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Internet Scams - don't get caught!

It seems that for every genuine internet business solution there are another dozen that are scams … and it makes me angry that there are so many dishonest people out there taking advantage of honest hardworking people like you and me.

So if you’re considering using the Internet to earn a bit (or a lot) of extra cash, then keep the following golden rules in mind to help steer clear of scams:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it is. You can’t get money for doing nothing (or very little). Ask yourself “what are they getting out of this? Why are they doing it?” People won’t make offers if they don’t get something in return – what is that something and are you prepared to be part of it.

  • The benefits of schemes are always over-stated. There may well be benefits, but all too often these are exaggerated. Always view these claims as the ‘best case’ scenario, and not likely to be achieved just by signing up.

  • Always investigate an opportunity before committing – particularly if payment is involved. There are a number of sites and forums that discuss scams and schemes on the Internet. Failing that, use your search engine to search for the scheme you are considering and include the word ‘scam’ in the search. Sometimes you’ll be surprised what you find.

  • Where does the link take you? If there are links to a site offering more information on a scheme, just hover your mouse over it and at the bottom of your screen you’ll see the destination URL. If this is relatively clean – then maybe the scheme is OK. But if the link is made up of random characters with multiple sub-directories (indicated by the number of backslashes) – then beware! Also if it is from Nigeria – it’s most definitely a scam!

  • Understand that scammers also know the ‘google for spam’ approach to sussing out opportunities and will often post fake blogs or articles on their scheme – these articles will be called something like “Blah blah blah scheme – is it a Scam?”. And of course, the article will conclude that the scheme isn’t a scam but in fact has many benefits that you must simply find out for yourself. But if you keep searching, you’ll find a range of articles – some genuine and some not – and you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

  • Be wary of any scheme that asks you for money. Also be wary of schemes that ask for your credit card details, even if they claim ‘no cost/ payment’ required.

  • Set your limits. How much money do you want to spend and make (or do you just want to muck around for fun) and why? How much time do you want to commit? What are you prepared to do for this money – involve your friends? Interestingly, most people are prepared to spend up to $50 on a system – so naturally, you’ll find many systems offered for $50 because they know that most people will find this an acceptable amount of money to risk finding out about an opportunity that promises the world.

  • Scams can even turn up on reputable websites – eBay is full of them! Some scams will sell an item for a very low price, but charge you $100 postage! Or some will just send out goods that aren’t what they promised. So buyer beware! And eBay cracks down on the unethical sellers so if you do have a problem, report it to eBay.
And most importantly, remember your ethics and morals. There are some systems that ‘work’, but what do you actually do for your money? There’s one around at the moment called a “Funnel” type system (a bit like a pyramid system) where you pay to find out about the system which involves you telling other people to join the system and you get a take of their joining fees. Some people can make money this way, but many quit the system because they feel that it is unethical to charge money for something that actually doesn’t produce a service or product. I tend to agree!

But don’t despair, there are some genuine ways to make money on the internet – but they do take time and a bit of hard work.
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We are not certified financial planners or advisors. The information in this website is general information only. Always consult a licensed financial planner before making any finance or investment decision.

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