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01-05-2005, 03:19 AM #1whiteknight0571Guest
Internet Scams - Tips and Tricks to Avoid Them
Internet Scams - Tips and Tricks to Avoid Them by James R. Sanders
Over the past week end, I’ve spent some long hours on the phone with a potential new customer, and I haven’t charged him a dime for the time because I want to make sure he is educated before purchasing from my company. This poor person is the epitome of your typical person looking to pursue the great American dream. Although somewhat uneducated about internet matters and the typical shady marketing tactics practiced by many online marketers, he has been duped into making purchases costing him hundreds and thousands of dollars in the pursuit of starting his own internet business. The sad part about it all; this person is a decent and upstanding citizen known throughout the local community, wouldn’t harm a fly, straightforward and honest, but suffers from the dream that all people are generally hold those same qualities. I affectionately call them my poster child for being taken advantage of, and gullible to any questionable marketing tactic known to man. I say this because out of ALL the people I have talked to, this poor person has had more bad marketing experiences than any of my other customers or potential customers. When I talk to people like this, it reminds me of one of the reasons I started my business; to try to educate people to help them make informed decisions for their needs.
This person has some real valuable information to offer to those looking for recipes, and wants to take advantage of a web site that has a storefront to resell some candles and maybe offer some other products, which I will help to find reputable drop shippers to provide. They’ve also expressed interest to offer Amazon items on this web site, and want the ability to add their own recipes at their own leisure. All of this is reasonable requests, and it shouldn’t take thousands of dollars to accomplish it, but this person has run into scam artists offering everything from the affiliate “cookie cutter” type web site creation to guaranteed top 10 placements with the major search engines, and almost any type of information product you can think of in between. They’ve invested thousands of dollars into worthless information they cannot use because the requirements do not fit their life circumstances, and they’ve invested other money into the “cookie cutter” affiliate web site schemes that offer little real value to the home based business enthusiast. When I run into people like this, it makes me wish I could have met them a few years ago. If I could have, think of all the money they might have now to launch their business idea more successfully. Unfortunately, as is the case with this person, that was not the case.
This person, as with most people I run into, has invested most of his lost money into information scams. In one of my future articles, I will detail these scams and make you aware of the companies that promote them. For now, I will just mention some of the types of information scams circulating the internet to part you from some of your hard-earned cash. These scams span from affiliate web sites to shady marketing information and beyond. Mostly, these schemes deliver no real value but marketers are able to make you perceive them as something of great value. They cloud their offerings in so much hype telling how you are going to get out of debt, buy your new dream home, and drive your favorite new car that you get wrapped up in the emotion and buy their material, products, or services without any real thought about it. If you had just slowed down a bit, left your browser window open to think a bit, and maybe opened another browser window to do some research, you would probably find contradictory information to show you the reality behind the hype.
Broad Generalized Scam Categories
I tend to group these scams into some broad categories that include “too good to be true”, “half-truths”, and “outright scams”. Regardless of the type, they all tend to take advantage of people’s dreams. Of course, any legitimate product or service that actually helps to obtain a dream is not meant to be included in these categories. The scams usually identify a problem associated with obtaining a dream, and then surround their products and services with so much hype that it’s almost impossible to sort out the truths. They will further provide what appear to be credible testimonials and data to support their claims. Some of the legitimate sources will provide verifiable links to prove their data while scams will give you the data and cover up your questions with hype generated to bring out a trusting emotional response where you don’t question their claims. That is where the danger comes from, letting your emotions over rule your mind by not taking the time to investigate the claims. They pray on those desperately looking for a solution to their problems. These types of people are usually in so deep that they will listen to almost anything. By pushing those people’s emotional buttons, they push them over the edge where purchases are made without dissecting the information to find the scam hidden beneath. Generally, these scams pull in the internet beginners who lack the experience to tell the difference between credible solutions to their problems, and scams that will not solve anything while instead taking their hard-earned cash from them. To illustrate an example, I offer you a link to an internet beginner who listened to information from what he thought was a trusted marketing expert. You can find that article at Newbie Business Guide. With the way the article reads, this “guru” is a well established and a trusted member of the marketing community. Unfortunately, the article’s author does not disclose who it is, and if this “guru” is that predominate, their money and lawyers could make it bad for the article writer, so I can understand why he does not disclose the source, but it would be nice to know who to avoid. I’d do business with this site because of their sincerity and ability to admit when they are wrong, plus owning up to the mistake takes some real guts.
