Online Business Scams, Shady Tactics & Half Truths

When it comes to making money online, you’ll find there are a lot of claims floating around out there.  Thankfully there aren’t too many outright scams, and most of those that are can be fairly easy to identify.  The real problems lie with outrageous claims of overnight fortunes, questionable “business opportunities”, and half truths.

Scams can range from ponzi schemes to modern versions of mail fraud. Once you’re looking for ways to make money online for a little while, you’re sure to come across some of these:

Gifting Schemes – It’s not illegal to give an individual a gift of money but it IS illegal to try and make money with gifting schemes. Any kind of gifting “system” or “business opportunity” is something to stay miles away from, because people get arrested and jailed for these types of scams frequently.

Money Collections – These types of scams are disguised in many forms, but the basic setup usually claims to be a job offer. The “company” needs workers in the U.S. to collect money from their clients, and forward that money onto them. The “worker” unfortunately sends the company money from their own bank account, only to find out later that the client payments or deposits were fraudulent.

There are hundreds more scams and illegal “opportunities” online, but the two above are quite common and they should help you to start being able to easily identify others you may come across in the future.

Shady Tactics and Half Truths are more difficult to identify, and they’re much easier to fall for. Some people continue to fall for these types of “opportunities” many times. Let’s look at a couple of examples…

Data Entry Jobs – There are valid data entry jobs online but they’re not nearly as prolific as some of the advertisements would have you believe. And unfortunately many say that all you have to do is type ads into a form on Google, and you’ll earn x dollars per ad. The truth of the matter is,  you have to pay for the ads you place on Google, and not every ad you place will actually earn money. Because after placing the ads, people have to click on your ad and actually make some sort of purchase before you’ll earn anything.

The actual process is a bit complicated and it takes quite awhile for most people to learn. If you’re interested in understanding more about how this works, search the web for “Google AdWords” and you will find thousands of pages of information available about it. Do not however, pay for a service, book, job, or opportunity which claims you can make money doing “data entry” like this on Google, or any of the other online advertising sites for that matter.

Survey Jobs – There are also many places online where you can legitimately make money taking surveys and filling out opinion polls. The legitimate forms of these opportunities are few and far between, but many products and services want you to believe you can make hundreds of dollars each week online doing surveys… if you just pay them $49.95 first.

It is quite possible to be paid for doing surveys, and there are many sites you can sign up for online which give you the information for free. Usually however, you receive very few surveys to fill out regularly. In fact, getting just one each month is rare. There are also many places which will send you many surveys each month, but after spending 10-15 minutes or more filling out each one you find that you’re not qualified for that survey, thus they aren’t going to pay you anything for it.

Last but not least, there are sales letters which are designed to make you believe you can become a millionaire overnight, or claim to have the “secret” to making easy money with your computer, and so on and so forth. These claims are usually based on some level of truth, but they often leave out some critical details, or they gloss over the fact that it could take years to reach a certain income level.

For example, one money making opportunity may claim that you can make $1000 every day following their business model. What you may not realize however – and they don’t always reveal – is they spent $995 to make that $1000. Or they were able to make $1000 once in the last 5 years.

You also need to be aware that many people will make claims, then provide “proof” of their claims with pictures of income screen shots or checks they’ve received. Be aware that it’s very easy to edit pictures with software, so the amounts of money stated in those “proof” pictures may be, and often times is,  falsified.

Use common sense when looking for online businesses. If it looks too good to be true, it usually is.


Until next time,