Most people get scammed at some point in their ventures to achieve success online. In fact, 90% of all people that buy a product related toInternet marketing at some point feel as though they have been “ripped off”. That does not give the industry as a whole and that doesn’t sit easy with me.
And that is why I created this site, to help YOU avoid SCAMS. There is nothing worse than working hard for you money only to have some “slickster” marketer or schemer to make you part ways with that money with nothing in return.
There are a few obvious ways to determine if a product is a scam and I base all of my product reviews on my site on these principles.
Top 8 Ways to Tell Avoid Scams Online
(1) A Video “Only” Sales Page. If you go to a website and you see a video and THAT IS IT, run for the hills. The only product owners that do this are ones that “force” you to sit through their long sales pitches and that lack enough substance to provide you with any helpful or informative content on their site. If it is a video only, it is a very good sign that the product is going to be a scam.
(2) No Way to Contact on their Website. I am sorry, but if a company cannot offer you an easy way to get in touch with you on their website/sales page, then they should not get your business. This will be a sign of things to come, trust me. And if you do contact their support and you don’t get a response, you are better off not making a purchase (this can be a quick test you do to see if the product is legit).
(3) If the product does not offer support. One thing that I like to do with any product online is to test their support. If a product is legit and they truly care about their customers, they will provide timely “external” support and field any questions that a prospective customer may have. If you send an email to a company and you don’t get a response within 48 hours (the quicker the better), then I recommend that you avoid that program as it is a sign of things to come!
(4) A 60 Day Guarantee. If the sales page of a product constantly emphasizes the fact that there is a guarantee, chances are it might be a scam. In particular if it is a 60 day guarantee, which typically means that it is a clickbank product that typically means that the product is likely a low quality one.
(5) Constant Upsells. If the product makes you buy, then tries to make you buy again…it is likely just the start. One of the most common scams online are “low ticket” initial sales (ie. $7 products). As soon as you make your purchase, you then get inundated with upsells, downsells and sideways sells and before you know it you have been offered $100’s (sometimes $1,000’s) of addition products you need to buy to complete the program. This is why I tend to recommend products that you can “try before you buy” (like Wealthy Affiliate).
(6) Outrageous Claims of Success. Success overnight is not possible and any product that claims $1,000’s of income in the first month is an absolute scam.
(7) It is promoted by another GURU. Yes, if a product is being flogged by a guru that does not own it, guess what, it is probably a scam. The reason they are promoting it is not because they believe in the product, rather they have made an agreement that “if you promote my product, I will promote yours”.
(8) Fake or Scammy Pictures. If the product sales page has a big mansion, a fancy lambourghini, or someone sitting on the beach with a laptop in their hand, chances are the product is a complete scam. Companies that need to showboat like this are typically lacking in the credibility and actual product quality department (ever heard of “short man syndrome” lol). Avoid at all measures.
I have come across a website named affiliatebootcamp.com which promotes a special affiliate program with Clickfunnels which is run by Russel Brunson.
I have looked at the first 10 days of this but now it has forwarded me to a 28 day trial page before a $97 per/month automated charge for a basic entry or a $197 per/month for the upgraded level.
The more I write this the more it sounds like a SCAM to me but I thought I would ask anyway.
Look forward to your response.
That is hardly free as advertised, but Russell Brunson does produce some good content and ClickFunnels is software that has a pretty good reputation in the industry. There are other services that are high quality and very much comparable that you may want to check out if you are looking to build funnels, these include leadpages.net and appsumo.com, both very legitimate companies.
You should not be building a funnel until you have a source of traffic and a website as a foundation. Most people that are building funnels end up losing money and unless you have a sizeable budget to risk, I wouldn’t recommend it as your starting point.
Although I disagree with some of these type of marketing antics, Russel Brunson is not a scam and he does publish quality content and the ClickFunnels software is quite good.
please is graphcard.com fraud?
I have never heard of this program, but I will investigate. Perhaps this will be a future review.
Do you know anything about World Global? I know someone who got “a kit” from them to sell Helo watches. Cost $1500.
I haven’t heard of them but I will definitely look into them. It sounds like they are in the MLM/Network Marketing Space if they got a “kit”. These are often times giving to distributors of companies and contain product as well as marketing materials to you can get others to join into the same scheme. Most of the money made in lots of these programs will be recruiting others and getting them to pay for these “kits” without actually selling product to the general public.
Thanks Kyle for this post, you have really opened my eye to many scams and I am pretty sure I wont fall for any. Proudly a member at WA and loving it. Am thankful I found it.
Thanks again kyle.
Glad to help the greater public out, that is the mission with this site and has been our ongoing mission with Wealthy Affiliate over the past 12 years. We care about you, your journey moving forward and ultimately your success. We don’t like seeing people getting ripped off or scammed online.
