“Make $547 in 10 minutes with absolutely zero risk.”
– Advertisement that I saw online
Without trying to sound arrogant, I suspect that the vast majority of this site’s readership is incredibly intelligent. Actually, I suspect that anyone who reads blogs or actual articles, i.e. not BuzzFeed, is probably smarter than the average person.
The majority of the population won’t seek out answers to their problems. They’ll wait for someone else to point out what’s wrong and then scramble to find the quickest fix possible. Get rich quick schemes, the “horny singles in your area” fraud, and countless other scams wouldn’t exist if people were willing to work towards something.
The ignorant and the lazy have paid for a lot of snake oil salesmen to live lavishly.
On several occasions I’ve worked for clients who helm various pyramid schemes, “miracle” workout routines, and “newly discovered” methods for getting rich. While most of their material is pretty cheesy, a few of these “companies” put out content that looks believable. They don’t claim anything too outlandish and their sites and products look authentic. With New Year’s resolutions on the way, I’ve decided to provide a handy guide to avoid getting conned:
- Is the product related to a blog?
This is actually my main criteria for buying almost anything online. If a product is associated with a blog there’s less of a chance that you’ll get ripped off. If there’s a blog you can get a taste of what the product will be like. Poorly written websites with a shady vibe and horrible design will probably beget awful products. Additionally, some guy who’s running a scam isn’t going to waste hundreds of hours creating well thought out posts.
- Are there off-site reviews of the product.
I recently looked into buying a Fiverr related eBook that was being sold on a forum I visit. While I didn’t know the member, I saw that he had a good reputation. Right before I bought his book, I did a quick Google search and discovered that his “money making technique” was highly illegal. I saved myself $20 and some legal trouble simply by looking for an off-site review.
While I think most people probably are already capable of avoiding scams, I simply wanted to throw out a little reminder. The post Christmas blogging/exercise/entrepreneurship craze is the perfect season for con men to strike it rich. Be wary and do your research. There’s nothing worse than spending $25 for a useless eBook.