There are many advertisements floating around the Internet, many of which are half-truths or whole lies. It is often very difficult for the uninitiated to tell the real thing from just another scam. Con artists offer a wide variety of "get-rich-quick" and self-employment schemes that target consumers who are looking for an investment opportunity, part-time employment, or the chance to start a home-based business. Often, however, the victims are money-hungry desperados. Hence it is necessary for all users to adhere to certain guidelines when they receive emails or information about schemes which appear to be too good to be true, because they usually are.
- Advertisements which start out with sob stories about how broke some writer or artist used to be and end with a detailed description of how many luxury cars he or she owns now.
- Advertisements which go on and on for many pages without actually telling you what is being sold and what it can actually do.
- Paragraphs which contain "teasers" which make you want to read the next paragraph with trepidation but never fulfill the promises made in the preceding paragraphs.
- Phrases like “anybody can do it" and/or "you don't have to lift a finger..."
- Work-at-home job offers which are too simple or mundane to deserve any pay at all such as "stuffing envelopes for pay", "reading books for pay", "assembling products for pay"...
- Advertisements which focus on what is not being sold or told rather than what is.
- Interview snippets of people saying things like "I was skeptical about this at first myself but now..."
- The writer saying that he does not mind sharing this incredible secret with you because there's more than enough money for everybody who gets involved.
- Most importantly, the phrases "This is not a pyramid scheme" or "This is not an illegal chain letter".
Any one of the above should be enough to make street-smart users alert but typical get-rich-quick emails have more than one of the above characteristics. Therefore there is no reason for anyone at all to fall for them. The bottom line is, the only way to get rich is the slow, honest way.
When buying advertised products or services, it is necessary to take the following into consideration.
- There is a possibility that "experts" who endorse a product have been paid to do so by the advertiser.
- The same goes for "testimonials" as they may also have been paid for. They may not always reflect the genuine experience of most consumers, especially celebrities.
- Think twice about purchasing a program or product if the company representatives do not give direct answers to crucial questions like warranties or refund policies or are unwilling to answer your questions at all.
- Always check whether the price of the product or service you wish to buy approximately reflects a fair market value.
It is good practice to ask companies for written substantiation for claims in their presentations, especially those about success rates of their products. This should definitely be done when purchasing expensive products. Before buying, it is also necessary to inquire about the company’s refund policy.
As a whole, any scheme or advertisement which creates a sense of urgency or makes you feel uncomfortable due to high-pressure tactics should raise an alarm. Good opportunities are never sold through high pressure tactics.
Work at Home Jobs - Avoiding Scams
Stupid "Get-Rich-Quick" Schemes I Have Encountered (by David M. Kilgore)
Internet online safety tips: avoiding scams in cyberspace