How to Spot a Scam

 How to Spot a Scam

Millions of people utilize the internet these days.  Some just for entertainment and some business or education.  But more and more people are using the internet to begin their own online business.  Along with this search for business opportunities have come the scammers who take advantage of unknowing searchers.  Because of this, many want to know how to spot a scam when looking for a business model.  This is what we shall seek to address.

My qualifications to address this problem

There are many who can address this from a hierarchical position because of a degree.  But, my understanding of the area is due to experience that I have had in the field.  I am not proud of the fact that I was taken advantage of three times in similar but diverse scams.  But, because I am tenacious and persistent I did not give up and I found the right platform for my business.

If you are not patient and do not have a spirit of “never say die”, then online business is not for you.  Online businesses are not built overnight.  In fact, it may take a couple of years to  build a growing business.  Even with the right platform it will take time.  

So, let it be understood that with the wrong platform, that is, a scam, it is practically impossible.  To that end I share a few ways for you to spot a scam and avoid them.  At the end I shall share with you a great platform from which to build your own online business.

Online business platforms


There are numerous platforms on which you can build and online business.  Many will begin with a straight sales platform by setting up an account with Ebay.  This is fairly simple to do and can be profitable once you get established.  However, it is very time consuming as your business grows.  The profit margins are not great because of the huge amount of competition.  But if you have the time it is fine.

Of course there are other auction/sales sites such as Bonanza and Etsy, too.  They work much the same as Ebay but offer some opportunities not on Ebay. Each of these have tutorials on how to set up your business with them.  Check them out at your liesure.

Shopify and Volusion

Shopify and Volusion are two of the many ecommerce type of platforms.  They are basically an online storefront.  You ally yourself with a product provider and work as a dropshipper for that business.  You build your site and set it up.  With some products the company will provide the product promotions and ads.

Your job is to forward the purchases made on your site to the product business you work with.  You receive the retail payment from the customer.  Then you pay the wholesaler the wholesale price.  You keep the difference as your profit.  

Once again, there is much time involvement necessary in this business set up.  But the rewards can be great.

My opinion

If you have plenty of time to work your online business then any of the above are fine.  They are not scams since you deal directly with the product company and the purchasing customer.  Wisdom should be exercised in the products you choose to sell and the wholesalers you associate with.

Make sure you have a tax ID number and keep good books on your sales.

You may be wondering just what all this has to do with how to spot a scam.  Be patient.  It’s coming.

Most used platform

The most used platform for building an online business is the affiliate marketing platform.

Affiliate marketing

The affiliate marketing platform is the most widely used in building an online business.  Affiliate marketing is just as it is stated.  You affiliate(partner with) an established business(such as Amazon or Walmart) and advertise their products. “Where do you advertise?”, you ask.  

That is a good question.  The answer is, “On your website.”  “But I don’t have a website,” you say.  We shall get to that in just a minute.

As you develop your website and get customers or viewers they may see the advertisement and click on the banner or ad.  That will take them to the business that you are affiliated with.  If the person makes a purchase from the company, the company will pay you a percentage of that sale.  They will pay you a percentage of everything the buyer purchases if they came through your site.

This type of online business has been one of the most successful and least time consuming in the long run.  Because of this, it is one of the most used by scammers.

How scammers abuse affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is a great platform for building an online business.  But just like any business, it takes time and perseverance to build.

This should be one of the first signs that you are being scammed, “Quick money!”  Rarely, if ever does anybody make fast money in affiliate marketing.  The first reason is that you must get traffic to your website.  I mentioned this earlier.  You have to build a website and attract traffic to it. We shall touch on that in just a little while.

What affiliate marketing scammers will not tell you is that you must maintain your website.  They offer you a pre built website with products from Amazon or Walmart on it and set up.  What they  forget to tell you is that you must rank with Google or Bing to get traffic to your site. At some point they will tell you you must write blogs or link to facebook or some other social media.  

