In this week’s episode of the Extra Paycheck Podcast we’re talking “Make Money Online” scams. How to spot them and how to avoid them.
Millions of people get scammed online every year. Unfortunately the “Make Money Online” scams are a big part of that. In fact these kind of scams give a bad rep to real online business opportunities. I remember 10 or so years ago they would actually run late night TV infomercials advertising such “make money online” scams. I found those claims ridiculous but soon enough I understood that such ads were targeting people who weren’t internet savvy. People who believe whatever they see on TV. As thousands of complains poured in such infomercials started disappearing from TV and move to Internet.
When I was just starting to learn about online marketing I did fall for a few scams, I am not hiding that fact. Over the years I learned hot to spot these scams within a few seconds, they are very obvious if you know what too look for.
Secret System. Weird Trick. Underground Strategy.
These are the words you should stay away from. If someone tell you how they came across this amazing secret hack that allows them to earn $7,891 per day without doing anything – I can guarantee this is a lie. There are MANY ways to make money online but unfortunately there aren’t any secret systems or easy hacks.
Let’s imagine for a second that a trick did exist and someone discovered it. Do you think they would sell it to you for $7, $47 or $100? No. They would keep this a secret, this is common sense. You can read very extensive case studies on how people built legit online businesses. They aren’t scared to share this info because they know that 99.9% of people reading are simply too lazy or not motivated enough to start a similar business. You can make loads of money online but you’ll need to work for it. Once again, stay away from secret systems as they do not exist.
Shortcuts To Riches
I guess this point is very similar to the first one. Some scammers will tell you that they’ll show you how to start a successful website with just 3 easy clicks. You’ll start making loads of money overnight without doing anything else, how awesome is that?
You can setup a website with just a few clicks, especially in our time and age. However an empty website is not worth anything. You’ll need to create good content for that website (or pay someone a decent amount for high quality content). Then you’ll need to get targeted traffic to that website. If you have these elements and know how to properly monetize such website then you will most likely start making money. This is no shortcut though. Such websites take from 3 to 12 months on average to start making money. This is of course if you spend all that time actively working on your website and traffic generation strategies. I spent a lot of time looking for a shortcut to success, unfortunately such thing doesn’t exist.
Have you ever stumbled upon a website that promises to make you rich by showing you endless videos? Most of these videos are very tacky and feel like they came out from late 90’s. A 40 year old man with a calm face and oversized suit walks around “his” mansion. He shows off the Jacuzzi and his expensive car and even some maids. He keeps on talking how amazing it is to be rich and how his Secret Code will make you rich as well. He says something like: “Some of my students would love to share their success stories with you and right after that I’ll give you access to my secret software as well”. At this point you’re forced to watch more shady people who brag about “being rich” and how this one secret trick keeps making them millions of dollars while they’re sipping margaritas on the beach.
Finally after 20-40 minutes of bragging and really bad cinematography you’re given a chance to grab one of the LAST spots for only $67! But you have to act fast, the counter shows that out of 5 remaining spots 2 just disappeared, it’s your chance.
Stop. Pause for a second. You still haven’t been told what this is about. Is this about setting up an online store? Is this affiliate marketing training? Will they teach you how to invest in real estate? The only reason they aren’t telling you what it really is is because they know you wouldn’t give them money for it.
I also talk about 2 other MAJOR red flags in this episode. So scroll up and press PLAY to hear the full episode.
Fake Endorsements and Fake Testimonials
Many of these scam websites will do everything they possibly can to persuade you to buy from them. You will see such claims as: “Featured on CNN, FOX, ABC”, “As Seen On TV”, “Endorsed by Google, Amazon, etc”. Most of these claims are completely fake. Anyone with basic website/blogging knowledge can easily grab a logo of any company and put it on their website. Just because the logos are there does not mean that they are actually endorsed or trusted.
Some of these companies will say: “Online Money Making Opportunities Have Been Featured on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com etc”. This statement is not false however this scam company has nothing to do with that. Ignore these claims from the start.
You will also see photos of “satisfied customers” and even video testimonials from happy clients. Sometimes these actors will claim to be stay-at-home-moms, doctors, lawyers, nuclear scientists and everything in between. The truth is that a quick search on Fiverr.com will allow you to hire the same actors to say whatever you want on video. I even paid a few bucks to prove this point:
See what I mean?
If it was illegal it wouldn’t exist!
I honestly can’t count how many times I heard that phrase from people that got sucked into scams and pyramid schemes. I get it. It sucks to get scammed and many people would hate admitting it. Some folks refuse to open their eyes and keep on paying into these scams until they lose their savings, friends and sometimes even families. I am not exaggerating here. There are tons of horror stories online.
Here is the sad truth. It may take FTC, SEC and other agencies YEARS to stop a scam or shut down a scheme. Firth they need to receive a lot of complaints. Then they need to start investigating, then actually accuse the company or an individual of running a scam. Eventually it is taken to court and this is where the real story begins. All of this can take several years meaning that huge scams can operate for 10+ years, stealing millions of dollars from innocent people.
4 years ago I wrote an article about MOBE, trying to save people from it. In June of this year MOBE operations have been halted by the FTC and investigation has begun. It took a lot of time. Mobe’s promoters now started blaming FTC for “conspiracy” of some sort and swearing how this is the most amazing and most honest business ever but we see the same behavior with every other scheme and scam that’s been shutdown. The case against Traffic Monsoon has been in course for the past 2 years and people who lost a lot of money to this scam are still defending it.
These are big scams. Now small-scale scammers don’t even wait to get shut down by an official agency. They run a scam, make a bunch of money, get negative rep online. Shut down their website, create a new website and start scamming people all over again.
My point is this, just because it’s out there does not mean it’s legal. Also, I highly suggest checking out this awesome video from John Oliver (no wonder it got over 13 Million views).
Scroll up and press the PLAY button to hear the full episode.
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