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Online Scam Alerts| How to Avoid Online Scams

If you are serious about achieving financial freedom as you journey toward your goal of becoming a self-made

Money Wise Tips

Money Wise Tips

millionaire, you know that you need to be money wise and align the following:

  • You must have a consistently high income that allows you to save more than you spend
  • You must establish a systematic savings program to make sure you set aside at least 10% of your income for future use
  •  You must leverage your savings into growth and income investments to build sizable investment assets
  • ·You must have insurance policies to protect yourself and your assets against inevitable loss
  • · You must control and leverage debt to your advantage
  • · You must avoid loss to both your capital and cash flow at all times

I offer this important page to you for two purposes

  1. I want to help you make more money so you can save more money and create the self-made millionaire life you dream about.

  2. I want to help you avoid loss of capital and cash flow.

In my struggle for financial freedom and true wealth, I fell victim to a number of online marketing scams.  There was a time in my life when I was so desperate to get out of debt and make a living for myself and my family that I looked for the easiest path I could find to get rich quick.

The truth is…there is no easy path to riches. Anyone who tells you can make quick money without any sacrifice or effort on your part is lying to you.

Except for the air you breathe, nothing worth having in life is completely free. You and I both know that falling for “get rich quick” schemes is one of the ten pitfalls to financial success that can lead to poverty. But there was a period of time during and shortly after my divorce when I was so emotionally wounded that all I felt like I could do was grasp at straws.

I am embarrassed to admit that’s exactly what I did and I fell for a few “straw-house” scams before I regained my senses.  Actually, today I am thankful for those experiences because even though they were costly, they became the great learning opportunities I can share with you today.

I love writing about money-making opportunities because I love helping people prosper. There are dozens of legitimate ways to profit from an online business. I will present several legitimate ways to make money throughout various posts and on my Millionaire Wealth Coach Resources page. But unfortunately, not every offer you see on the internet is legitimate.

How can you tell a good offer from a money pit?

Avoiding Online Scams Can Save Your Money

Avoiding Online Scams Can Save You Money

Here are a few tips from my Buyer Beware Scam Alert Checklist.

-1- Check to see if the company you are looking at is listed on consumer fraud sites like Scam Alert, ComplaintWire, RippOffReport or Consumer Reports.  Read the reports from people who have been scammed and judge for yourself whether or not their complaint is legitimate.

-2- Check with the Better Business Bureau.  Not all companies are listed with the Better Business Bureau.  While many businesses listed with the BBB are legitimate some are not.  Both the Better Business Bureau and The National Consumer League offer information to help you avoid deception and file complaints.

-3- Check with the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov.  FTC investigators are constantly on the look out for illegal pyramid schemes. The FTC website is the best place to lodge a complaint against online scam operators.

-4- Check to see if network marketing company offers are legitimate before you sign up. Network marketing is a viable business model when it comes to the distribution of products.  Unfortunately,  many scams on the internet that appear to be legitimate are a pyramid scheme. How can you tell if a company is running a pyramid scheme?

 Here are some guidelines from the FTC website:

  • “If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is mainly based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s a pyramid scheme. (Author’s note: I think this definition is too narrow in that excellent MLM companies move tangible product through distributors much like Insurance and Securities Companies move products through agents who are recruited and trained in selling products. While the focus of some successful MLM distributors is on recruitment of a “down line” of distributors the end conclusion of whether or not the company is running a pyramid scheme is determined by the product use of the end consumer.  If the end consumer is only another “distributor” who pays to become a member and the only money made comes from new member acquisition fees the company is certainly running a pyramid scheme.  If, however, distributors are selling product to consumers who benefit from the use of the product, the company is a Successful MLM (multi-level-maketing) company.).
  • Even if a company sells products or services you’re familiar with — or boasts celebrity members — they may not be legitimate.
  • Don’t be fooled by rags-to-riches stories or portrayals of lavish lifestyles made possible by joining the program. These stories may not represent the experiences of most members.”

