Look almost anywhere on the internet, and you’ll find promises that you can make a fortune in a short amount of time. I’ve also seen a worrying increase in the number of Bitcoin scam adverts on Facebook. But how can you tell which are the moneymaking scams?
Most of us dream of a better life. Often this involves either earning extra money or being able to give up your day job and working for yourself. With that in mind, there are many people or companies out there willing to take advantage of our dreams. Here are a few tips on how to avoid moneymaking scams.
To start with, the scammer will often sell you the “dream”. They will ask you to imagine certain scenarios, such as how it will feel to earn a six-figure salary, to own your own home, to drive a sports car etc. This is to get you thinking about how much better your life could be. Once they’ve got your interest, they will move on to stroking your ego.
The image below is taken from a Bitcoin trading scam. Most of us have read about Bitcoin recently and how much it has risen in value. So why not try and hook some unsuspecting victims?
Often, the scam website will try and disguise itself as a genuine news site. However, you’ll have a job find any other “articles”. By law, they should say that it’s an advertisement, but they rarely do.
Only for the select few
The scammer will make out that this “work” isn’t for everyone. They will say things such “you will need a computer”, “you must be able to work more than 10 hours per week”, or “you need to be motivated”. You’re made to feel that if you sign up, you’re already far better than everyone else. The fact is, anybody will qualify – they just want your money.
The rich and famous recommend it
Another way to convince you is to blatantly lie famous people recommend you take part. Common names used are Richard Branson, Lord Sugar or anybody from Dragon’s Den. There will be various quotes about how good the scheme is but no links to where they actually said it.
Or another favourite is to use images from This Morning. We all trust Holly and Phil, so if they say it’s good, it must be. But again this is absolute crap.
Again, the images below are taken from a Bitcoin Trading scam. They have Holly and Richard. Double whammy!
A limited time offer
Scammers don’t want you to sit around and think about their offer. The chances are, if you talk to a friend about the opportunity, they will talk you out of it. No, they will want your contact details straight away. Once they have an email address or phone number, they can start bombarding you with messages. So they will tell you that this offer is only open to the first 10 people to reply, or that you have to reply within a few hours.
To reassure you that they are genuine, there will often be comments and reviews of the product/service at the bottom of the scam page. It will either be people saying how much money they’ve made or saying they will be giving it a go. These comments will usually look like Facebook posts and will all be posted within a few days of each other. There will also be a box for you to leave a comment. However, this will have actually been disabled and it’s only there to make it look like you can have a say.
Again, the image below is taken from a Bitcoin scam. This one is called Bitcoin Revolution.
Some companies even go as far to set up fake reviews on TrustPilot.
Not knowing what you’re signing up for
If you’ve read a money making page, read it again and you still don’t understand how it works, then there’s a chance it’s one of these moneymaking scams. The schemes usually tell you how easy it is and how much money you can make, but they don’t tell you what it involves you doing.
Never send money
If you do sign up to a site, whatever you do, don’t send money. If you should be making £10,000 every month, why on earth would a company want £250 from you? I have reviewed lots of money making sites, and not one of them asks you to send them money.
Remember that saying from when you were a kid? If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any get quick rich schemes. And ask yourself, if you did, would you share your scheme with every stranger on the internet?
Trust your gut instinct. If you’re not sure about something or it doesn’t sound quite right, avoid. Or at least get a second opinion from somebody else first.
And it’s not just the internet…
In this post, I’ve obviously just focused on scams that you will come across on the internet. But don’t become complacent in thinking this is the only place you can lose money.
Always be careful when people come to your door. Remember, they’ve contacted you because they want something, not the other way around. Who is going to be better off if you buy the product or service?
And the same goes for telephone calls, which can be the most popular method in attempting to scam people. They can often catch you unaware, which makes you even more vulnerable. Take a look at this great post about telephone scams to find out more.