Sunday, December 7, 2008

One Rule You Can't Afford Not to Follow: Avoid Online Get-Rich-Quick Scams

In your life of web browsing, you probably have come across many "paid online surveys", "paid surfing", "paid to test products" and "paid to complete offers" sites and so have I. I had thought that one day, one of these get-rich-quick scams would actually work. But now I know better as my email inbox is being flooded with spam from these websites to the point where I get over 100 spam messages within a week.
Plus, I've wasted hundreds of hours looking these up and then trying them out to come to nothing. In fact, I haven't earned a single cent for my efforts, each time finding out in the end that it was all a huge scam. And it's quite disappointing when you've spent a whole afternoon completing offers only to find out that nothing really happens; it can ruin your entire day.
However, I haven't gotten to the point where I'm paying for these opportunities. And trust me, I've seen my fair share of these types of sites. They're the ones with half the page in caps and highlighted in yellow. There's multi-colored text and even a few videos "proving" that the system the site is promoting works. And then of course, at the end there are a few made-up testimonials and finally they ask for the bill. But this isn't where it stops: When you've made up your mind that you don't want to throw your money out of the window, and decide that you want to close your browser, there'll be an alert that pops up and asks you if you're sure you want to leave. Perhaps, accidentally, you press cancel. Then, they'll take you to an extremely irritating robot chat window.
I know though, that if I did give my credit card information to these guys, they not only wouldn't give me anything in return, they would likely steal my identity and begin charging my credit card. I've heard the truly sad stories of this happening.
Slowly, I've trained my eye to recognize these types of pages and immediately close them when I arrive. Here are a few criteria:

1. Pictures of models holding wads of cash
2. Testimonials of any kind (they're usually fake)
3. A profuse amount of emphasis (e.g. coloured words, highlighted words, all caps, bolded words)
4. Impossibly large figures (There isn't the slightest chance that you'll make $2,000 per week taking surveys)
5. Attempts at professional-looking web design
6. Made-up terms ("Constant-profit"? Doesn't that just sound fishy?)

So whenever you see something of this sort, make sure to consult your common sense before making any decisions that could just about ruin your life.

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