by Calvin Miller
Americans have unlimited access to the internet with today’s technology. This gives criminals new ways to reach victims with scams and fraud from anywhere in the world. On a daily basis, we are exposed to questionable offers and opportunities on the internet. Some scams are very easy to spot; while others can take years to uncover.
It is true that not every offer you see online is a scam. It is safe, however, to treat every offer you find online as a scam, until you can prove otherwise. Here are four simple measures to protect yourself from scams, and to recognize viable opportunities online.
 Treat Every Offer Or Opportunity As An Investment
You may come across an ad for a product that will cure your balding with one use, or an ad for a service that will email you exclusive stock tips. Maybe you find a job offer that will allow you to work from home, or as your own boss. The internet is full of golden opportunities, but it also has numerous scams going around.
Whenever you find an opportunity online, you need to view it as an investment. Be smart and protect your money. Not every online advertisement is looking for your money, but they will still take up your time. You can always make more money, but you can never get time back.
 Fully Understand The Offer Before You Invest
Many of the successful online scams are done because the investor did not understand certain parts of the agreement. Read the fine print, and do your research. If there is any part of the offer that you do not understand; make a sincere attempt to fully comprehend it.
Do not waste too much time reading up on the aspects that you do understand. Scammers always try to make sure that the victim cannot fully understand the offer.
If something seems too good to be true; then go with your gut. When you get suspicious about an offer, it is usually for a good reason. Do not waste your time on opportunities which are not easily understood. Instead, look for opportunities which are completely transparent about everything.
 Qualify The Party Making The Offer
Whether the opportunity is an entrepreneur looking for salespeople/recruiters, or an advertisement for a better PC security service, you need to know about the party making the offer. Before you even think about investing; research the company’s history, background, and reputation. A good place to start is the company website.
If it is an individual making the offer to you, then research that particular individual. Search for their customer reviews. If you do not have a clear understanding of who the person is, and how they do business, then you are probably better off not investing with them. Information about the company should be easy to find by simply Googling it.
Successful and ethical organizations do not have to seek out consumers on the internet. Customers go to them, because they enjoy doing business with an ethical organization.
Social Media is always ready, willing, and able, so it is important to remember that dealing with a suspicious person or organization can give you a bad online and offline image (hurt your brand) very quickly.
 Look Ahead To The Future
Now that you fully understand the offer, and the person or business making that offer; it is time to look ahead. Identify the value that the opportunity will give you. Know what you are giving up by getting that value. Calculate when you will receive the full value.
If this process seems to hit a roadblock, remember that scams are meant to be confusing. Most fraudulent schemes take advantage of victims who do not take time to properly think before they invest.
If you find a good offer to work from home; make sure that you can handle the workload. Will you be able to handle it in six months? In a year? Where will the opportunity take you in the future? Will the work be worth the time you put in?
Finally, as with any investment you make, do not invest more than you can afford to lose. Whether you lose it today, or ten years from now.
My goal is to work hard, protect myself, and utilize all of my potential. I strive to help others to do the same. You can email me (Calvin Miller) here: [email protected]
[updated Jan 01, 2021]