|How Can You Avoid Getting Ripped
Off From Make Money Scam
The real fact is that unless you’ve been ripped off once in the past, you probably won’t know how to recognise a scam when even when you see one. The reason why is it difficult to spot a scam because most scams look like the real thing and they appear to meet your need or desire.
Scams take many forms: overseas lotteries, get-rich-quick schemes, work-from-home jobs and hundreds more, but the fact is that unless you’ve been ripped off in the past you probably don’t know how to recognise a scam when you see one.
The people who design the scams are clever. Most scams look like the real thing and they appear to meet your need or desire. They often piggy-back off the reputation of schemes which are proven to be legitimate, for example, not all lotteries are fake, not all work-from-home schemes are rip offs. Unfortunately it can be extremely hard to tell the difference…so let’s commence your education!
Firstly, let me clear up a couple of myths. Many people hold the belief that every business is OK because they are all vetted by some kind of government authority. This is false. While government agencies in Australia and most other developed nations work hard to shut down illegal scams, the scammers might rip off hundreds people before they are caught.
Another dangerous myth is that there are quick short cuts to “getting rich”. People claiming to be millionaires regularly hold seminars or write e-books to explain how you can make a fortune by simply following their advice: perhaps it’s a secret stock market plan, a way to make millions with real estate you don’t own, or participating in online surveys from your own home computer.
Do any of the above scams sound familiar? You probably see them on the internet all the time. Ask yourself: if a person knew the secret to instant wealth, would they want everyone in the world to find out about it? And if they’re already a millionaire, why would they spend all their time telling people about it…and why would they need to charge people money for it?
Keep in mind, however, that not all scammers go for the “get rich quick” headline. Some will entice you with a smaller but equally attractive proposition: the opportunity to quit your day job and earn the same money by working part-time from home. These scams run rampant on the internet and often start by only requesting a small outlay, of say $40 for which they will send you an e-book containing the secrets of wealth.
You might be thinking, “I’m willing to gamble $40 for the possibility of never having to work again! It’s worth it.” Once you hand over the $40 any number of things may then happen:
The golden rule is: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Now I know that this is a pretty negative mantra - those “positive thinking” and “life management” coaches would have a heart-attack if they heard me preaching such negativity! But they are not thinking about your best financial interests.
Here is how you should react if you receive a suspicious offer: In person: Say NO THANKS and walk away
Be especially wary of a salesperson that tells you that “you must take up the offer today”. If the offer is legitimate, there’s no reason the salesperson cannot give you some information to take home and examine at your leisure. If the offer comes from a Telemarketer, they should be happy to post you some information or give you a return phone number so that you can call back if you are interested at a later date.
Still interested in the offer? Log on to the Australian Government’s Scam Watch website: www.scamwatch.gov.au (or other governmental “fair trading” website relevant to your location). This is actually an excellent website for anyone around the world and will help you identify whether the offer is a known scam.
OK, if you are still convinced that the offer is not a scam, then write down any questions you have. Take a friend or relative with you when you talk to the salesperson again (preferably the toughest, most analytical, least-easy-to-impress person you know!). Make sure you are completely satisfied with the answers to all of your questions and get everything in writing.
I’m not saying that every opportunity is really a scam. There are many legitimate lotteries, employment and investment opportunities out there.
If you stumble on a great investment, good for you! By completing all of the above steps you are doing your research – something EVERY investor should do.
But if, like many money-making opportunities, it turns out to be a scam, don’t loose sleep over it.
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