Over the years I’ve been scammed by many programs and products from various niches that only care about the money going into their own pockets instead of giving you quality service.
Whether it’s blogging, nutrition, dating or gardening, internet gurus all over the world have the same if not the similar way of tricking you into buying their stuff through unethical methods.
Fortunately for you (And my surprising iron perseverance to get back up each time I was scammed), I began to see patterns almost all internet frauds and scams tend to share in common so if you want to prevent internet scams from getting the better of you, here are the top 10 things you should look out for…
Sign #1 – Upsells After Upsells After Upsells.
Have you ever paid for something but the moment you joined, they ask you to pay for more in order to get the full value?
This is the most typical of all scam tactics used by gurus and the most annoying one too because before you make your payment, the sales page would usually state the price already, for example, $27.
But the moment you make that payment, they ask you to pay more in order to get the full value!
Sounds familiar? There are many programs and products doing hidden upsells such as these which is why the success rate is so low so much so that people report those products as scams.
Examples of programs that implement this unethical up-selling tactic which I recently reviewed is Copy Paste Income and Autopilot Profits both created by Ewen Chia where he went through great length to create 10 outrageous upsells which are ALL hidden!
And skipping those upsells can also be very annoying because whenever you tried to exit, this will appear…
The pop up box!
That particular box popping up all of a sudden just when you’re about to leave is already annoying as it is so just imagine how annoying it can be if you get the pop up for all 10 upsells which you come across!
And you have to constantly move your mouse again and again when they ask you “Are you sure” countless times.
When that happens, you just know you are being scammed because initially you were told that you can have access to anything with a specific price but the moment you make your payment, you get bombarded with more offers.
It is as though you’re paying for the right of the scammer to bombard you into more offers which you clearly didn’t.
Sure, upsells are a common thing because they let a business monetize but there are boundaries between ethical and unethical and making your upsells hidden just so that you can trick people into believing that the actual price is cheap, is a downright dirty tactic that should be shunned upon.
Step #2 – Tries to Sell You Other Programs.
What’s even worse than hidden upsells?
Hidden upsells that tries to make you buy other products or programs!
Believe it or not, there are many programs out there that among their many upsells, cleverly try to promote you their other programs instead that isn’t even owned by them and this is because if they refer you, they get commissions.
This tactic is more prevalent among internet business scams because these internet gurus know how desperate people are when it comes to making money which is why if you might have noticed, most of those programs that they promote to you are MLM pyramid schemes.
Over the years I have reviewed countless programs (I even have my internet scams list here) and from what I noticed, the trends are based on new and upcoming MLM companies.
For example, Big Idea Mastermind used to be the latest MLM trend 2 years ago but now it’s iPas2 and programs like Copy Paste Income are promoting this.
So you might be asking, if every scam guru is promoting iPAS2, what is iPAS2 promoting instead? Well, they have nothing better to promote than the mother of all internet Pyramid Schemes itself, Empower Network.
If you are a business that creates your own product, would you want to promote others instead?
You don’t see McDonald’s promoting Burger King in their restaurant, do you?
Not only does it show that something’s wrong with that particular business, it also doesn’t make sense to customers because it shows that you don’t have faith in your own product so much so that you need to bring in other companies to your brand.
Speaking of pyramid schemes…
Sign #3 – Asks You to Look For More People.
MLM companies make a lot of money from the people they refer more than their own product which is why they really emphasize you looking for people.
Although this sounds like a good business, there is some negativity that comes as a result…
- The community will be really money-based so there will be no such thing as value over money.
- Your upline (The person who referred you to join) as well as the entire community will pressure you to make more money every day even if you don’t want to.
- If you were to even mention the idea of quitting, the entire team will go bonkers and use mean swear words to curse you just so that you don’t leave which is really unethical.
- The prices of their products are exorbitantly high but the value is next to zero (Pretty much worthless products that you won’t even be using).
- Basically, you won’t even touch the product because everything that the company teaches you is only to focus on finding referrals!
And the reason for this is because the people will get money every time you and your referrals pay which is why they are so keen on draining money out of you.
Here’s a typical compensation plan that I picked up from Empower Network…
In a pyramid scheme, the one on top will always make more money than you so even if he doesn’t work, he still gets a piece of income from you and your own referrals.
It sounds easy but trust me, it is definitely not as not everyone has the guts to approach someone and ask them to join – It’s tough work and out of 10 people that you approach, how confident are you to convince even one of them?
