You're looking for a work at home job and you come across a webpage that tells you it is going to steer you away from the hundreds of scams straight toward the scant few legitimate sites out there. Sounds great, right?
Wrong! It's the latest in work from home scams and simple to create: all you need is a website and a affiliate ID with ClickBank. I have looked at over a dozen of these sites. They were all designed with one basic principle in mind: steering you toward the three to five sites they wanted you to purchase through their ClickBank affiliate links.
One note about ClickBank. ClickBank is not a bank as its name implies. According to them, they are a "digital marketplace" that sells "digitally delivered products." While many of the questionable products I have found are sold via ClickBank and Google Ads, and you might wonder about a company who is willing to profit off such schemes, you shouldn't necessarily blame them. After all, would you blame Amazon or BooksaMillion for selling you a bad book? It's a moral quandary, sure, but it is simpler to teach consumers to protect themselves, then to try to battle against consumerism.
When looking at these sites, ask yourself these questions:
1. Does the person give himself or herself a title without proving it? I've seen sites where the author was claiming to be an "online fraud investigator," although he never stated for what company. Other sites claim they are "protection" agencies, but in reality, they just people trying to part you with your money.
2. Does the site claim to have been seen on well-known sites, newspapers, magazines, or TV shows but fail to give the dates, times and links to this information? As far as you know, they could have been profiled on those programs as being scams. Don't assume that those sites lend creditability to what you are looking at until you see it for yourself.
3. Does it use strong words in its title that are designed to produce a strong response? They might claim to be "scam free" or the "top site." They'll claim to be a "review" site or a "consumer protection" site.
4. Does the site provide affiliate links and only link to sites you have to pay for? A ClickBank affiliate link is easy to spot. Right click on the link and select "properties." If you read something that has "hop.clickbank.net" in it or if you click on the link and you wind up at a site that has "hop=XXXX" (XXXX= the person's unique affiliate ID) in it, it's an affiliate link. You may have to click on more one of the links as the sites are learning to cloak the links to try to seem more legitimate.
5. Read the small print on the site. What is it saying that the big, bold print doesn't? With many of sites, it seems the smaller the print, the closer to the truth. You'll find statements such as "this site is not to be regarded as advice" and "it is our opinion that these programs have been featured on the programs."
Once you've finished evaluating the so-called expert's site, start looking at the companies it's recommending. I'd start with the Better Business Bureau. Then, I would contact the company directly and ask what their guarantee is and what their refund policy is. If you don't get a response from them, do you really want to give them your money? Finally, I would put in the company's name in Google or Yahoo along with the word "fraud" or "scam" and see what happens. You might find other people have already fallen victim to this scheme.
Don't forget to check out my pages on how to evaluate a website for more tips on what to do before you spend your money. And remember, these are sites offering you a job, how many legitimate jobs do you have to pay for in order to obtain?