Ways to Avoid Scams Online

There are ways to avoid scams online and to make sure you don’t get conned out of your money, or waste your time.

I have come across so many scams and dubious websites that sometimes I think there are hardly any legit ways to make money online.

Ways to Avoid Scams Online:

Any offer that sounds too good to be true probably is

Any website that claims to make you rich quickly is probably a scam. Any website that claims to make you rich easily without any work is probably a scam. Yes we all want to get rich and we all want it fast. However making money is not easy and it does not drop into our laps overnight. Making money takes work and effort.

Way to Avoid Scam Online

How will you make money Online?

If you find something that says you can make money online but does not explain at all how to do it chances are very high it is a scam. Yes of course they can’t share all their secrets for everyone to see and steal, but if there is no indication at all how you will make money it is suspicious. People only hide things if they have something to hide


how to avoid an online scam

Try it before you buy it!

If there is no free trial period so you can see what it is about, or at least a reduced small for a period of time don’t try it. You will be throwing your money away, especially if this offer sounds too good to be true and they don’t tell you what you will be doing to make money.

One page websites that have no information on them other than trying to get you to purchase their money making opportunity.

It is very common to have just one page with a video of someone saying how rich they got. This person doesn’t give any concrete information and basically waffles around the same points about how their life has changed so much. How much money they have made. How they work only a few hours a week and make thousands. Once again what exactly did this person do to get rich? What facts do they share that make it worthwhile to purchase this product? Probably not much.

ways to avoid scams online moneyTestimonials, pictures of cheques, wads of cash?

Really all those people on the website are doing so well and are all making money? These are not real testimonials. I can also type a whole stack of fake testimonials and put them on a website for everyone to see. This does not mean it is real. The images of “real cheques” and “paypal payouts” makes something real? Graphics mean nothing. Images of cash does not mean it will be yours.

Special offers and count downs?

Click now because places are limited! You might not be able to get this offer tomorrow! Yeah well wait until tomorrow and go back to the website because that special offer will still be there. It will be there next year too I can promise you that. So will the “only discounted for 1 more hour” count down. They put timers on the website in the hopes that you panic and pay before you brain engages.ways to avoid scams online clock

You must pay to work?

If the website claims you will do work for them such as doing online surveys, typing from home, posting ads (which quite frankly are all dubious anyway) make sure you don’t have to pay anything. I have certainly never had to pay anything when applying for a job. Why should you have to when doing online work?

Flashy Flashy?

Big flashy lights, color overload and no real concrete information? Run for the hills.

These are the main things to look out for to avoid scam online. There are plenty more warning signs, so if you have anything to add to this list please put them in the comments below.

The best way to avoid an online scam is to not rush into anything and make sure you have plenty of information. Take your time before making a decision, why do you have to click buy in the first 5 minutes? If it cannot wait till tomorrow then don’t bother with it.

Research the company online and read reviews on it, not just one review keep searching. Also bear in mind that a lot of these scam companies offer affiliate programs, so they pay people commission to suck other people into their scam. Don’t just read one good review and believe it, dig deeper, much deeper.

If you really want to make money online remember that it takes work and effort, just like any other business venture or job. I know we are all looking for the “secret” to quick success, I am sorry but it doesn’t exist. As soon as you realise this you will stop being at risk of being scammed.

Using a VPN can help to keep you safe from cyber attacks, you can use a free VPN just make sure you understand the pros and cons of free VPN’s!

If you have any other great way to avoid scam online please share them in the comments!

If you want to make honest money online (and are willing to work for it) read my review of my #1 recommendation.


Lynne Huysamen

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.


  1. Hello there , very interesting post , recently I published a similar article.There are so many scams out there , especially in the internet marketing field , people should know some basic rules to avoid them.

    You said it right , no rich quick scheme is true.Definitely is a scam attempt.Further I agree with your points , very nice work.

    Everybody should proceed with caution ,read online reviews and then decide.Any opportunity should be checked from every possible angle.

    What was the worst scam you came across?

    • Hi Tasos

      Fortunately I never actually fell for a scam online before, however about 15 years ago I saw an ad in the paper that said they would send a business manual for a fail proof business, training and support included. All I had to do was post (yeah snail mail still lol) a self addressed envelope and some cash. It wasn’t a lot of money so I did it.

      About 3 weeks later my self addressed envelope came back with a scrap of paper just saying “Do what I did, it works!”. It is a horrible feeling. I could never do that back to other people.

      Since that moment I have been very wary. I did however fall for Semalt which was very upsetting, but that isn’t a money making scam.