Too Good to be True Scams
Now to the broad categories I spoke of earlier. I’ll start with the “too good to be true” category. This one is self-explanatory, so I’m not going to say much on it but rather look at the factors behind the actions. This is another desperation ploy. People reading about this type of scam fall victim to powerful psychological forces that draw out their deepest emotions to persuade them to purchase the products or services being sold from the web site. These scams tend to target those at stages of such desperation that in their search for solutions tend to throw all logical reasoning aside. They are enticed by such headlines and link texts like “Make a fortune on the internet” and “Instant business success overnight”. Naivety is the prime factor in these ploys because anyone with even a little business knowledge or self-employment experience knows that there is no such thing as overnight business success without large cash investments, and making a fortune on the internet is a time consuming process unless you have that large cash investment to make. They also tend to be those looking for the “quick fix” to obtain their dreams overnight. In the fast-paced environment we live in, the speed of communications and the immediate gratifications to be found all over the internet, people have come to expect quick and reliable fixes for their problems. Most fail to realize that a business environment is a different situation, especially when building one. Remember that “if it’s too good to be true then it probably is”, and you will avoid this type of scam.
01-05-2005, 03:24 AM #2whiteknight0571Guest
My next stop is by the “half-truths” category. This type of scam takes advantage by wrapping factual information within hype while leaving out other important factors that might cause you not to buy their offers. These can be particularly tricky because sometimes it’s almost impossible to separate the facts from the hype, and the less internet experience you have, the more susceptible you are to the ploy. Even long-term business veterans have fallen prey to this tactic. You find reliable and provable information that substantiates their claims but are unable to investigate the information they leave out. Most times, the information left out is the additional investment requirement needed to take advantage of the opportunity beyond your initial purchase of their product or service. This type of scam can actually be valuable information for those that have the extra resources needed to accomplish the goal, but for those who lack those resources, the products or services will be utterly useless to them. They prey on the hit or miss factor and chance the odds that enough of the respondents will have the additional resources needed, or that they’ll BUY the additional resources needed through the sellers affiliate programs. It’s just another way for them to line their pockets with cash and be able to justify the products or services they sell. Either way, for those who lack the additional resources needed, it’s still a shady marketing practice and a scam.
This type of scam is a close cousin to the “too good to be true” scam in the fact that they also use powerful psychological tools to entice you to buy without doing your research, but differs in the fact for some buyers who have the additional resources needed it will actually be a viable solution to their problems. Actually, ALL the scam types involve such powerful psychological tools. Determining whether it’s a scam or not is totally dependent on whom the buyer is, and if they have the additional resources or not. It’s better to investigate and try to find out additional resources needed before you purchase the products or services. Only in that way will you ensure that you have a credible solution for your problems instead of falling victim to a scam that does nothing but take away your hard-earned cash. By learning to control your emotions and taking some extra time, you will avoid falling prey to any scams on the internet.
The last type is the “outright scams”. This one is also self-explanatory. And the more I write this article and think about it, the more I should have just written an overall description because they are all so similar. Where this type differs from the others is the fact that the ones behind this scam take your money and give you nothing, or they get your personal information and use it to impersonate you while buying things with your information and credit card or bank account. It’s something more commonly called identity theft, and it’s becoming an increasingly big problem on the internet. These scam artists constantly move around and do everything possible to disguise themselves and prevent capture. They tend to operate from one location for a short period and then jump to a different one changing their URL’s, emails, and even their physical addresses. They have one thing in mind and one thing only; finding ways to get you to give them your hard earned cash without giving you anything in return. Even worse, they could steal your identity and wreak havoc in your life. There is only one-way to avoid this type of scam, and that is to build a relationship with a business so you can learn if they are worthy of your trust and hard earned cash. Learn to anticipate your needs so you have ample time to pursue their fulfillment without the need to make rash purchasing decisions. Above all, never give personal information to anyone unless you have done the investigation process to determine his or her legitimacy. Use businesses that your friends may already use and have a relationship with that shows credibility and the ability to deliver on orders. The first stop should be with the Better Business Bureau where you can research a company based on URL or physical address and phone number. If you lack physical address or phone number, then you can use tools like domain registrar information to determine physical location based on the domain. You must be careful here though because even the scam artists provide bogus information when registering their domains.
