November 7, 2009

How to Identify a Scam Site

A lot of people like you and me have turned to the internet for some ways to make a decent living. We always look for opportunity to earn money while we still spend quality time with our family. But sadly, there are some people taking advantage of us, wanting to make money out of our own time and efforts. But let us prove to them that we are wise and not desperate.

These are some basic guidelines on how to identify a scam site, whether be it a paid-to-click site, paid-to-read, paid-to-sign up, paid-to-promote, a survey site etc.

1. They require you to pay for a registration fee.

Most, if not all of the legitimate websites offer free membership. You don't have to pay anything to be a member of their website.

Or the registration is free but they require you to purchase their ebook to qualify as a member.

You're looking for ways to earn money, why would you need to pay first before getting paid?



2. They offer a huge amount of money.

As an example, richestmails.net offers $500 sign up bonus and pays $100 for every paid-to-read mails or links. The minimum withdrawable earning or pay out is $20,000.

So good to be true isn't it? Who on earth will pay you $100 just for clicking a single advertisement? So unbelievable!

3. They set a high minimum withdrawable amount.

Their click rate or pay rate is low and the required minimum earnings before cash out is too high. The usual highest minimum pay out for a legitimate site is $10 whether paid via Paypal, Alertpay, mailed check etc. If the site requires an amount higher than that, the possibility is, the site have earned so much from you before you realized you have been scammed.

4. The site always change their domain name and always undergo "site maintenance" as an excuse for not paying their members.

This is their way to escape from paying their members. It is so easy to rent or buy a domain name, it will only cost you $9-10 a year, the cheapest I know, compared to their liability to hundreds of members.

Example: cashmails.net, cashmails.biz, cashmails.org

5. No FAQ link is provided.

FAQ or Frequently Answered Questions should always be present in a money making website because the important information a potential member should know must be all provided for.

6. No response to "contact us".

When you have tried to sent them an email inquiry by clicking their "contact us" link or by submitting a "help ticket" and they don't respond.

A legitimate site usually responds to an inquiry within 24-72 hours. And the answer should be rational and acceptable.

7. No contact particulars provided on the site or their contact particulars is incorrect or non-existing.

Information as to their office address and telephone number are basic contact details they shouldn't miss to provide. If it is provided, check if it's correct or existing. Perhaps they used a city in Australia when they disclose their address is in the US. A scam site can also fake contact information. Lack of proper information and misleading information are clear signs of deception.
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Before joining any site, research about the website's reputation first. Use google search engine and type the name/address of the site. I personally check the 1st 3-5 pages then I will weigh the positive and negative comments found on some blogs and forums in the net.

If the site is really a scam, in the 1st page alone you'll be able to read blogs /comments from a lot of people cursing it. But there are also some suspected sites having positive comments. Please note that administrators of some scam sites can also be dummies and post fake testimonies to build good reputation. What you can do is to analyze and balance these comments to arrive at the right decision as to joining the site or not.

I hope I had helped you on identifying scam sites. I wish there would be no more scam victim.

Image credit: photobucket.com

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