This is a guest article by Joseph Berida. Want to become a regular contributor? Check out our guest blogging guidelines.
If there is one place where you can be your truest or most deceptive self, it has got to be the Internet. With the kind of anonymity the World Wide Web offers at people’s disposal, it’s not surprising that some are tempted to invent a completely different persona and make this the one individual they can or will never become. And while it’s easy to claim that they didn’t mean to inflict any harm when they gave birth to these fake people on the Internet, the mere act of fabrication boils down to it being a lie and can be a pretty heavy baggage to store in one’s conscience.
The scarier part is that activities like these can be potentially dangerous, especially when used maliciously and when it involves money. Make a quick search on Google and see how many results turn up when you look for business scams and fraudulent operations.
A lot of scammers are out there to make money by posing as either legitimate merchants or affiliate marketers, and then amass thousands of dollars by deceiving entrepreneurs who only wish to earn an honest income. This makes finding the right people to do business with a tough challenge. Add to that the limitation of communicating solely online, and you’ll realize soon enough how imperative it is to protect yourself from fraud.
To be fair, you have to understand that not everybody who has access to the Internet is a fake. At the same time, you have to accept the fact that there are people out there who just want to pull a scam on you. If you’re an affiliate marketer who has recently started looking for merchants to deal business with, here are some instances that signal the red light, asking you to stop and think whether you should drive all the way through or make a turn before it gets too late.
- It’s too good to be true.
If becoming rich overnight is that easy and plausible, you probably wouldn’t have to work anymore. But if you aren’t that wealthy yet, you should tread carefully when a business promises to make you one in a short amount of time. Before signing up for any partnerships, take the time to compare the company’s present returns and stock-indexes against the revenue it guarantees to give you. You also need to remember that if you’re required to invest money or any asset, there is a possibility that you’ll lose it. Thus, ask yourself whether it’s wise to put your resources at stake on something that sounds too awesome to be real.
- It asks you to buy something to become a member. What makes legitimate entrepreneurs notable is their willingness to invest in you before requiring you to do the same. They are willing to train you, give you manuals and free samples, and show you how their business is really done.However, their exact opposites usually have the audacity to require you to purchase their select packages as a form of initiation. Be wary of merchants who ask you to buy their stuff so that you can be a member of their group.
- Too many negative comments.
There may be not a perfect business for everybody; the enterprise ideal for some merchants and marketers may not be as effective for others. And if these businesses are Internet-based, it would be easy to learn what entrepreneurs have to say about their attempts since writing a review about it on their own website or blog is almost automatic.That being said, it shouldn’t be hard to find out what kind of reputation the merchant you’re dealing with has. Search the Internet for comments and reviews, and see whether something turns up when you type in the search box the words “fake” or “scam” next to their name. Plenty of negative reviews should be enough of a warning that the business may not be legitimate.
- The website looks suspicious.
One of the most in-your-face indicators that a site might be bogus is when its website looks as if it was designed by someone whose back was to the computer monitor. Their sites usually scream of huge ads mostly of their own, and navigating through it is as painful as stepping on blocks of Lego.However, this doesn’t mean that fake websites can’t be pretty. There are scammers who go as far creating a legitimate-looking site in order to lure more victims. As such, exercise caution before you get too carried away by a website’s aesthetics.
Businesses, whether based online or otherwise, entail certain risks as soon as you get on board but this shouldn’t mean that you’ll simply dive without restraint. As the adage says, don’t put all your eggs in one basket since it’s hard to predict your success at the beginning of a business partnership.