How To Spot A SCAM Online – 7 Ways To Find Out

How To Spot A SCAM OnlineSo you’ve decided to get involved in the “making money online” business – Congratulations! The opportunities are endless. BUT…you want to get involved with legit programs that help you along the way, and to avoid the myriad of scams available. So how do you tell them apart? How do you spot a scam online? I’ll tell you some things to look out for and to research before handing any site your credit card details.


1. Contact them

A good indicator as to how professional and legit an affiliate program (or any other program) is, is to check how they communicate with you. First off, if the website doesn’t even have easy to find contact details, I would just stay away. You want to ensure you don’t get a number not in service or your email bounces back.

Personally, I believe that if you don’t get a response to a question within 36-48 hours (remember people live in different time zones), then that’s a bit of a warning sign.


2. Check Other Reviews

If you’re considering purchasing a new program or becoming involved in an affiliate program – please do a quick Google search, and check out a few reviews. As you can see, I have already reviewed both legit and scam programs on our site, and I encourage you to check them out.


3. Photos and Content

Please please please don’t buy into anything that promise you riches overnight! That would be my #1 sign to leave the page immediately and forget you ever went to the web address. Get me right, it is absolutely possible for anyone to earn a living online, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, patience, knowing how to get started, and a great support network.

Also, check for original photos that relate to the company’s product and services. I.e. if you are researching a particular affiliate marketing program and there are photos of luxury cars and diamonds and other things that say “if you buy my program, you can get all this”, then I would question the legitimacy. In my personal opinion, it’s misleading and rather unprofessional.


4. Are they legit?

There are websites that will help you with this. You can visit the Whois website, type in the domain in the “lookup” box, and it will give you country origin, contact information etc. Make sure these match up to the details on the company’s website.

Other useful sites to check out are and I always check any program I’m reviewing on ScamAdviser, as it gives you a quick and easy snapshot of the business in question.

For example, please see below for the “verdict” on both Empower Network and Wealthy Affiliate (according to ScamAdviser). I am personally a member of Wealthy Affiliate, and I recommend you read my review in full here – definitely a LEGIT program and totally FREE to sign up.

How To Spot A SCAM Online

How To Spot A SCAM Online

5. Free Trial

This is not a requirement for every legit online businesses, however, I find that companies that offer free trials are legit; they clearly believe in their program/system, and believe that the best way to convince you are the potential customer is to let you try it for yourself. So a free trial is good – FREE membership (full stop.) is even better. Again, let me just refer you to my Wealthy Affiliate review if you want to read more about their great opportunities.


6. Redirected Website

When you click through to a page for a product you want to check out, just check the website address you come to are the one you intended, and that you haven’t been redirected elsewhere.

How To Spot A SCAM Online

7. Annoying website behaviour

I mean, if the following behaviours occurred when you stepped into your local retail store it would REEAALLY annoy you, right?:

  • Having to watch a whole video sales presentation before you can get any other information
  • Sites that makes you click on 2 or 3 different pop ups in order to leave
  • Pay a little bit for more information
  • Then pay a little bit more for even more information!

I am almost getting annoyed just writing this – it’s probably my biggest bet peeve. Seriously, how hard is it to provide professional and sincere Customer Service?! (ok, breathe now Karina 😉 Luckily, there are plenty of great affiliate marketing programs available and other companies online that does provide just that. I have mentioned Wealthy Affiliate as my personal choice, but of course there are other opportunities online too.


If you take into consideration the 7 things to look out for when researching a program you’re interested in, then I believe you should get a good enough picture to make a confident decision – Legit or Scam. And if you are uncertain about a product in particular, please feel free to mention it in the comment field below, and I’ll do my best to help you out. Also interested in other views – would love to hear from you.



20 Replies to “How To Spot A SCAM Online – 7 Ways To Find Out”

  1. This was a very refreshing post on how to spot a scam online. These days you can never be too sure, what’s real and what’s fluff. I gleaned some new ideas for what to look for when seeking new products online, so thank you for writing this.

  2. Thanks for the Scamadvisor referral, I have never heard of that. Love your points all valid and great ways to detect a real product from a scam. I agree, especially about all the annoying website popups and supposed enhancements that try and control your navigation and purchase.

