6ac76179cd0c69a833af1796 1920 - The Lighter Side - Day Sixteen - Fast Money, Offers, & Online Scams

INTRODUCTION

This is day sixteen of our lighter side posts…Oh my, how time flies when you are having fun! If you look at the entire lighter side series of posts, you will see that we cover a variety of subjects…

This is the one where we look at online scams…Even though things have been cleaned up a LOT from where they were even just a few years ago online, these fake or less than stellar offers persist…

When it comes to online money making opportunities, there are many ways to make some legitimate money doing ethically sound activities…

There are also those that want to take short-cuts, go from the bottom to the top without any work, and some that need to make some money asap, etc.

Right now I can talk about a litany of scams that are out there stealing money from innocents. People who create such nonsense are still working very hard to take your money and provide little to nothing in return…

I want to narrow the huge field of scams down today and focus on one particular instance of a site that is largely a waste of money versus a legitimate site – both claim to be providing the same content/training…to make it understandable…

I also will show you what to look out for on any offer and teach you what to RUN from when if you see these indicators as you start looking at seemingly “huge” opportunities and offers that abound online.

Let’s get started!

FUNNY SCAMS

Because this IS a “lighter side post,” I believe it best to first provide an example of a scam that will put a smile on your face…Maybe even two smiles with two such posts?

Here is the first…

That is funny, or? I thought so. How can people be so silly? Well, I am here to tell you this happens every day in one way or another online…

[videoframes src=”” skin=”10″ controls=”1″ headline_text=”Scams Online….Arghhhh!!!” headline_color=”#000000″ headline_size=”22″]

 

Here’s another example…

 

[videoframes src=”” skin=”10″ controls=”1″ headline_text=”Need a job?” headline_color=”#000000″ headline_size=”22″]

 

So you can see what I mean? This kind of stuff has to be mentioned and steps must be taken to stop them from happening. They do eventually get caught or called out, but…

With the nature of the internet, free and big, as soon as you shut one down, they magically reincarnate themselves and rear their ugly heads in some other form or with a different name…

In general, all such scams will have some flags that you can use as indicators as to whether what you are looking at may be a scam or not.

We’ll talk about these in the next section…

SCAM INDICATORS FOR ONLINE OFFERS

There are likely a hundred or more indicators, so to keep it relatively short I am going to address in a little more detail the top 7 from a Reader’s Digest article, then add in a few more to points to consider…

Top Indicators What I am Looking At Is a Scam…

Readers Digest published an excellent article  “7 Online Scams and How To Avoid Them” addressing online scams and protecting yourself

Found at: [http://www.rd.com/advice/saving-money/7-online-scams-and-how-to-avoid-them] …

Here is an excerpt for you…

“1. Free Trial Offer! (Just pay forever)

How it works: You see an Internet offer for a free one-month trial of some amazing product—often a teeth whitener or a weight-loss program. All you pay is $5.95 for shipping and handling.

What’s really going on: Buried in [the] fine print, often in a color that washes into the background, are terms that obligate you to pay $79 to $99 a month in fees, forever. 

The big picture: “These guys are really shrewd,” says Christine Durst, an Internet fraud expert who has consulted for the FBI and the FTC. “They know that most people don’t read all the fine print before clicking on ‘I agree,’ and even people who glance at it just look for numbers. So the companies spell out the numbers, with no dollar signs; anything that has to do with money or a time frame gets washed into the text.”

Avoidance maneuver: Read the fine print on offers, and don’t believe every testimonial. Check Tineye.com, a search engine that scours the Web for identical photos. If that woman with perfect teeth shows up everywhere promoting different products, you can be fairly certain her “testimonial” is bogus… 

2. The Hot Spot Imposter (He’s close, real close)

How it works: You’re sitting in an airport or a coffee shop and you log into the local Wi-Fi zone. It could be free, or it could resemble a pay service like Boingo Wireless. You get connected, and everything seems fine.

