Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

How To Avoid Online Scams

Photo by: GreythingIf someone you know contacts you and tells you that he has a guaranteed way for you to make money online, it’s probably a scam. I’m not accusing your friend of trying to rip you off, it could be that he has been duped into believing in the scam himself. Be careful.

Here’s eight ways to avoid being scammed online. Anyone looking for a job should pay close attention to this post too. Scam artists are after you first, then you do their dirty work and your friends become victims too.

These scams both online and offline tend to make victims waste so much of their time, and in some cases their money, that they can’t admit to themselves that they are in too deep. It’s part guilt and part denial. A great film about this seedy technique is Great World Of Sound, but I digress.

Today I was contacted by someone I don’t really know on Facebook via chat. He told me about a new great service being launched today that would definitely make me money. I researched it for him, because it didn’t sound right.

If you’re given an offer that sounds too good to be true it most likely is. However, if you really want to test the legitimacy of the offer keep reading…

1. Search for the company on RipoffReport.com, Snopes.com and Scams.com. Also, a simple Google search for the company may raise some red flags right away.

2. Look at the company’s website footer. They will likely have copyright information, perhaps a parent company. Note the parent company name and domain. (Repeat Step 1. and search for the other company name).

3. Read their privacy policy and terms of service. While these documents are often painful to read, it’s a lot more painful to have your time and money wasted.

4. Find out who owns the company’s domain by visiting:
www.whois.net/whois/ENTER_URL_HERE.com. The results should reveal who owns the domain and contact information. Is there a person’s name? Google the name of the person who owns it. The results may find the person’s LinkedIn account, personal website or other businesses. Search for those businesses in the same way as above. Anything shady? You should also note the email address on the person’s contact information, if it’s JohnSmith@BLAHBLAH.com, you should also search BLAHBLAH.com.

5. Use the power of social media to find out if it’s legit. Search for the company name on Twitter Search and Facebook’s search engine. What are your friends, fans and followers saying?

6. Search the company name in Google Blog Search. See what the blogosphere is talking about.

7. Check Yahoo! Answers and Get Satisfaction. If the answers to questions about the company are supportive and positive, you should pay special attention here. Click on each user who has posted something in the company’s favor, note how many questions they have answered previously. If it’s their first and only answer, or if they have answered many questions about the company then they may be a shill.

8. Go with your gut. Ask your loved ones and friends what they think.

Have you ever been a victim of an online scam? Do you have any tips of your own?

Photo by: Greything on Flickr

Dave

http://www.davemadethat.com

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  • I am Farrah Fawcett, a Batswnian copywriter to the family of Pillsbury Dough Boy, former Ayatollah of Oman. I seek the assistance of someone who is genuinely interested in entering into a business relationship with relish. Understanding and willingness to scrubbing the toilet are essential.

    In brief, Pillsbury Dough Boy was the former Ayatollah of Oman and had ruled there for 5 years before he baked out of office some years back. Upon his resignation from power, he and members of his family have been given noogies and flushies by successive governments in his country. This has led to the freezing of peanuts belonging to him and members of the Illuminati both home and abroad. Many socks belonging to them both locally and internationally have also been seized.

    Based on the aforementioned, however, it is noteworthy to inform you that they still have a family fortune consisting of millions of Italian Lira, hidden away in snuff boxes in a couriers septum, which is only known only by me, the family members, Bijou Phillips and Huckleberry Finn. It is therefore on this note that Pillsbury Dough Boy has directed that I secretly find a genuine and reliable Ralien with whom they have had no previous personal or business relationship. This Ralien is to assist them in transferring these Italian Lira to a safe account. He or she would provide assistance to unwind this said amount. They intend to scrubbing the toilet with a reasonable percentage of this money, though this is subject to apples and oranges.

    My duty therefore, among others, is to ensure that you will not only help braise and crunch this fund in a zucchini that you will provide, to save them from being scraped by security agencies from Shangrila, but you will also coordinate a volley ball. You will also assist in investing the family fortune that is scattered all over the world in Kinder Surprise toys. Note that there is no risk involved because you, the family members, Brahma, and Eddie Murphy are the only ones who know this. As soon as we receive your letter of acceptance/acknowledgement/dim whitted, I shall give you more toe nails on this transaction.

    The snack that smiles back until you bite it's head off,
    Farrah Fawcett

  • That Pillsbury Dough Boy knows me well. Love it! http://www.liloia.com/419/

  • I am Farrah Fawcett, a Batswnian copywriter to the family of Pillsbury Dough Boy, former Ayatollah of Oman. I seek the assistance of someone who is genuinely interested in entering into a business relationship with relish. Understanding and willingness to scrubbing the toilet are essential.

    In brief, Pillsbury Dough Boy was the former Ayatollah of Oman and had ruled there for 5 years before he baked out of office some years back. Upon his resignation from power, he and members of his family have been given noogies and flushies by successive governments in his country. This has led to the freezing of peanuts belonging to him and members of the Illuminati both home and abroad. Many socks belonging to them both locally and internationally have also been seized.

    Based on the aforementioned, however, it is noteworthy to inform you that they still have a family fortune consisting of millions of Italian Lira, hidden away in snuff boxes in a couriers septum, which is only known only by me, the family members, Bijou Phillips and Huckleberry Finn. It is therefore on this note that Pillsbury Dough Boy has directed that I secretly find a genuine and reliable Ralien with whom they have had no previous personal or business relationship. This Ralien is to assist them in transferring these Italian Lira to a safe account. He or she would provide assistance to unwind this said amount. They intend to scrubbing the toilet with a reasonable percentage of this money, though this is subject to apples and oranges.

    My duty therefore, among others, is to ensure that you will not only help braise and crunch this fund in a zucchini that you will provide, to save them from being scraped by security agencies from Shangrila, but you will also coordinate a volley ball. You will also assist in investing the family fortune that is scattered all over the world in Kinder Surprise toys. Note that there is no risk involved because you, the family members, Brahma, and Eddie Murphy are the only ones who know this. As soon as we receive your letter of acceptance/acknowledgement/dim whitted, I shall give you more toe nails on this transaction.

    The snack that smiles back until you bite it's head off,
    Farrah Fawcett

  • That Pillsbury Dough Boy knows me well. Love it! http://www.liloia.com/419/