It never ceases to amaze me how creative online scammers are getting these days.
Not a day passes by that I don’t get an email from someone trying to get access to my Paypal account.
Just look at the lengths they go to try and get in.
I got sent this email yesterday.
As you can see they are masquerading as Paypal.com and they are counting on me to open up the email and use the link to log into a fake Paypal form, so they can capture my log in details.
Once they have access then who knows what happens after that.
The easiest way to ensure you don’t fall victim to this is to look at where the email has come from as shown in this pic below.
If it ain’t from Paypal.com, then bin that sucker.
So this got me thinking about how many scams are out there and how new affiliates might fall prey to unscrupulous scammers.
I’m not here to save the world, but maybe some of the tips that I mention below is gonna help a few of you out.
This article is really aimed at those who are just starting out in the industry, because, if you have been around long enough, you would have figured out how to spot a scam a mile away.
First things first though, I need to make sure that we are talking about affiliate marketing and not something else.
Recently, I read a post where someone said stay away from affiliate marketing scams that have a tiered payment system, or where you get paid on multiple levels.
I was like – what the …
This had me scratching my head, because that didn’t sound like affiliate marketing at all, then the obvious hit me – ah yes, network marketing.
They were actually talking about the network marketing model and I can see how some new marketers could get the two confused.
But they are two completely different business models.
However, where the confusion comes in, is that they are usually promoted the same way (on the Internet – I mean) (e.g) using SEO, video and social media marketing.
So it is not unusual to see an affiliate marketer promote both affiliate and network marketing products at the same time, because the promotional techniques are the same, so why not right.
But this was not always the case for affiliates …
Network marketing was a business many affiliates stayed away from (it was like garlic to a vampires), but when the products started to resemble the same kinds they were promoting anyway, the transition to network marketing wasn’t a big deal.
And really, it is becoming a more lucrative proposition for affiliates because of the continuity payment plan instead of one-off sales.
In fact many super affiliate marketers, have locked arms with some network marketing companies, and I know of one affiliate who made almost $300k his first month without hosting a single meeting.
But, I digress, so let’s back-up the bus a little – beep beep beep.
So the best way to figure out whether something is a scam is to think like a reporter.
Become a reporter
First thing I do is look for social proof.
What are people saying about this company … and what has been their experience with the company.
The Internet has made it so easy for just about anyone to get their opinion out there, even if you don’t want it.
All you really need to do is, do a Google search.
Just type in the company or product name and add ‘scam’ and or ‘review’ on the end of it.
But please note …
You need to be aware that sometimes online marketers use these kinds of keyword phrases to rank in Google for there own monetary gains, so you need to look beyond the first page of Google.
But, marketers are easily to spot.
How to spot the marketer
You can easily sniff out these marketers, because they usually start off by saying something like
Oh I thought that product X was a scam … but as I looked further into it … I found out that it wasn’t …
… and then they back track and say something like …
…that’s why you should purchase the product through me … blah blah blah
That’s not to say that the company or product is a scam at all, but more that the marketer has used their SEO skills to rank for that keyword, so as to redirect traffic back to their offer or their affiliate link.
So, when the results are returned look for opinions from credible sources, videos and forums.
I usually go through the search results so that I can form a general impression on the company or product, so that I can determine if I want to delve deeper into it, or move onto another.
Cross examine the feedback with related search phrases, endeavoring to corroborate the validity of the company or product from multiple sources.
Only make a decision once you feel as if you have a in depth understanding of the company or product.
Use Google Suggest
Here’s another sweet way to do it.
You can type in the company name then a space and wait to see what Google suggests.
The keywords that they suggest are commonly searched for keyword phrases generated by other searchers. So Google serves them right up for you.
Often you will find search terms others use that you wouldn’t have thought about, so simply go through the ones you feel that are relevant and check out what search brings back.
So hopefully you can see that as you make your way through the information you will get a pretty clear indication of whether the company or product is a scam.
And if you have done your homework right, you will also have the facts to back it up.
Hope this helps, as always I welcome your feedback below.