What’s really going on: The site only looks legitimate. It’s actually run by a nearby criminal from a laptop. If it’s a “free” site, the crook is mining your computer for banking, credit card, and other password information. If it’s a fake pay site, he gets your purchase payment, then sells your card number to other crooks.

The big picture: Fake Wi-Fi hot spots are cropping up everywhere, and it can be difficult to tell them from the real thing. “It’s lucrative and easy to do,” says Brian Yoder, vice president of engineering at CyberDefender, a manufacturer of antivirus software. “Criminals duplicate the legitimate Web page of a Wi-Fi provider like Verizon or AT&T and tweak it so it sends your information to their laptop.”

Avoidance maneuver: Make sure you’re not set up to automatically connect to nonpreferred networks. (For PCs, go to Network Connections and uncheck “Connect to non-preferred networks” in advanced wireless settings; for Macs, go to the Network pane in System Preferences and check “Ask to join new networks.”) Before traveling, buy a $20 Visa or MasterCard gift card to purchase airport Wi-Fi access (enough for two days) so you won’t broadcast your credit or debit card information. Or set up an advance account with providers at airports you’ll be visiting (Travelpost.com lists Wi-Fi services at all U.S. airports). And don’t do any banking or Internet shopping from public hot spots unless you’re certain the network is secure. (Look for https in the URL, or check the lower right-hand corner of your browser for a small padlock icon.)

3. The Not-So-Sweet Tweet (It’s a real long shot)

How it works: You get a “tweet” from a Twitter follower, raving about a contest for a free iPad or some other expensive prize: “Just click on the link to learn more.”

What’s really going on: The link downloads a “bot” (software robot), adding your computer to a botnet of “zombies” that scammers use to send spam e-mail.

The big picture: Scammers are taking advantage of URL-shortening services that allow Twitter users to share links that would otherwise be longer than the 140-character maximum for a tweet. These legitimate services break down a huge URL to 10 or 15 characters. But when users can’t see the actual URL, it’s easy for bad guys to post malicious links.

Avoidance maneuver: Before clicking on a Twitter link from a follower you don’t know, check out his
profile, says Josh George, a website entrepreneur in Vancouver, Washington, who follows online scams. “If he’s following hundreds of thousands of people and nobody is following him, it’s a bot,” he says.

4. Your Computer is Infected! (And we can help)

How it works: A window pops up about a legitimate-sounding antivirus software program like “Antivirus XP 2010” or “SecurityTool,” alerting you that your machine has been infected with a dangerous bug. You’re prompted to click on a link that will run a scan. Of course, the virus is found—and for a fee, typically about $50, the company promises to clean up your computer.

What’s really going on: When you click on the link, the bogus company installs malware—malicious software—on your computer. No surprise, there will be no cleanup. But the thieves have your credit card number, you’re out the money, and your computer is left on life support.

The big picture: “Scareware” like this is predicted to be the most costly Internet scam of 2010, with over a million users affected daily, according to Dave Marcus, director of security and research for McAfee Labs, a producer of antivirus software. “This is a very clever trick,” says Marcus, “because people have been told for the past 20 years to watch out for computer viruses.” Even computer veterans fall prey…

Avoidance maneuver: If you get a pop-up virus warning, close the window without clicking on any links. Then run a full system scan using legitimate, updated antivirus software like free editions of AVG Anti-Virus or ThreatFire AntiVirus.

5. Dialing for Dollars (With a ring of fraud)

How it works: You get a text message on your cell phone from your bank or credit card issuer: There’s been a problem, and you need to call right away with some account information. Or the message says you’ve won a gift certificate to a chain store—just call the toll-free number to get yours now.

What’s really going on: The “bank” is a scammer hoping you’ll reveal your account information. The gift certificate is equally bogus; when you call the number, you’ll be told you need to subscribe to magazines or pay shipping fees to collect your prize. If you bite, you will have surrendered your credit card information to “black hat” marketers who will ring up phony charges.