      Kind Regards


    • Can anyone advise if they know of a scan with affiliate diesel and the affiliate group? As well as a “Japanese company” looking for an agent to do a deal for a mineral stone with the Zulu Heritage stone company . I don’t know how to check myself?

      • Hi Amanda, yes Affiliate Group is bad news you can check my review here of Affiliate University of SA and Indufuels, both those scams are the same scam artist and I am sure when you say Affiliate Diesel you mean the same people.

        I have not heard of the Japanese company looking for agents to deal with mineral stones. I’ll be honest here, I am not even bothering to review these things most of the time. Just go by the rule that whatever “money making opportunity” you find online is 99.99999% chance a scam and you will be fine 🙂

        • Hi Lynne
          Your insights in theses scams are greatly appreciated. I’ve read most of your blocks and must say, they’re an eye opener. With regard to Indufuel, I’ve noticed a similar Biofuel ad which ends 31st March 2017. It’s using the same logo but with Biofuel instead of Indufuel. I guess I should run as fast as possible in the opposite direction? The signing up fee to secure a region anywhere in SA is R5k and after approval, you must pay-in an additional R20k.

          • It is a pleasure Jastam 🙂 I just wish I had more time to spend on this blog and help people to avoid scams. Yes I am sure that Biofuel one is just the same person using a different name and website. Yes I would run for the hills!

      • Hi Lynne and others who gave us insight into these scams, because I was also about to be a target of biofuel but my instincts told me to check it out first, your advise is really eye opening,cautioning and helpful because it saves a lot of innocent , poor people into trowing their last money into these fake,cruel monsters. I hope a lot of people can read the advises we got from you guys. Keep up the good work guys!

        • I’m so glad that my post saved you from falling for this awful scam! Remember to always research all opportunities you come across, it can save you a lot of heartache and financial loss!

  2. Hi Lynne you offer some really good advice. There are so many scams online it is hard not to come across them. I think the reason that some people do fall for them is that the are facing some sort of financial crisis in their life and they are willing to try just about anything to get out of it. Unfortunately some of these scams are targeted towards the older population. They are now retired and want to supplement their pension income. Sad to see what some people will do to others in order to line their pockets.

    • Hi Maureen

      Thanks for visiting, yes I really think it is when people want to believe it so badly that they get caught. This makes it even worse because those are the people that can’t afford to get caught in an online scam 🙁

      Kind Regards


  3. Hello Lynne!
    I like this article very much, it is very informative as it is so easy to fall in the “do it now or the opportunaty is gone”-trap. There is now get rich quick button to click, everything takes time and effort.

    Best regards


    • Hi Git

      Yes we are so scared of losing the opportunity to make money online that we fall for the scam. It really is very sad. The truth is these count downs are permanently on their websites!

      Kind Regards

  4. Hi Lynne
    Yep those are the ways to recognize if a website is a scam! I love all the videos and the fake promises they include. You are always left wondering how they actually make money. Like you watch all the videos and you still have no clue about how they actually make money and how you would. Just a bunch of empty promises. They just include nice pictures of tanned people.and think it will make up for everything.

    • Hi Emily

      Thank you for visiting and for your input. It is scary how these tactics work, especially the videos with empty promises. I suppose that people want to believe so badly that they can make money that these videos hook them in.

      Kind Regards

  5. It’s great to see these money grabbing thieves’ tricks getting exposed.

    Keep up the good work. The more people that see this, the less money them scammers will make at other people’s expense.


    • Hi Hannah

      I’m glad I could assist with sharing ways to avoid scams online. I hope this saves a lot of people from falling from scams.

      Kind Regards

  6. Hi Lynne !

    With so many scams online it’s become really tricky to know who you can trust and where you can invest your time and money.

    But like your article perfectly says, there are several questions one can ask before joining an online opportunity.

    I was scammed several times before so I know what’s it like to get ripped off and feel totally stupid =/

    Some of the questions I ask myself before joining any program are :
    – do they require you to pay money upfront?
    – do they promise that you will get rich overnight?
    – what’s in it for them?
    – how are they making money?
    – are they creating a feeling of scarcity?

    One point you mentioned has proved to be a clear sign that it’s a scam : when you can’t find any information about the company, its owners and where it’s established RUN. lol

    All the best!

    • Hi Sarah

      Thanks for visiting again and for adding your valuable pointers on ways to avoid scams online. Great tips, that you for sharing 🙂

      Kind Regards


  7. Your Ways to avoid scams online post is very well written and gets to the point in a no nonsense way. I totally agree that you can’t get something for nothing, you’re not going to get rich overnight for no work at all. I always say the same as you too that if it’s too good to be true … but it’s a good mantra to go by! Also agree about research – see what other people are saying. Great advice and great post.

