How many of you are here because you have a desire to make money online? Not only to make money, but how many of you want to make money online fast? Well, if that’s you, I understand because that’s where I was a few years ago.
Unfortunately, my desire to be at home with my children made me believe that I could start earning lots of money right away. Why? Because there were a lot of programs out there telling me that I could! A few thousand dollars later, and I learned my lesson the hard way.
Let’s take a better look at scams and how to avoid them!
How People Get Lured Into Scams
Why do people fall for scams? Two reasons: scammers know exactly what you want to hear and people want to believe them. The basic rule of marketing is to find out what someone needs and convince them that you can meet that need!
What are some reasons that someone has a need to work from home? Here are a few:
- Spend more time with their children or grandchildren
- Get out of a job they hate
- Supplement their income to pay bills, save for a house or car, build a retirement fund, etc.
- Take care of a loved one at home, such as an elderly parent
- Have unlimited earning potential
- Be your own boss
When you look at these, they all have one thing in common–if someone could provide a method to meet their need to work at home, it would be life-changing for them! The more life-changing your need is, the more you want to believe someone when they tell you they can help you.
When I tried to start an online business several years ago, I was a single mom working a 12-hour swing shift job that demanded a lot of overtime. My kids were in elementary school and middle school and stayed with my parents a lot. There were many times that I only got to see them an hour or so a day and sometimes not at all.
I was desperate to be there for my kids more! So every time I heard a story about someone making a great living working at home on their computer, I knew that was what I wanted to do.
I did a lot of research, and of course, there were programs everywhere that showed people who were supposedly making thousands of dollars every month working part-time. I believed the hype, bought one, and in the end, wound up in worse shape than when I started!
Get-Rich-Quick Doesn’t Work
“Nothing worth having comes easy.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it”– Thomas Jefferson
“Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly
You’ve probably heard of at least one of these quotes, and there’s a reason they’ve stayed around so long–because they’re so true! There are get-rich-quick schemes out there everywhere, but the ones buying them aren’t the ones getting rich.
I think one of the reasons that online scams are so prevalent is that every day there’s something new and wonderful that technology can accomplish. So it seems reasonable to believe that all these programs designed to make you money could actually work. It also seems reasonable that the owners of these programs would want you to pay for their inventions.
But there are so many scams out there that the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information site has an entire section devoted to work-at-home scams. So if you’ve fallen victim to one of them, you’re not alone.
How can you tell if a website or program on the internet is legitimate or not? Let’s check out the warning signs you need to look for!
Warning Signs of a Possible Scam
Here’s some general things to watch out for when searching online:
~ Asking for personal information–Asking for your name or email address to sign you up for a site’s newsletter or to send you more information is a very common marketing strategy. But asking for your social security number, a credit card number, usernames, passwords or any other personal information that could be used to access your accounts is not. If someone requests this information, don’t give it out and assume it’s a scam!
~ Promises of easy money or enormous wealth–No legitimate program will make promises that you will make fast, easy money. Nobody sells a system that will make you thousands of dollars a month while you work an hour a day sitting on the beach.
If you had that system, would you be selling it to people for $49? $97? Of course not, you’d be using your system making the thousands of dollars every month! Don’t be swayed, remember “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!”
~ Payment upfront without real knowledge–Have you ever watched a video to find out what a program offers, only to see nothing but people telling you how wealthy they are? Then they offer you some general overview about how you’ll get lessons and then their system does it all for you!
- Do you really know what you are buying?
- What will you be selling?
- Once you pay the upfront money, how much more money will you have to pay?
- How does their system work?
- Can you use their system to promote anything or just sell their system to someone else?
If you don’t have good answers to those questions, you need to think twice about opening your wallet since there’s a good possibility you’re looking at a scam!
