Avoid Getting Scammed Online – And What To Do If You Get Scammed

Avoid Getting Scammed Online – And What To Do If You Get Scammed

No matter if it’s a digital product you’re buying or a physical product, there are scams everywhere you look online.

But before we go into how to avoid being scammed, let’s get clear on what a scam is.

I feel the word ‘scam’ is often misused.

Some people use the word ‘scam’ to mean ‘I paid for the product and although I downloaded it, it didn’t work for me’.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is not a scam. That is either the product is faulty e.g. it’s a plugin that doesn’t work, or you just didn’t take the time to use the product and calling it a scam to cover your own laziness because it ‘doesn’t work’ for you. I most cases, information products, courses ‘work’ if you put in the effort to apply it.

A scam is when you pay your hard-earned dollars but you don’t get anything. You get a big fat zero.

Like my buddy in Australia years ago, who bought a camera from Ebay and never received it. He got scammed. They took his money and ran!


So in this article, I want to talk about how to avoid getting scammed – when you actually pay for something and the seller disappears, never to be seen or heard of again.

Just over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen a handful of horror stories around the web of people getting ripped off with buying solo ads or paying for sales letters, even coaching, that never gets delivered!

I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or scammers are on the rise, but I was surprised to find so many examples in a short time period recently.

What is really distributing is that some of the sellers (scammers) actually have a good track record, i.e. they’ve been around in the scene for quite a long time. Then all of a sudden they turn to the darkside. They take the trusting person’s money and cut off all contact, leaving them with a plate of fresh air and disillusionment, not to mention fury towards the scammer and a sick gut feeling.

It’s very disappointing when I see people getting scammed. I know the sick feeling because I have been scammed in the past too. It’s a feeling I don’t want anyone to have to feel.

The best way I know to avoid a scam is to do your research BEFORE you buy to check out the validity of the seller and product or service being offered.

You have the world’s best search tool, Google, and it’s just a click away. Go over to Google and search for the “product name + scam” or “seller name + scam” and read reviews and other reports that you find. If there are bad reports of scams, then you know to avoid it.

If it’s a seller advertising on a public forum, like the Warrior Forum, read the comments/posts thoroughly. Sometimes the seller will be all genuine for the first little while, but then disappears, and the comments on the 2nd and 3rd pages of the thread will tell you that.

If you do become the victim of a scam, contact the seller as much as you can through as many different communication channels as possible – Email, skype, Facebook, Twitter, phone, etc. If it seems like a dead-end, contact the payment processor whom you paid through (e.g. Paypal) and open a dispute.

Be careful from who you buy from. Online scams do exist so you need to be aware and don’t rush in to buying anything from an unknown seller until you’re 100% sure it’s a genuine deal.

If you’re running a business online selling your products and services, you need to be mindful that your (potential) customers are cautious about who they give their money to. You need to become a trustworthy source.

Make sure you build trust with your prospects as soon as possible.

The easiest way to do that is to be genuine and show the reader that you’re a real human being, and are contactable. Offer guarantees and honor refund requests. I’ve granted refunds only to have them buy a different product from me later down the road.

If your business is a faceless webpage with no contact details, no guarantee and no testimonials, your sales will struggle.

And of course, don’t scam people! Karma is a bitch.


Stuart Stirling

7 thoughts on “Avoid Getting Scammed Online – And What To Do If You Get Scammed

  1. Yeh, it’s crazy how many people I used to trust have gone to the dark side. I don’t agree with this 100%:

    “A scam is when you pay your hard-earned dollars but you don’t get anything. You get a big fat zero.”

    There are plenty of instances where people get something and are scammed. Think of the sales pages that lead people to believe they can make $15 for every link they post, then claim they can post x number of links per hour, so that means they’ll earn $xxx/day.

    The people buy that “product” and usually get some sort of poor affiliate training. But they certainly don’t get what was promised in the sales letter.

    I evaluate a scam by comparing what was promised versus what was delivered.

    1. Good point Paul. You’re right there, you can classify a scam as something that is falsely advertised. You get it and think “WTF! this is not what I was expecting.” I guess another name for that is ‘unethical’ marketing. Something else to look out for. Stuart

  2. Interesting and informative blog Stu. Am a real newbie with my online business, but you confirmed what I thought was the correct thing to do – make sure my contact info is valid etc. Now off to add my profile photo somewhere in my website – thank you for your interesting emails etc.

  3. I was scammed big time by West Bend. I guarantee you that the 90’s was not a “Bear Market” as it was presented to me. Everyone knew that.

    1. Thanks Chris, thanks! I have a bad habit of not proofreading my articles. This blog is probably riddled with mistakes if you look closely!

      p.s. I’ve gone through and fixed up some errors 😉

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