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Scams? Or Urban Legends

Jan 11, 2008
There are some scams that have become urban legends, they are out there, but they are so cleverly hidden under the legitimate programs that it may even cause a seasoned 'cyberspace business owner' to pause and consider whether this offer is a real one, or a scam.
Common Scams

Made For Adsense Websites
Make $200 an hour answering the phone, typing, filling out forms
Nigerian Scam
International Lottery
Essay Writing
Paid Survey
Answering Emails
Money Transfers
Tax Avoidance Scams
Free give-aways from a major corporation (Sorry, Honda is not going to give you a car, and there is not a Mac laptop waiting with your name on it.)

Uncovering the Scam

HYPERBOLE - The first clue is hype. The website uses exaggerated claims and phrases like "earn passive residual income", "Make $300 an hour," " pennies a day", " get slim in minutes" or "Get rich now", "Earn money while sleeping!" - it is a scam. A simple rule of thumb is if you see multiple dollar signs like "$$$", bold lettering, crazy graphics, people lounging on the beach, or a mansion and expensive cars then a scam artist is at work!

HIDDEN CHARGES - They offer something for free, but you must enter a credit card to pay for "shipping and handling". This is one of the most dangerous. Once they have your credit card number, they can bill anything they want to it, repeatedly on the same date each month, even if you do not repeat the order. You can dispute the purchase, but because it is not identity theft, or a stolen card, the credit card company will not return your money.

Even if you think you can make the program work for you, if you don't follow the complicate rules exactly, you are stuck, not paid, or find yourself in a loophole of giving that you are too desperate to cut your losses and escape. You are left with something useless, doesn't work, is way over prices, or is so out of date it is redundant.

NO DETAILS - You know you will make millions while sipping drinks on a Cancun beach. You know that millions of people try the product. You know that the organization leader found a secret that no one else is smart enough to have figured out, and that is all. You rarely know if there is something to sell, a service is provided, or if you just put up your own 'get rich' website and hope to hook other unsuspecting victims.

Guess what? Buy their magic book of secrets or sign up to their program, only to learn that you could have purchased the same information from a legit company in the form of a home study course. The secret is rarely a secret.

NO CHOICE - There is only one secret to success. You either join the program or become one of the countless masses who do not become wealthy. The person who is interested in the program has no choice. They cannot choose to become involved in investing in property, or investing in gold. They cannot decide whether to trade currency, or sell stocks. In fact, they may not even know what is offered until after they pay.

BAIT-AND-SWITCH: Take a look at the address bar at the top of the page. Is this the domain name you typed in, or did it change? Now, look at the bottom left of your browser screen. Is this the same as the domain name you expected, or is there a lot of weird symbols involved? In a scam, the website's advertising, or domain name are different from the intent of the website once you arrive there. It is a guaranteed scam.

VANISHING ACT - Like all urban legends, the scam artist fades into the mist, never to be seen again. In many cases, if you Google the scam's website, it won't come up. Check the Whosits database and you cannot find out who owns the domain name. Visit the site and fill in the 'contact us' form, you will probably receive an 'auto transponder' message with an ambiguous message that really doesn't answer anything but the most common questions.
About the Author
Mark Walters is a third generation entrepreneur and author. He offers free training and investing videos designed to speed you towards financial independence http://www.cashflowinstitute.com/videosignup.htm
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