The big picture: Welcome to “smishing,” which stands for “SMS phishing,” the new, text-message version of the lucrative e-mail scam. In this ploy, scammers take advantage of the smartphone revolution—hoping that a text message to your cell will make it less likely you’ll investigate the source, as you might do while sitting at your desk. Since many banks and businesses do offer text-message notifications, the scam has the air of legitimacy… 

Avoidance maneuver: Real banks and stores might send you notices via text message (if you’ve signed up for the service), but they never ask for account information. If you’re unsure, call the bank or store directly. You can also try the Better Business Bureau, or Google the phone number to see if any scam reports turn up… 

6. We Are the World (The world of charity scams, that is)

How it works: You get an e-mail with an image of a malnourished orphan—from Haiti or another developing nation. “Please give what you can today,” goes the charity’s plea, followed by a request for cash. To speed relief efforts, the e-mail recommends you send a Western Union wire transfer as well as detailed personal information—your address and your Social Security and checking account numbers.

What’s really going on: The charity is a scam designed to harvest your cash and banking information. Nothing goes to helping disaster victims.

The big picture: The Internet, e-mail, and text messaging have given new life to age-old charity scams. “These cons watch the head-lines very closely,” says Durst, and they quickly set up websites and PayPal accounts to take advantage of people’s kindness and sympathy. Durst recalls seeing fake donation websites within days of Michael Jackson’s death, urging fans to contribute to his favorite charities.

Avoidance maneuver: Donate to real charities on their own websites. Find the sites yourself instead of clicking on links in e-mail solicitations; in the wake of the Haiti earthquake, scammers even set up fake Red Cross sites that looked real. Genuine aid organizations will accept donations by credit card or check; they won’t ask for wire transfers, bank account information, or Social Security numbers. Donations via text message are okay as long as you confirm the number with the organization.

7. Love for sale (The cruelest con)

How it works: You meet someone on a dating site, on Facebook, in a chat room, or while playing a virtual game. You exchange pictures, talk on the phone. It soon becomes obvious that you were meant for each other. But the love of your life lives in a foreign country and needs money to get away from a cruel father or to get medical care or to buy a plane ticket so you can finally be together.

What’s really going on: Your new love is a scam artist. There will be no tearful hug at the airport, no happily-ever-after. You will lose your money and possibly your faith in mankind.

The big picture: Online social networking has opened up bold new avenues for heartless scammers who specialize in luring lonely people into bogus friendships and love affairs, only to steal their money…

Avoidance maneuver: “On the Internet, it is almost impossible to be too paranoid,” says Durst. “But don’t be paralyzed; be smart.” Dating and social networking sites can be a great way to meet new friends, even from foreign countries. But if someone you know only from the Web asks for money, sign off quickly.”

I found this article very useful and have passed it on to several family members for their use, and am glad to add the excerpt here as well for your use!

Be careful while surfing online, there are a LOT of people that want your money and will do anything to get it!

Other indicators and steps to take…

There are new scams that come up every day, but using some general guidelines that you look at, you can avoid most of them…

The principles apply to making money online, one of the big evergreen niches you will find many people involved in online, and likely in your Google search for avoiding scams how you came here!

(1) If the offer seems too good to be true, it likely is NOT true…

(2) Promises of overnight riches or riches with little to no work are generally scams…

(3) Carefully review an offer to see what you are getting for the money…Often the real picture or situation of what they are offering only comes up AFTER you have committed some money, and you can easily pay a lot more for nothing if you are not examining what you are getting…

(4) Claims that seem to be too good to be true regarding performance, product capabilities or ease of use often are exaggerated or downright lies. Make sure that when you look at offers for products or services, that you have a means to get your money back…

(5) If something IS a bit questionable, if you pay through a means where you know that you have recourse such as PayPal, you can protect yourself. I have used the service several times over that past couple of years, and can say it works…I got my money returned

A real life example…

So now that we know the things to watch for, let’s compare two programs that are similar on the surface, but once you dig in deeper you can see that are not.

