How to Review Scams on the Internet
Have you ever wondered if an online investment program promising abnormally high returns is a scam or not? Well, this article will explain how to review scams on the internet and make a well-informed decision.
Follow the guide outlined below to investigate and review potential scams online.
Furthermore, these guidelines can be useful in systematically detecting, convincing and stopping a family member or friend from investing funds into a dodgy HYIP or Ponzi scheme.
1. Does the Offer Sounds too Good to be True
One indicator which is always right in detecting a scam is an offer which sounds too good to be true.
If an online investment profit looks too good to be true, then it is a sign to look deeper into the investment.
You may ask, but what is the percentage return on investment which sounds too good to be true. It’s hard to specify the exact number but if an investment undertakes to pay more than 5% profit per month, then it is too good to be true.
Even 5% is a conservative figure for typical fake online investments. Ponzi schemes and scams general promise investors
If you think about it, why would a company want to pay
Scam website operators promise investors high returns as they want to defraud them. If an online investment sounds too good to be true, it is.
2. Is The Investment Program Listed on HYIP Monitor Websites?
HYIP (High Yielding Investment Program) monitors are a backbone of the many online investment scams. HYIP monitors indicate the payment status of investment schemes listed on their sites.
In almost all cases, HYIP monitors will report investment programs as paying when in fact that’s not the case. Therefore, any online business listed or advertised in an HYIP monitor cannot be trusted.
Some of the most popular HYIP monitors such as David News and MNO Blog claim to report payment statuses of HYIPs honestly and accurately. However, in an industry dominated by scam artist and fraudsters, it is just not possible to report anything honestly or accurately.
As a rule of thumb, anything listed on HYIP monitor website is a Ponzi scheme or a scam and does not require further investigation.
3. Check Websites Which Detect Scams and Blacklist Them
A number of websites are dedicated to detecting scams and listing them as investment programs which have been shown to be Ponzi schemes or scams. Before doing further research check where the investment program is not listed in these websites.
Badbitcoin.org It is a website dedicated to listing Ponzi schemes and scams associated with cryptocurrency investments or mining.
Behindmlm.com The website reviews Multi-Level Marketing companies. If a business or investment program entails paying multiple level commissions based on the number of new people referred to a business, then you are likely to find it has been reviewed by BehindMLM.
4. Avoiding Scams Online With Google
Using Google is one of the best ways to avoid scams on the internet. If badbitcoin.com or HYIP monitors have not listed a suspected scam website, then it's time to search the internet for any information or reviews relating to avoiding the online investment scams.
Should you find a negative review or comment about the investment scheme, accept the reviewer’s advice or recommendation if it makes sense to you and move on.
In cases where only positive reviews are available on the first page of Google, don’t stop there. Continue with your search by checking page 2, 3, 4, and up to at least page 10 of Google if you don’t find anything.
You should read positive reviews of an investment program with a critical eye. Check if the review contains any referral links. If it has referral links, then you cannot really trust a positive review.
If you cannot find any information about on the net about the online investment, or only come across positive reviews, proceed to the next section.
5. Search HYIPs and Bitcoin Forums
Discussion forums are often the first place some potential investors go to ask questions, or even promote the schemes. You can join a few major forums and use the search bar to find specific discussion threads related to the scam under investigation.
Alternatively, if you are not too keen in joining too many forums, simply use Google to search within a discussion forum. In the Google search bar, type the name of the forum, followed by the name of the company you’re searching, for example, Quora: Forex Paradise.
Some of the few discussion forums you should definitely include in your research:
6. Is The Payment System Anonymous?
Most people who operate fraudulent websites hide their identities. It is no coincidence that almost all dodgy websites prefer anonymous payment systems such as Payeer, Perfect Money and Bitcoin.
In conjunction with the anonymous payment systems, the identity of the person who registered the website domain will be hidden or set to private as well.
7. Anonymous Website Owner Or Employees?
If you want to invest your hard earned cash, then look for a branded or a well know company. It does not make sense to invest in an unknown website or company, with unknown and nameless directors or employees.
Unless a company director can provide a photo and name with a track record on the internet, Facebook or LinkedIn to back up his or her claims, then presume they are a fraud and avoid that website or company.
8. Availability of Investment Program Proof of Operations
If a company claims to be:
- mining bitcoins,
- trading forex,
- recycling waste,
- trading in oil,
- real estate,
then at the very least, the company should be able to produce proof of its operations or activities.
For example, a company claiming to mine bitcoin or trading in forex, should have videos and pictures of data centres or forex trading screenshots.
If a company is not in a position to produce of the above, then think twice before investing.
9. Companies House Registration
What I have noted is that many of HIYP websites which scammed investors were registered with Companies House.
This means it is pretty easy for scam artists to register companies in Hong Kong or the UK. Therefore, if a company boast about being registered in the Hong Kong or the UK, do not just walk away, run! It means Companies House registration has become a sign of a scam.
Rather look for companies which are registered with financial institutions such Cysec in Cyprus, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, SEC in the US, or Financial Services Board (FSB) in South Africa.
10. Any Misleading information
Finally, many fraudulent investment companies tend to have misleading or totally untruthful information on their websites.
All you have to do is carefully examine information on their website, starting from homepage background information to frequently asked questions page.
Stating that a company has been around for years without a track record on the internet to back it up should sound alarm bells.
The website domain registration date, read with Alexa ranking or Google Trends for the website usually expose misleading information.
You might find that they are using photo bought or stolen from the internet as their own photos.
Read through the website information, see if there’s anything that stands out such as photos of equipment or people; check if those photos can be found in any other website.