Make Money Online Scams – How to Avoid Them?

Wouldn’t it be great to be your own boss, work from the comfort of your own home and earn your own money?

In principle, it’s all very tempting. However, due to the widespread lure of becoming a “digital nomad,” the “online money making” (MMO) market is teeming with scammers and low-quality “get rich quick” schemes.

In this article, I’m going to talk about making money online scams and how to avoid them.

What Are Make Money Online Scams?

It is not always easy to define exactly what a fraud is.

According to Wikipedia, it is “an attempt to defraud a person by gaining his confidence.”

But using this definition, it can be argued that every fast food place is deceiving us by using misleading advertisements that portray big, juicy burgers when in reality they are only selling a bun, some condiments, and an embarrassingly small amount of meat.

It is therefore unclear exactly what constitutes a scam.

The fact is that there are scammers out there. Those who either trick you into downloading malware or simply steal your money.

Finally, there are the half-hearted attempts at deception. Those that help a little, but don’t live up to their potential. Or they offer an incentive from the start, hoping to lure you deeper into their business model.

A typical strategy in the “make money online” market is to offer products that are only a partial solution. Sometimes this is because that’s all the seller knows, and sometimes it’s because they leave a trail that leads to future purchases.

For example, I just reviewed a course that shows you how to get your videos to the top of YouTube rankings. No one can offer such a guarantee, and even if someone discovered a simple “secret” that actually worked, they wouldn’t want to broadcast it to the world. 

Besides, search engines have gotten pretty good at plugging these loopholes, so this tactic won’t work for long.

After completing the various lectures in the course, the instructor said, “This probably will not work for high and medium competition videos, but it should work for low competition videos.”

That is, the goals of the course were not met. Nevertheless, the course contained some excellent insights, and its creator definitely put a lot of effort into developing the course.

So was it a hoax? The course contained some useful information, but was sold with a misleading “hook” This could be perceived by others as a deception.

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10 Ways to Spot Make Money Online Scams

The following 10 guidelines (or identifiers to look out for) may sound obvious, but they are not always enough to keep us from making bad decisions, especially when it comes to our finances.

The vast majority of us are smart enough to recognize these warning signs. Yet, we are easily led by our emotions and desire for a positive outcome, clouding our judgment.

People who should (and often do) know better fall for online money-making scams because the promise of a better life is so enticing.

Before we begin, it’s important to point out that while these signs are very indicative of a scam, they are by no means conclusive. 

It’s worth digging deeper if something still seems promising.

Even legitimate goods and services can use questionable advertising practices. The same goes for photos of giant burgers with lots of toppings.

1. You Can Start Making Money in Minutes

The promise of quick riches is the clearest sign that you have stumbled into a scam.

There is no such thing as a free lunch, and that certainly does not apply to making money on the Internet.

The most obvious of these programs involve a three-step method that, if followed, will guarantee you a fortune. Many practical programs actually simplify their procedure by dividing it into steps, but the meaning is not the same.

2. They Don’t Tell You What You’re Going To Do

You probably, like me, don’t put your debit or credit card into a machine without first checking the total amount.

The same is true when you shop on the Internet.

But that’s not the way many of these scammers operate. They count on receiving an upfront payment. You are presented with a sales page, but the “secret” is revealed only after you make a purchase.

In reality, there is no such thing as a “secret”

The same rules apply to making money online as they do to making money offline. It’s not easy; you have to work hard and learn some new skills.

There is no “secret” to auto repair that is being sold. It is also known as the “key” to playing the piano.

To master it, you need to do the same things: acquire the appropriate background information, get proper instruction and practice enough.

A legit online money-making course should include at least a basic outline of the skills you will acquire and the work you will be expected to do.

3. Keep An Eye Out For The One Dollar Trial And The Money Back Guarantee

The $1 trial is just a means to collect your credit card information and is not always indicative of fraud. To verify that YOU is the intended buyer and not a scammer. (and to rule out the others)

Using a credit card indicates a serious intent to buy, even if it’s only for a single dollar.

This is perfectly normal and has nothing to do with fraud. Still, it’s something to keep in mind.

This is a common strategy used by car dealerships to find out if a customer is serious about buying. A small deposit is required, which may be refundable, but shows that you are serious about working together.

