Online Scams and Frauds to be Aware of

It’s a pretty common fact nowadays that the Internet is here to stay and that it has become a huge commodity market with many enthusiastic participants financially rise and fall in this new frontier for making money.

Alongside this emergence of opportunity for money to be made online, as always, with the cash come the crooks, and cyber crime is becoming increasingly more popular as more and more people around the globe gain access to Internet services. In China the online gaming industry alone acquires almost U.S.$5billion per year and is continuing it’s climb. Alongside these major players, ordinary Internet users are also taking part in small time money ventures online, including things such as surveys and user contributions to content and marketing that is funded by a multitude of organisations.

How to protect yourself against online scams

How to stay safe

Checking legitimacy before taking part is one of the easiest and most effective ways to self monitor and ensure avoidance of any potential scams. The great thing about the online market is that information is so abundant and so easy to obtain. If you see an offer and want to check it’s legitimacy, a Google search of the name will yield user submitted results either accounting for or warning against the service. Be careful when reading these reviews for legitimacy as well, if something sounds a little too confident and maybe a bit fishy then you are probably right.

It is important to remember to only follow something if you are entirely certain the business is legitimate and trustworthy. Another important thing to remember when considering the legitimate nature of online offers is that if the offer seems to be forced upon, e.g.: pop-ups and automatically opening windows then these deals are probably best to be avoided. A legitimate company paying people for their opinions will generally have no need to force you to participate with flashing banners and pop-ups, that’s why they offer income as incentive. A good way to deal with these websites is to use anti-virus software, firewalls and also Internet browser add-ons such as ‘Ad-Block’ to keep the scams at bay.

Spammy working from home websites

Working at home scams

Work at home scams may present themselves to an Internet user searching for online money making techniques in an attempt to catch unsuspecting people looking for some extra income. Generally these advertisements contain references to jobs such as medical claims processing, online searching, international shipping, rebate processing, envelope stuffing, or assembling crafts and other items. Be mindful of these forms of advertisements as they are often words affiliated with scam pages. Once again, if it seems too good to be true or far to perfect it probably is. What many of these pages fail to clearly inform you of is that accepting the terms of service often incur you fees and rather than making money, those who sign up are in fact charged money and then left out of pocket.

A great way to protect oneself against scams is also to become educated on expectation and the realities of online money making. If the work doesn’t require specific skills or seems very low in its demands but promises the prospect of earing hundreds or even thousands per week then it is almost certainly a fake. The prospects to earn online without any specific skill set is out there, however the remuneration is often in line with the demands of the job, and it is very unlikely that a person can successfully earn a total income through these methods. Therefore, attempt to find more legitimate sounding offers to add a little extra money into your pocket, don’t become over excited and fall victim to an obvious scam. What this all outlines is also what a person does want to look for in online home-based money making methods. Legitimate and legal home-based promoters will outline very clearly in writing the terms and conditions of your work, if something sounds wrong, it’s a good warning to stay away. Another option is to check with a consumer protection agency or ombudsman if you are still unsure whether it is safe to progress with an online promoter.

How about debt relieve sites?

Another reason many people are turning to online money schemes for additional income is to help alleviate things such as debt and pay off loans. As a result of this we enter another potential hazard in the online market, sites promising to ‘relieve you from troublesome debt’. Once again the too good to be true rule applies, however many of these pages can look incredibly legitimate, so it’s always safe to read all print carefully, if it is unclear, steer clear. Many of these pages will offer to consolidate your bills and average out monthly payments to help manage your debt. What they fail to mention is many companies will require you to fit certain criteria following your commitment to signing up, such as declaring bankruptcy, and in turn creating more expenditure in documentation and legal fees that were previously unmentioned.

One of the safest options when it comes to debt management therefore is to trust those you know. Talk to your creditors and work in person with legitimate sources, as although these online companies make grand promises, the more realistic options are usually the safest and therefore the most effective.

Stay away from online dating scams

Frauds in the online dating sector

Alongside the multitude of online scams related to consumers attempting to earn money, it seems the online con-artist industry has very few depths it is not winning to prowl. With the emergence of online dating becoming more and more commonplace, naturally so has the exploitation of these services in order to swindle unsuspecting love hopefuls out of their hard earned money. Usually a scammer in this realm will target someone and immediately profess a strong sentimentality and even love after a short period of time. Dating scammers usually claim to also be from America but for certain reasons live internationally.

Generally what follows is a complication and traumatic story, which generally leads to requests for small amounts of money and the promise of eventually being able to meet in person. It may sound absurd, but authentic people looking for love online are often very trusting of people posing to be a potential love interest. These scammers also employ many psychological techniques and in many cases victims have been so heavily manipulated that they continue to part with money even after numerous suspicious circumstances.

Basically, the only real recommendation for precautions in such circumstances is be aware and maintain a level of suspicion. If you meet a potential partner on a well known dating website, often scammers will immediately try and draw you into private conversation outside of the host website. The reason for this is the monitoring that such sites conduct to ensure legitimacy. So make a rule, if a supposed interest immediately wants to continue contact outside the official dating sites, this is a red flag. And finally, of course, never wire money to anyone for any reason.

Ultimately, as much as the online market offers new opportunities for earning and rewards, the risk of potential exploitation still weighs very heavily. Therefore, the best plan to ensure avoiding any potential of falling victim to a scam, is to be educated and aware. Ensure your expectations are realistic and that you are frequenting trusted pages. If anything appears out of the ordinary or if agreement statements and sign-up pages are unclear then it is always worth avoiding these places. Hopefully the short tips featured within this article might help instil some solidarity in those who were still a little timid in trusting these online schemes. So coupled with a firm understanding of potential dangers and an enthusiasm to experience the excitement and potential of the online money making market, people from all over the world are managing a safe and effective system for boosting a few extra dollars for their pocket with confidence.

writes for SurveyCompare.