Online Scams: How To Avoid Them
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I get it. Really, I do. You’re a blogger, you work online every day and you’re smart, you’ve never been taken in by a scam. But that just means that you’ve been lucky – so far. You know what they say… Never say never. Let’s take a look at how you can avoid online scams that are directed specifically at bloggers.
We all know we shouldn’t click on links in unsolicited emails or emails from people we don’t know, but as bloggers, we just naturally belong to more than a few lists. Sure, we subscribe to other blogs just like everybody else, but we also join lists so we can get those free How To Make Money Online Guides everybody offers. And therein lies the problem.
For one thing, many bloggers are on so many lists they can keep track of all of them. And for another, as bloggers we tend to automatically trust a fellow blogger. But a lot of those bloggers are very unscrupulous and there’s no magic mirror in their list that can tell the difference between a fellow blogger and the Average Joe.
Trust me when I tell you I’ve followed more than one of these email links from other bloggers that and ended up in a world of hurt. I’ve picked up malware and viruses and landed on some very, very nasty pornography sites.
I’m not telling you to never subscribe to another list because some of those free guides are pretty helpful. But be careful. Check out the blog first to make sure it’s legit, and if you have opening something from that blogger again, then unsubscribe from his list before you forget and get sucked into something down the road.
Most bloggers have a Paypal account or something similar. You almost have to if you’re going to promote affiliate products or sell your own products on your blog. I’ve met three or four bloggers in the last year who’ve had their Paypal accounts hacked because they responded to a scam email.
Never click on a link in an email that looks like it comes from your financial institution, your bank or Paypal. These sites all require you to set up a personal account and if they need to contact you they’ll leave a direct message on your account.
And you should never, ever, Ever reply to those emails that ask you to verify your username and password. These financial sites will never ask you to supply that kind of information in an email. If you do receive an email asking for this information it’s absolutely a scam.
If you receive an email and you’re unsure of what to do, contact your financial institution by telephone and ask to speak to your account manager or a customer service representative.
It’s hard to believe that bloggers would stoop so low as to scam other bloggers but it happens all the time. They buy an old PLR ebook about How To Make Money Blogging that’s been floating around the Internet for a few years, pay someone to rewrite it, slap a new title on it and try to sell it to you for $49. It really happens. How do I know? Because I know a writer who makes her living rewriting those ebooks.
Searching the Web for product reviews before you purchase won’t help. You’ve probably seen those articles that say, “Product XYZ is a scam! Don’t buy it until you read this article!” Those articles were written by the blogger who created the crappy product because he’s anticipating your search. For now, the best way to research these products before you buy is to do a search using the author’s name + review.
Don’t let the fact that you work online cause you to let down you’re guard. Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous bloggers out there and you’re as susceptible to online scams as anyone else.