Get-rich schemes are all over the internet. Almost all of them claim to have the secret to making money fast and with very little effort or time, once you know their secret! Of course, the truth is that if ANYONE had a secret to making piles of money in little time and effort, it would be headline news. And certainly there are some legitimate affiliate programs, work from home plans, franchises and other means to earn money in your spare time. But it is pretty easy to separate the two.
In addition to the home-based-business schemes like stuffing envelopes, medical transcription, etc., many of the schemes simply involve selling more schemes! At their website they claim to have some great secret or secrets to how to make millions on the internet in a little time, that they have reviewed hundreds of the money making programs, and almost all of them are worthless... except for the ones THEY will tell you about... if you just pay them $11.99. If you do, you will usually get pages of mindless drivel, in which they are highly repetitive and talking in circles or pure nonsense....
Typically, they eventually tell you: You make a website like theirs, write your own "book" of secrets, then get OTHERS to buy it! Typically, you pay for courses claiming to have the latest method for making money online. They'll show you how to put up advertisements on Google's AdWords program and become a reseller of some worthless "eBooks". And usually, you are supposed to make millions buy selling the others books through their affiliate programs. Sounds pretty much like a pyramid scheme, except because you sell a "book" (remember the 80 pages of mindless drivel?) it's not actually a pyramid scheme... just a truly worthless "book", which could be nothing more than Microsoft Word file. And unfortunately, conning people into buying a worthless piece of trash isn't illegal. Just slimy and unethical; which in the land of "caveat emptor" (let the buyer beware) is typically just called "marketing".
Even if you are lucky enough to sell a few ebooks, you'll end up paying more to advertise than you will earn, since so many websites are selling the same products (and it is junk, so there are no repeat buyers). To make matters worse, when you sign up to download their "free kit" "Free", they often sign you up for additional programs, with additional automatic monthly charges.
So, instead of getting something for free to make money, you really end up with ongoing monthly charges showing up on your credit card.
You probably didn't read the fine print that told you they were going to charge you - they count on that. And that made it legal, even if it is sleazy!
We wouldn't recommend ANY of the "money making programs" you see advertised on tv, radio, print or the internet. And we haven't got one to sell you, either. We created another website, www.ConsumersGuideToMakingMoneyOnline.org to show you how to earn an income online, legitimately - you can ignore the advertisements (the ads pay for the website) - we're not selling anything . All of the information is free.
The obvious truth is anyone pushing a "money making program" is selling greed, not a real, substantial product or service.
Whether they are legal, illegal, scams or mere exaggerations, is really besides the point: Avoid ALL so-called money-making programs, and instead, figure out what your skills and interests are. Find a way to use those to meet the needs of the marketplace, i.e. of people and businesses using those skills and interests.
There are many variations of get-rich scams online. Remember, NONE are recommended:
The testimonial; "I got rich; you can, too" approach: This page walks you through a review of the Kevin Hoeffer series of "get rich" websites.
Money Making Program Review websites - Beware of websites that claim to be warning you about scams - if they are recommending "money making" products. They make their money by bashing 90% of the programs, but pushing the other 10% as "Great! This one REALLY works" . It is like a shell game; these review websites all endorse a slightly different mix of "programs". A typical so-called "money-making program" review website starts off with something like this:
"Thanks for visiting scammer warning! My name is Frank Smathers. On this site I expose the truth about online money making scams, and give the straight dope on the legitimate ones. I have been following online money making scams since 1999 and exposing the truth behind them. Over the past 19 years I have explored virtually every work from home scam online.",
Then, after bashing a few programs or providing some "tips", they launch right into recommending the data entry programs, government grant programs and selling books like "The Truth Behind Government Grants Exposed" and other junk. All programs that legitimate consumer protection agencies and the government tell you are junk!
You'll notice we do not endorse ANY money making programs - they are ALL junk, pyramid schemes or blatant scams. We challenge you to show us ONE that isn't!
Let us remind you that the ads that appear in the Advertising boxes on consumerfraudreporting are selected by an outside ad provider (Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.); not CFR. We recommend you follow the advice on our pages, not that in the clearly labeled ads.
Look for the common features of get-rich schemes:
lot's of hype
few details about how they work
misdirection, misleading ads, multiple websites all selling the same product
often offer a "free" book or cd, which requires a credit card to pay for "shipping and handling"
press you to sign up for a trial, a mailing list or otherwise provide your name, email address, phone, etc.
usually make money by getting other people to buy the program
often are pyramid schemes
They seem based on the premise that you can "make money on the internet", that's it. Not, of course, by designing a better product or selling legitimate products or services, but by using some "trick", secrets or other inside information. Perhaps, the quote attributed to P.T. Barnum was right, a victim is born every minute, and 2 to take him.
The only sustainable and substantial way to wealth is to come up with a good product or service and sell it at a fair market price. Working for yourself means you retain more of the profit, but it also means you take on more of the risk. Each person has to balance the two.
Some people have made money selling things on Ebay, or writing a book and selling it themselves, developing informational websites, blogs, etc. But no one has a "secret" formula for these or any other way of selling online. Most of the legitimate successes were early to the market, or developed something that was unique at the time they introduced it.
Your grandfather's advice about finding out what really interests you, and what your really good at doing, and then doing something that uses both of those, is the best advice going.
Develop your skills and knowledge; become the best at what interests you. Read up (and most of the good information is free and available online or in the library or bookstore). Learn and practice. Invest in yourself, not a scheme!
Doing this, you'll naturally become one of the best at whatever it is that interests you. Few people are complete idiots; even Idiot Savants (eg, "Rain Man") excel far beyond other people at a few things. And there's always a market for an excellent service or product, on or off the internet.
Please notice that ConsumerFraudReporting.org does not sell ANY money-making schemes.. . As we stated above, it is our opinion that the only sustainable and substantial way to wealth is to come up with a good product or service and sell it at a fair market price. And if you notice any ads on our website that are selling any 'money-making" programs, let us know right away - An outside ad service (like Google or Yahoo) supplies the ads, we don't have ANY contact with the advertisers.
U.S. Secret Service
Financial Crimes Division
1800 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20223
Phone: (202) 435–5850
Fax: (202) 435–5031
Or contact your local U.S. Secret Service field office.
Contact the Foreign Commercial Service (FSC) at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If there is no FCS office, contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Consular Section or the Regional Security Office.
For other government agencies to report scams, see this page. And of course, write us! We are always interested in hearing about any potential scams!