Sure, some people do make money out of MLM but only for those who are natural at it and those who have super thick skin to handle a 90% rejection rate because would you believe that less than 1% of all participants actually make money?
It’s true as most MLM companies have over 99% risk of failure.
What does that tell you? And according to the internet frauds statistics by Credit Card Finder, there have been over $100 million lost through MLM alone…
Still think that MLM is that easy?
It is a game made only for those with an iron will because if you don’t make any money, not only will that expensive joining fee you paid be all for naught, you will still have to pay the expensive monthly fees in order to keep your account active which is why I would urge to think twice if you are ever approached by someone asking you to join.
Sign #4 -Tries to Lure You With Your Country of Origin.
This is something I see many programs do and although some legit programs have good intentions, the others will probably look like this…
That screenshot was from a program I reviewed called Paid Social Media Jobs and it has nothing to do with your country of origin at all.
Instead, the only reason as to why they do that offer is because they want to attract you by giving your city special attention when the real objective is to leverage people’s curiosities.
This works very well with online programs because they know that people from less well-known countries like Nepal, Malaysia or the Philippines would surely get attracted which is why many people from these demographics make up the majority of the victims.
It may look like a small deal you’re from developed countries like the USA, UK, Canada or Germany but for those living in the third world and developing countries, we can get pretty excited if a company from the USA suddenly wants people from our area, let alone our city.
There are many countries taking advantage by using this demographics trick so it’s worth watching out for.
Sign #5 – Watch Out For Fake Reviews Everywhere.
Reviews are meant to give honest perspectives from users who have already tried the product but sadly, some people do try to take advantage of this by writing fake reviews such as this…
I write reviews myself too almost every week and after some time, you will start to notice a pattern that fake reviews often share in common…
- They always emphasize the bonus.
- They are lazy to write long reviews so they’re mostly short.
- They have no proof they’ve purchased the product and tried it themselves.
When I do reviews, I usually make a very thorough one whereby there will be plenty of screenshots, unbiased views from both sides of the coin and that they will be always more than 2000 words.
This style of writing has won me many battles (Sorry, I meant has gained me much response), and people can see how much effort I really put into a review which is always more believable than a cheap 200-word review with no photos.
I even compiled a list of my reviews that I did here.
There are no formats or template you could check out in order to determine whether or not a review is legit but 6 out of 10 reviews are always fake, especially the ones which promote bonus money even before you join.
Sign #6 – Promises of Instant Result
For those of you who have seen the real world, there is no such thing as making money overnight, at least not a million in just one day, let alone a grand if any.
However there are still many people out there who believe that we live in a world of butterflies and rainbows whereby anyone can make money with a snap of a finger and these people are the easiest to trick.
In fact, I admit the reason I start my Online Business was because of that mindset too because coming from an average income family, I wanted to learn how to survive by building my very own business.
So I Googled how to make money online and joined loads of programs there hoping that I would make a million from each of them.
I remember how excited I was when making my payment but afterward, all my hopes turned into dust when I realized how hard life actually is and I certainly can’t learn everything in one day let alone start making my money already.
I didn’t touch my account for one year until I finally decided to face reality and start over which led me to where I am today.
Nobody can make an instant result, it just doesn’t work that way because in business, you need to first build your brand first before getting traffic.
Sign #7 – There is no Such Thing as an AutoPilot Business.
This is one of the best scam tactics ever lived because you’d be amazed at just how many people can get tricked into paying for this.
A few years back, this trend was known as the Push Button Software whereby with a click of a button, money can be made.
Sounds too good to be true? Oh, it is.
A year after, that scam tactic was quickly brought down as people busted those internet gurus’ bubbles so now, they are getting even more creative by using names such as ‘Autopilot’ or ‘copy paste’.
Don’t these names sound like scams already?
But they still maintain the same concept – “Let us do all the marketing, you just pay us”
This shows that they have loads of money earned from tricking others that they can sustain their business by just changing names and tweaking their content.
Believe it or not, the autopilot trend is still ongoing which is why you need to keep cautious so that you can recognize them early enough to avoid them.
Sign #8 – Email Spams And Phishing Scams.
Email spams are common but what you really need to watch out for are phishing emails which can become your worst nightmare if you fall for them.
If you’re not sure what is a phishing email, simply put it’s basically a type of email which hackers crafts to make it as real as a well-known company email to trick you into giving your details.