If you stick around longer they will offer to help you with all of these for a price.  Before you know it you have spent thousands(yes, thousands) of dollars.  Then it won’t be long before you have trouble even contacting the promoter.  You have been scammed.

How to know if you are being scammed

Some signs to look for if you think you are being scammed.

Do they want a large some of money up front?  By large, I mean a thousand dollars or more.  If so, a light bulb should go on.  If any more additions are needed to guarantee your success,  then you are being scammed.

Maybe they give you a great deal up front.  Then immediately after beginning the program there is another tool that will greatly improve your chances.  Time to look elsewhere.  You are being scammed.

Another approach is to present to you a program worth a couple of thousand dollars.  Then offer it to you for about a tenth of that price.  The program probably is not worth the supposed great price they are offering you.  You are being scammed.

Free website setup

This program of varying costs offers to set up your website with all the affiliate products.  Unfortunately, that is all you get.  There are no tutorials on how to maintain the site or how to attract traffic.  If you want those you must pay for them.  There is no direction as to how to maintain your website. There is no 24 hour support.  After a while there is no support at all.   You are being scammed.

Many free website setup affiliates will maintain a conversation with you for a few weeks and then will disappear.  There will be no support or forwarding address.  You have been scammed.

Best affiliate marketing platform

Now that we have mentioned some of the things to be wary of, let us give you some hope. 

There is a platform that is very reputable and has been helping people build their business for fourteen years.  This program has helped over a million people build successful online businesses.  The main tool they have taught and used is affiliate marketing.  But, that is not the only business you can build using their knowledge and tools.

The program was established by two young men right out of college.  Each had begun their own online business and saw the potential of such enterprise.  After four years of building their own business, they decided to share their knowledge with others.  This is the program that they developed.

Wealthy Affiliate

They call the program Wealthy Affiliate.  As I stated, they promote the framework of affiliate marketing, but their program works for any online business.

Their knowledge base includes hundreds of video tutorials as well as written lessons.  These are grouped into contents for every phase of your internet business needs.  Their support is without parallel.  It comes from like minded entrepreneurs who have built their own online businesses and want to help others.  Answers from support are usually available in minutes, not hours or days.  It is a community of helpers helping one another.

What do you get with Wealthy Affiliate?

First, you will get ten free lessons on how to start your online affiliate marketing business.  In those free lessons you will learn to build your own website.  To build that website you will receive two free websites which they will host for free.

You may wonder how will you know what to do with the free websites.  The free ten lessons will teach you how to set up your website and launch it.  You will actually be on the internet in a matter of a couple of days.

The initial membership to Wealthy Affiliate is free.  Everyone begins that way.  This way you can “taste and see” if this is the program for you.  If after you have worked the free program and the tools you get with it, you can make your decision.  If it takes two days or two years, you can remain on the free program as long as you wish.  There is no limit.

Premium Membership

But, if after learning and applying the ten free lessons you decide this is for you, then join the Premium Membership.  The Premium Membership is a set cost of $49 a month.  For this small fee you have access to thousands of dollars of tools and knowledge and support.  When I say thousands, I mean thousands of dollars.  As you become more familiar with online business you will come to the same understanding.

You can pay the $49 monthly or save by purchasing a yearly membership.  You can end your membership at anytime by cancelling and stop your payments.  I believe you will find as I did that the product and the price is the best for online business.

No time limit to offer

This offer is standard operation for Wealthy Affiliate.  You can take it up today or two years from now.  It will cost you nothing for the Free trial.  Everyone begins that way.  You can join at any time during the free trial, or quit at any time. 

You do not have to register a credit card for the free trial.  It is as it says, “Free”.  If you decide to join the Premium membership, you will need to register a credit card.

There are no promises of getting rich quick or when you will start to succeed.  But, all the tools and knowledge needed for your success will be available to you 24 hours a day.  You will determine the level of your success and the timetable of your success.

Time for you to decide

You cannot succeed if you never start.  Today can be the beginning of your successful online business.

Take the first step by clicking the banner for your free membership to Wealthy Affiliate.

God bless you and prosper you!

 How to Spot a Scam

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