What Is an Online Scam? – And How to Avoid It

By | January 8, 2017

 What is an online scam

If you’re interested in making money online, chances are you would have come across numerous products or websites telling you that you can make money by signing up. Of course there are tons of websites out there that promise different things, and when you do your research you get good reviews and bad reviews, which is completely normal. The problem is what if you’re considering joining a certain program and the membership fees are nothing to laugh about, what do you do?

You spent so long reading review after review, looking at their website, eventually you might think that this program actually works. How do you save yourself from falling into the trap that is an online scam?

What exactly is a scam?

Let’s start off by asking this, what exactly is a scam?

I consider a program or a product a scam if :

  • It doesn’t deliver what it promised.

I’ve come across many websites with advertising phrases like ” You can make $400 by the end of this week even if you have no experience!”, which if you ask anyone with actual experience, will tell you that it is simply not true or very hard to do.

  • There are a lot of upsells. They claim the membership fee to be of a certain price, then charge you more to access more of their products, although this is debatable.

The way they hook you in is by charging a low price initially, which might cause some people to just go for it. Then shortly after you get another promotion, asking you to buy another product. Then another and another to suck all your money.

  • The initial price is just ridiculous to begin with comparing to what you get in return.

The prices I’m speaking of are like in the 4 digit range which can make you wonder if it really costs that much for what you get. Of course these are just my opinion and most of these points are debatable. In depends on you as well to judge if it is worth to pay a certain price for a certain product.

What can you do to spot a scam?

1. Look at the product’s advertisement or promotional videos

Many of the scams would use a video to promote whatever it is that they are selling. You can find these easily on their homepage. I’ve personally come across one that has a free webinar.

Some things to look out for in these videos are :

  • They focus on telling you what you can do with the money you can theoretically earn with their program
  • They keep repeating the founder’s or member’s success stories and their life of luxury
  • They provide close to no useful information at all

All of these should light up your warning signal. Back to the webinar example, what this guy did was he kept showing his audience how much he managed to earn. It wasn’t even just once, he showed it about 10 times throughout the video. What makes it worse is after that he was showing how his friends made money with that program and kept showing the viewers the figures of what they earned. The bottom line is, if they keep trying to show you all the nice cars and big houses you can own, then it’s probably just a tactic to reel you in to their scam.

2. Too good to be true?

This should be common sense here. If you see a product promising you to make $400 in a week chances are it’s a scam. Why? This is how they trick those that need money into their program. I will tell you guys now that there are no shortcuts to earning money, whichever way you choose to make your money would require you to put in hardwork. I guess these claims can also target those who want to get rich quickly with little effort.

These claims also usually focus on the dream life or the money you can make and not the product. You should ask yourself what exactly is the product that they are trying to sell. Chances are if it’s a scam they will tell you very little about the product. What they do give you a lot of are advertisements with success stories in them.


3. Check the history and the founder

Going back to that previous webinar example, the founder himself gave that webinar and the obvious thing to do was to Google him. Guess what? He had a similar product launched before this and it was a rip – off.

One thing I’ve noticed is the people who set up these programs tend to launch a version 2 of it, just in a different name. It isn’t always going to be the same person, sometimes it’s a member of a scam starting his own scam. The take home point here is to look into the history of a product or website, you may find some interesting points.

4. The Offer has an expiry date

These are something like a timer before the program ends, like “Want to know how I made $400 in a week? Join now before I close my program by tomorrow!”. These are pretty common and I’ve seen a lot of this. They pressure you into thinking what if this is an actual opportunity that is expiring soon, or what if today is the last day for this amazing discount. All lies. Chances are you would get the same message tomorrow.

5. Keep reading reviews

This should be what most people do when they are still skeptical. Now a word of caution here, some reviews might be written by the scam program’s affiliate marketer themselves and of course they would give positive reviews. With a little bit of common sense and your gut feeling you should be able to tell if the review is an actual review or if they just want you to buy or sign up to a program.

There are definitely honest reviewers out there who genuinely care and don’t want others to fall into the same scam as them. All you need to do is just come across 1 bad review and you can be fairly certain that it is a scam. You just have to keep searching and don’t sign up or buy a product if you are not 100% sure.

Final Advice

We are in a time where there are plenty of opportunities to make money online in the comfort of your own home. I know many of you, like me have a dream and want a life where you can generate some passive income to help out with your finances. Who doesn’t right? Well everyone can definitely do it but it does require hard work and dedication. You have to stay focused and on track which might not be as easy as you might think,  but definitely worth it.

Do know that there are legit and amazing programs out there as well, one that I’m personally part of is Wealthy Affiliate. They have a free membership so you can decide on your own whether or not it is a scam. I do recommened free programs like these, as well as programs that straight up tell you what you’re paying for, no upsells no catches.

At the end of the day if you are looking into making money online, remember that there are no shortcuts and no secret to getting rich quick.

If you have any questions or suggestions, even disagreements with my posts please feel free to leave a comment below,




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