They use famous companies such as Amazon, PayPal and banks such as HSBC.
Some of the popular phishing email tactics are…
- Upgrade your PayPal account.
- Update your email.
- Re-register your Whatsapp.
- Or just anything at all which requires you to log in and update!
The reason why these people want you to update your account so desperately is because if you were to do that, they are able to detect and hack your account which is why this is a very serious matter.
There are a lot of phishing scams today and these people are getting cleverer at masking their intentions.
In fact, just recently I was tricked into paying extra to pick up some stuff which they claim was ‘stuck’ at the docks here in Malaysia and that they wanted me to ‘verify’.
Being oblivious to what’s actually happening, I made that payment and never received my stuff in the end nor could even I call their number because by the time I realized, it was already too late.
So don’t do the mistake that I did and watch out for fishy emails that require you to update your details because in reality, no companies actually ask for that.
Some products also try to get leverage by promoting more of their products through email marketing and this can be really annoying because every day you’ll get emails that look like this…
As you can see, there is no good news besides trying to hook you into the opening and buying more stuff from them which is something no genuine product owners would do besides those who only want to drain more money from you.
Sign #9 – No Community Interaction.
If a product is so famous, their social media accounts would be flocked with people, shouldn’t it?
You’d be surprised at how many companies out there do not even have an active community whether on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ even when their sales page shows you thousands of testimonials.
For example, Copy Paste Income is an Internet Marketing course that teaches you how to drive traffic online and this is how their Facebook page looks like…
If you are supposed to teach someone on driving traffic especially through social media, shouldn’t you of all people have the results to prove?
Here’s a Facebook page for another Internet Marketing course called Success With Anthony…
Doesn’t seem so successful online, does he?
Communities are very important because if a program has many people interacting with each other, that shows that the consumers trust the brand however if there are no community interactions whatsoever especially when the program is well known, then something’s definitely not right.
Sign #10 – Very Rude Customer Service If Any.
Some products may seem alright… until you start contacting support.
I have come across countless replies from support with very rude tones of voice that can make you think twice on whether or not you paid your money to the right person.
Take a look at this reply…
That was from one of the products I bought which I wasn’t satisfied with called Child’s Play Profit and that reply left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Here’s another screenshot of my conversation with another person called Khodonker from a product called Free Traffic Jackpots…
How would you feel if someone replied to you like that?
He replied with exclamation marks, boasted about his achievements, and replied with the most common getaway excuse of all time – “If you implement, you will get the results”
Whatever happened to the customer is always right? And how much do I have to prove to convince him? I replied to him afterward with my results and still, he wasn’t satisfied.
Even if a customer is wrong, you shouldn’t be replying with exclamation marks as that is a very rude way of shutting them off.
Support isn’t just a thing, it’s everything when it comes to your aftersales experience as it shows how much the seller really cares for his service rather than cutting off all connections after he’s content with his sales revenue.
My Top 5 Legit Programs
The internet is a rough place and when it comes to programs or courses you’re interested in, there is always a catch whether it’s hidden upsells or terrible customer service.
I personally do reviews for many courses here on my blog and out of all 40 reviews, 30 of them are scams which I have listed here.
Fortunately for you, I’ve also listed down programs that received my green light and rated them according to ones that provided the most value for your money and here’s my top 5…
When it comes to being an Online Entrepreneur, the best way to do that is by building your own website and which is why I rank Wealthy Affiliate as number one.
Not only because you can create websites for free, you also get your own dedicated web host for unlimited domains, lessons that are regularly updated, tools and an engaging community who are just as enthusiastic as you!
I believe testing a program is very important before you decide on paying for it which is why Wealthy Affiliate allows you to create a starter account for as long as you want until you’re confident enough to go all out.
And speaking of all out, there are no upsells whatsoever besides having the choice to become either a premium member or a starter so it’s worth checking out.
It is my one year anniversary as a member today which is why I’ll be even happier to help you out every step of the way if you’re inside, just don’t forget to say hi!
Phew, that’s over 3,000 words! Again!
Scams are all over the internet today and with the rate of people getting scammed every day not to mention hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of losses reported, one can never be too cautious when scouring the internet for something nice to make purchases of.
Just be sure to look out for these 10 signs of scams and before you know it, you’re confident enough to start your own review blog and help more people avoid these scammers!