No matter how you cut it, the internet is a wild west of our present day world. Although certain regulations are in place to protect the consumer, just as real world criminals go against laws and regulations in the pursuit of their dreams at others expense, so too does the internet criminal. These scam artists don’t care about anyone but themselves, and are willing to obtain their income by any means necessary to live the life style of their dreams. It might be difficult to find, but there are businesses on the internet that put their customers before their profits. You will find such businesses when you communicate with them through email. It is rare to find a successful business that doesn’t use automatic responders to potential customer’s emails. If you find one that responds personally, then you have probably found a reputable business that fits your needs. That is not to say that all businesses who use auto responders are questionable, or those who respond personally should be trusted automatically, it’s just a suggestion for the initial investigation into a business you are considering making a purchase from.
Another sure fire indication that you have found a reputable and reliable business to purchase from is when their communications or website offer you the chance to compare them with the competition, or they tend to spend numerous emails in explanation taking the time to ensure you are educated before making a purchase. Even better are those who will attempt to give you the pro’s and con’s so you can make your own informed and educated decision. These types will often not push their products or services on you but rather provide you with unquestionable information and resources that let their products or services speak for themselves. In addition, if you find one that offers you their client’s email to ask actual questions of someone who has already dealt with the company, then you have definitely found a possible and reliable solution to your problems.
About the Author:
James R. Sanders is the owner of Sanders Consultation Group Plus. He has been a webmaster and web site designer since 1997, and involved in self-employment ventures since 1992. He is presently a contributing author of Newbiehangout, and has been published through WebProNews. His goal is to provide practical information based upon his years of experience to help webmasters, web site designers, and self-employed people achieve their goals in today's competitive global market. You already know where to email him at through his OTHER articles since THIS forum won't allow him to post his email address HERE yet. Can't wait till it stops fighting with me. It keeps making me take and strip out my referral links in my articles, and I'm going to have to ABANDON this board.
01-06-2005, 01:36 PM #3
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- Feb 2004
Very nice article! As far as the links go, your almost up there to the number of posts you have to have so that you can post links. Hang in there!The Web Hosting Show - The Voice of the Web Hosting World
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01-07-2005, 05:09 PM #4whiteknight0571Guest
OK, this is post number 10, we'll see how it goes. I've been around looking at some of the other articles, posting some replies, and this takes it to the number which I THINK it said I can actually leave my links in tact now within the articles I submit. After this post, I'll give it a try again and see what happens. Time I just didn't really have at the moment, but I'm just tired of fighting with the system. If this doesn't work, then you probably will NOT see me much around the boards. I just can't be taking THIS kind of time right now to try and do something someone has asked me to do, but the forum ties my hands to PREVENT me from doing.
01-07-2005, 05:17 PM #5whiteknight0571Guest
OK, posted the last, tried to post a new article, and got the same results as before. So, I've logged out, logged back in, and this post makes #11, last chance for the forum. If I've got to continue to fight with it, then it makes no sense for me to post in it. Sorry to all that have liked my articles and asked me to post here, I just can't be wasting valuable time, which I have a LIMITED amount of, to be fighting with a forum to get it to co-operate with me.
01-07-2005, 05:23 PM #6whiteknight0571Guest
Sorry guys, 11 posts now, still running into the problem after logging out, I'm gone. Maybe if I can find the time and can remember in a couple weeks to come back and try again, I'll be willing to ATTEMPT once more, but at this time, I've spent over 1.5 hours on this board with trying to meet the requirements, and still coming up with nada. Don't know what's going on, but I'm over the posts now, and still having to fight, and it just isn't worth the fight anymore. And this post makes 12.
01-08-2005, 10:24 AM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Very good article. These things are increasing these days and it is better to know how to avoid them then to fall into it.█ For Reliable and Affordable Web Hosting Packages, Please visit kooshin.com
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