Here’s an example that most people wouldn’t fall for, but it’s very similar to the type of marketing hype that MMO (Make Money Online) programs use:
Suppose you were walking down the street and saw a man standing there with a simple brown box. He told you that in the box was the secret he had unlocked to losing all the weight you want to in a week starting today. Not only will you be able to lose whatever weight you wanted, but you don’t even have to put out any effort or change how you eat or anything!
Now, you don’t get to see what’s in the box or know anything about what it is, but he absolutely guarantees that you’ll lose all the weight you want to by barely lifting a finger. To prove it, he has 3 people in great shape standing next to him, and they swear that they’ve used what’s in the box. They say they’ve each lost 50 pounds in a week, and it’s changed their lives!
No matter what questions you ask, the man just keeps sidestepping them and showing you pictures of people who have used his product and are now slim and healthy after just a week! The price for this “secret” is just $37. He’d sell it for a lot more, but he just wants to help people out of the goodness of his heart.
Maybe you start walking away because it sounds too good to be true. But then he offers it to you for a discounted price of just $17, and if it doesn’t work, he’ll give you all your money back with no questions asked!
Now, you’d never trust someone you just saw on the street making outrageous claims of what a “secret” weight loss product can do. Yet when it comes to making money online, a lot of people will believe the same type of outrageous claims from an anonymous person talking in a website sales video. If you don’t know what you’re buying, there’s a good chance it’s a scam!
~ Pressure to buy now–You’re reading through the information on a program and start seeing high pressure tactics that you need to sign up fast. Any legitimate program will have their membership available to you whenever you are ready because they are confident in the value they are offering. They don’t need to tell you that you have to buy today because the price is going up soon! Or hurry up and purchase now before they close the opportunity to new members!
~ How is the program owner making money?–I researched a platform that promised it had a software program for affiliate marketers promoting the latest products. By entering a few details, it would create a landing page that would get you to the top of the search engines. They promised you could make thousands, it only cost $7, and you would get $70,000 in free bonuses!
So after developing this genius program, how exactly was the owner making money? According to the official website, he just wanted to help people become a success! In reality, it was from selling a program that had little chance of making anybody else any money, but then getting paid from all the upsells and affiliate commissions that followed.
No matter how good something sounds or how much you want to believe that it will make your goal of an online business a reality, you have to look at it with a critical eye. Trust me, it could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Characteristics of Legitimate Opportunities
In addition to spotting the things that could signal a scam, it’s also helpful to know what attributes you should look for to see if a program is legitimate. Here are a few that give me the confidence to look into it further:
~ Real Information about the program’s features—You get specific information about what you are getting with their platform, not a series of testimonials from people about how much money they’ve made. The features of the program stand on their own merit.
~ A free trial period–Any legitimate program will have a trial period where you can experience what they have to offer. They don’t need money upfront in order to show you any real details, and they know how much value a customer will find by trying out their system.
~ No promises of easy money–They don’t need to lure people in by waving a carrot of huge dollar signs around in front of them. Legitimate sites will tell you that it will take effort, commitment, and hard work to make any online business successful.
~ No high pressure selling–There will be plenty of time to look a program over and ask questions. Whether you want to join that day or come back for another look a week later, the features and price will be the same.
So Can You Make Money Online Fast?
If you want to create a successful online business and earn reliable, sustainable income every month, you’re not going to do it fast. But avoiding scams and finding a legitimate program can start your home based business out on the right foot.
The business model that I use is easy to learn and low cost, but it took time, effort, and commitment to start earning consistent income. For a good general guide on how long you can expect it to take to start making money, you can read How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing.
If you want to check out the totally legitimate program where I learned to make money online, you can do it completely free of charge–no credit card is required with their starter membership. This membership does not even have a trial limit, you can stay on it indefinitely!
You’ll be able to create 2 free websites, receive training, and have access to their active community of marketers who are ready to help you become successful.
If you decide that it’s right for you and you want to own your own domains, create up to 25 websites, and have full access to everything they offer, you can join their premium membership for just $49 per month. The value is incredible when compared with other platforms out there!