    • Thanks for visiting and sharing your views 🙂

      Research is very important, with just spending a few minutes on Google you can very quickly find lots of information and save money, disappointment and time!

  8. People who go online and stumble upon these material online are sometimes people in need of extra income. They are just looking for a way to provide for themselves and their families. It’s a good thing you created a guide for people to read for them to be cautious.

    • Hi Chase

      Yes you are right, and that is the saddest part. They so badly want to earn extra money but end up falling for scams 🙁

      Kind Regards

  9. Hi Lynne,
    This is something I wish I saw a long time ago. I had to learn this the “hard way”.
    Nevertheless, I hope everyone gets a good look at this before roaming the internet, looking to make a couple of good deals.
    I really wonder who the people are who put up these scams trying to rip people of.. How do they sleep at night? I hope they don’t.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing this Lynne.

    • Hi Jonas

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. I also wonder about the minds behind these scams. Surely it takes just as much effort to set up a legitimate business as it does to set up a scam? Who knows why they do it, I just hope to save others from the pain of falling for a scam.

      Kind Regards

  10. Hi Lynne. Great points you’re bringing to tell if whether or not a program is a scam or not. I fell into so many of them of the years especially in the beginning that it’s incredible and discouraging like you said… You wonder at the end if there is any ways to make money online. And there is. But it’s not an overnight thing or as quick as some out there wants to make us believe…it takes time and dedication.

    Don’t go for those who are pressuring you to buy now before it’s too late… that it’s only there for a limited time… without giving you more information than that… and stuff like that! You pointed it all well here.

    But it doesn’t mean that all programs are scams, and I know that the one you recommand fall into that category!

    Take care!


    • Hi Guy

      Thanks for visiting again. Yes it is discouraging to fall for scams all the time. Hopefully these ways to avoid scams online will save some people from falling into the trap.

      Kind Regards

      Kind Regards

  11. Lynne,thank you for such an educative post.Infact I always use testimonials as my point of trust to a product not knowing today there are more than just testimonial.
    It is very informative to the extend i always subscribe to any thing i see online claiming to pay you for doing survey.Thank you for saving me from been scammed.

  12. Hey! Great post you have created here. I just love a site that warns you about scams! There are so many out there, I should know, I got scammed so many times…nicely explained and easily understandable writing.
    I’m sure many people will find this article useful and interesting as I did.
    Thanks for sharing this and have a great day!
    Cheers and good luck

    • Thanks for visiting and giving us your experience about online scams. I’m sorry you had to go through that, it is very disappointing when all we really want is an online business opportunity, something honest that earns real money!

  13. Great Advice! The one thing I have learned from looking for work online is to do your research. If its too good to be true, it is! Sadly there are a lot of folks who still fall for shady schemes. It sad really. Thanks for posting these tips. They are definitely helpful.

    • Hi Melody

      It is a pleasure. Yes the main thing to look out for is way out promises of riches overnight. When I see that I don’t even look further because I know what I will find.

      Kind Regards

  14. Hi Lynne, you offer some great advice here and recommendations! Unfortunately quite a few people are seeking to get the benefits in an easy way and without doing any work or proper research. And those are the easy pray for scammers! Just like with any results, the online success comes after some effort applied and not because someone says so. I am sharing your post on my Facebook page and hope that we will help some more people out there avoid being scammed!

    • Hi Milena

      Yes I think that is the big problem, people are looking for a quick financial fix and instead of starting an online business they fall prey to all the get rich quick scams. Here hoping people will check the ways to avoid scams online and become a little wiser!

      Kind Regards


  15. Hi Lynne, I really enjoyed your website, I like your seven points that you laid out with vital information that everyone needs to be aware of and to avoid. There are so many “sweet talkers” out there and just as many individuals that are desperate for ways to get money fast. You are doing a nice job to inform people on what to avoid and then recommending a wonderful product. Thanks!

    • Hi Angela

      I am so glad you enjoyed my post and found it useful. I hope others will use these ways to avoid scams online to save themselves the pain of falling victim!

      Kind Regards


  16. As someone who has fallen to online scams in the past I can relate to a number of your points here. Searching for online business opportunities in google really is a minefield – there are just so many unscrupulous operators out there 🙁 The problem is that many people are desperate to make money and find themselves believing these claims. I know from experience!
    So now I am going to research the various opportunities properly and read a number of testimonials before going ahead with anything.
    Btw thanks for your previous review on Google Sniper as I was close to going ahead with that one! I’ll be avoiding it now!