Neither of the programs could be considered a full on “online scam” as you might be thinking of it, in that you will get SOMETHING for your money, but…

It is a matter od WHAT you will get for how much…That is where the scam indicators come in useful. We can compare the two programs…

In fact, we can add in a simple chart to show the differences. This shows pretty clearly that there is a huge difference in what you get for your money…

Let’s do just that below…

CASE STUDY WEALTHY AFFILIATE VERSUS MLSP

This is just a quick recap of one of the reviews that I have done for a full on training site for affiliate marketing called Wealthy Affiliate, and comparing it to another similar site called Empower Networks…

 

This shows how some offers may not be full on scams, rather they are less than they appear once you dig unto their offer/services…In the case of learning properly how to make money online, Wealthy affiliate beats MLSP hands down!

If you want to learn more, I have an excellent review for you…

==> WEALTHY AFFILIATE REVIEW <===

 

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR WEALTHY AFFILIATE

You can go directly to sign up if you’d like by clicking on the image below or the button that follows…The image shows wxactly what you will get FREE for 7 days and what you get when you sign up as a premium member.

My advice is to start free and if it is for you, upgrade. You will get a reduced rate for the first month, so essentially the risk is not much after the 7 days…

wealthy affiliate membership grid - The Lighter Side - Day Sixteen - Fast Money, Offers, & Online Scams

You can either click on the image above or the button below to create your free account. Try it for 7 days free – no credit card required!

ClickHere3a - The Lighter Side - Day Sixteen - Fast Money, Offers, & Online Scams

CONCLUSION

Today we took a humorous look at some of the fast money online scams that you will still find lurking around the dark corners of the internet.

The intent was to have a little fun about an unfortunately very serious subject – stealing your money, time, and belief…This is what scams do…Truthfully, if some

Truthfully, if some of these nefarious people would work half as hard at a real online marketing business you can learn through a site such as Wealthy Affiliate, they likely could earn a LOT more…effort such as

So the latter part of today’s lighter post highlighted some of the differences in what you get with Wealthy Affiliate and included a chart to show you the difference between another not so forthright program…

The intent was to give you some ideas and also point you to an above-board opportunity… Simple, fast, easy, and effective…

That is what you will get with Wealthy Affiliate…Get started now, what are you waiting for?

Have fun…

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FINAL POINT(S)

Here is where I ask you for just a couple of minutes or less of your precious time before you leave…Please consider taking the following 3 actions:

(1) Give Me a Rating for My  Article. You will notice that at the top under the title to the left I have a star rating widget.  Please let me know what you thought  of the post on storytelling by adding your opinion (5-star is better, 1-star is…not so good!).

(2) Share My Post. This one is easy…If you liked the information in this post please share it, because others may as well…I have added some social sharing buttons on the top-right side of this page just for this…

(3) Add Your Comments. Lastly, and this may take a minute, please add your thoughts on scams in the comment section directly below. Why? I believe that we all learn when we share and then can discuss issues…Also, that is exactly what this site is all about!

So that’s it – thanks so much in advance…Do stop by again!

Cheers!

David Sweney Online Siganture - The Lighter Side - Day Sixteen - Fast Money, Offers, & Online Scams

Dave In Italy 2 - The Lighter Side - Day Sixteen - Fast Money, Offers, & Online Scams

ABOUT DAVE:  

Dave has been involved in sales for 20 years with offline products and has been fortunate to have traveled the world while realizing up to $4 million USD a month in gross sales of products he promoted.

He has brought that experience to the online world and this is one of his online ventures. This site is intended to present ideas, products, tools, tips and more that will help all those seeking to make money online have success.

Subjects covered are diverse, but in totem, you can learn a lot about the things that you will need to have success with online business right here. This includes things to do and things NOT to do!

Enjoy!