  3. i think i saw John Crestani advertising on youtube with cars and mansions… but point 3 implies you find John Crestani misleading and unprofessional.

    i think it’s good you added a picture of a website u use to review/check programs, which is the ScamAdviser website. however(playing devil’s advocate), can u trust ScamAdviser? there are certain review websites which promote scams and demote legit programs.

    in point 1, there’s a bit of grammar problem: “first off, if the website doesn’t even have [an] easy [way]…”

    in point 6, redirected websites might not be scams. a person could be transferring his/her website to a new domain and might redirect the old website to the new one.

    i once created a binary options account, and a few days later, my account manager called me, then demanded that i empty my bank account and max out my credit card to deposit more money into my BO account. but the BO website looked quite professional.

    1. Hi Dom, 

      Thanks for your thorough feedback, I really appreciate it. And I take your point on ScamAdviser, I may go and tweak the post a little. 

      Thanks again, and have a great day!


  4. What a very interesting and informative subject, I only wish I had read this when I first started working online.

    You have hit the nail right on the head here and the more people that see this that want to make money online, the better

    I remember falling for scams over and over again trying to find a real way to earn online and I nearly gave up trying, but one day I found wealthy affiliate and everything completely changed for me

    Not only were they legit but they helped me build a successful online business

    I urge anyone to try it out and you will not be disappointed.

    I have linked to this post from one of my websites if that’s ok so I can show people who are just starting out online


    1. Hi Matthew, 

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment, really appreciate it. 

      And feel free to share with as many people as you like – that’s why it’s here 🙂

      Thanks again

  5. Hi Karina. Thanks for that very informative article. Those are all very good steps to take, you have summed it up perfectly. I have been scammed in the past and looking back if I’d done some of those things you listed, it wouldn’t have happened. I agree with you about Wealthy Affiliate, there’s no better place to be for learning Affiliate Marketing.

  6. Hello,

    I have been blogging with the aim of making money for more then two years and only during the last year I started to make money.

    Blogging is the best way to make money in my opinion as it enables you to make passive income which grows month after month with little additional effort. I am the proof that making money online with a blog is possible. I am currently making a little more than $100 a month and I hope to achieve the $150 a month mark this month.

    It is not a full time income but I am working harder with the intention to grow it.

  7. Hello Karina, what a helpful article this is, thank you. I totally agree that reviews are paramount for anyone looking to work with any platform. Doing a google search and finding reviews is a good way of doing due diligence lest one can end up losing a lot of money on the Internet.I did not know about Whois Website and Scam advisor, thanks for sharing. I will be counterchecking all platforms on these sites besides just google search. Couldn’t agree more that wealthy affiliate is a good platform of helping people to make money online, and I also recommend the platform to anyone.Best regards

  8. you have deviced very nice ways of  getting to know who these scams and iam sure we can’t be scammed no more  i have been scammed  several times my self  all this happened while trying  to look for jobs or some thing else but they ended up to be scams  its very painful to loose money, but if we had site like this telling us what to do and avoid scams  it could have helped so much

    1. Thanks for your insight Charles, really appreciate it. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been scammed before, that sucks. Do you mind me asking what programs they were? I’d love to reach them and do some proper reviews on them

      Thanks again, and have a super day!


  9. Hi Karina, very good and informative article about detecting scams online. Nowadays ther is a flood of online business opportunities, so it is necessary to explore those business websites before we join them. Actually I didn`t know for mentioned websites which are specifically discover scams, that was really helpful. Thanks for sharing with us!

  10. Personally the number one thing we should look for if a program is scam or not is if they claim huge amount of money with almost no work needed. This is the number one red flag. Most scam sites are not even bothering trying to hide they are fake and they go all out claiming luxurious houses, cars and travels with only “10 minutes of work every day”. Of course there are some fakes that are more well made and need a bit more attention than usual and in these cases your tips are very good. With so many scams nowadays we should always be extra careful. Thank you for the share.

    1. Hi Stratos, 

      Totally right?! It’s like some scammers are too lazy to even try to seem legit! ah well, good thing there are some great options out there also:)

      Have a super day!


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