The ugly truth is that some so-called money making opportunities floating around on the web aren’t legitimate. They’re scams that are designed to steal your money, waste your time, and cause you plenty of stress. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that with a little common sense, you can steer well clear of these fraudulent traps. Here is what to beware of:
- You need to pay an up-front fee.
Do you know how when you’re driving and you see an emergency vehicle behind you blaring its siren, you quickly move out of the way? Well, if you come across an opportunity that requires you to pay any kind of up-front fee, then do the same thing: move out of the way!
With this being said, if you do join a legitimate work-at-home program, there might be some costs involved — for example, you may need to get certified, or you may need to purchase training material. And of course, if you’re selling products, you may need to buy inventory. However, these costs should be minimal, and you should clearly understand what you’re buying and why. When in doubt, walk away.
- You’re asked to provide personal information.
If — and only if — you decide to move ahead with a legitimate opportunity, you may be required to provide some personal information. For example, if you’re join an affiliate program, you may need to provide your PayPal address (not your login credentials!) to get paid. But for the most part, your personal information should be off limits.
- There’s no website and contact information.
Any legitimate opportunity will have a website with full contact information. And “full contact information” means there should be a name, street address, email address, and phone number. If any of these are missing — or worse, if there is no website at all — then head straight for the exit without looking back.
- The offer sounds too good to be true.
If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, then you can be assured that it isn’t true at all. At best, you will be drawn into a tedious, time wasting correspondence that eventually reveals to you that the “thousands” you can make per week are based solely on commissions and there is no guarantee that you’ll even make a dollar. At worst, you’ll be heading straight into a scam that will cost you dearly.
- You need to install software.
Last but not least, many illegitimate opportunities are fronts for hackers trying to get victims to download and install malware-laden software. If you fall into this trap, then your computer will likely be rounded up as part of a botnet that is used to commit large-scale cyber crime.
The Bottom Line
There are many legitimate money making opportunities out there, such as working for credible market research firms, publishing digital banner signs on your website or blog as part of an affiliate program, testing websites for security and usability, and so on. However, there are some traps and pitfalls as well that you need to beware of. Keeping the above in mind will help ensure that your money making venture is rewarding, instead of regrettable.