2.  Revised Definition – Scams And Fraud, IUH 2009-12, 2ND Ed, R513A

Author Notes: Reference Copy, links to Original Copy removed due to the Age of the Content. See the top Blog Menu for Copyright Concerns, Some Content Removed.

Scam
Dr. Don, Founder ICFO

2.  Revised Definition – Scams And Fraud, IUH 2009-12, 2ND Ed, R513A

In the 2nd Edition, we have decided that to follow our scheme of preparing you to do business online while helping you to understand that Scams are your greatest online business risk.

Therefore, we have elevated our definition of a scam to a standalone chapter one of the reasons for our definition is that even with the vast resources available to us online, the definition of what is a scam, used interchangeable with the word Fraud, is extremely limited, while Scams themselves are rampant. Second anything that does not seem to work for someone is often also called a scam.

Our best offer comes from Answers/Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia

(Scam) Internet fraud refers to the use of Internet services to present fraudulent solicitations to prospective victims, to conduct fraudulent transactions, or to transmit the proceeds of fraud to financial institutions or to others connected with the scheme.

It is easy to see a trend now where the Internet is now facilitating the passing of these scams to your personal mobile devices.

While this definition may be accurate, it needs to be broke down to be more of a working definition and to give online business users a better understanding of our interpretation of a scam, as we will show in the following:

The Internet Scams Anonymous (ISA) Groups expect online businesses to do business as a business. However, we have to except that not all online businesses were founded by business minded professionals. If they are not accessible or their support systems are lacking; then they are not doing business, and are either poor businessmen or are just scamming us.

These guidelines help provide a basis for our interpretation of a Scam

IS IT TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?

  • Does It Makes Sense Is It Logical? Is it Realistic?
  • Does It Make You Think Twice? Does It Satisfy One Of Your Needs?
  • Is it Too Good to Be True? Said that already

For many this is the first pass; is it too good to be true? Others see the hype as fulfilling their need for immediate cash flow, more money, increased income during retirement, work at home, etc. It creates an obviously unrealistic expectation that if it were not for the emotion tug to satisfy something, you would normally pass and save your money.

Too many Newbies have turned to the Internet, perhaps as a last resort to solve their financial problems or crisis. They become prime targets for the first email that hits their inbox that offers them a solution

– most are Scams that drives them further into debt.

See how easy, you are out of work or have excessive debt. “Too bad, but I can help, how about a data entry job or real my emails?”              ACCC

DOES THE OFFER PASS YOUR DUE DILIGENCE TEST?

Any business off or online should be approached as a business. Does it fit your criteria as a business that you can be excited about, does it fit your values, and is it one that you can promote. Sex sites make money online, but not all of us want to be part of that industry. Mobile communications, iPads, iPhones, Smart Phones and such all are the talk of the town, but I don’t want ads on my phones, so I don’t participate in schemes the put ads on other’s phone regardless of how much money I am passing up or leaving on the table.

What does a Google or Yahoo search have to say about the program?

WHAT IS THE OWNERS’ TRACK RECORD?

If a professional can put up 15 new sites per day then certainly a scammer can do as well. New sites are always a problem, because so many members have that “must get in first” and “start building your Team” mentality. Great for pre-launches and some that never launches.

In social networking, we can watch the members flock to a new site, start creating group after group for the same program to get their personal link out there, praising its virtues, and repeating the hype. In most cases, they get caught up in the emotional flow and promote the site without any form of due diligence.

Sure, I will join a new site, on occasion, as I still research sites for scams and new techniques, but most often I don’t commit or make payment until it has been around for a while. While I may mass market the new site with an impersonal link; I don’t make it oneon-one it with friends, make groups, etc., at least not until I have seen it work and have gotten paid.

Doing a routine Due Diligence for a new site will not work because of the lack of history, however, a WhoIs Ownership search will often help. As said elsewhere, hidden ownership turns me off on new sites. Too often the big dogs and have forgotten their roots and go into hiding rather than embracing business as usual and communicating and treating the last customer as they did the first. Of course others hide, because they should hide. For those that do provide ownership data, do your own researches on the owners; if a red flags turn up; I would pass on the program.

What does a Whois search show for the owners’ data?

NON-DELIVERY

The site does not work, leads and links promised are not provided, and automated systems do not provided the stated results. Payouts are not received within the stated timeframes. The site is often off-line for non-payment of hosting, or whatever. One of the top consumer complaints

LACK OF SUPPORT

Support systems, forums and telephone numbers that do not respond to your technical or other questions; probably means that they are just a valueless front. Try submitting a support question to see if you get a response. Perhaps ask about some feature not answered in the Terms or FAW’s.

LACK OF ACCESSIBILITY

Other than support, if it is hiding its identity on www.whois.com, and related sites, then it may be assumed that the owners have something to hide. Most successful businesses have channels of communication, support, help desks, forums, and responsive email. Having said that, see next.

While I am here if these sites are making so much money; why don’t they have international toll-free numbers and a 24/7 available for us? Check out all the big boys, Microsoft, Adobe, and others that have forgot their greatest assets – the customer. Are we not an international community? We don’t want your 9-5 mentality, because we are online 24/7 somewhere in the world. One of my larger social network affiliations not only has a 9-5 mentality, but also shuts down their ticket system after working hours. They won’t even take your problem or complaint on a ticket and promise a response with 24-48 hours. Makes me wonder just where are their priorities?

SCAMMERS ARE SPAMMERS TOO

Continual bombardment of emails from the same person or source with the same emails titles, etc. Scams are primarily delivered via email. On the other hand, unsuspecting affiliates are also great promoters of scams, a complaint that we often see in membership sites. More often, than not, these same Affiliates have neither done their due diligence nor have they ever been paid. These same affiliates tend to jump on every new program that comes along and start promoting it. Good, I am repeating myself! Hmm, I do that too as a trial balloon, on free to join sites.

ARE TRAINING, TOOLS AND RESOURCES PROVIDED?

As an affiliate, we expect that the company will help train us, or at least provide us with the training, tools and resources so that we can help ourselves. Sure, many offer tools and resources, but often they are non-specific to their site, where are the Welcome Letters, the how-to use the site or getting started guides, who is monitoring your success, where is the follow-up?

If the program is not a scam, then why do the owners not monitor and provide for the success of their affiliates? Maybe the business owners are just not business minded. How many offline companies, unless they are using independent contractors, have an extensive training and follow-up program to help assure the success of their affiliates? After all, aren’t they trying to protect their brand? So perhaps some are not always a scam – just poor businessmen. Even with the best of times, partnerships break up, outsourced hosting fail, spam complaints, outsourced payment gateways fail, and business problems come with the territory on or offline. Even with a great program, success is up to you, one man’s scam may be another man’s bonanza.

Thanks for Reading – 2.  Revised Definition – Scams And Fraud, IUH 2009-12, 2ND Ed, R513A

Dr Don, Founder, ICFO

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