Have you or someone you know ever been the victim of an Internet Scam? Check out my Top Tips on how to avoid getting scammed on the Internet.
Hello and thank you for joining me! My name is Tyson and I’ll be your tour guide for this simple walkthrough on avoiding Internet Scams.
They’re bloody everywhere these days, aren’t they? I’ve seen more Internet Scam websites in the past few years than I’ve seen in my whole life, and it needs to stop!
Sometimes they’re pretty ridiculous, like “Give me a small payment of X amount of dollars, and I’ll return it tenfold next week” or some other nonsense. Other times, they come across as quite legitimate and professional, and to the untrained eye it can be very alluring.
There might even be Free Stuff involved, like guides you can download if you give them your Email address and personal information.
For the record, trading out your Personal Info instead of Money does not make it “Free” by any means.
I wanted to follow that up with “Trust Me”, but the reality is you probably don’t know me well enough yet and that’s okay. My goal here isn’t to sell you on anything except the importance of your personal safety on the Internet.
That being said, I’ll offer up a quick blurb about myself to clear the way.
My name is Tyson and I’ve been doing Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, and Sales (both private and commercial) for a couple years now. Beyond that, I’ve also worked in the Shipping, Receiving, Logistics, and Advertising fields over the years as well.
And lastly, I’m a family man that has been dodging Credit Card scams and shady sales attempts for what feels like ages now, Internet-based or otherwise. All the while I’ve been more than happy to help my friends and family learn to be more careful too. Thankfully I have my own website now, and can help more people like yourself because of it.
All I ask is that you do your best to be careful, and spread any useful information that you’ve learned here today so that others can avoid getting scammed also.
Use Google To Look Up Reviews
This is my favorite tactic when it comes to anything fishy I find, online or offline – looking up reviews!
It seems so simple, and you’ve probably done it before but I can’t stress the advantage it gives to the consumer. Being able to look up possibly hundreds or even thousands of reviews for a product or service instantly is just amazing.
Here’s how you do it:
Open up Google (or your preferred Search Engine) and type in “_____ reviews”, with the blank obviously being the product or service in question. If it’s a product like a Video Game for example, you’ll just type in “video game name reviews” and you’ll no doubt get tons of results.
If it’s something you’re even more skeptical about, you can even enter “is [product name] a scam” and you’ll be well on your way to finding out. Pretty easy, right?
But what if the reviews don’t seem legitimate?
Good question, and one that get asked from time to time thanks to scummy review sites out there or people that are just trying to earn a buck by pushing sketchy services.
Sites like Fiverr offer a platform for users to benefit from freelance work like article writing or video testimonials, which gives a lot of freedom to sketchy business owners and website designers. This makes it easy to pay for people to create artificial reviews to promote your product.
My Advice? Try to use reputable sources for your reviews, if you see them in your search results. Government websites like the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and Official News Outlets like CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) are very credible sources of information.
University Websites from places like Harvard also offer research and Science-based insights to many things as well.
But if it’s some sketchy blog that is so packed with advertisements that you can barely scroll without your computer or phone freezing up, then you might be in less-than-savoury territory. Just something to watch out for!
Make a Fake Email Account
Seriously, don’t use your Personal or Professional Email addresses if you can’t be sure what you’re getting into is safe.
Emails are FREE to sign up for! Get a Gmail account here for absolutely nothing.
Don’t be afraid to have a fake Email that you just use for stuff like this. It will save you from getting a whole bunch of extra spam and phishing scam Emails in your main inbox.
I have several Email addresses myself, and one that I use specifically for shady spam sites or services. It’s saved me much headache in the past and now you should do the same if you haven’t already.
BONUS TIP: Don’t be afraid to give phony credentials too!
If the website you’re on wants your name or some other personal details, make something up until you’re sure that it’s not just another Internet scam. You can always come back and create a new account using real information if you determine it’s not some “get rich quick” scheme or some other attempt on your money.
Use Google Image Search To Spot Fakes
How about this photo on the right, for example. Would you believe me if I said that was me at 8:30 AM this morning getting my thoughts organized for this article?
Well, it’s definitely not me! In fact I have no idea who it is, but I do know one thing for sure: It is very easy to get your hands on stock images like that one.
They have tons of high quality images that are used daily by Bloggers and News Reporters, but also by Scam Artists and Con-Men to try and give credibility to their websites.
So what can we do to spot these scammers?
It’s easier than you might think! Any time you’re on a shady website and you’re questioning the authenticity of the author and his “magnificent” services that are offered, track down his picture if there is one.
Right click on the image and select “save image as”, then name it whatever you want and save it to your PC.
Open Google, and choose the [images] tab on the upper right to start searching by image.
Now you can insert the questionable image into the search and you may be very surprised by what you uncover. If it’s a profile picture, you may find it used multiple times by other sites. That’s a bad sign if it’s supposed to be someone’s personal photo, just so you’re aware.
And if someone is willing to lie about who they are, imagine the lies about what they’ll do with your money and personal information!
It never hurts to be cautious online, remember that.
Watch Out For The Upsells
Free is a pretty enticing word if you ask me. It’s a word that speaks to people from all walks of life in a way that Marketing experts are fully aware of.
And trust me, they use and abuse it in the most nefarious of ways!
But it is also worth knowing that “free” in itself is not a bad thing, even getting things for free isn’t bad. But that’s where you have to ask yourself:
“If not money, what am I paying with?”
Always keep an eye out for anything that claims to be free, but then asks for a Credit Card or personal details with some flimsy excuse as to why.
Be wary of any websites that say that they can make you money, but need a small investment to get the ball rolling.
Those are scam tactics, plain and simple. Though not always used exclusively by con-artists, they’re definitely a favorite from that shady playbook.
Ask Someone You Can Trust
If you’ve used these techniques to try and uncover a scam website, but find you’re still on the fence about the legitimacy of it, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask an expert!
There are a number of websites out there that are committed to sniffing out and hunting down potential internet scams, and they typically have some kind of way to get in touch. This allows consumers, for example, to send an email or message with details on some sketchy website or products that will get looked into.
My goal with this website is not only offering advice and tips for individuals looking to make money on the internet, but to track down scam websites and expose them for what they are.
If you suspect a website might be internet scam, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll have it looked into by myself or one of my colleagues.
The Internet might be full of mysterious offers and dead-end promises, but that doesn’t mean you have to sort through it alone.
And that about wraps it all up, folks! I hope this article was able to provide some useful tips to help keep you safe in your Internet ventures. If you like what you’ve read, feel free to share this article so it may help others as well.
And as I mentioned earlier, send me an email if you need help sniffing out a scam! Nobody should be losing money thanks to some raw deal from a shady website.
And last of all, if you’ve had any bad experiences online that you’d like to share, or know someone that has, leave me a comment down below. Or if you have some piece of advice that might help another person out that I haven’t covered here today, that would also be a big help!
Thanks for stopping by and safe travels on the Internet!