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Avoid Easy Money Scams

As you search for ways to create easy money online, you will soon find that easy money scams are as common on the Internet as fleas on a dog  so it is important to know how to recognize the ones that are particularly seductive to the aspiring online entrepreneur.

 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:

  • Data entry jobs
  • Make money processing rebates online
  • Train as a rebate processor
  • Make money typing online
  • Get paid for your opinion  complete online surveys
  • Does your business need a free laptop?
  • Help me get my $30,000,000 out of Zimbabwe
  • How I made $32,000 my first month in business

 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.

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