So 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 Scam.com and ScamAdviser.com. 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.
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.
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.