Are there any products on clickbank that are any good or just all scams or low quality? Where they have thousands of products it might be best to avoid buying anything from them.
There are many legitimate programs on Clickbank, it comes down to the product itself and Clickbank actually went through a cleansing process over the past couple of years and started removing any program that was getting a refund rate that was too high or programs that didn’t meet with their quality standards. You may see most of the scheme product creators have moved on and are now publishing their churn and burn ebooks within other affiliate networks.
Hey Kyle! I always wondered about those video only sales pages. They claim to make you money but don’t say how and some even offer $500 for getting to the end of the never ending video! Another thing that seems scammy to me is when I’m not allowed to leave the website without having to close popups and “prevent page from creating additional dialogues” lol
Yeah, pop-ups and in particular ones that are offering you a lower rate for the price in which was just being sold to you is a little suspect as well. Lots of companies are doing this and it makes you wonder why they couldn’t just be upfront about their pricing and offer you the best deal from the get go.
Video sales pages have the tendency to sell you on the “success” that can be achieved, but don’t offer you any idea as to what you will be doing. This is a sure sign of a scam if the company is not being up front about what is included, rather they are putting up a huge deceptive front.
Thanks for your helpful post and website, I am really getting more experience in spotting out the scam programs from your reviews and articles, very simple to understand and straight to the point, Is there is any way to know if the program have up-sells or no?, thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.
You can determine what is involved in a program (including the upsells/etc) by doing your due diligence and research. Often times many of these sites are very secretive about the “costs” of their actual products, so it is best to seek out independent reviews of the products and services. This is something that I recommend for all folks when they looking to buy anything online, in particular within the opportunity niche.
Plain and simple, there are a lot of scams out there and we need be careful within the online space…the very reason I created this website to help folks avoid these types of scams.
Wow, Now this is interesting I was unaware of the fact that an auto-play video that plays without a fast forward or rewind is a red flag and most likely a scam…
I never thought that completely through but now that I think about it every video presentation that I have seen where you have no control just sold you hype and then kept saying, wait till the end of the video where they will share a secret and they end up just up-selling with a huge discount if you take action “right now” type thing. and of course there is only a limited amount haha.
I also was unaware of the whole money back guarantee as this always made me feel that the longer the guarantee the better the program was.
I was shocked to see that is is actually an indicator of a low quality product probably with a bunch of filler text so that it is hard to be able to complete it within the 30- 60 days so people end up forgetting about it and being stuck with the program.
The other one that I was also unaware of is the product promoted by another GURU as I have been sold by a couple of recommendations as I really liked a creator and their stuff but the lesser known people that he promoted had just ” alright products” themselves and both that I tried were just enough to get you interested but needed to buy more or just sorta flopped and went nowhere, but in true internet marketing fashion they make you feel as if you did not put in enough time or effort….Or it is too much info or too advanced for most people to put into practice.
Yes part of the problem was definitely me as well but some of these programs I think the creator is well aware that they are setting you up for failure.
Well I have definitely learned a few things from this article now I feel like I am a “know it all” again LOL…
A lot of the scam indicators for a product or service is not always so obvious, some things like the guarantee may seem counter-intuitive but what happens is that almost all of the gurus that are offering a guarantee, make it almost impossible to get the refund if you are not happy with their product or service.
A better indication of the quality of a product is whether or not the company/person will support their product or service and do so in a timely manner. If they don’t get back to every question sent to their support and do so ina timely manner, then chances are you can expect more of the same (a scam).
Tread carefully within the Internet marketing world, there truly are so many scams out there and if you follow my rules above you are going to be able to dodge many of these.
Number 6 should be pounded into people’s heads when it comes to business. You have millions of people constantly scanning the internet looking for any crevice, niche, or secret that might make them a fortune.
If you could really make a fortune within the first month of doing something, the market or niche would immediately become so over-saturated that the strategic edge offered would be immediately undermined and diluted.
Plus, it just flies in the face of common sense. Lets say there was a profitable niche that ten people are all trying to profit from it. Factors such as work ethic, the amount of time and research you’re willing to invest, the quality of your products and services, as well as your sale’s approach – all of these things will determine which of the ten will actually succeed.
The one who will probably succeed the most is the one that’s motivated by passion first and profit second. Do you approach your audience like a used car salesmen that’s constantly trying to deceive and up-sell them? Or do you try to win over their loyalty, trust, and respect in the hopes of creating a repeat customer that will also give you free advertising through word-of-mouth endorsements? Take a long, hard guess which of these two will actually succeed in the long term?
Exactly true and that is the problem with almost all “opportunity seekers” online is that they WANT to hear this sort of thing and that they can get rich quick. They think that making money instantly is a reality and this is drilled into their head through all of the scammy sales pitches that say it is possible.
