Howdy! It is the Wild West Web out there when it comes to that old chestnut of “making money online”. Glad to have you here at my outpost before you make the westward journey. So let’s stock up on some “ammo” against these outlaws!
Those guys, the ones luring you with those glossy dreamy pictures of cruise ships, yachts, mansions, tropical paradises, lucky people reclining in the sun with an umbrella cocktail in their hand!
Look no further! (they’ll tell you) It’s all just clicks away with our “Whoppertunity” get rich quick program! It will put unicorns in your life and mountains of money in your bank account! Now, just send us your money and our “guru” will bestow his uber wealth making secrets upon you!
Getting a little nutty, but doesn’t that sound familiar? Does it even leave a bad taste in your mouth – a reminder of having been scammed by similar promises in the past?
I have had my share of these sorts of scams and I have had enough! Big promises, no follow through. All hat and no cattle! So let’s catch them before they get you!
Promises of Quick Riches
Anything promising that you are going to make lots of money in no time should have you hitting that back button very quickly! Anyone with even half a walnut for a brain knows that you have to work for it first. What are you bringing to the table that is worth all of those riches?
Know It All Gurus
Most anything trying to get you to send money in order to gain access to the wisdom of their “guru” is highly suspect. These gurus usually make up lots of weird jargon to further shroud common knowledge in mystery. You have to buy into the program to learn this mystery language.
Cookie Cutter Systems
We’ve all seen those! All you have to do is install our super duper cookie cutter money making website. Now sit back and watch the money roll in! Yeah, right… the internet is saturated with these copy and paste type websites where you just fill in the blanks with your name and tracking id. They are ugly and un-original. Want a great website? Learn to make one, fill it with your own unique content, and promote some real and legitimate products!
Beware of those little $5 schemes where you’re asked to send $5 (or whatever) to five persons and in return from each you receive an ebook or something barely passable as a “product” received for payment to avoid being considered a chain letter.
These have been around for decades – first using postal mail and now via email or social media. There are better ways to make money with ebooks!
Anyone who comes at you speaking some sort of weird jargon should be suspect. Usually these are obfuscated versions of common knowledge designed to make you curious and get you in the door. Usually made up by a “guru” who teaches this stuff. An honest business will be upfront and give a clear description/explanation of what their program is and prices are.
You don’t pay money for a new car without test driving it? Likewise for anything online requiring you to pay money first to “get in”. You want to find out more about it before paying any money. There should at least be a trial option to try it out at no cost for a period of time, or a free “starter” level.
High Pressure Sales
Seriously? If whatever it is was really a good product, there would not be any need to bug with constant sales pitches or pressure to buy now. The good stuff sells itself through happy customers and word of mouth.
Prompts to Download and Install Software
Curiosity brings you to an innocent looking website. The first thing you’re greeted with is a popup, or some big CLICK HERE link, telling you that you must download and install a piece of software before you can do anything else.
This is how a lot of malware, adware, computer viruses and other harmful software gets spread around. The website is just a lure to infect unsuspecting visitors’ computers with malware or hijack their machines for illicit purposes.
Be aware of popups that pretend to look like a “system update” message from your computer. Keep your anti-virus software up to date!
Just hit that back button and get the heck out of there ASAP!
Asking For Too Much Personal Information
This should be a big red flag. Especially if it is a Social Security Number. This scammer may be phishing and trying to set you up for identity theft!
Don’t take whatever lands in front of you at face value. Look horizontally – a good fact checker keeps many tabs open on different sources. Jumps back and forth comparing what is said to arrive at a consensus. Do some research on whatever it is you’re after. Get some consensus from the whole online community of whether or not this program or product is legitimate.
If something is a scam, word usually spreads fast and it won’t take too much research to conclude so. On the other hand, you may be among the first few to discover this “new thing”. Does it smell of any of the red flags listed above? Maybe it would be a good idea to not jump in until you know more.
Follow your gut feeling!
Basically anything that promises you some sort of shortcut to riches if you give them your money is a scam! There are no shortcuts around all of the hard work it takes to build a honest online business. It takes an investment of time, consistent effort every day, networking and trust building to become successful in any venture.
That is what motivated me to build this website. I wanted to share what I am learning on my own quest to build a real business. To share this resource with others so that they may be able to avoid the countless traps lurking in the online world – the Wild West Web. To help you make informed decisions about how to earn money online without being scammed.
To all who have come here, and made it to this point, I hope my ramble about online scams is helpful! You’re comments, experiences and questions are welcome!
Cheers and be safe!