    • Hi Boyo

      It is a pleasure and thanks for visiting.

      I am so glad you have decided not to go with Google Sniper! There are way better options out there, that won’t cost you nearly as much money. Always research an opportunity you find before going ahead with it, it will save you a lot of disappointment!

      Have a look at my #1 Recommendation for an online business opportunity, this won’t cost you anything and if you want to upgrade to a paid a better option you can when you are ready. You can also stay on the free option for as long as you like, no pressure of obligation to pay anything ever unless you want to!

      Kind Regards


  17. Hi Lynne,
    Very interesting write up and tips you have written on avoiding scam, i have sure gotten some new info.

    I Hope your blog helps reduce the scam appetite so many are vulnerable to. One way of the order these scam guys keep inventing new ways of scamming, its just so sad and pathetic. They tend to succeed because every one needs money.

    Well one of the ways I verify scam site, is to always verify, their trust rating on scam adviser. com.

    Thanks for the info.

    • Hi Tim

      Thanks for your input, I have also very often used scamadviser.com and it has been very helpful.

      Kind Regards


  18. Hi Lynne,

    Thanks for the numerous tips on ways to avoid scams online. I had read some of these but there were some new ones that I hadn’t thought of or read about.

    The advice to wait to make a purchase is a really good one, I have fallen into that trap before. After making a purchase, I regret it and then have to chase the money spent.

    There are some good tools and software and programs available on the internet for sure, but there is also a good percentage that are either underperforming or out and out scams.

    I have noticed that the marketing is getting more and more slick and professional compared to some of the older crap that is still floating around. Means you have to be more careful!

    Thanks for taking the time to give me a refresher course on this subject and I have bookmarked it to read it once in a while again! Your information here is worth reading , again and again!

    • Hi Dave

      Thanks for visiting. I totally agree that the main thing to do is to wait and see first. There is nothing to lose by waiting a day so that you don’t rush into any hasty decisions.

      I am glad you found my tips and ways to avoid scams online helpful.

      Kind Regards


  19. Hi,Lynn I have brought so many scams online and wasted so much of my time and money on these too good to be true website baloney scams that promise you big,quick money guarantees.Thanks to you,you have guided me to the right path to building a website which is the best way to make money online and how to aviod scams.There are two things I stick by to know if it is an online scam or not and that is as you mentioned”If it’s too good to be true it is”and do a review search on Google and read about it and if it’s not registered in Google search than it’s a scam to.

    • Hi Sonny

      Thanks for visiting. I am so glad you have found a way to really make money online by building a website. It really is the best way to go. That way you have all the control and decide how you will make your income, not relying on someone else and falling prey to online scams!

      Kind Regards


  20. Hello Lynne

    I have fallen for a lot of online scams during my time as an affiliate marketer, and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if I refused to learn from my unfortunate mistakes and move forwards.

    You have outlined some awesome tips here on how to avoid online scams, and if only I had discovered this post a long time ago… I would have a little more money in the bank 🙁 LOL.

    I will remember to look out for these ways in the future!


    • Hi Neil

      Yes, I have also made plenty of mistakes! The thing is, like you said, to learn from these mistakes. I am pleased you found my post on ways to avoid scams online useful.

      Kind Regards


  21. Hi Lynne. As you mentioned above, there are definitely some red flags when it comes to spotting scams online. I’ve found that the more flashy a site is, the lower quality the product/service they have to offer.

    If you run into blinking, bright colors in shiny advertisements, chances are it’s a scam. They need to attract attention with their ads because that’s the only way they will ever make sales. The product certainly won’t sell itself if it’s horrible.

    You also need to shy away from “guru” courses. Anyone service with a self-proclaimed guru running the show is most likely a scam. Overall, it’s always best to research thoroughly before making decisions because you never really know until you try. Which is why free trials, as you mentioned, are a good sign because the product is trusted to be able to sell itself.

    • Hi Matthew

      Thanks you have raised some great warning flags and ways to avoid scams online! I totally agree, when a site is flashy it is always a red flag.

      I also agree with the guru claim and also the programs that claim to make money on its own. There is no such thing as that.

      Kind Regards


  22. It is amazing how many scam websites there are on the internet claiming to make you rich. It is great to see honest sites like this one to help those looking for making a good living online. After you have been in the game for a while these types of sites can be spotted a mile away but to someone who is new to online businesses, you can easily get tricked. Thanks for posting.

    • Hi James

      You are so right about that! The majority of my reviews are on scams and time wasting “opportunities”. It is simply because there are so many scams out there and the real opportunities are out there but really hard to find when you have to sift through all the BS!