I do not want to discourage you from taking advantage of a product’s free or low-cost trial and/or money-back guarantee. You can take advantage of both with many good vendors. However, if they specifically ask for your credit card, you should be extremely careful.

4. Watch Out For The Auto-Renewal

Website memberships and subscription services that offer a free or heavily discounted initial period sometimes automatically renew once the trial period ends.

Do your homework first before committing to anything. You are taking a risk when you provide your banking information. Therefore, it is important that the payment mechanism is secure.

Contact customer service for details on the refund process. Is a 30-day cancellation notice required?

Even if every single customer cancels their purchase, a scammer like this can still make money. If they charge new members the full 30 days before they cancel, they must be rolling in money. 

While some customers want their money back in full, many others would rather just cancel their subscription and write off the first month as a loss.

Even if there is a “money back” guarantee, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to get your money back if the whole thing is a scam. Find out in advance what to do and get in touch.

5. No Contact Information

Take it as a major warning sign if they don’t offer a reliable way to contact them.

Sometimes you’ll come across a scheme that promises six- or seven-figure sums in return for participation, but all that’s given as a contact option is an unrecognizable email address.

Companies dealing in such large sums should be transparent about their ownership, management and other relevant details.

Before you spend a large sum of money (which is the case with many of these programs), you should have access to some kind of customer service.

Before you sign up and transfer money, make sure there is a human on the other end of your message by asking a question about the program.

6. The Sales Funnel That Promotes Itself

You’ve probably come across this program more than once when looking for online money making opportunities. You may have also suffered financial losses as a result.

Contrary to what you might be led to believe, not all products and programs that feature an obvious sales promotion funnel are fraudulent. Some of them are authentic and well-trained.

However, there are some important warnings that you should keep in mind. The most important one is whether you’re expected to pay for clicks when you promote the product.

This scam works with the promise of a sales funnel that’s specific to the target audience. A marketing funnel is another name for it.

The ready-made sales funnel they offer seems to be an efficient “machine” for promoting and selling their product. Landing pages (also called squeeze pages) are often included, as well as a sales page (and perhaps a sales video) and an email sequence.

It’s as simple as buying their marketing tools (such as an email autoresponder) and driving traffic to their sales page.

They want you to do this because you get the traffic, but this is the most difficult and expensive phase.

They would not ask you to do this if it was easy. However, companies do this because sponsored advertising is by far the most effective way to drive potential customers to the sales page. That means they will not pay the cost for the visitors. Eventually, you will.

However, you can be sure that the commissions you earn will more than cover the cost of advertising thanks to the proven sales funnel.

But something does not seem quite right here.

7. The Use of Scarcity Tactics

Rapid change is taking place in the digital sphere. It is difficult to catch someone’s interest and hold it for more than a few moments.

Many ads, even from reputable companies, rely on scarcity to get the reader to read on. They hope you’ll take a step closer to making a purchase. Customers are more likely to buy a QUICK BUY if they fear that supply will be scarce.

Lack of availability does not necessarily indicate a con. However, its practical application can tell us a lot.

Making people feel that their resources are limited is a proven method of manipulating their actions. Competition is the driving factor of the entire economic system. The market is based on the idea that resources are limited and cannot be shared equally.

This may be the case in the real world.

However, this is not the case in the virtual world. What is the rarity of a digital file? If it can not be found online, how can it be found?

Reasonable precautions must be taken when deciding what should not be available online. For example, you could seek advice in person.

However, in the case of fraud, scarcity is artificially created.

8. Don’t Believe The Fake Testimonials

Testimonials are good to use. They are an important factor in deciding whether or not to buy something. The kind of testimonials we are targeting can be found by looking through reviews on platforms like Amazon, Google, and Yelp.

In addition, fraudsters often use (fake) testimonials because they are considered particularly valuable.

Since fake reviews are usually written by the same person, the constant repetition of phrases and the general tone of the writing are usually a clear indication. For example, if every review claims that something is “excellent,” that’s a red flag.

It’s not a 100 percent sure-fire method, but if a single person seems to be responsible for multiple testimonials on a website, they were probably all written by the same person.

Some of them are poorly translated. The quotes are marked as coming from countries where English is the main language of communication, but it is obvious that this is not the case.

Also pay attention to the obviously posed photos.

While investigating various scams, I have noticed that some of the people who appear on the alleged witness statements look vaguely familiar. This is because the same image (purchased from a stock photography website) is used in numerous scams. The text is often taken verbatim from another plagiarism source.

