Online Business Scams – How to Spot Them

How to tell a scam

Scam Alert

If you ever dream of taking an opportunity to make money online, you have to know how to tell a genuine online business from an online business scam.

My aim is to give provide you with guidelines to help you identify genuine home business opportunities from online business opportunity scams.

Even though I emphasize on online business opportunities, the criteria can also be used to determine whether offline money making ways are genuine or not.

Guidelines to Check Whether an Online Opportunity is Genuine

  • What Value is the Business Opportunity Bringing to the Market Place

If the business opportunity has no products that brings value to its users, keep off. This is by far the most important scam check.

When the business has a product, ask questions along these lines;

Can someone buy the product without buying the business opportunity? If no, keep off. The business opportunity may just be the next illegal FTHM

If it is an opportunity, can someone make money ONLY selling the products of the opportunity without necessarily recruiting other people? If no, keep of.  You are probably robbing Peter to pay Paul so that Peter becomes Paul the next time round. Your opportunity is in danger of being labelled as the next Zeek rewards or Ponzi scheme.

NEVER enroll on a program whose money making opportunity is only in recruiting other people. The program will soon be clamped down by the law enforcement authorities.

  • Perform a Background Check on the Company and its Principals.

Find out who is behind the company and what is their track record. If the company is faceless, keep away. Scam artist do not usually want to be identified.

The internet has made it easy to find information on almost anything just by a quick search. If you find the principals behind the business opportunity and they have ever been identified with bad practices, be warned! The present opportunity may be fishy.

What business model is the company using in their promotional efforts? Where recruiting other people is involved, you need to ensure that the company meets the legitimate MLM criteria.

Are complaints related to compensation or billing? Does the company not keep to its promises?

The higher the number of complaints, the higher the chances of the business being scrutinized and dubbed a scam.


New companies may have only a few or no complaints.

If the company is new and you still want to proceed, do so only with great caution knowing that your risk levels are very high.

  • Social Proof

Ignore what others are saying on social media about this opportunity at your own peril.

Social proof could be very misleading because, when people are getting paid, they tend to speak very well of the company.

They can not see red flags or warning posts. You have to see through what people are saying to tell whether these people are paid evangelists or they are objective reviewers.

People only start cursing when the law grips their company.

While a lot of negative reviews is a clear sign that you should stay off, many positive reviews is no guarantee that the business is genuine even though positive reviews provide some level of comfort.

Check the social proof of the company by following discussions on social media such as facebook, google plus, twitter etc.

  • Perform a Quick Search on Reviews of the Opportunity

Do a quick search on google for a review of the opportunity. You should read both positive and negative reviews to determine whether this will be a business for you.

You can ran a review search by typing “company name” + review or “company name” + scam into google or any search engine available to you.

Read the reviews and comments that come up. Watch out for people who are just promoting the opportunity or those just out there to lambast it.

Consider only reviews that are sincere and objective. You do not need to be an expert to tell whether someone is sincere. You can smell it from their message.

Be aware that a lot of the positive reviews are likely to come from affiliates or people who have a financial interest in the company.

Negative reviews are likely to be from people who have had bad experiences with the company.

You need an open mind. To have read this post up to this point, I am sure that you are well placed to tell when someone’s aim is to malign another person or business.

Don’t fall for that crap.

Just because someone is shouting foul does not mean you should not consider taking a genuine opportunity that could be staring you in the face.

It does however mean that you should look a bit more closely.

  • Is the Compensation Plan Difficult to Understand

If you do not understand any portion of the compensation plan, ask questions. If you are still not clear, chances are that a lot of other people do not get it.

When people misunderstand the comp plan, chances are that they will sue the company often. The business will start defending itself in the law courts.

I am sure you do not want your company to be noted for being in court all the time.

  • Check the indexed pages of the website of the opportunity you are investigating.

You can see some interesting stuff if you check the indexed pages. You may notice that, a similar story is told in other countries. The only thing that may change would be the names they use.

This is the case of the controversial home income cash system which ran on the fake news site Beware of similar sites.

  • Watch Out if You Feel Pressure to Make Payments.

Don’t be in a hurry to give out your credit card details.

In relation to the above, always check for overly enthusiastic emails that promise results.

Usually, these emails use a lot of exclamation marks and capital letters.

  • Read the Terms and Conditions Carefully.

Most of the scams online have questionable terms and conditions.


If it feels to you like a scam, if it smells like a scam, consider it a scam and ran away from it.


  1. Report to the appropriate agency (Usually the Attorney General’s office) in your country.
  2. File a complaint at the BBB, FTC, ScamWATCH, Fraud.Org or the appropriate agency responsible for consumer protection in your country.
  3. If you gave out your credit card details, contact your credit card company and inform them.
  4. Contact the ad agency that published ads for the scammers.

I will be coming up with a post at a later date on why people get scammed.

In the meantime, what other ways do you think the scammers adopt to rip people off their money? Write your comments below and share this post with your network of friends.



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8 Responses to “Online Business Scams – How to Spot Them”

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  1. Adrienne says:

    I agree with Enstine on this one Eyram, great information you shared.

    It’s hard to spot at times when you’re looking for something online but I definitely know now if they’re promising things that you believe are too good to be true then we all have to know that they are. There is always some hidden agenda behind it all and that great product you’re buying into is just a bunch of fluff that won’t get you anywhere.

    I oftentimes wonder, just like with hackers, why do people do these things. Why do they go out of their way to deceive people. It just breaks my heart that people are so money hungry that they would go this route but I’m seeing it more and more as time goes by.

    Great tips for doing your research and thank you for sharing this information. I know especially for beginners that these tips will come in very handy.


    • Eyram says:

      It beats my mind as well why someone would conceive in their hearts to defraud others.

      I found it as a duty to share this info. Beginners will definitely find this information handy.

      I also know that, there are a lot of people who have been online for so long and yet get duped.

      This information will come handy for them as well

      Finally, you could loose a great opportunity just because you think that it sounds too good to be through. Scammers are getting sophisticated by the day. They are coming up with more believable offers.

      I would rather check on any opportunity I hope to join to avoid getting duped.

      I really appreciate you stopping by and for contributing these insightful comments.


  2. Enstine Muki says:

    You got this quite on the spot.
    It’s good to help people know how to identify the evil guys and stay away from such bad opportunities.

    Going to share this post bro

  3. Samir says:


    Nice post, You are right everything you’ve shared in this post. One of my friend has already lost so much time by investing in fraud or scam online business. I think I must forward this article to him so that we can take care before proceeding with any business.

    Thanks for sharing

  4. Nyc post, rich content… Keep it up… but u need 2 add the read more tag on ur blog…

    • Eyram says:

      Hey Daniel,

      Thanks for visiting and your observation.

      When my readers come here, I prefer that they see what they will be reading immediately

      Those who read through my posts entirely are my ideal readers. I’d rather have them than anyone else.

      Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.



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