Marketing Scams

Anyone who has researched ways to make money online has probably come across a scam or two. Marketing scams have been around for a very long time, but the Internet has made it much easier for them to proliferate. If you want to make money online, it's critical to know as much as possible about marketing scams. Following are some of the more common types of marketing scams.

Pyramid Schemes

A pyramid scheme is similar to multi-level marketing (MLM), which involves participants buying products to create commissions for the person who recruited them. The recruits then recruit new participants from whom they will earn commissions, and the person above them also earns a commission on their recruits.

MLM is not a scam in and of itself, but pyramid schemes are. Instead of selling products, participants in a pyramid scheme simply receive money from their recruits, who are then asked to recruit people to pay more money in, and so on. This is illegal, and often results in loss of money for all but the people at the top of the pyramid.

Envelope Stuffing

Those who want to work from home but lack formal education are often thrilled when they find opportunities to make money stuffing envelopes from home. With promised pay of a few dollars per envelope, it sounds too good to be true. And it is.

Advertisements for envelope stuffing jobs usually ask interested parties to send $3 to $5 for more information. Victims do not think twice about making this small investment because of the promised pay. But when they send in their money, they receive instructions to place ads just like the ones they responded to and send respondents the same instructions they received. They are only paid when someone orders more information about stuffing envelopes.

Affiliate Marketing Scams

Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make money online, and it is fairly easy if you run a website or blog. All you have to do is link to advertisers using a specially coded link, and if a sale is made, you receive a commission. Lots of reputable companies have affiliate programs, but as in any case, there are a few bad seeds.

There are some warning signs to look for. An affiliate program should always be free to join, because you are not required to buy a kit or samples. Some programs that charge fees are just fronts for pyramid schemes, and others might take your money and run. You should also be able to easily find contact information for the company. If you're in doubt, search Google for information about the company. If it is a scam, you'll probably find complaints online.

Marketing scams can cost opportunity seekers lots of money, and being taken in by them can be very disheartening. By doing your homework on any company you consider getting involved with, however, you can usually weed out these scams. There are legitimate opportunities out there, so don't let the fear of being scammed stand in your way.