December 27th, 2011 12:00 EST
Top Online Money Making Scams and Get Rich Quick Schemes
In a climate where job loss is high, income low and bills don`t stop just because you got laid off or are taking time off to have kids, making money online can certainly seem like a life saver. The current trend in online get rich quick schemes comes in the form of websites that offer payment to complete surveys and offers, or to write product reviews. However, for various reasons, most of these sites turn out to be scams, using barely legal methods to extract personal information from the public, promising remuneration and failing to deliver.
Some of the companies orchestrating these scams are even considered reputable, yet they freely get away with theft at no repercussion to themselves. Meantime the users whom they scam are left to wallow in their own impotence and frustration, with no way to defend themselves or to ever get redress.
Below are details of some of the top websites that offer payment in exchange for work, and the methods they use to perpetrate their scam.
CashCrate claims to pay users for signing up for offers, trying new products, completing surveys and getting cash back on purchases made at hundreds of online retailers.
CashCrate`s offers include registering for wardrobe makeover sweeps, signing up for auto insurance quotes and chances to win desirable prizes such as a year`s worth of diapers, airplane tickets, or thousands of dollars in gift cards from places like Target or Costco.
All the user has to do is fill out the form with valid information and participate. " What this really means is that the user will be asked to:
1) provide an email address which will be sold to numerous third parties, thereby generating hundreds of spam messages to your inbox every day.
2) fill out a form that needs to include a cell phone number. The moment the cell phone number is divulged, the user will receive text spam at a cost to the USER of $9.99.
3) complete any two offers. These offers may seem free (such as a free trial to whiter teeth), but users will be asked to reveal credit card details in order to cover shipping and processing. Mostly this is a nominal fee of no more than one dollar, but the point is that CashCrate and its advertisers will acquire credit card information that may then be used in any one of a number of credit card scams.
If all the steps are not fulfilled, user participation is considered incomplete and the account will not be credited. Furthermore there are no real surveys on CashCrate, just endless pages of offers, designed to confuse the user and extract as much personal information as possible. CashCrate is visibly a scam and a dangerous one at that. Stay well away!
Googling InboxDollars will bring up mixed reviews. As with Cashcrate, InboxDollars, which is owned by CotterWeb Enterprises, works using offers and surveys. The surveys are considered impossible to qualify for, as the survey companies are very specific in the demographics from whom they want information.
With InboxDollars, users earn five dollars for joining and can cash out at thirty dollars. Other than offers, users also receive paid emails, which pay two cents just for clicking them, plus hundreds of addictive games, also with a cash payout. Many users have reported dedicatedly playing their favorite games for several weeks, before realizing that no money has been added to their account. Upon inquiring with the support center, users are typically told that InboxDollars is not responsible and that payment will happen if and when the game hosts ever confirm their having played.
The offers aren`t any better, though they are more attractive, as many do not require credit card information in order to be considered complete. However, once an offer is completed InboxDollars closes the page, leaving no record of it having been completed. Many complaints have been submitted by users claiming to be owed credit on numerous offers on which they wasted valuable time and offered up their email for spam. Again, contacting the support center seems to be fruitless, and many are met with rude responses from scammers whose job is to absolve InboxDollars from all responsibility towards the user.
Finally, of those who have made it to the thirty dollar payout threshold, many have complained that upon requesting their payment, InboxDollars mysteriously canceled their accounts and their money was lost.
In conclusion, InboxDollars appears to be a scam, with its main aim to collect email address to sell to third parties, leaving the user with nothing but an inbox full of spam to show for their efforts.
PandaResearch has nothing to offer anyone who is not interested in divulging their credit card information. The surveys range from one to five dollars, which is more generous than the fifty cents offered by Cashcrate and InboxDollars, but every one of these surveys is attached to a free trial offer that must be completed with credit card details.
Panda Research also offers paid emails which pay two cents just for clicking on them, but it might not be worth joining just for that, as their cash out threshold is one hundred dollars. On the upside, it won`t take long to figure out that Panda Research is a waste of time, as users will not even be able to begin a survey without first signing up for a free offer using a credit card.
