Scams take many forms: overseas lotteries, get-rich-quick schemes, work-from-home jobs and hundreds more, but the fact is that unless you’ve been ripped off in the past you probably don’t know how to recognise a Report Scam and get your money back when you see one.
The people who design the scams are clever. Most scams look like the real thing and they appear to meet your need or desire. They often piggy-back off the reputation of schemes which are proven to be legitimate, for example, not all lotteries are fake, not all work-from-home schemes are rip offs. Unfortunately it can be extremely hard to tell the difference…so let’s commence your education!
Firstly, let me clear up a couple of myths. Many people hold the belief that every business is OK because they are all vetted by some kind of government authority. This is false. While government agencies in Australia and most other developed nations work hard to shut down illegal scams, the scammers might rip off hundreds people before they are caught.
Another dangerous myth is that there are quick short cuts to “getting rich”. People claiming to be millionaires regularly hold seminars or write e-books to explain how you can make a fortune by simply following their advice: perhaps it’s a secret stock market plan, a way to make millions with real estate you don’t own, or participating in online surveys from your own home computer.
Do any of the above scams sound familiar? You probably see them on the internet all the time. Ask yourself: if a person knew the secret to instant wealth, would they want everyone in the world to find out about it? And if they’re already a millionaire, why would they spend all their time telling people about it…and why would they need to charge people money for it?
Keep in mind, however, that not all scammers go for the “get rich quick” headline. Some will entice you with a smaller but equally attractive proposition: the opportunity to quit your day job and earn the same money by working part-time from home. These scams run rampant on the internet and often start by only requesting a small outlay, of say $40 for which they will send you an e-book containing the secrets of wealth.