Wherever people are making money, you will also find scammers, ready to relieve them of it. We compiled a list of common scams that involve making money online, mostly related to online jobs or businesses. Scammers tend to be extremely aware of the needs of people who want to make money online and they know just how to exploit those needs.
As a disclaimer, we should mention that within some of the categories below, you will also find real opportunities that are sometimes tarnished due to the legacy of scams that have flooded the niche. Please refer back to our guide on how to tell a scam from a legitimate opportunity.
1. Job Type: Data Entry
Typical Method: Data entry jobs are advertised on most websites, especially classifieds. It usually requires that you compile spreadsheets on your computer, using data sourced from the internet.
How it Works: The lure of working from home, doing a simple job and earning good money is a great lure for many people who are desperate for work.
Level of Danger: As long as you don't disclose any personal information, you should be fine. However, most data capture companies require that you do a whole month's work before telling you that you did it all wrong (although you followed their instructions carefully) and therefore they will not be paying you.
2. Opportunity / Job Type: Envelope Stuffing
Typical Method: Companies that send out a lot of mail (usually junk mail) are always looking for cheap ways to get the hard work done.
How it Works: They will send you a box of letters and a box of envelopes and you will have to fold the letters, stuff them into envelopes and post it.
Level of Danger: Envelope stuffing companies don't pose much danger, however, they do waste a lot of time, because most of them never pay for the services rendered.
3. Opportunity / Job Type: "Help" starting your own business
Typical Method: The internet is full of adverts of companies offering you "help" starting your own business.
How it Works: The company will require that you pay a small "admin fee", which, of course is very little compared to what it would cost you to start your own business the usual way. They offer to supply all the tools, systems and structure and training you need to get started. What they don't tell you is that you start a business that benefits them a lot more than it benefits you.
Level of Danger: Apart from the money paid (which is really for access to the systems and tools) there is no real loss, except that there is usually no real business to start and your time is wasted. These opportunities are generally based on an elaborate affiliate programme, where you will resell the same opportunity to other people, and the owners of the system will smile all the way to the bank.
4. Opportunity / Job Type: Outsource Packages
Typical Method: Many people who want to start their own businesses consider working from home, because outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular.
How it Works: Scammers sell "complete outsourcing packages" that supposedly contain everything you need to start an outsourcing business from home. A popular one is medical billing. They usually even provide a list of potential clients.
Level of Danger: These packages can cost anything from $99-$999. When you start approaching clients with your services, you are told that companies don't outsource billing due to client confidentiality issues. The list of leads provided is usually either outdated, or fake. When you approach the company for a refund, you will find that near impossible.
5. Opportunity / Job Type: Online Typing Jobs
Typical Method: Most people who use the internet can type quite fast and therefore, an advert that offers online typing jobs that allow you to make money online sounds perfect.
How it Works: You will be asked to send money for an information pack, consisting of a booklet and a disc that shows you how to place ads on the internet, advertising "typing from home" jobs. You will then sell the same information pack to other people.
Level of Danger: This is a waste of time and money and it turns you into a scammer, too.
6. Opportunity / Job Type: Get-Rich-Quick Emails
Typical Method: You will receive an email promising you fast money, if you follow the method. The instructions are usually accompanied by a heartfelt success story of someone who used an ancient version of the same system and went from rags to riches.
How it Works: The email will contain a list of names, and instructions to send money to the first 3 people on the list, add your money to the list and forward it to everyone you know. The money should start rolling in, making you a millionaire in no time.
Level of Danger: Apart from the money you pay to the 3 people on the list, there is no financial danger. However, you risk losing the respect of your friends and family who receive the letter from you. Also, the emails are usually manipulated, which means that the names on the list are always the same. As such, the people who started the scam are the only people who actually make money.
7. Opportunity / Job Type: Various Job Posting Scams
Typical Method: A big one in South Africa, people posing as recruitment agents advertise jobs, to which you respond with your CV. However, they will keep emailing you back, asking you to fax your CV and other documents to them.
How it Works: They will never respond to you, and keep pretending that they never received your documents via fax. They will email you daily, telling you to fax them lists of forms and CVs with supporting documents. Some might ask you to pay a “placement fee” to find you a job, saying that they have jobs waiting, and when you do, they’ll apologise, saying that the payment took too long and someone else was hired.
Level of Danger: This scam is aimed at giving you false hope, thinking that this agency obviously must have a position available for you. However, the real scam is that they use a fax-to-email number, which pays them when they receive faxes.
8. Opportunity / Job Type: Get Paid Lots of Money for Completing Surveys
Typical Method: Many people make extra cash by completing surveys on the internet. Companies need to do market research, and who better to target than internet users wanting to earn money. Along comes an advert offering much more than the usual pittance market research companies offer.
How it Works: You will be directed to a very attractive website, and offered a free sign up (as is custom with survey companies). Once you have signed up, and redirected to the "find surveys to complete" site, you are told to pay a monthly $5 subscription fee to get surveys that match your profile.
Level of Danger: Even if you do pay a subscription fee and complete your profile information, you will only receive one survey that pays $3 per month, if you're lucky. Basically, you will be wasting time, and paying for the luxury.
9. Opportunity / Job Type: A List of Companies / Business Opportunities
Typical Method: Scammers offer a list of companies offering jobs in your field, or looking for home workers, or business opportunities.
How it Works: You pay a small fee for the list, which is outdated, or generic and of no use to you.
Level of Danger: Apart from getting your hopes up, you will waste your money and time on this one. Don't expect a refund!
10. Money / Lotto / Luck Spells by Bogus Sangomas
This is probably one of the most common scams in South Africa at the moment with thousands of people losing millions of rands to bogus sangomas. Although news of these scams are in the Newspapers regularly, people are still falling for bogus Sangomas on a daily basis. There are literally thousands of people who are so desperate that they will try anything to get their hands on some cash.
Most of these bogus Sangomas are young immigrants from Uganda and other African countries who have found a quick way to make a lot of money. They know the Internet well and they are using it to lure unsuspecting victims into their traps. Their Love and Money Spells are highly in demand and it is making them thousands of rands per month.
What is a money spell?
According to these bogus Sangomas they can perform a ritual and cast a money spell for you to make all your money dreams come true. Whether you want to win the lottery, land a high-paying job, or simply fall into loads of cash, according to them they can do it, for a fee of course!
You might think this is a joke, but it's not. Just go on Google and search for Money Spells. You will find hundreds of Sangomas / Traditional Healers advertising the fact that they can make you rich, by merely casting a Money Spell.
According to the chairperson of the South African Traditional Healers Organisation, Phepsile Maseko, bogus practitioners are bringing the traditional healing sector into disrepute. “The practice of traditional healing is genuine, but when bogus people join the uncontrolled business it becomes difficult to distinguish between the real healer and the fake ones,” she said.
Visit http://www.sangomascam.com for more...