Before users can even begin completing paid surveys, GlobalTestMarket requires completion of a profile survey, " which is made up of ten detailed surveys with questions ranging from household income, to travel choices, to auto insurance, to detailed information about every piece of technology in the home and workplace, to career, purchases and interests. Once users have divulged everything there is to divulge about themselves and every item that has ever come within a ten mile radius of them, they are deemed ready to begin the surveys.
Users typically complain that, upon completion of their profile survey, " they are subsequently unable to qualify for any of the paid surveys. GlobalTestMarket emails a paid survey everyday, however upon answering a couple of questions, users are immediately told that they did not qualify. It seems that many users have never qualified for surveys, and why would they when they have already given up so much information for free?
GlobalTestMarket is a scam that extracts all the information it needs using the profile survey, " and users will never qualify for a paid survey. There are no real paid surveys on this site, do not waste your time.
Let`s start by stating the obvious; if it sounds too good to be true, then it is too good to be true. Many online money making sites lead you to believe that you will get rich quickly in exchange for minimum work. However this is never the case, and most websites sell your email to spammers, resort to multiple ways to avoid paying you, pay very low rates, or simply rob you after they have accessed and sold your credit card details to other companies.
The most popular credit card scam involves acquiring your credit card details, supposedly for a small shipping charge, but buried in the fine print is authorization for negative option subscriptions. Negative option subscriptions are when a merchant subscribes you to receive goods that you never requested. It is then up to you to decline these goods, otherwise it is assumed that you have agreed to purchase the goods and your card is charged. The other common credit card scam is when you are enticed to sign up for free trials using your credit card. In this case the companies are counting on you to forget to cancel the card when the free trial period is up. And if you do remember to cancel, then you`ll be made to jump through hoops before the cancellation is complete. Finally there is the risk of credit card information being stolen by individuals masquerading as companies, in a scam known as phishing. Then you have no choice but to cancel your card immediately, as your account will simply be drained by thieves.
The other key scam to avoid is being asked for you cell phone number. Do not, under any circumstances provide this information, unless you are prepared to throw money out of the window. At first you might think the worst that can happen is you`ll receive some text spam. What actually happens is that you receive text spam at a cost to you of around $9.99, as demonstrated by the example phone bill below. Of course you won`t know any of this until AFTER you have provided the information or received your phone bill at the end of the month.
Certainly sites exist that can earn you money, but it will never be very much. Any site that pays a decent salary will require hard work and a certain amount of personal abuse. Take Demand Media for example. There is no doubt that they pay. But most users are unable to sustain a writing career with them, as, at fifteen dollars an article they require well researched content with titles such as, "The Fuel Pump Location in a Mercedes C280,` "The Driver Compaq Lite on the LTR482 Will Not Write,` and "How to Hook Up a Tiller to a GX335.` Unless you are a mechanic, electrician, plumber, computer engineer, or rocket scientist, writing for Demand Media will require at least an entire day of research and referencing. Fifteen dollars per article may sound good, but fifteen dollars for an entire day`s worth of hard work with no guarantee of acceptance at the end, doesn`t compute quite so well. Furthermore the internet is littered with complaints of the contemptuous and dismissive manner of Demand Media editors towards their writers. As such writers rarely stick with Demand Media for long.
So before registering with a money-making " site, bare in mind the following: Firstly, in Google search, type the site`s name followed by the word "scam` or "review.` This will take you to blogs and forums filled with the opinions of previous and current users of that site. If the opinions are consistently negative, assume that the site is a scam. Secondly if anyone requests your credit card details or worse still, your social security number, immediately close that page and walk away, they are most likely trapping you into a credit card scam, as detailed above. And finally be smart. If you wish to try out a site, open a new email account for all the spam you`ll receive and keep your expectations low. None of these sites will make you rich or be a suitable replacement for your regular job.
New sites, such as those mentioned in this article are being born every day. There doesn`t appear to be any effective regulation to prevent them, so it is up to you to be vigilant and be aware that many websites that promise to pay, are in fact scams.
By Dr Annabelle R Charbit