-5- Watch out for home-based internet businesses that claim to bring in hundreds of dollars a day just by posting links to websites or taking online surveys. One of the worst offenders is Home Profit System.  I know from personal experience.  They offer a free website hosted by an up-selling hosting company called Brainhost.  The free website is a lead into the endless hounding you get from telemarketers who try to clean out your checking account with a huge upfront payment for their brand of “coaching” and other internet marketing scams.

I am a Certified Business Coach.  I know first-hand how the value of good one-to-one or small group business coaching can accelerate business profits.  I have proof of applied results from many of my coaching clients.

Coaching is a two-way street.  It is based upon a relationship of equals. Legitimate Business Coaches do not hound you…they invite you to participate based purely upon your own intentional desire to grow and develop into your best possible self.  Legitimate business coaches teach, train, lead and guide.  They may nudge but they never shove.

The sales pitch from Home Profit Masters is so hard-selling and sleazy that you feel like you need a shower. Here is some information to remember from the FTC about what you need to know to avoid online scams like Home Profit System:

  • “Do your own research. Are you familiar with the company and its products or services? Is the company affiliated with a legitimate certification or business accreditation program? Does the company have a good reputation? A good way to find out is to type the company name in a search engine with terms like “scam” or “complaint.”
  • Beware of the “upsell.” If you find yourself paying for a product or service you have yet to receive, and then get additional telemarketing calls pressuring you to plunk down even more money for another level of product or service, that’s a red flag. It’s better to cut your losses now. If you think it’s a scam, file a complaint with the FTC.”

One More Tip…Just because an internet marketer has a fancy website does not mean that they are legitimate. You may be impressed by how easy it is to purchase and assume that the company behind the offer is legitimate. All of those tools are important to building a legitimate online business. But knowing how to write persuasive sales copy and install tools like auto responders and sales carts does not make the vendor legitimate.

I can teach you to how to do everything you need to build a legitimate money making online business but rest assured, NEVER will I teach you how to be deceptive or manipulative in presenting your online business opportunity and NEVER will I lead you into a false, misleading online business opportunity.

Save Money By Avoiding Online Scams

My goal is to help you save money by avoiding online scams. Look for my articles and posts under the category of “online scams” and “product reviews”.  Not only will I blow the whistle on scams to watch out for, I will list a link to my articles on this page. By the way, as of the time of this writing, there are more than 3,000 online internet marketing programs. Some are legitimate and some should be avoided.Scam

As a victim of a few online scams, I know what to look for and I will do my best to help you from being victimized.

As I run across opportunities, I will do my best to keep you informed of some great online products that can help you make money and save money.

You can help me and other readers by participating in the comment section at the end of each post. If you feel you have been victimized by an online scam, please comment on this page and help other readers avoid online scams.

Pyramid Schemes

By definition a pyramid scheme is…

A non-sustainable business model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or sales to the public.  –Wikopedia

Pyramid schemes typically promise participants increasingly large profits primarily based upon recruitment of additional participants.  The most flagrant of pyramid schemes offer no products for resale to consumers. While some pyramid schemes claim to have a product to sell, their “product” is more of a front used to hide the pyramid structure.

Empower Network is in my opinion a pyramid scheme. The product sold is a cheesy website for an initial enrollment of $25.00 and a recurring payment of $25 per month. Participants are then told that they can make commissions by recruiting other participants.  The more people recruited, the more money to be made but other than the “free website”, no product is sold to outside consumers.

The founders of EN make millions from their zombie followers who pay  a few thousand dollars for “Inner Circle” training. This one makes my blood boil. See my in depth review.

Ponzi Schemes

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment schemes with a similar structure to pyramid schemes.  The most elaborate Ponzi scheme in recent times was run by an investment trader by the name of Bernie Madoff who is now serving out the rest of his life in prison. Madoff reportedly “made off” with $18 billion in investor dollars.

In a Ponzi scheme, the promoter offers no tangible product and pays no commission to investors for recruiting “new members”. Promoters of Ponzi schemes collect “investments” from a group of people and then promises them a high rate of return on a short-term investment. Investors are then paid small dividends from their own money or from the money of new investors than enter into the pool.

Comments

Thank you for reading this page. My goal is to help as many people as I can save money by avoiding scams.  If you feel like you have been the victim of or know of an online scam or a mail fraud scam, please comment here for the benefit of other readers.

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