This is a topic we must address, because – as you know – there are so many scams online, you don’t even know where to look or what to click without the fear of losing your hard-earned cash. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives. How to spot an online scam is something that most of us have learned the hard way, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some experiences and information to help you avoid falling for those online thieves.
I guess that’s how you ended up on my page, right? Perhaps you were looking for a way to recognize a scam online or to avoid it, or perhaps even a way to make money online with an honest platform.
Honest is hard to find online these days, isn’t it? Anyone can just type false promises of high earnings while hiding their name and personal info, which brings us to our first point of making sure a site or person is legit.
Steps to Spot an Online Scam
1. No Transparency
When you are on a website, there should be an “About me” or “About us” section, which gives you information about the website and/or business owner. As you can see on my website here, I have an “About me” page where you can find my photo and my name and where I also share my personal story with you and the reason why I started write-topia.com.
If an online platform or a website owner hides who he or she is, then there is something fishy going on. Why would he/she have a reason not to divulge his identity to you? After all, if he/she is asking for your money to sign up for some program he is selling the least that person can do is tell you who he or she is, right?
2. Claims of high earnings for absolute beginners
While I am not going to dispute the possibility of making a lot of money online – we all know it is possible – I do not think it is right that online platforms promise you the stars and the moon and they tell you that it is easy and you only need to work 30 minutes a day for this, or 5 minutes, or whatever else they come up with.
If that were true, wouldn’t everyone be quitting their 9 to 5 jobs to do this?
Making money online is great! That’s why I am here too. I am an author and it is my dream to live of my books’ earnings. I also have three websites and my goal is to generate an income with those three websites. There you go, yes, you’re here for info, and now I am telling you that I want to make money with my websites. Uh oh, but don’t run please 😉
I am not asking you for any cash, am I? And I won’t. So, don’t click away from my site 😉 If you came here to find info on how to spot an online scam, then please stick around. I am writing this article to help you avoid the mistakes I have made and mistakes I have read about. It is important to share, because honestly, I am tired of all the online scams, and I am pretty sure that you are too, right?
There are honest ways to make money online, and if you’d like to more about that, then please scroll down to the end of this article. I will tell you more about how I earn money online.
3. Alert: no https!
If the site URL is a HTTP and not a https, please be very careful. A lack of an HTTPS is NO indicator for a scam, but not having a https means that the site is not secure. When making a money transaction online, you should always make sure that you are on a site of which the address begins with https. A website should have an SSL certificate which is the secure protocol on the top of HTTP to deliver the data secured.
In other words, a Secure Sockets Layer certificate ( SSL certificate) is a small data file. It is installed on a Web server that allows a secure connection between the server and the web browser.
4. Alert: the company doesn’t own a domain
I mentioned this in a previous article, when I shared my story of my experience with a scam publisher. He had a website, but what I did not notice back then was that it was a free website. He did not own any .com, .org or any other type of domain.
There is nothing wrong with having a free website. Many people do. As a business, however, owning your own domain is a requirement and it makes your company look much more professional. If a business is screaming high earnings online and does not even have its own domain, run the other way.
5. Many Complaints
Before trying out an online platform, it is recommended that you read reviews about that company, so that you can make up your mind if it is really worth it. If a company has nothing but negative reviews, ignored requests for a return of money, and even lawsuits, you have your answer, don’t you? Research is always recommended.
Any Other Thoughts?
There are many scams online, and not only regarding making money. There are plenty of dating scams, military scams, charity fraud, social media fraud, counterfeit postal money orders, online gift card fraud, online ticket fraud, email fraud, and so on. Scary, isn’t it?
I have not been a victim of a making money online fraud, since I was always turned off by upsells, and I never wanted to invest my money in companies I hardly knew.
Nevertheless, I had an experience with a scam publisher and also with a romantic scammer who pretended to be someone from my past, using photos of the person I used to know. Fortunately, I discovered the truth, but only after a very painful process that nearly crushed me.
This is why I am writing this article. We do have to be so careful and I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through. Always, always, always be careful online. It’s a jungle out there, but there are still many good websites. We just have to know how to keep the bad apples out, and I hope that these tips will help with that.
An Honest Online Platform
Last year in March I was tired of all the online money scams, and I did not even feel like searching online anymore. I began to think that finding a decent and honest platform was not possible anymore. I had heard of affiliate marketing and I knew that it worked, but I wanted to learn about it.
I came across a review of Wealthy Affiliate. I read it and realized that perhaps I had finally found something decent. I clicked the link and saw that I could join for free; I did not even have to add my credit card information. No harm done, right?
I signed up and then discovered free lessons. At first, I was skeptic. I had tried other things before and they had not worked out. “Free” did not always mean free. What if another upsell would pop up or perhaps the free videos would not provide any useful information. ..?
Surprise surprise, though. I learned a lot in my first free video tutorial, I also did in my second one, and third, and fourth, and by the end of the week I had gained so much knowledge that I was simply blown away. Even the technical website aspects which I had been apprehensive of were explained so clearly that it turned out to be quite easy.
This platform actually provided me real help without trying to sell me anything, and that was something I really appreciated. Sure, I was offered the Premium membership, and after only a week, I signed up as a Premium member, but the wonderful thing about Wealthy Affiliate is that you can remain a free member for as long as you like and build your websites.
The reason I signed up as a Premium member was that I simply knew I had finally found the real thing, a platform that would really teach me all the ropes and where I could find other online entrepreneurs who are always willing to help and share their expertise.
I was also impressed by the accessibility of Kyle and Carson who are the creators of the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Kyle personally greeted me when I signed up, and I have reached out to him and Carson several times during this last year. Both have always responded kindly and offered their support.
Remember my first point in this article, transparency? That certainly applies to Wealthy Affiliate. The owners are visible, they have their own profile, social media links, info about them, and photos.
So, if you are – like me – sick of the online thieves, scams, and upsells, and you are looking for a decent platform, Wealthy Affiliate is one I definitely recommend. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme, though. It teaches you how to build your online business. Besides, most get-rich-quick schemes are scams – we just talked about that, didn’t we? 😉
Wealthy Affiliate shows you how to build your online business and get it off the ground. Instead of making false promises of immediate riches, Kyle and Carson are very honest about it and tell you that it takes time and effort. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Any business needs time and effort before it can be successful.