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6 Ways To Avoid Getting Scammed Online

Updated on July 5, 2013

Don't Become Paranoid

The online world is completely overrun with unethical people out to earn a quick buck. They don't care if you're a single mom or a laid-off employee who desperately needs another source of income. You don't know who has your credit or debit card information, how to stop them, whether your bank will refund you, if you're identity is safe, etc. Since the internet is so vast, most scammers get away with their crimes with no penalties.

Now, don't let these horrible scammers scare you from working online. There are numerous legitimate companies and individuals who are legitimate and sincerely desire to help you succeed and prosper online. However, it is absolutely crucial you take the necessary precautions online to avoid ever being in the situation I mentioned in the paragraph above. The path to working online can either be the worse experience you've ever had, or the most gratifying. You can't live your entire life scared. Well, you can, but you won't get anywhere in life.

If your goal is to earn online and become financially free, you must take some risks. Those who've earned their fortunes online had to take risks, otherwise they would still be working their dead-end jobs. What is the risk? The risk is simply deciding you will not be scared, and that you will do anything to achieve your dream. You acknowledge the fact that there are scams online, but you still refuse to quit because of them. You believe in yourself, and that you will find a legitimate way to earn online. There are thousands of scams offline too, just watch American Greed. Does that fact stop legitimate people from starting legitimate businesses? No, and the same applies online. Below are six ways to avoid getting scammed online

How to Protect Yourself

1. Research, research, research

Research is the most essential aspect to prevent becoming scammed. There's a good chance other people have been scammed by an illegal company, and these individuals often write reviews online. Simply go to a search engine (Google or Bing) and type "Company X"+scam into the search query. Leave out of the quotes. Read anything you can find, and take everyone's opinions into account. Keep in mind some scam companies are so low they actually write their own reviews to portray themselves in a positive light, so ignore those if you come across them. If you still can't collect enough information, check the resources below:

2. Inquire Further

Read everything on the questionable website, especially the small print. Make sure the company has legitimate contact information! There should be a phone number and email address. Go ahead and call the phone number and email the company just to see what happens. Ask questions and find out what happens or how the people respond. Obviously, if nobody answers the phone or responds to your email, you should probably avoid the company. Be very cautious of companies outside the United States and Canada. Every country has scammers; some more than others.

3. Check Payment Methods

Find out what kind of payment the business opportunity or company accepts. Legitimate companies typically deal with debit/credit cards, Paypal, or similar online payment processors like Solid Trust Pay or Alertpay. Never pay using a money order, wire, cash or check. You can always dispute debit/credit card charges. You can also dispute with Paypal. If you pay with a money order, wire transfer, cash or check, I almost guarantee you won't ever see that money again! Be careful.

4. Don't Judge Based On Looks

Just because a website has professional graphics and looks legitimate, does NOT mean it is! Unethical companies often pay skilled copywriters to set up professional-looking websites to fool people. These money-making scam websites often portray flashy cars, smiling people, large houses, beaches, and anything to make you feel like you're going to be rich if you sign up. On the flip side, if a website looks really unprofessional (non-working links, misspelled words, etc), you should also be very wary. The point here is, don't judge a company simply on how their website looks!

5. Security Inspection

Check for the tiny padlock icon in the payment section before giving out your credit/debit card information. This does not absolutely guarantee security, but usually indicates a higher level of security is required to transmit data. You might also want to check out the website's security/encryption software before giving out your credit/debit card information.

6. Listen To Your Gut Feeling

This might seem cliche or sound redundant, but listen to your gut feeling before proceeding. If something inside tells you "don't do it!", even though everything checks out fine, then DON'T proceed. You will be much better off passing up the website and finding another legitimate one where you feel comfortable, than going against your gut feeling and regretting it later! Remember: your gut feeling is usually right. Listen to it!

Hopefully you have found these six tip on ways to avoid getting scammed online useful. These can be applied to anything and everything you do online - not just income opportunities. The internet is full of scams - online shopping websites, penny auctions, investment (HYIP) sites, eBay, health care sites, credit card companies, so-called "bank notes", travel companies, and many others. However, using the tips above should keep you more alert for these scams.

Fortunately, there are many legitimate income opportunities online. Discover 10 Legitimate Ways to Earn Money Online


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