How To Avoid Getting Scammed Online

How To Avoid Being Scammed OnlineHowdy! 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!


Red Flags

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!

Chain Letters

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!

Weird Jargon

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.

Upfront Payment

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!


Get Rich Quick!* *Get Broke Even Faster!

Fact checking

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!


Bottom Line

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!



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10 thoughts on “How To Avoid Getting Scammed Online”

  1. Hey Oren,
    Yeah, I’ve been scammed like you, promises of unbelievable overnight fortunes, glossy brochures exhibiting flashy cars, wondrous homes & yachts that not one person from these scammy companies own, it’s all hype, fraud and untrustworthy practices in my view however like you say, they all want the money upfront, I wonder why?

    I started a training course regarding how to build a website around my passion, attract visitors and accomplish conversions with Wealthy Affiliate. They showed their legitimacy straightaway by offering a try before you buy course without any promises of overnight riches, rather the opposite to be honest. Accomplishing earning regular income from a website takes time, high rankings with the search engines are the only thing that will get you there and the likes of Google demand regular written unique content before they’re going to increase your rankings however if you play be the rules and are determined, you have the ability to produce conversions on a huge scale but this does take time.

    All businesses have to crawl before they can walk before they can run, online is no different.
    Followed you on Social Media!

    • Hi Simon, how true it is! The best way to avoid getting scammed is to get away from the lottery/luck mentality and to start thinking like an entrepreneur – think in the long term, have a passion, a dream, a plan, and tools and training to make it a reality in today’s marketplace.

      It all begins with baby steps!

      Thanks for dropping by! Cheers and best to you,

      – Oren

  2. It’s crazy that there are sooo many scam artists online these days. I myself have been scammed out of hundreds of dollars over the last ten years buying products that dont work.

    I wish we had more policing of these rip off products so the average Joe is not being robbed of his hard owned money

    • Hi Steve, it’s crazy! I feel that being aware and proactive as a whole community is the best defense against these scams. Learning how a real online business works, knowing that it is not a get rich quick scheme, and getting the proper training, will save many from getting burned.

      Thanks for chiming in! Best to you

  3. Hi Oren, you are on point with the red flags. I would actually go out to say that Guru’s aren’t even a real thing. Not one of the ones I have seen have anything relevant to improve my life in any way, at least on an honest scale.

    I hate high-pressure sales as well, those are some of the most annoying things to deal with. I had some friends get into some MLM companies, and man they would not stop bothering me once they “bought in”

    This is a little off-topic, but I gotta say that I highly respect the beard. Anyways, thanks for the post Oren, and have a great day 🙂

    • Hi Jacob, thanks for chiming in! Agreed! A lot of those so called “gurus” may be just fabrications. A lot like something out of a Star Trek episode.

      Some of those MLMs out there I swear are like religious cults! There are a few good MLMs, but the culture is just too centered around “recruiting” and building downlines.

      Thanks for the beard compliment!

      Cheers and best, Oren!

  4. Hey Oren,
    I often look for new opportunities to earn some money online and I have bought some making money products in the past. Unfortunately, some of them were scams. Your article is a great article on how to avoid them and thanks for sharing.

    I hope that people who begin now their effort to earn money online don’t give up because they get scammed. There are plenty of legit products on the internet also.

    • Hi Ilias, thanks kindly for your comment! Yes, it is unfortunate to find out after the fact something which looked good is really a scam. Hind sight as 20-20, and hopefully we get better at culling the bad apples from the basket before we bite into them!

      Learning how to build a real business online, and putting in an honest effort, is the best way I know of to avoid being scammed.

      Cheers, Oren!

  5. I have to say that you certainly reopened my eyes to some areas of being scammed that seem to be around for a long time. I was not aware that the five dollar scheme was still going on. This was happen twenty years ago when people would send a certain amount to people through snail mail.
    You are right about the downloading of software and all the viruses that come with it.
    Hopefully people that read this article will get a grasp at all of the scams and what it really takes to succeed online.
    What source did you use to build this website, or did I miss it in this article?
    Anyway thank you for the eye opening information here.

    • Hi Angela, thank you kindly for the comment! Yes indeed. Same old tricks – new technology. People keep falling for them because they want to get rich quick.

      This website was built using the WordPress SiteRubix hosting that comes with the Wealthy Affiliate training platform. I recommend WA to anyone who wants serious training on building and monetizing a website.

      Cheers, Oren


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