Building a business online is based on your efforts and through the arc of time and consistent hard work (and a mission to help people within your respective niche), success is totally possible.
You are totally correct with your statement about those that follow passion and helping others achieving success at a much quicker rate as that is precisely what I have seen over the years working with 100,000’s of folks online.
Chase money, your journey will almost always end in failure. Chase a passion for helping people in a specific niche, your chances of success go through the roof.
I was so sick of these programs that promised me things that were never delivered unless I paid more. I got in deep 3 times before and as I read the 8 ways to tell if it is a scam that you have provided, I can check off all 8 with each one of these programs.
I remember promoting one that didn’t have a product, and I kept asking what we were really doing, always no one could explain. I always had a crappy feeling whenever I presented it to others.
I wish I had found this article before this!
Yeah, I think I can check off all 8 with a lot of programs that I have either review/tried over the years. It is unbelievable and almost as if all rip offs out there are given a master blueprint to follow.
Thankfully there is a large group of people that continue to speak up against all of the scams out there working tok make the Internet a safer place to seek out opportunities and create a business online.
I fell for empower but got out fast & cheap. I’m curious if the sites still active, the comments are so old.
Yes, this site is still very active and if you ever need a hand with anything or starting a business, I encourage you to join us over at Wealthy Affiliate (totally free to get rolling).
It was from your site that I got introduced to Wealthy Affiliate last year and I haven’t looked back. Thanks for the courses, assistance with my website, and weekly live videos. I am still on the cusp of added enough content to make my website viable to affiliate programs. Thanks!
It has been so wonderful working with you thus far Lin and I am really glad to hear that you are enjoying Wealthy Affiliate.
Hi Kyle, i was wondering if you could do a review on Alex Malave 80 per day without a website? The system or book are on sale for $7 at alexmalave.com. Could you check it out?
I can tell you that without even looking at the product it is giving bad advice. You cannot build a business online, and in particular a long term one, without a website. So that statement alone discredits this product. I will definitely add this to my list of products to review.
Have you ever heard of automobilecode.com (Auto Mobile Code) What’s your thoughts on it? Just seems way too good to be true, with a small investment they promise 1,000’s of dollars a day, automatically to be added to your account…How in the world??? They have over 135K of “likes” on facebook…
Please give me your honest opinion..
Absolutely, 100% a scam. It is on my list and I would suggest you stay away form this program (unless you like to waste your money Eric). There are many reviews out there on this product so I would suggest you do your research and RE: the 135k likes, these can be easily bought and they have in this case. You can see evidence in this by the simple fact that they have never made one post on Facebook…you don’t get this many followers without making a post…EVER!
I got scammed by Empower Network,my worst experience ever,I did not earn a single penny with EN. Finally I found the WA. At the moment Im a free member,and I’m going to buy premium membership soon. Thank you kyle.
Guys please Stay away from the Empowernetwork.
Sorry to hear you were “taken” (like many) with the Empower Network scheme. Fortunately for you,there are bright days ahead and I really do look forward to working with you Sharon.
I think I might have been scammed by a company called Affiliate Masters,LLc but I,m not sure. I need help finding out who these people are. I paid $5,299.00 three weeks ago and I still don’t have a website like they promised. I really can’t find out too much about them except for a couple of comments from two other people. They are supposed to be hooked up with Amazon. Does anyone know anything so I can get my money back. Help, I am a single mother raising two girls and I am disabled and on social security!!
Yes, this is definitely a scam Wendy and you will want to contact your credit card company immediately and let them know what is going on. This company has been scamming lots of folks recently and I am going to be posting a thorough review of their practices shortly. I hope you can get all of your money back and if you are looking for a safehaven from scams, you should consider Wealthy Affiliate (completely free to get rolling).
Your blog saved my ass I was gonna join empower networks actually I was seconds way of doing that then i saw your blog thanks for that. My inner intuition was telling me this was a scam, it was so obvious and sometimes it takes others to point this out for me to make the right decision.
I think you forgot about the ones tha keep offering you discount after discount when you try to leave the page over and over
Yeah, definitely Randy. Those are covered in the “constant upsells” category. There are FAR too many programs like that out there.
I got scammed! You probably know this so called Internet millionaire, Anthony Morrison. I spent a couple of thousand dollars buying his workshops and online courses but didn’t earn even a single penny. I didn’t even get to building my website. All he did was continuously sent me e-mails to buy his and his affiliate’s products. I am very thankful that I found WA through one of the members… my website was up in no time. Thanks Kyle!
You are definitely not the first or likely the last to be scammed by Anthony Morrison and company. There are MANY folks that have complained about there high ticket coaching programs and Anthony preying on the vulnerable. That appears to be his business model.