      I hope to help many people be able to spot a scam by reading my post on ways to avoid scams online. Like you say once you know what to look out for and been doing it for a while it is easy to see quite quickly when something is suspicious.

      Kind Regards


  23. Thank You Lynne
    Scams are just ruining the whole make money online from home idea. It is more difficult to find scam products than the real deal.

    I have been scammed before and if I have read this post a long time ago, maybe I could have been able to avoid it. Nevertheless, this is an amazing article and I think a lot of newbies or even old timers will find it useful.

    Good luck

    • Thanks Cedric, I hope to save someone a lot of heartache and disappointment. You are so right, these scammers really make it hard for anyone looking for a real and honest way to make money online. They will come across thousands of scams to one real opportunity. It is sad and disgusting 🙁

  24. Your site look very clean, love the article very much, because it has taught me what to look out for on money making sites. Your article is an eye opener to the unsuspecting public that are looking for ways to make money online.I really buy the idea of researching into any product before making any buying decision.Thanks for the article, continue in your good work. All the best, God bless you.

    • Hi Peter. Thanks for visiting, I am so glad you found this article on how to avoid online scams useful!

  25. Very informative article. I use to look for online opportunities and there are always offers that seem too good to be true. This will definitely help me out in the long run. Recognizing scams can be difficult and this article helps a ton. I’ll try and get my friends to read this to make sure they are informed.

    • I am so glad I could help you, it should be much easier when you follow these guidelines. Once you get the hang of what to look out for it becomes so easy to immediately spot a scam.

  26. I love try before you buy! If I’m truly interested, a try before you buy will definitely suck me in. If I really like it, I don’t need to wait until the trial ends to say yes, yes, yes! On the other hand, I hate the countdowns. I’m one to even wait until the countdown to see if the offer still exists after. Either way, the company loses. If the offer is still available through a link, I think they’re a liar and won’t buy it. If it’s true, I won’t buy it because I want the better deal. I guess really, shows whether I’m or not I’m a serious purchaser of a product… allowing the countdown to finish. Still… try before you buy A+. Countdowns, not so liking them.

    • Hi Renee

      You made me laugh, thank you! I totally agree with countdowns, I hate them but really how many of them have been real countdowns and how many are still there the next day? In my experience they have always been there when I come back, because it is a scam and just a way to try and get you to sign up quickly.

  27. Great post! Isn’t it funny that even though we know something sounds too good to be true, we still sometimes fall for it? I think its because we just want to much for it to be true. I really like your list of what to look out for to avoid scams; I see so many of those “red flags” on various websites, especially the graphics of cash and obviously fake testimonials!

    • Hi Laurie

      Oh yes, I think that is exactly it, we want it so badly we decide to ignore the warning bells and just do it anyway… and then we land up disappointed and a little bit poorer for it.

  28. You did a great job in listing the ways to spot and avoid the scams. I see a lot of the scammers also use actors in their videos – too smooth and polished. Another giveaway is the sportscar and the expensive house.

    If we can just remember that without giving value in the form of a product or service, there can be no legit business.

    • Hi Henning

      Oh yes, great point to add. I see so many faces I recognize from Fiverr gigs doing videos for scams.

      Yes the sportscar would go under flashy for me. Show me the products and a great way to make money online, leave the fancy house and car out of the equation.

  29. Hi Lynn!

    Thank you for all the great info about online scammers!! Most fortunately I haven’t been scammed yet and hope to keep avoiding to do so. I have a question about a possible scam…it’s not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme but I’d like your input.

    There’s a company I purchased a portable vacuum from off of Amazon. I received an insert to get a free gift if I left a good review. So I did all that and the gift I choose should be arriving on the 13th. The company is now offering to give me free products for good reviews of their products. I was all in but in the second email she said I’d be purchasing the products first and then she’d initiate the refund through PayPal or Amazon gift card. Which even then I was kinda like, “Ok, I could do that”. But what made me hesitate is that she’ll be sending me the link from which I will purchase the item. So it’s not like I’d be buying it off of Amazon, I don’t think. Nor did she send the link, she said she’d send it once I’d agreed so I can’t go look into it first. Though I guess I could just tell her I agree. Either way though, I’m not sure from what site I’d be purchasing the item from. Could this just be a scam to get my banking info?


    • Hey Meredith – honestly I would be skeptical. If it was a legit offer you would have received a load more information I’m sure. Just the fact that you are suspicious speaks volumes. Also I don’t trust it when it is work that I have to pay anything upfront myself!

      Even if it is a so called legit offer it is not ethical since they are basically just trying to get positive reviews in exchange for products. Manipulating the reviews is against the Amazon terms.

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