How to spot a scam – this is a skill that everyone needs to know at some point in their life or another. For affiliate marketers and customers alike, it’s an especially worthy skill. With all the real-looking make money online rip-offs these days, it’s getting increasingly difficult to tell what’s real and what is not.
As someone with an “insider perspective” on scams, so to speak, I’d like to share with you some of the ways you can keep yourself from feeling cheated or ripped off when you’re looking for ways to make money online. It’s not always easy, but there are some tell-tale ways to make the task a little more manageable.
How to Spot a Scam on an Ad
Those pesky “news” ads on the sidebar of nearly every website these days are generally some of the worst offenders when it comes to throwing people off when they try to figure out which ads are scams. You see, those ads will make note of where your IP address is coming from, and they change the text in the headline to reflect the nearest town to where you’re located.
What does this do when you’re trying to find out how to spot a scam? It makes you think it’s a legitimate news ad by putting a newscaster on the picture and splashing a real news logo on the ad.
But when you Google the website that the ad is coming from, you might find that words like “Nigerian Recruitment” appear in the results. If you happen to have clicked on the ad, you might try clicking the links on the navigation bar and see where they take you. For instance, just try going to the home page of the website. If it redirects you to an affiliate program on a different website, you can pretty much guarantee that it’s a scam of sorts – or at least a shady affiliate program.
How to Spot a Scam in the Text of an Article
It’s a little easier to know how to spot a scam when you’re looking in the actual text of the article. For instance, if the company is supposed to be one with a reputation (say, a subsidiary of NBC News, for example) you would expect nearly impeccable spelling and grammar. However, most ad articles contain several spelling and grammar errors, and many of them are quite glaring. A simple scan of the article is enough to tip you off that the program isn’t legitimate.
You’ll also be aware that the page is a scam if you see numerous other ads similar to the ones you clicked on. These ads will probably promise much the same thing – make $87 per hour, $12,000 to $15,000 per month – that sort of thing. And who wouldn’t want to discover such a great job opportunity? And better yet, they promise you can work from home! Does it sound too good to be true? Guess what – it typically is.
If you want to know how to spot a scam right away, look at the dollar amounts, the spelling and grammar, and the out of this world promises. If there are just too many red flags, chances are, your skills are kicking in.