How To Spot An Online Scam

The Rise Of The Online Scams

As more opportunities arise on the internet to make money, so does the interest and they hype. In some cases it is an online scam to take your money while in other cases salespeople or marketers are providing misleading or down right false information to make a quick buck.

Here are some of the top statements, offers and opportunities to be on the lookout for and if they are misleading or likely a scam.

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“Become Rich Quick” – Likely A Scam

This is always a red flag. Becoming rich takes a lot of hard work, time and luck. The Reddit community for entrepreneurs has many very experienced entrepreneurs who started their own businesses, many of whom are quite successful. They share lessons learned and talk about the effort and opportunities to make money. Whenever a new member tries to sell an idea as a way to “Become Rich Quick” they are quickly taken apart as an online scam often by respected members who have businesses in those particular areas.

“Make $500 in 20 Minutes” – Very Misleading

You usually see this statement with affiliate marketers. They are usually holding large amounts of money and make it seem like every 20 minutes you work you will make $500. That is very misleading because if you do the math, you would technically be making millions per year. Affiliate marketing does not pay that well. The vast majority of affiliate marketers who do it full time make under $100,000/year if not under $50,000/year.

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“Sign Up In Next 20 Minutes And Get This Valuable Training Half Off” – Likely A Scam

Having a very short deadline to make a purchase is a pressure tactic salespeople use to rush to buy something without taking the time to do their research or think it through. When companies then offer to take 50% off the price with an “act now” deal like that, it that basically says they know their product is inferior and don’t want you to find out before you buy it. Don’t get me wrong, there are many high quality seminars, training programs and e-books that you can get online and sometimes they have sales. However never rush out to pay money for something like this before you have a chance to research the company and the product.

“Pay $250 For This Training Program/Seminar And Make $80,000 Per Year” – Likely A Scam

This sounds too good to be true and it is. These training programs/seminars typically teach you techniques and skills in many different areas so that you can ultimately run your own business. Most of them offer material you can find for free on the internet. Also, even if they taught you valuable skills it doesn’t solve the hardest part of a new business and that is finding customers. This is not to say this is always an online scam. You can make money doing from whatever you learn but the odds of you making significant money in the first year is fairly low.

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“Learn How To Sell Products Online And Have $10,000 Sales/Month” – Misleading

This is misleading for three reasons; finding enough business, peak periods and low margins with stores.

First off, there are millions of stores online. Most online stores struggle to market themselves effectively to make much money. Some do but most don’t.

Also online stores are like the department stores, they have peak periods. It might be around the holidays or particular seasons. Those weeks/months they might sell double or triple what they normally would sell. So when companies trying to sell you about online stores say they have sales $10,000/month, they will talk about their peak periods and not how much you normally would make.

Finally, online stores are typically low margin businesses. They have a lot of expenses, such as buying the goods, shipping the products, paying transaction fees, paying staff and paying for systems to run them on. This means that for every $100 in sales their expenses might be $60-$80+ of that. That means that even if you were to have $10,000 sales in a month, often the number that is quoted is the gross amount ($10,000) and not your take home profit ($2,000-$4,000).

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