
8. The Use of Scarcity Tactics
The digital landscape is constantly changing, and it can be tough to capture someone’s attention for more than a few moments. Many ads, even those from reputable companies, use scarcity tactics to entice readers to take action and make a purchase. The idea is that customers are more likely to buy something quickly if they think it might run out soon.
But just because something isn’t widely available doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a scam. In fact, scarcity marketing can be a valid strategy in some cases. However, it’s important to be aware of how it can manipulate people into making decisions they might not otherwise make. After all, competition is what drives the entire economic system, and the market is based on the assumption that resources are limited and must be shared unequally.
But when it comes to the virtual world, things are a bit different. What does scarcity even mean for a digital file? If something can’t be found online, does that mean it’s truly rare? It’s important to take reasonable precautions when deciding what should and shouldn’t be available online. If you’re unsure, it might be best to seek advice in person.
Unfortunately, there are also instances where scarcity is artificially created to deceive people. In cases of fraud, for example, the scarcity might be entirely fabricated to make people feel like they need to act quickly. So, while scarcity marketing can be a valid strategy in some cases, it’s important to approach it with a critical eye and be aware of its potential pitfalls.
9. Look For The Representing Name(s) or Face(s)
Let’s talk about staying anonymous on the Internet while promoting a product. While there are some legit reasons to stay anonymous in certain situations, promoting a paid product is not one of them.
Think about it: if you’ve put in the time and effort to develop an online course or membership site, you want your name to be out there associated with it, right? You want people to recognize you as the creator, and maybe even reach out to you to say hi or ask questions.
And let’s face it, if you come across a software or product promising to make you rich, but nobody mentions its name or who created it, would you really trust it? I don’t think so!
10. Check Out The Comments Section
So, you’ve stumbled upon a web page that’s got some comments at the bottom, huh? Well, let me tell you, not all comments are created equal. Some of them might be fake and that’s a surefire sign that you’ve landed on a scammy website.
I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve noticed that these fake comments are usually designed to look like the ones you see on Facebook. They’re crafted to sound like real people who are genuinely excited about the product being sold. Sneaky, huh?
But here’s the kicker: if you try to click on these comments and nothing happens, or you get redirected to another site, then you’ve probably been had. It’s just a snapshot with some comments superimposed on top of it.
It’s worth noting, however, that just because a website doesn’t have any comments doesn’t automatically make it a scam. Legit websites like popular services, blogs, universities, and membership sites often skip comments altogether. They’re just too much of a hassle to moderate, deal with spam, and respond to requests. So, it’s not a red flag if you don’t see any comments.
The Legit Way to Make Money Online
How to Tell If It Is Legit?
1. There Is A Legitimately Free Membership Option
If you’re looking for a way to test out a new program without having to commit any money, a free membership could be just what you need. In fact, a free membership is usually a great sign that a program is reputable and confident in their product.
Programs that offer lots of free information, training, and memberships tend to be focused on providing value to their users rather than just making a profit. So, if you’re considering joining a community, these are the ones you’ll want to look for.
That being said, it’s always a good idea to get to know the community first before deciding whether or not to upgrade to a premium membership. Take the time to introduce yourself to other users and get a feel for the atmosphere. And don’t forget to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism while you’re still a free member. Ask yourself: is the training actually good? Will you receive help if you run into trouble?
But ultimately, if a membership is free, you might as well give it a try. After all, you never know when an opportunity might come along that could help you improve your life. So, don’t be afraid to test out a program with a free membership – it could be the start of something great!
2. It Has A Strong Community
Looking to join a group or movement but worried about its authenticity? Well, one of the best ways to determine whether it’s genuine or fraudulent is by participating in it. If the company or organization is legitimate, they will endorse it and encourage their members (or customers) to share information with each other.
On the other hand, if it’s a scam, those in charge will not want any exchange of information to occur.
Another way to validate a group’s authenticity is by checking whether the owner(s) are involved in the community. If they are, that’s an even stronger sign of legitimacy.
Aside from the quality of the instruction, the community of the program is a major selling point for me. It’s great to interact with like-minded individuals who share the same passions and hobbies as you. By joining, you can find support from others who are going through the same experiences as you and learn from their insights.
So don’t be afraid to join a group or movement that interests you. Participate, engage, and see if it’s the right fit for you!
3. The Program Has Existed For Longer Than 5 Years
It’s always a little nerve-wracking to try out new program. After all, who knows what kind of bugs, viruses, or scams could be lurking in there? But is it true that the longer a program has been around, the safer it is? Well, sort of.
Here’s the deal: scammers love to prey on unsuspecting users, and they often create fake programs that seem too good to be true. These fraudsters usually don’t have the skills or resources to keep their schemes going for very long, so if a program has been around for a few years, that’s usually a good sign that it’s not a total scam.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should only use programs that have been around since the dawn of time. There are plenty of new programs out there that are totally legit and could be just what you’re looking for. Just be sure to do your research before you download anything.
One good way to tell if a program is trustworthy is to look at how long it’s been around. If it’s been around for a while and still has a loyal following, that’s a good sign. Take Wealthy Affiliate, for example – they’ve had members since way back in 2005, which shows that they must be doing something right.
Ultimately, you shouldn’t make your decision based solely on how old a program is. But if you’re on the fence about whether to trust a new program, the age of the program could be a helpful factor to consider.
4. Lots of Discussion and Interaction
Have you ever noticed that some websites have a bunch of comments and user feedback while others don’t? Well, it turns out that managing comments can be expensive and time-consuming for website owners. That’s why many high traffic websites don’t bother with comments.
However, if you stumble upon a website with lots of user interaction and feedback, it’s definitely worth your time to check it out. Take a few minutes to read through the comments and ask any questions you may have.
In fact, a website with active user interaction is a good sign that the website owner is invested in their audience and values their opinions. So don’t be afraid to leave a comment yourself or engage in a discussion with other users.
So the next time you come across a website with plenty of user feedback and participation, don’t hesitate to get involved!
So, we all know that we’re living in the information age now, right? But let’s face it, the internet is like a big trash bin. There’s a lot of rubbish floating around out there, and unfortunately, this includes scammers trying to take advantage of people looking to make money online.
In conclusion, making money online is possible, but it’s important to be cautious and do your due diligence. Don’t fall for those scammers’ tricks and take the time to find a program that’s right for you.
The Legit Way to Make Money Online
Is There a Legit Way to Make Money Online?
If you want to make a stable and secure stream of passive income, I would suggest you start an affiliate marketing business online.
Affiliate Marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business.
In fact, of all the online business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.
In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.
And if you really want to learn affiliate marketing and build a business from scratch, I’d recommend you to get started with the most reputable platform for affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch. It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.
But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?
A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.
Wealthy Affiliate has existed for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.
You can read our full review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?
Wealthy Affiliate has a very simple pricing scheme. It has free and premium membership.
If you want to feel about Wealthy Affiliate, you can sign up for the free starter membership here (no credit card required). You can select to be a free member with no time limit.
And as a starter member, you can get instant access to the community, live chat, over 500 training modules, 2 classrooms, networking, commenting, 1 free website, access to the keyword tool.
You can enjoy all these values without paying a penny.
So I strongly recommend you register a free account and see it yourself.