Yesterday, I was looking through various news websites and feeds, looking for some scam, and this examiner.com blog came up. It’s an informative post warning about the dangers of online job hunting and work at home scams. In the concluding paragraph of the article were two suggested websites to help you filter out the legit opportunities from the scam.
One of them is Scam.com, a forum where people discuss the legitimacy of plethora of online businesses and other scams. From a brief look into different threads, I could see that it could be useful. Especially if you were enticed by some online ad, you can go to the forum and search for it. Likely, others have also seen it or have experienced it. You’ll get a good understanding of what you almost joined if you are able to filter out the replies from affiliates of the program that litter most of the threads.
They also have political and religious threads where people are still disputing global warming :P. If you’re looking to participate in those garbage discussions, too, knock yourself out.
Now, the other suggested site on the Examiner post was called, “ScamXposer”. This site mainly has three lists: recommended, not recommended, and scam. Although I didn’t closely examine the contents of the two latter lists, I don’t have a problem with them as they simply list websites that are scams or rip-offs. It doesn’t look like there are unfairly listed businesses.
The problem I have is with the recommended list. Every single recommended opportunity has his own affiliate link that he directs you to click. Some links may look like a non-affiliate link, but they are. A link like this: “www.scamxposer.com/ecurrency-arbitrage.html” is actually just a re-direction to “http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=xxxxxxx,” his affiliate link. I am not against people making money, and this is his business model. He puts effort into compiling a list of scam and reviews some of them, and the source of income is, other than Google Ads, the affiliate marketing (like the link above) he’s doing.
He uses the trust he gained from his visitors and uses it against them. A visitor thinking this is a legitimate review site trusts the author and the recommendations he gives have more weight on them. This is a classic marketing tactic used by many affiliate marketers. They are coached to use this ‘review method’. ScamXposer is more elaborate than most of the other so-called review sites, and actually has some value to it, but nonetheless, it is the same tactic as described in the Registry Cleaners article.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I am not flat-out against affiliate marketing in general. I do it, too! The banners you see on the right… some of them are affiliate links. You buy from that link, I get a small share. However, when you promote a near-scam, rip-off products and so-called opportunities, that’s a problem. Also, even if something’s not a scam, a biased review of an affiliated program with a misleading information doesn’t belong on a review site.
Look at the top recommended one:
Ok, it’s got a five star rating. You can apparently make a minimum $2000 with no experience. That’s what I call a false advertisement. The link at the bottom is his custom affiliate page link where you get to watch a nice video telling you to give them your personal info just so you can watch another video. All this program is is an MLM (multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme). He suggests that this program finally figured out how to make an MLM system work. But of course, all MLMs say that, that it’s different from all the others. Sure, good luck making that kind of money as a bottom sucker in an MLM. This doesn’t sound worthy of the top spot on a recommended ‘online income opportunities’ list. If you want to make that kind of money using this program, you need to have a site like ScamXposer.com to lure people in or sell lots of Trivita products yourself.
Let’s look at another, somewhere in the middle of the list:
Looking at the description of this one, it sounds like a good place to look for an actually home-based job (not a business start-up opp). But inspecting the page from the link (affiliate link, again), it charges you a membership fee for the access to the job listing, and affiliates like the ScamXposer guy gets a share of that membership fee. General rule: Don’t ever pay for a job listing.
A lot of the recommended ones (specially the top ones) require little to no experience or knowledge, and the income potential figures mislead you to believe that you can make an equivalent or higher income compared to your current or ex day job. In many cases, I don’t see much difference between the recommended and not-recommended programs other than that he is a member of the recommended ones. In the end, they are not work opportunities, but programs that you need to pay for directly or indirectly.
Another is called Project Payday. It’s one of the top recommended opportunities, but it’s a program where you complete offers to receive pennies at a time. If you forget to cancel an offer you signed up for, like say a DVD club, you’ll be charged on your credit card for more than you bargained for. This isn’t a work-at-home job, honestly. They got video testimonials of people saying they made $400 in the first day spending less than a few hours a day, but you don’t actually believe them, do you?
As I’ve mentioned in the Work at home online scams article, most of the information you find in these ebooks and such are available to you for free online. Like with anything, you need to put time and effort into your work if you want money, unless you’re one of the few lucky ones :). Don’t get temped by promises of easy money and join an MLM. You want to get into MLM, that’s fine. But don’t expect quick and easy money.
Don’t pay to get a job; don’t trust “reviews” you see online; and do your homework the proper way; don’t learn from an advertiser advertising his/her own product.
So, to the Examiner blogger: due diligence before suggesting a website, please.
Thanks for visiting.
*Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece and I am not calling the website a ‘fraud,’ just calling it a ‘bad’ website.