I have established “Ten Principles of Avoiding Affiliate Marketing Scams“ I use to evaluate any Internet company offering affiliate opportunities and ways to protect myself in case l join the wrong company.
The good news is that a few affiliate scams are sophisticated enough to steal from us by accessing our bank accounts. Most of them manipulate our emotions knowing that we often forget business principles when we come to the internet and we want to get rich quick.
If you follow these ten principles you will lose ZERO cents on the internet.
Principles of Avoiding Online Business Scams.
Principle #1–Never enter your account details when joining any free program.
Most programs are said to be FREE so why should you enter your payment details? Why not tell them that l don’t have any money or bank account that is why l want to make money for Free. Allied to this suggestion, tell them that you will arrange how you can get paid after making the money. In most cases if it is a scam they will ignore you and concentrate on those with VISA accounts who they can easily steal from.
Furthermore, never pay pay for a program you have never used to avoid heart aches. How do you evaluate whether the program you are paying for is worth the amount stated before testing it for free? Forget about all the MONEY BACK CRAP, because as l said before, the refund process is not automatic and is normally through sending private emails which are often ignored. If you know your program works then let me test it first before l decide to pay.
Principle #2– Only enter your account details for the purposes of receiving payment.
If possible create an online bank account with a reputable bank e.g. PayPal to receive payment. If it is impossible to open a PayPal account from your country, ask how else you can receive your payments and evaluate if it is a sound method or a desperate way to get you on board. Furthermore if you have a PayPal account already, transfer all the available funds to your main account before entering the account details to minimise losses.
Principle# 3–Create a new e-mail address when joining an online business.
This way, even if your e-mail account is hacked they can not access your private mail or contacts to whom they can send spam mail requesting money in your name. After all it is not advisable to mix business and personal e-mails.
Principle #4– Read people’s reviews and comments about the program on public forums.
Search for independent comments by people on public platforms who have joined the company before you e.g. on Yahoo Answers or Wiki How. YouTube can also have videos talking about such businesses and be wary of those who disable comments about their videos, they are obviously avoiding scrutiny. Never rely on testimonials on the company’s website. Comments by website visitors if scrutinised can offer more valuable information than testimonials. Check if questions asked are being answered and on time. If there are no professional responses and the website administrator is defensive it can raise alarms.
Principle #5– Identify the owners or founders of the company?
This is one of the principles that most scammers fail to satisfy. Surely if you can know the name of large companies like Google, Yahoo then why should you fail to identify the owners of a small website? Search the complete names of the founders on the internet and go through their profiles. If their names are non-existent on the internet then that is a sign of danger.
Principle #6 – Avoid get rich quick schemes.
If one knows how to get rich quick then why are they still looking for clients to join their company? Any business needs investment in terms of time, training, set up etc. The get rich quick mindset is what scammers cash on because being greedy is a chronic human weakness. Most of such schemes are Ponzi or pyramid schemes which only enrich the top brass.
Principle #7– If the company is providing FREE services; how is it financed?
Every company needs income to finance its operations so there is no company which can survive while offering free services. Find where the catch is by internet research using key words such as ‘how much does it cost to join company X’ or ‘how is company X financed’. If it is not clear or explicit how the company makes its profit then they are waiting to finance their business using your hard earned cash.
Principle #8– How will l create wealth and when am l going to be paid?
Establish how you are going to make money, when and how it will get to into your account. Enlarge the small print and read it when you have spare time. An experiment showed that people often ignore the small print but will go through every word after they lose their money, so why not read it now than later. Is there face validity on what is being said e.g. How can you make $5 000 a day by just joining a website for FREE?
Principle #9– Why should l download software onto my computer when the job is online?
Avoid any businesses where you need to download software in order to join. This way malicious Malware will be installed into your computer which can be used to collect your personal information.
Principle #10– How do you contact others who joined the company before you?
The finally bomb that eliminates 95% of scammers is the question ‘Does the online company allow me to interact with those who joined the company before me? Yes, I want to meet others who are making money using the services of your company. If the answer is NO and you are only contacted through your private e-mail then let alarm bells ring. I put this on the last of the end of the list but you can eliminate most scammers by starting your evaluation using this principle. No-one wants you to meet people they scammed because they will tell the story.
Do you have any additional reg flags you know off?