Avoid Easy Money Scams
How They Are Presented
Here are a few subject lines from emails that I have received in recent months - they all present easy money scams:
A Reality Check
Are any of these familiar? The first four would have you think they are employment opportunities. It's true, of course, that there are companies that hire people to do data entry or other computer-related tasks, and allow some of their employees to work at home. These are not easy money scams. But a little digging reveals that that's not what is generally offered by these deceptive emails.
For instance, the rebate processor "jobs" are actually asking you to set up your own business online selling something your ads will offer a rebate, and when someone buys from you, you send them a rebate out of your own pocket. Since the jobs aren't really jobs at all, these qualify as easy money scams.
And the next two require you to sign up for online "trial offers" that you will pay for and if you sign up for enough of them they will pay you for doing so. In effect these companies pay you a share of their commissions a rebate of sorts for agreeing to buy what their corporate customers are selling. The net gain for you is little or nothing. Again this is clearly an easy money scam.
Just For Laughs
OK. I included the one about Zimbabwe for laughs though there are variations of it that are business-related. The email you get asks you to receive a large sum of money in the form of a check, and to deposit the money into your bank account and send them a check for a percentage of what you deposited. If you do this you will find that the check you deposited was phony written against the account of some legitimate business that has never heard of you or them.
On the other hand, the check you wrote will clear (if you have money in the bank). Meanwhile you may get arrested for trying to deposit a phony check. The recipient of your check is never heard from again. It's a classic con game.
Dangerous and Seductive
The last email above is more common and more dangerous to the would-be online entrepreneur. It takes many forms, but it typically works like this. A link on the email takes you to a lengthy sales pitch that shows pictures of someone, presumably the originator of the email, in an expensive setting replete with upscale house, expensive car, beachside villa, etc., etc. For a very small sum of money, you are told, you too can enjoy the "good life" that is depicted.
The message usually tell the story of how the sender was broke and suffering just as you may be and how he discovered a wonderful way to turn his life around and prosper. You decide you want to know what he knows, so you buy the deal for $29 (or $39or $59).
Immediately, you are shown another offer. For just $159 (or $259 or $359) he will take you into his "inner circle", or some such, and personally help you to accomplish what he has done so you can enjoy the good life together.
In some instances this "back end up-sell" can cost you thousands of dollars for personal "mentorship", as they say but in the end it boils down to this: you will, at best find yourself with a website that does exactly what you have just experienced it sells hype.
The Acid Test
Now in all fairness, I have to admit, some deals offered as described above might actually be legitimate but I doubt it. One criterion that you can use to test these offers, to see if they are easy money scams, is whether or not the information you are shown includes real contact information. If the website includes a phone number or an email link, you can contact the person who sent you the email and ask for the phone number of a satisfied customer or two.
The sales pitch you were presented will include any number of testimonials but their contact info will not be included if the pitch is an easy money scam. But if you can actually talk with a satisfied customer maybe the offer is legitimate. If you are not provided with such contact information, run away as fast as you can unless you want to participate in a scam.
The Package Deal
Another variation on this theme is what I call the free and effortless package deal. In this one the offer tells you that they will provide you with a website for free and do all the work in selling some fabulous product. "All you have to do", you are told, "is to advertise the website". Hmmmso what do I need them for?
There are thousands of decent products out there, and websites are easy to come by. I can as easily become an "affiliate" of some product provider (more about this later) and put it on my own website where I have complete control of the process. If you know someone who has done well with one of these deals, please tell me about it I certainly don't want to malign something good.
And I should mention that there are available at least a few packaged deals that are pretty good but they are not altogether free and certainly not effortless. I am sure there are some that are viable. If you want to see examples of such deals that might work for you, check out the RESOURCES link at the top of this page, where I will soon be posting a few links to offers in this genre.
In the near future I will create a webpage where you can sound off about the good the bad and the ugly online businesses that you have encountered. Then others can come here to check out the feedback.
The second approach to pursuing or creating easy money online is to go it alone. Let's ignore the easy money scams and consider this option next.