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How to avoid online business opportunity scams

Updated on December 29, 2017
jackcao profile image

Jack is an Online Opportunity Police who takes the risk by signing up to programs and exposing them. Jack is also an exp. Internet marketer.

Stay Safe - Online Business Opportunity Scams

Stay Safe - Online Business Opportunity Scams
Stay Safe - Online Business Opportunity Scams

Different Types of Online Business Opportunities

1. Affiliate Marketing

This is a concept that evolves with the internet. The internet has created many millionaires through Affiliate Marketing.

Because of the popularity of Affiliate Marketing, many "Online Gurus" surfaced the internet in the attempt to teach people how they made their millions.

Not all affiliate marketing training are scams though, although I would say that only 10% or less are legitimate, and many of them are scam in disguise.

I've fallen to many scams in this industry, and that's why I've created my own scam site to expose every single one of them (if possible).

2. Multilevel Marketing (MLM)

This is one of the conventional way of making money at your own terms. You've probably heard of companies like Amway, Herbalife, Forever Living that offers an opportunity for you to be your own boss. However,

Though most of these MLM companies are legitimate (as long as their distributors do focus on recruitment), the majority of the people (about 95%) who joined these MLM companies fail.

I've joined many MLM companies in the past and never made a dime from it, mainly because I didn't find any eligible mentors (most were just friends).

3. Online Jobs / Surveys

Complete an online survey and make money. Does it sound familiar? Many online survey sites out there promises you that you can earn a lot of money by just completing surveys.

But, what you don't know is that most of the time, you have to spend a lot of time completing long surveys just to earn a few buck. The time wasted could have been spent on more productive things.

What's worst is that some survey websites are created to cheat unknowing victims by making it really difficult to earn money even if they've completed many surveys. Some don't even pay and some are just phishing sites! So beware!

4. Online Trading / Investment

Bitcoin just shot up to $16,000, buy it before its too late! Earn free bitcoin! Simple trading strategies that earn $5,000 in a day!

These are just some headlines that will get you to the doorstep of "Legitimate scams".

Either they will provide you with a "free training" to get started, and then rope you into a high-ticket trading course, or it will be an auto trading platform which you have to pay monthly fees for it.

How to avoid online business opportunity scams?

1. Affiliate Marketing

The first step is to identify the refund policy of the program, and verify it against social proof. You want to make sure that people can actually claim a refund if they are not happy with the program.

You can trust the program even more if they are hosted with 3 third party affiliate marketplace like clickbank, because clickbank forces its merchants to honor a 60 day money back guarantee through the clickbank system.

The best type of affiliate marketing program is one that allows you to join a free trial membership that do not ask for your credit card details. It is extremely hard to find one with this criteria, but there are programs like that. If you are interested you can check out my website (through my profile).

The next step is to search for reviews about the program. Don't start trusting those reviews immediately because some are just there to sign you up to the very program you are searching for. Read several reviews. Trust reviews that go into details about the program, as well as those who are not afraid to share negative thoughts or opinions about the program.

Once you are in the program, go through it thoroughly with some skepticism, and start mingling around the community. See what other members are talking about the program.

If you feel comfortable with the program, chances are it is a legitimate one.

2. Multilevel Marketing

Most of the time, people are introduced to MLM companies by a friend or a family member. People feel obliged to join the MLM companies just because someone close recommends them.

The problem with this is that the distributors (Sponsors) are inadequate leaders. As a sponsor you need to teach and support your recruits how to promote the products of the MLM company and how to manage their own teams. Many of the sponsors are just individuals who are not aspiring to be a leader, they are just there to see if the "opportunity" works. The person whom they've recruited will suffer the most, and relationships may be tarnished.

To avoid this mishap, the best way is to do an in-depth due diligence before you join. Ask your prospective sponsor questions like:

  1. How many people does your sponsor has under his helm (Less than 3 = forget it!)
  2. What type of prospect search strategies would you learn from your sponsor?(word of mouth or conventional marketing = forget it! You don't want to recruit people in your social circle unless they express interest first, you should join a leader who'd teach you how to source for prospects online as well as from social events)
  3. How closely will you work with your sponsor? (Especially when you are new, you need someone to handhold you, you should join a sponsor who'd conduct frequent classroom size seminars)

Then, join some discussions or meetings with the team you are about the join, and mingle around those people to get a feel of how helpful the team is.

3. Online Jobs / Surveys

Here are several telltale signs to know if an Online Job/Survey is a scam:

  1. Requires upfront payment or subscription - Never trust any survey sites that ask for money. They should be paying you instead of the other way round.
  2. Requires too much personal information - Never trust any sites that ask for your social security number, credit card and the likes.
  3. Huge payout for just one survey - Never trust any sites that claim to compensate you with $100 for just one completed survey. Legitimate sites will typically pay between $1 to $20 per survey.

I personally feel that online surveys are not a good way to make sustainable income online because it requires too much time for a small payout. That's just my opinion.

4. Online Trading / Investment

There are too many Online Trading "opportunities" on the market now, but there are only a few legitimate ones.

Especially if a program offers a "too good to be true" opportunity, like auto trading system, you should avoid it.

From my past experience in the trading industry, no auto trading system can beat the market all the time. Most of them loses money than making them.

The best way to start with this opportunity is to join a social trading platform to either learn trading or to find quality traders to follow.

Keep yourself and others safe from Online Business Scams

The internet is constant evolving and new scams surface the internet every single day. If you find any online business scams that are not on this list, please share it here so that this article can be updated.

Also, if you have any methods or strategies to help prevent one from falling into scams, please, share them here. You are helping others to stay safe on the internet.

Don't be this guy:

Guy who is about to bite the bait

Don't be this guy!
Don't be this guy!

© 2017 Jack Cao


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