How to Identify Scams on the Internet: Selling Scams
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How to Identify Scams on the Internet: Selling Scams

Don't be fooled by internet selling scams. Read this article and find out about the different internet scams and how to avoid them.

Have you ever tried wasting your time on some activity on the internet that has promised you something (most commonly money) just to find out after some hundred hours later, that you have wasted precious moments on a scam? Or even worse, have you ever paid your hard-earned cash on a product sold on the internet just to find out that it is just pure useless crap?

Read on to find out about the different practices of marketers that generally lead to scams.

The Blind Sales Letters

These types of sales letters are rampant in cyberspace. They are designed to provide you with a million reasons why the product being offered is something that you truly need. They claim that "it’s unique", or "It's life altering", or "it’s push button easy”, or "it's all you'll ever need", but... You don't know what exactly the product is! That’s where blind sales letters are dangerous. The focus of these sales letters revolve around what the product or offer isn't rather than being honest and transparent with what the product is.

Here is an example of a blind sales letter:

The sales letter in the example does not state the product, and says that the customer does not need a blog, a website or to sell a product. In other words, it states that the product being advertised does NOT show the customer how to profit from a blog, a website or by selling products. It acts as a disclaimer of sorts but is manipulated in such a way that it looks appealing to the customer. The customer is hooked to the ad because of curiosity.

It is inherent in every human being to find out what is on the "other side of the fence" and to know how this "mystery" product works, so the customer eventually purchases the product. After the sale, the customer usually discovers that the purchased product is really of no use at all. Also, the customer is normally left feeling dumb regarding the purchase that he/she has made along with the feeling of regret.

Purchasing products that are sold using blind sales letters are always risky and generally lead to a waste of money. Let us avoid purchasing products that are marketed using blind sales letters at all cost.

The Use of Fake Payment and Earnings Proof

To see is to believe. This adage has long been in existence since time immemorial. This adage is also being taken advantage of by the different internet marketers. A potential customer can be encouraged to buy a product by presenting different proofs of payment, along with the product being marketed. The usual scheme is to present a long list of payment proof (usually PayPal screenshots) in order to show the customer the profits that can be attained by using the product that is being sold. The problem with this technique is that a lot of people are using fake screenshots of payments that they claim to have received. Thanks to Photoshop and other photo editing software, almost any screen or photo could already be manipulated. 

Always be weary of those who use payment proofs when marketing their product. Take note, not all payment proofs presented online are fake, but many of them are.

The Diminishing Price Offers

This is another method used by internet marketers wherein they offer the potential customer an initial price for the product:

(*Take note of the image above. It looks very enticing to the customer because it shows that the price should have been $149 but was lowered to $49. This is such a very powerful marketing technique)

If the customer closes the window, a prompt will show, asking the potential customer to stay on the page to get a "Special Offer".

The customer will then see a decrease in the original price shown if he stays on the page.

This really is an annoying technique of internet marketers that lower their credibility and it only shows that they are charging prices that are way higher than they should be priced. Approach these offers with caution.

4 Useful Tips on How to Avoid Scams orMitigate their Harmful Effects

  1. Think before pressing the purchase/subscribe button - ponder if you really need the product or if you are just purchasing it to satisfy your curiosity.
  2. Search the internet - search the product offered to you in Google or Yahoo. Read reviews of the product. Read user comments in different forums.
  3. Compare with alternative products - try to find similar products and compare them.
  4. Always make sure that there is a money back guarantee - just in case you purchased the product and found out that it really has no use for you, it is better to have a money back guarantee.

Do not let these types of marketers "steal" your money by using deceptive advertising. Stop being scammed right now.

*To read more about internet adverting, click here.

(Main image credit goes to Grant Cochrane)

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Comments (3)

Out of votes so promoted this. Everyone should read this.

This is a timely article, scams are all around us right now. Well written!

I have encountered many of these scams. This article is very timely and, as Jill commented, should be read by everyone. Well done!