Breaking News! Stay at home mom earns $8,000/month online! Oh – you’ve heard that one before? I have. Dozens of different times on dozens of different sites. They might all have different names, but it is the same time of scam over and over again. If you’ve run across the name Mary Johnson, then you’ve just found yet another version of the scam.
These scams are so common that it’s basically impossible to review them all. For every scam that disappears (for whatever reason), another two or three are going to pop up and take its place. Thankfully, there are common patterns from one scam to the next, making it relatively easy to work out which sites promote legitimate ways to earn money and which ones are nothing but scams.
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Warning Signs: Jillian and Mary Are Both Fakers!
One of the first warning signs with any money making site is unrealistic claims, like this one:
News reports like this are often taken out of context (from unrelated news reports), or actually paid for. You can get an official looking news report made by an advertising agency for just $50-$200!
While it is possible to make high amounts of money online, only a small proportion of people who work online actually achieve this. At the end of the day, the process of making money is one that is going to involve time, effort and dedication.
It’s also something that you can’t put an exact dollar value on. I know they aren’t saying you can earn exactly that much through the proposed approach – but that certainly is the implication. In contrast, most legitimate programs won’t put a dollar value on how much you can potentially earn, because it really is impossible to generalize.
Another warning sign is generalizations.
Scam sites tend to give very little indication about what you are actually doing. For example, this is some of the promotion for a site simply called Online Income:
This tells you that you are signing up for a program that has ‘great’ support. In other words, it basically tells you nothing. In many cases, you actually have to pay for the program before you even find out what approach you are supposed to be using to make money.
That’s a really concerning practice, because some approaches for making money online are effective, while others really aren’t. You certainly don’t want to be paying money for anything that has very little chance to earn you money.
What’s In A Name?
Names can tell you a lot. When a person is promoting something legitimate, they will often attach their own name and personality to their site. For example, I tell you who I am and some things about my life and my experiences, partly because I want you to know that I am actually a real person. I use my middle name as a pen name, but it's still my real name and you can look me up, or see me in live webinars occasionally.
Scam sites often try to mimic this pattern, but they do so in a pretty obvious way.
In particular, link posting scams along with some other types of scams, will often focus on the character of a mom. Often it is a single mother presented and the story will emphasize on how she recently lost her job or something similar. The next part of the story will focus on how Melissa Johnson, or whatever name they choose to use, found this amazing secret that lets her earn her living online.
One key indication of the scam is that the same basic story is repeated time and time again on different sites, even though they are supposed to be promoting completely different products or services.
Another is the images of the people behind the site. For example, you will often find images and claims like this:
To me, that image is a major red flag. It is far too perfect and it looks like it has been posed and edited to make it as perfect as possible. The image also doesn’t make sense. If you actually work from home you’d know that lying on your stomach and trying to work is seriously uncomfortable and gets painful fast.
In this case, you can also see that the name is pretty similar.
A lot of the time, the names that sites use are slight variations of one another. For example, I’ve seen Mary Johnson, Melissa Johnson and Sarah Johnson; as well as other variations like Mary Stevens. It almost seems like the sites can’t come up with original names. These websites tend to target folks that do not do investigation into products like this. Actually, most of these names and products have been exposed as scams in one way or another on various websites.
If you are considering trying any site, make sure you take the time to learn about it and to read the fine print carefully. Often a site will promote itself as having a very low chance, to convince you to try it out. However, the fine print may reveal a different story. For example, that small fee may turn out to be a cost for a trial of the program, rather than the program. When that happens, signing up means that you agree to pay a certain amount once your trial period is over.
I’ve seen sites that charge less than $5 for a three day trial, then more than $50 as soon as that trial is over and they do not warn you that there is a rebill coming! That’s manipulation pure and simple, and it catches a lot of people unaware.
Making Money Legitimately
So, how do you do it? How do you make money online legitimately?
There are real and effective approaches out there, but they can often be hard to find just because of the number of scams. I cover one approach that offers much less risk in my email course, which is 100% free to join. That gives you the chance to check it out without having to put any money down.