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Arm Yourself Against Online Fraud: How to Recognize a Scam

online scams

Recognizing Online Scams

Chances are you’ve tried to make money online – whether it be from competitions or quick money-making schemes. Everyone is doing it somehow and chances are, you’ve seen the adverts online: “You could earn over $1000 in an hour! All you have to do is […]”. But how do you weed out the scams from the legitimate opportunities? Here are a few easy ways that you can use to determine which websites are just waiting to scam you.

Are you required to pay a fee up front?
Generally speaking, if you’re required to pay an upfront fee to use their services, it’s a scam. The website will claim it’s for the cost of training, but more often than not your money will disappear and so will your supposed training service.

Are you promised immense wealth in just one day?
There is no way, unless perhaps you’re a broker or something on the stock exchange, that you can make thousands of dollars in a single night. Scammers are generally very smart individuals, they prey on your dreams of “making it”. It’s especially hard for those who are just trying to better their circumstances to recognize a scam like this.

Think about what the “company” gets out of this deal
What legitimate company just gives money away, especially if they can keep it for themselves? You aren’t a recognized charity, so there is no publicity on that front. We live in a dog eat dog world and very few people in would willingly help you succeed for no gain on their side. When asking yourself what the company gets out of helping you make money, you need to see the reason behind the lies.

Question how they are actually making money
This is an important question to ask yourself, especially since they’re now helping you “make” obscene amounts of money. There are two ways in which websites can make money. By being independent of the user – this means that, regardless of whether or not you use the site or succeed, the website will succeed without you. The other way is by being dependent on the user – think of sites such as e-bay and the like. They need you to use the site in order for them to make money. Websites that are dependent on you, the user, are less likely to be a scam since they need you.

Don’t fall for “buy now” statements
These statements are there to create a sense that there is only a limited amount of something available. This makes the item seem more valuable than it really is and it’s human nature to want something rare that either very few have or only you have.

Don’t fall for “The rich relative” thing
With this specific scam, you’re told about someone’s really rich uncle, friend, etc. who has some trouble entering the country or wants to leave you all his money in his will. You’ll be told you need to “help” this person with a small contribution towards getting what you need and you’ll be repaid 1000 times over. These claims are never true. Never.

Anti Fraud News has a lot more information about specific types of scams, how to avoid them, and what to do if you have become a victim of fraud. Knowledge is power and we can help you protect yourself from scammers.