I have written about this program here Rudy:
Is Success With Anthony a Scam? – Beware of this Program
I would love your thorough feedback on there if you want to share your experiences as it will help protect others from this program. Sorry to hear about this and if you ever do need a hand getting a business up and running the PROPER way, I will be more than happy to help you out.
After a bad experience in the MLM world that resulted in significant sunk cost, I was ready to give up my goal of starting a legitimate On-line, Home business.
I subsequently found an Amazon Affiliate Marketing model using Squidoo and I trusted this AM Trainer. Soon she was recommending two other Affiliate Marketing Gurus who are now recommending each other’s new products and loosing my trust. The repeated emails are very annoying.
I think these AM Trainers are probably successful, but their marketing tactics (#7 above) are a bit too scammy for me.
I hear you Dennis, this is what goes on within this industry. It is a tit for tat industry, you promote my product and I promote yours…often times without even viewing your product. This is what happened to you as you have been thrown into the Joint Venture Circle of promotions…and you need to do me a favour and GET OUT NOW. Stop following these people, all they care about is your money and it is quite evident in their behaviour.
Hi Kyle, I should have read your posts and pages a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of money. I am embarrassed I fell three times for scams. But there is also a good side to everything. That’s how I found out about WA. Now I am a happy member of your program.
P.S. Maybe you can take a peek at my site and give me some feedback.
You are not alone John, most people fall for a few scams before they find WA. I know you will find it unbelievable, but many people spend $10,000’s on scams prior to coming across Wealthy Affiliate…this is crazy, but it is the type of fraud that is taking place in the online world. My goal has always been to steer people away form these scams and I am glad I was able to help you find something that is going to work for you.
Simply drop me a note within WA and I will be happy to take a peek at your website for you and give you some feedback.
Have you ever taken a look at MYFUNLIFE? Its a new mlm type site. Seems to be the real deal but they do hit a few of your criteria here.
I haven’t heard of it, but will investigate. At first look, it does look like another “scheme” that you will want to avoid.
Where are all the legit internet marketing sites. I almost fell into the Empower Network’s trap. Thanks for saving me.
That is one of the big problems with the Internet, too many “sheisters” that produce product after product (typically rehashed garbage). And then you have large circles of “partners” that tout all these products as the up and coming next best thing, but they only have a vested interest in doing this because when their product comes out, their joint ventures are going to reciprocate with a promotion.
But yes, there are legitimate programs online and you will find them within my side menu under “Legit Programs”. I would check those out if you are interested in creating a real business online Joanne.
Kyle is there any a good chance of getting quality products in clickbank
Yes, there definitely are some quality products within the clickbank network. I would avoid anything related to “making money online” though as these are typically a scam (99% of the time).
When buying clickbank products(other then internet marketing products), are psychology tricks used in sales pages a surefire red flag for scam.If so, how can I detect it?
Clickbank in general has a high rate of low grade products, in particular if you are dealing with products within the Internet marketing niche. This is a huge red flag and I would avoid products that are in this niche. If they are using “tricks” to get you to buy, you would have to wonder what the product is actually like and what their support for their product is going to be like.
I had got this in my mail. Would you be able to do a review to see if it is legitimate? http://www.loyaltepays.com
Thanks Sue for posting this. I will definitely do a review of this when I get a chance, but my initial thoughts are to stay away from it. It looks like your typically run of the mill “get paid to share” program that will never amount to anything. Often times people working in these programs work their butts off to earn a few pennies, when in reality if they dedicated that same amount of time to a real online business and building a website (you can get a free website at Wealthy Affiliate), they would be much more successful online.
Damn, you are spot on Kyle. If i fall for another one of those slime bucket sales videos I am going to get you to come over here and slap me.
I like many opportunity seekers out there fall in the trap of seeing a shiny little object and taking a big bite over and over and over again. Thank god you pointed me in the direction of Wealthy Affiliate because I truly believe I have found my home.
Anywho, just wanted to offer my rant about video only pages because I have been scammed by far too many scum bags that use those!
Yep, you are definitely not alone Darnell. A video sales page and one that does not allow you to “navigate the video” are a sure sign that a scam is coming. If a merchant can’t even give me a bit of control over their video then personally I think that is a sign of things to come.
If someone can’t offer you a substantial amount of value before they force you to buy something, then I tend to recommend people to stay away. Thanks for offering your “rant” lol on video sales pages, you are not alone. I started a Facebook discussion the other day on this exact topic and it was amazing how many others were ‘peeved’ off by this marketing strategy.
See you inside WA!
Thanks for your help Kyle. You covered some of the main scams I have taken part in that is for sure. It seems like every product that is launched these days is a video page and I stay clear of those especially when there is not controls on the video or the content offers me no value.
No problem Jackey, if there is anything else I can help you out with please do let me know or you can get in touch with me inside the Wealthy Affiliate community.