I’ll try today to help you to avoid scammers websites, it’s a big program believe me… I’ll focus on pyramidal systems & fake programs, no phishing or other scams for now.

Uneasy Money

Let’s start by the definition of a scam to be sure we’re talking about the same thing, I found a simple & meaningful one on Urban Dictionary:

A contrived scheme or process designed to surreptitiously, deceitfully and materially benefit the perpetrator(s) at the expense of the victim(s).
By Brendan Townsend

Now I’ll explain you what I do if I think a website is a scam. In one sense, only the fact that you wonder this is already a big warning.

Some questions to ask yourself first

1) Is it unbelievable?
– Do I honestly believe that I can make 5000$ monthly just by reading emails or visiting websites?
– Really, is it possible to become rich on internet just by reading this ebook?

2) Is it a pyramidal system?
In other words, is your only goal to recruit people below you?

3) If I were the webmaster of this website, would I keep this for myself?
Let’s imagine that you are the guy who knows a good way to make easy money – or turning mud into gold or whatever else… – do you think you would share it to the world so that you’ll get a lot of copycats and that it’ll lose all its interest?

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions above, sorry but you won’t become a millionaire today and you’d better close the website you suspected.

Let’s go a little further now if you still suspect it may be a scam but you’re not so sure.

Use your common sense

It’s the first & most important rule, don’t be blinded by the marketing speech you just read, try to give it another shot with a more critical eye to find some flaws if there are any.

Here are also two main points that are often found on tricky websites:
– A guy/girl showing a check of his gains does not mean much actually, don’t be fooled.
– Don’t rely too much on testimonials (I’m talking about shady websites here), they are often invented so don’t take them as real people’s words. In a majority of the cases, the webmaster wrote them.

Here is an exaggerated example to illustrate:
[blockquote cite=”A nice fake customer”]I really liked to work with Mathias, he put our website at the top of Google results on the keyword “home loan” and gained us thousands of likes on our Facebook page in only a couple of hours, hire him guys![/blockquote]

Sounds legit, doesn’t it? 🙂

Info to look for

1) Info about the company:
Any real business would put at least a name if not full coordinates on its website, it will rarely be the case of borderline ones which tend to stay discrete.

2) FAQ:
By chance there will be an FAQ, even if it’s written in a “marketing mode”, it can raise some flags as you’ll discover a little more about the proposed service/product.

3) Is there an affiliate program?
This one is not bad by default but it can also make you suspicious, mainly if you’re supposed to be on a free website as an affiliate program basically means: visitor = money

Let’s go on Google (or Bing) now

If you still have doubts, just search the name or the url of the website + ” scam” on your favorite search engine and you should find discussions or articles, there are chances that you’re not the first to do so and people may have investigated & started to talk about it already. Try to find communities like forums or answers websites, they have less chances to be manipulated.

Be careful to “fake” results, there will probably be review websites/articles about the program you want to check, you can’t put too much trust into this ones as they tend to be either the property of the same webmaster or they gain with affiliate programs, so they get a commission if you join through their referral links. As you can guess, it’s definitely not the best for objectivity.

Let’s make a study case

Is “real translator jobs” a scam?

© Photo by Okrest on Stock free images