How to Identify Online Scams

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Are All Making Money Online Offers a Scam?

avoid online scamsThe first question that you need to ask yourself is; Do I think that all making money online offers are a scam?

If your answer to that question is Yes, then we likely have very little to talk about from this point forward. The reality is that very few of the MMO offers that you see online are true scams. If you are still with me, let’s remember that there are hundreds of thousands of MMO programs offered online and our job as newbies, is to navigate through the flack.

Let’s begin by defining what we believe constitutes a scam. If I told you that you could make $10,000 in your first month online, if you follow my system, is that a scam? I can tell you with every bit of confidence that this is entirely possible and if you are willing to invest about $240,000, I would say that it’s even highly probable.

So did I lie? No. Did I leave out a minor detail, like the quarter million dollar investment? Yes, but I didn’t lie.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the tactic I described above is highly deceptive and I would not recommend that you ever employee such a tactic, but we need to understand when we are looking at an actual scam.

Let’s take a look at how Dictionary.com defines SCAM:

1. “a confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit.”

So here again, I am not inclined to call my claim that you can make 10K in your first month a scam. I don’t approve of it and I believe that it’s intent is to mislead, but is it fraudulent?

So What does an Actual Scam Look Like?

I guarantee that you will make $10,000 in 30 days without writing a single blog post!

Online scams promise instant riches OK, the statement above is just an untruth, plain and simple. You might argue that it’s possible, but I’m not so sure that it is and I can assure you that no one would be willing to guarantee such a thing. So is this a scam?

I’m leaning in the direction of a scam, the statement just seems to be out right fraudulent and if I were to put this next to a picture of me standing on my yacht (which was actually taken at the boat show) then yes we have a bonafide scam.

Scam artists are not going to tell you that your path to success will be difficult. They want to pray on your hopes and dreams and give you the feeling that the path ahead is easy. All you need to do is sign up for their 200 page ebook and you will be on board your own yacht in a matter of months.

Scam artists are also not likely to stick around after your initial purchase. Why would anyone try to steal your money and then wait around for the police to show up? The basic idea here in the early stages of our article is this:

If it sounds like a scan and if it feels like it’s a scam, then it’s likely a scam!

What amazes me more than anything else is the obvious signs that most scams have. There is a part of human nature that allows us to “dream” of achieving wealth without any work at all. I’m guessing that this is why lotteries are so popular. I do it myself, when the MegaMillions get over 100 million dollars, I start buying tickets. What are my odds of winning?

1 in 302,575,350 Odds of Winning the MegaMillions Lottery

Let’s think about this for a minute, the odds of us winning the odds of winning are over 1 in 300 million. We have a better chance of having any of the following happen:

  • Odds of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 11,500,000
  • Odds of being elected President of the United States are 1 in 32.6 million
  • Odds of getting struck by lighting twice in your lifetime 1 in 9 million

You are 33 times more likely to be struck by lightning twice in your lifetime then bringing home the mega millions grand prize. So how does that compare to starting an online business? These are the closest numbers I could find regarding starting a new online business, directly from an article on Inc.com called “7 tips to Increase Odds of Tech Startup Success”.

  • Founders of a previously successful business have a 30% chance of success in their next venture
  • Founders who failed at a prior business have a 20% chance of succeeding
  • First-time entrepreneurs have an 18% chance of success

If we use the figures above, the odds of you starting a successful online business are a little over 1 in 5. The article goes on to say that even if you have failed in the past your of succeeding the second time are exactly 1 in 5 and your chances of succeeding a second time is 1 in 3.

So what does that say about us when we are more likely to spend our hard earned money on a lottery ticket with astronomical odds, than invest the same amount of money in a legitimate business venture?  Well, it says two things:

  • The first is that the lottery ticket is easier.
  • The second is that we don’t trust the legitimate business venture.

This is where we separate the wheat from the chaff, Is the lottery a scam? Is it a scam because the odds of you winning are astronomical? Is it a scam because you have to pay in order to play? I will leave it up to you to decide if the lottery seem like a scam or not. But, along the same lines, can we call a business opportunity a scam, because it will take time and hard work to make the business a success?
I very often believe, that most people would prefer to hear that you can make a million dollars over the course of a Thursday night, then you will need to put in a years’ worth of honest effort to achieve your goals. And this is where we need to draw the line between, what is scam and what is not.

Check Me Out in Front of My Bugatti

scam artists like to stand in front of expensive cars, like this BugattiAs I mentioned above, you will come across that familiar image of a salesman standing in front of his gorgeous Bugatti Sports Car and claiming that you too can have such success. Now last I checked, Bugatti Automobiles requires a down payment of $350,000 just to reserve a car. And the annual maintenance cost will be over $20K, while replacing the tires is a mere 50K.

Don’t get me wrong, I have dreams and you should too, but the early stages of your business startup are more likely to be sitting in front of a computer while you family enjoys the sunshine in the back yard.

I am not telling you this to deter you from making the effort to start an online business, I am telling you this to increase your chances of being successful. You see, if you are working every day to achieve that Bugatti, every day that it doesn’t materialize is another day of disappointment and another day you are likely to quit.

Have the Proper Mindset for Success

If we revisit the title of this article “How to Identify the Make Money Online Scams”, we can start to formulate a method of distinguishing the true opportunities from the scams.  Any offer that prays on your desire for success rather then the true path to success, is likely a scam and this is how we all get sucked into the trap.  We want what they are selling, an easy path to instant riches.

Unfortunately, the odds of that happening are along the lines of the MegaMillions odds.  So as we venture out into the world of the internet, we are going to look for opportunities that rely on achieving success the old fashioned way, hard work.  Also, get yourself familiar with the terminology of legitimate business ventures.  Here are a few legitimate means of making money online:

  • Freelancing – Perfectly legitimate and fast, but pay tied directly to output.
  • Niche Websites– Did you think I would say anything else?  My recommendation.
  • Affiliate Marketing – This partners with niche websites to give your products to sell.
  • Advertising / Adsense – Perfectly legit way to earn an online income.
  • Sales Funnels or Tunnels – A multi-phase process of gaining trust then making sales.

I have mentioned before, that if I had known what to search for over 15 years ago, I would be in a much better position today.  Literally, if I had known to search for the words “niche website” I would be much further along the curve than I am currently.  But that’s because this business is scalable, in other words tomorrow we will build on top of what we build today and so on…

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