If the subject appears to be posing and the surroundings look staged, it is probably a staged photo.

And finally, there are the video reviews. They can not all be fake, can they? To give the impression of credibility, websites like Viral Bucks use paid actors.

It’s not that hard to fake a recommendation. If you type in the term “spokesperson video” on Fiverr, you’ll get something similar to this (but without the smiley smile).

9. Check Out The Comments Section

Fake comments at the bottom of a web page, like fake testimonials, are a telltale sign that you have fallen for a scam. My experience with fake comments is that they resemble a series of comments on Facebook. They seem like genuine customers who are excited about the product.

However, if you click on them and nothing happens or you are redirected to another website, you may have fallen victim to a scam. It is just a snapshot with superimposed comments.

It is important to note that the absence of comments does not necessarily indicate a scam.

Well-known (and reputable) services, blogs, membership sites, universities, etc. often do not have comments. It’s a lot of work to moderate comments and spam and respond to requests. Popular sites therefore usually avoid them.

10. Look For The Representing Name(s) or Face(s)

While there may be valid reasons to maintain anonymity on the Internet in some situations, doing so while promoting a paid product is not one of them.

Anyone who has worked hard to develop a membership site or online course deserves to be happy with his work. He wants his name to be associated with it. They may call you or text you to say hello.

Would you trust the software that promises to make you rich if no one mentioned its name?

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How to Tell If It Is Legit?

Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about what to look for in a reputable product, because there are some very good products out there, whether you’re interested in online marketing jobs or work-at-home businesses.

1. It Has A Strong Community

Participation in a group or movement is the best way to determine its authenticity. If a company or organization is fraudulent, those in charge will not want their members (or customers) to share information with each other.

However, you can be sure it is a genuine program if they endorse it.

That does not mean you should sign up for the program. For example, if you are just starting out, you may benefit more from basic guidance than sophisticated promotional strategies.

Nonetheless, this is a site to keep in mind. It could be exactly what you need six months or a year from now as you grow your online profession or business.

If the owner(s) are also involved in the neighborhood, that’s an even stronger sign of legitimacy.

In addition to the quality of the instruction itself, the community of the program is a major selling point for me. It is your ace in the hole, so to speak.

It’s also fun to interact with others who have the same passions and hobbies as you. Here you can find support from others who are going through the same thing as you and learn from their experiences.

2. There Is A Legitimately Free Membership Option

A free membership ( No Credit Card) is an excellent indicator of a reputable program. It’s a sign that the provider is confident in their product if they’re willing to test or share it for free.

Programs that offer extensive free information, training and memberships usually focus on value rather than profit. The latter are the communities you should join.

However, before you decide on a premium membership, introduce yourself to other users and get to know the atmosphere of the community.

And remember to maintain a healthy skepticism while you’re a free member. Can you tell me if the training is good? Is there help if you run into trouble?

However, if the membership costs nothing, you might as well give it a try. You should never pass up an opportunity that could improve your life.

3. Lots of Discussion and Interaction

As mentioned earlier, many high traffic websites do not use comments because they are too expensive and time consuming to manage.

On the contrary, if you find a site with a lot of user feedback and participation, that’s a good sign. Take the time to read the feedback and ask any questions. It’s a good sign if the website owner actively encourages user interaction.

4. The Program Has Existed For Longer Than 5 Years

In general, a program can be trusted if it has existed for at least a few years. Fraudsters tend to collapse after a short time. At least not in the same capacity. Usually these scams last a few months before they are seen through by their victims, whereupon they are renamed and re-released.

A program must have some value if it lasts for decades. The fact that Wealthy Affiliate still has members from 2005 says something about the quality of the community there.

Do not rule out new programs based on age alone, but if you are still undecided, that could be a factor.

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We are now fully into the information age. There is a lot of garbage on the Internet.

There is no guarantee that you will achieve your goals if you sign up for a particular program. 

Online fundraising scammers may appear to have you cornered, but with a little diligence and heeding the warning signs discussed here, you can turn the tables on them.

Let me tell you the best program or platform to learn about making money online in the next section.

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The Best Legit Way to Make Passive Income 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.

How to Avoid Make Money Online Scams

Wealthy Affiliate has existed for 15 years and there are many success stories in the past decade.

To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.

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 to register a free account and see it yourself.

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