Avoid Sleazy Online Scams By Devious Gurus

1-Way-To-Avoid-Scams-Online-300x300Have you ever worried that you would buy something online, only to have the painful realization that you’ve been played for the fool?
I don’t recommend buying a pair of Nike Air Jordan’s online from anywhere other then an established retailer? Talk about scammers…
I was trying to get a pair for my nephew’s birthday and he gave me a website that still had his size in stock. My first clue something fishy was going on was when I got an email saying the shoes were delivered to my address but the map showed the delivery address was in a completely different part of town.
Well I was definitely played this time. I hopped back online only to find that the website didn’t exist anymore and the customer support was bogus. It took a little work but the credit card company returned the funds to my account thankfully.
Being fearful of being taken advantage of is definitely a valid fear to have. Especially when it comes to buying training courses or products online from Experts or “Gurus” who know every trick in the book for making their offers sound extremely enticing.
So how do you know who is full of crap and who’s not! 
There’s really only ONE way to avoid scams online and tell if something is worth buying.
But first lets look at some of the ways you will be dazzled into buying something…Here are some tricks of the trade (borrowed from Ben Settle’s AntiPreneur Podcast). See which ones you can spot the next time you’re looking to buy something. 


Social Proof – This is one of the strongest ways to get people to believe what your promoting. You see that someone, a lot like you, managed to use product ‘ABC’ and get ‘XYZ’ results. The very same results you are after. (Oh my! What a coinky-dink…) But social proof can be bought like any other commodity. Just check out Fiverr.com and search the term “testimonial.”


Test Data – This is an easy one to manipulate, much like the polls used for election statistics…Some people will show massive amounts of test results and how one little tweak managed to increase their profits by some astronomical percentage. The problem is when they show test data without a context. It can be bad for business and just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for you. Their test results may be from a nice or market that is very different from your own. I saw test data that was saying how they changed the color and placement of some banner and their leads and sales shot up a bunch of percentage points. But if you don’t have any people visiting your website, you can rearrange your site all day, but nobody will be there to notice.


Review Systems – You can let other people be the test dummies for new products then check the reviews on sites like Amazon to see how things turned out. But what if there are only positive reviews. It’s hard to believe that NOBODY had a bad or even less than perfect experience. What’s worse is that people can get their friends or pay someone to post positive reviews about their product in order to get more people to buy.


Being Honest About Your Flaws – While this can be an extremely useful approach to someone who is new at something and who genuinely wants to share their experiences, this too can be manipulated. There are people that are good at shedding crocodile tears on demand so there could be a chance they are trying to play you for a sucker if they trying to use too much blatant honest in their ads.


Being Charismatic – I actually noticed this one when I purchased a course promising massive results from using video with your marketing. It was only $8 and I tend to buy that stuff more so because I want to see their marketing and how they set up their sales funnel. But one thing that stuck out to me was how charismatic and animated he was in his videos. It was a bit of a turn off for me personally. There’s being excited about what you do but then there’s a thing called “over dramatizing.” Keep a watchful eye for these ones.


Being a Contrarian – There are people who will take this approach and use it just to get people to take their side. This doesn’t mean you cannot take the opposing side to a topic for fact based and provable reasons. Just know that there are people who might oppose you just for arguments sake and to make some extra sales. Take a look at how people used the topic of global warming to fatten their pocket books…


Performance Based Results – Ever heard of performance enhancing drugs…well marketing can be rigged too. Hard to believe, right? haha Well pretty much anyone could say “So-and-so found this one tip on page 56 of my book that changed EVERYTHING for him. Now he’s sleeping longer, waking up less tired, has more energy throughout the day, yada-yada-yada…” Who’s going to track that person down to see if he really did get those EXACT results? I know I don’t want to waste my time doing that.


These are definitely things that will make you go Hmmmm… Next time you’re staring at a sales page. This doesn’t mean EVERY marketing campaign is full of crap but more often then not, it probably is.


So if you can’t believe anything in marketing, how can you tell who’s real and who’s fake? Ben said it best in his podcast.


DEMONSTRATION!! or as Tom Cruise said in Jerry Maguire “Show Me The Money.”


So what about the “newbie” marketer or fledgling start up entrepreneur attempting to get people to buy into what they are selling. What if you don’t have any results to demonstrate? 


One thing you can do is share the results other people have had with what you are offering. Something else you can try is to Be an Explorer. This is what Russell Brunson refers to, in his book DotComSecrets, as the Adventurer or Crusader. It’s also what he refers to as an attractive character.


Russell talks about 4 attractive characters in total. The other three are: The Leader, The Reporter or Evangelist, and the Reluctant Hero. You can use the one that fits best for your personality and your relative experience level in your field.


You can very well use any of the things I mentioned earlier but use them with caution. Be genuine in your advertising and share what’s really working. People will be able to sniff out bullshit really quickly and they will be just as quick to cry foul when they find out the truth. 


Did this help you out? Drop a comment to let me know. Also, share this with someone you think might benefit from it by sharing this on Facebook or sending a Tweet.


J.R. Noble

Pro Audio Enthusiast And Digital Marketer

With A Tendency To Whip and Nay-Nay