This article is intended to help you avoid online scams. If you have been repeatedly fallen prey to online scams in your pursuit to earning lucrative passive income online, and if you are eagerly seeking for legitimate and honest online business opportunity, please read this article before you commit yourself to any such online offer.
As a victim of online scams in the past, I am now sharing my first – hand experience with you to help you save your time, money and nerve and to lead you down the right path.
There is an ever-growing swarm of scammers and there are many different kinds of online scams. I can name a dozen or so right away, and the list could even be much longer.
The Nigerian 418 Scam
As a glance, I will give you but one example of the most famous scheme ever devised to separate us from our money or belongings notoriously known as Nigerian 419 Scam, which effectively uses email to lure its victims.
A scam victim is usually sent an email offer of a large sum of money if he/she would assist the scammer to get the funds out of Nigeria. The scammer is identified as “From the desk of Mr. XYZ” – usually an agent of the wife of a former dictator or a high level former corrupt government employee.
The general plot talks about a person who has accumulated a large chunk of money, usually run up to millions of dollars, apparently belonging to the state. You become excited with the potential financial fortune you are about to reap and started to engage with the scammer.
Once they realize you are hooked to the scheme, in the same tone of all other scams, there occurs an unexpected last minute hurdle and you will be requested to send some money – say around a few hundred thousand dollars, usually a comparatively small portion of the total fortune promised for the victim – to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Now, you are put in an emergency setting, where your role is to play a rescuer role for the success of the scheme. Without your action, the scheme will likely be abandoned and you will lose the chance of reaping millions of dollars out of it.
This scam has been around for many years and the story apparently sounds ridiculous but the problem is many fall victim to it. Once the requested fund is transferred that is the end of the story. Gone is your money and the promised fortune end up with a nightmare.
Easily lured into sending chunk of money to someone you have never known personally like the con-man of Nigeria, who is hiding behind the cyberspace;
Making a purchase over the Internet, without any chance of seeing or testing the highly hyped item, can come back to bite you in the ass.
Despite the obvious ulterior motives behind such schemes, unfortunately, there is no shortage of people willing to take the risk — and for this reason, online fraud will continue to exist.
The vast majority will just ignore such a ridiculous offer, but if the scammers could lure at least 1% or 2% of the targetted email IDs, and with the potential of reaching out to millions or even billions of people, thanks to the Internet, that means a huge sum of money to be reaped illegally.
This is but one good example of how online scammers play on our emotions and our psychological weak spots to lure us into buying their stuff or involved in schemes like the Nigerian 419 scam.
Similarly, there are also way too many work-from-home online scams promising people the easy and quick way of getting rich.
The truth is that things that are worth doing are never easy nor quick. Making money online or offline there’s really no shortcut.
One need solid knowledge, skills, and experience to succeed online, just like in any traditional businesses.
Legitimate and easy ways to earn “little” money online
There are, of course, some easy ways to earn quick money online that do not scam. For example, there are things like paying you for doing an online survey, watch a video, share things, etc. and some are legit. Selling your own stuff on eBay is one way of making money online. You can offer freelance services on Fiverr.com to earn money online a legit way. But these are “active” not “passive” income.
To be sure, freelance services can bring you decent money. But it is not the “passive income” – the money you make even while you are sleeping – which is the real online marketers dreamt of.
Website Building Skill is Essential
To earn real “passive income” online, you need concrete knowledge and skill.
The fundamental skill, among many others, is to learn how to build a website, in the first place. Without first acquiring this fundamental skill, all other things have no practical use. This is the “secret”, if ever there is one, the scammers won’t tell you.
If they tell you in the first place that they are going to teach you how to build a WordPress website, many may shy away from them. They know most people are lazy to take the hard way and more ready to grab the easy and quick way.
So instead of telling you the hard and legit way, they will trick you into joining their “quick and easy way of becoming a millionaire overnight”.
Why we take risk and got scammed
Ignorance and Shiny Object Syndrome
We become vulnerable victims of online scams especially when we are just starting out as beginners, not knowing what and how exactly online business works. So, in our quest to find out legitimate affiliate programs, for instance, we come across scammers who offer their “secrets” to online business success in the form of ebooks, training or video tutorials.
The cost of these offers may vary from $7 to less than $200. So, as these scammers exploit our ignorance and target exactly total newbies like us, we got hooked. We tend to take the risk because the offers are not so expensive and we think it is worth trying, even if it doesn’t work, just to get started and with the cleverly crafted sales pitch that makes us get excited with the taste of success we tried one after another shiny thing and end up buying just craps.
We are, at this stage, suffering the shiny object syndrome attributed to our total ignorance.
How Scammers play on our psychological weak spots
Sales people and scammers know our psychological weak spots and take advantage of our ignorance by playing on our emotions to lure us into buying their stuff.
A secret to success
We are unaware that there is no secret to online success. This ignorant is one of the biggest weak spots online scammers are continuously exploiting for many years. that if we just learn this one skill or pick up this one trick, all our entrepreneurial troubles will be over and we’ll now be successful.
The truth is that there is no single secret or trick that will skyrocket your online business overnight and achieve a sudden riches and fame!
Time Limited Offer
Time limited offer tactic has been successfully played by shopping malls across the world for many years.
It is no different with online businesses in this respect.
The Internet is dotted with once-in-a-lifetime deals, events or sales lasting only a limited time frame. Such offers are even highlighted with a clock counting down to the seconds on their websites, to arouse our natural fear of missing out. You are pressured to buy it now as time is running out.
The concept of the time limited offer is a proven selling technique in marketing and online scammers apply it to scam us.
Similar to the sales in brick and mortar shopping malls, online scammers also apply the principle of scarcity to arouse people’s natural fear of losing out on something. This principle is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic and when done correctly – for the mutual benefit of both the buyers and sellers – conversion is guaranteed. It is a win-win deal when the product promoted is genuinely useful for the buyers.
But the problem is, online scammers are using this principle to sell crap only to benefit themselves, not the buyers. And in the long run, people shy away from their products and their business suffers.
Marketers usually trigger this effect by using tactics to suggest that their offer might soon be gone. It’s a psychological trigger to boost sale.
So, how can we get past our psychological weak spots and protect ourselves from being scammed?
5 Proven Methods to Avoid Online Scams
Based on my long experience as an ex-victim of online scams, I have prepared for you the following 5 Methods or Guidelines for you to avoid online scams once and for all:-
- Free yourself from shiny object syndrome and stop reading all offers you come across.
- Be mindful that success online is an absolute possibility, but there is no quick and easy way. Be prepared to learn it the hard and sure way. Be determined to work hard. Don’t just try. But take action.
- Be aware of scarcity and limited time offer tactic used by scammers. Be aware also that these are time-honored tactics used by reputable big businesses and that there are honest and legit offers using the same tactic – for mutual benefit.
- Always consult the great Google with a search word like “Is XYZ a scam?” You will find a lot of reviews of these offers. Even when you find a lot of positive reviews of a product, this is not yet a proof that it is a legitimate one. Try to find reviews by highly trusted and reputable marketers.
- Learn the honest and legitimate way, where I myself have learned, starting with the hard way – how to build a website. When I first started I have zero knowledge of website building. I have built this website with the step by step training from Wealthy Affiliate University. Ever since I joined it I have accumulated tons of invaluable knowledge.
So I have tried all my very best to help you avoid online scams. Any question or comment is appreciated. Please share your opinion in the comment box below.
If you intent to learn and build a free website straight away, HERE is the way to go.