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Tips to Avoid Internet Marketing Scams

Updated on November 10, 2010

Internet Scams are Everywhere!

 It didn't take long after the invention of the internet for people to begin using it to take advantage of people. And since then, the problem has only gotten worse. There is some story every week or two about some new internet scam, and if you're looking to make money online then the potential to run into a scam is only multiplied. Here are three tips to avoid "make money online" type scams.

Tip One: Be Realistic

 Of course you've heard the cliche, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is." This is always good to keep in mind when searching for a way to make money online. You won't make millions overnight. You won't even make thousands overnight. Chances are, when you're starting out you won't even make hundreds overnight. Here are some clues that should tell you whether a site is a scam or not.

Smells like a scam: Offers to make you rich quickly, and with very little effort. Includes pictures of fancy mansions and cars. Sales pitch is unclear about WHAT you are actually paying for. Very short trial periods, like 3 or 7 days.

Smells a little better: Sales pitch is clearer about what you're getting into. Longer trial period, at least 2 weeks. Hints at some effort on your part. Not as flashy.

Smells like cash: Realistic pay claims. Money back guarantee or FREE. Trial periods of 30-90 days or longer. Sales pitch tells you clearly what you're buying.

Tip Two: Research the Owners

 Is there contact information visible on the site? If there is, it's a good sign but you just call the number to make sure. Also research the address to see if there are multiple unrelated businesses registered at the same adress. This is almost always a sign of a scam.

If you don't see any contact information, try double checking the "Terms and Conditions" or "Privacy Policy" for contact information. If the site is missing either of those, it's probably a scam. If it has those but still no contact information, try to find an email address at the very least. Email it, and if you only get a canned response then be wary.

If you find absolutely no contact information, they site is probably a scam. If an internet site has a way to make people money then the owners would be eager to take credit. An internet scammer will try to hide from angry customers. You should also look up the domain with WhoIs and the BBB sites to see if you can find any additional information.

Tip Three: Find Out What Others Think

The best way to avoid a scam is to talk to someone who has experienced one. Search phrases like "is ProductABC a scam", "SiteABC payment proof", and "ProductABC review". Take the things you find with a grain of salt though, as some scams will post false positive reviews.

One of the best site for reviews is IM Report Card. IMRC focuses on "IM" - Internet Marketing. There are also reviews for survey sites, traffic exchanges, "Get Paid To" sites, and paid to click sites. I'm partial to IM Report Card because the reviews come from a large community of people, there are thousands of reviews, and you get paid to participate in the community.

Another good site to check is Ripoff Report.

Stay Scam Free

Hoepfully these tips will help you to avoid internet marketing scams. Remember, if you do get scammed then be sure to try getting your money back through your credit card company. If you're in doubt of a site, use a prepaid card to avoid charges.

Don't be afraid to go public or take legal action. If you get scammed, make sure you let people know and prevent others from suffering the same fate. Hit the scammers where it hurts: in the pocketbook!


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