You have to be so careful these days, especially online. There are numerous online scams taking place at the moment, many of them targeting individuals looking to make a little side income. These scams can be easy to fall for, so I want to share an experience I recently had which anyone of you reading this may also have encountered.
I browse many job boards daily, simply because I like to know what is happening with the job market. I often come across posts that promise unique business opportunities or online earning opportunities. Most of these adverts are Forex trading opportunities, which is a legitimate method of making money online. I have traded CFDs (Contracts for difference) for about 6 years now, on and off, and it can be a great source of additional income. However, I must caution you that if you do not know what you are doing you are going to end up losing much more then you make.
If you are interested in learning how to trade Forex or CFD’s please leave me a comment below. If I get 100 people interested in learning how to trade, I will put together a free video series teaching you how to get started and NOT lose your hard-earned money. Click here to go to the comment section now.
Back to online scams.
Ok, so as I was saying I view many job boards every day. I recently came across a post titled “Unique Business Opportunity.” Well, I had to respond so I sent an mail asking for some more information. As soon as I received the response I knew that it was just another scam, and the worst part is the person advertising the scam on the job board had no idea. Basically they were telling me that I could earn money by simply viewing adverts online. Too good to be true right!
Below is a screenshot of what the website looks like. There is a large network of these websites operating under different names, but they all have exactly the same design.
The site I was introduced to is called fowmoney.xyz, and I decided to register an account to find out exactly what the scam was about so that I could give you guys all a quick heads up. This “Unique business opportunity” was being advertised on one of South Africa’s largest classifieds websites by the way. What I’m going to do is quickly outline my quick experience using the website, and then I will discuss red flags for this and similar online scams.
My Experience using fowmoney.xzz
- Registering an account was much too easy. All I needed to do was provide a Username, an E-mail address, and a password. There is no E-Mail verification or any other security measures in place.
- I was asked to view adverts to earn 10c per page viewed. This involved loading a page and typing in a three-digit code that is displayed to move on to the next page. This is such a quick process I had earned $10 in the first 2 minutes of using the site.
- I decided to try and cash out my $10. I was asked to select a payment method (I chose Paypal) and then to give my Paypal E-Mail address. As soon as this was done I received a messaged stating that the first payment must be $150 or more. “FINE!” I thought. Challenge accepted!
- I spent the next hour typing in three-digit codes and reached the $150 threshold (R2100 in an hour, not bad earnings) Again I requested a payout. This time it told me that my payment had been approved and would be released just as soon as I referred 40 people to their website.
- I had to stop at this point. How can I refer people to a site that I know is an online scam? I am quite sure that the next step would be something along the lines of “Your referral’s need to each reach a target of $150” before payment will be released. Anyway, one thing is for sure, you will never receive any money from one of these sites.
So what is the online scam here?
You might be wondering what exactly is the purpose of the scam. Well to be completely honest I am not 100% sure when it comes to fowmoney.xyz. However most of these online scams are trying to either collect your information to sell, or they are trying to install Malware on your computer or smartphone. Whatever the angle, it’s best to keep your distance when in doubt.
Red flags of an online scam.
To end off I want to quickly go through a few Red Flags that might pop up when you come in contact with one of these dodgy websites.
1) The domain name extension.
Always check the domain name. In this case, the extension was .xyz, this immediately made me cautious as it is not a respected or known extension. In fact at the time of writing this Symantec had recently published an article which mentions that 97.07% of domains with .xyz extensions are rated as either Suspicious, Spam or Scam.
2) Too much money to easily.
Remember the good old saying, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is! Fowmoney.xyz is a perfect example of this. They are asking you to view adverts to earn cash yet it is not even necessary to view the adverts. The three-digit code is right at the top of the screen and the adverts way below this. Also consider the amount of money that they offer. As I said I managed to earn R2100 in just one hour. Imagine if I did it for 8 hours a day. I would be earning about R16 800 /day. It is just completely unrealistic.
3) A complete lack of security.
This is one of the most obvious points. There was no E-Mail verification at all. I just entered my “details” into the registration form and was immediately accepted and told I could start earning.
4) The site owners’ details are hidden on Whois.
So in case you did not know you can go to www.whois.com/whois and type in any website address. If the site is legitimate it will give you a few details about where the site is registered. For fowmoney.xyz these details have been hidden and cannot be retrieved by WhoIs.com.
Well that’s about it for now. I hope you enjoyed this and found it helpful. If you have come across any similar sites please leave the website address in the comments so that the rest of us know to avoid it.
Also if you are looking for a fun way to make some extra cash on the side check out my article on affiliate marketing. This is something you can get into right now and start earning a few extra rands each month. Thanks for reading, you are awesome and please remember to subscribe, you will only get one E-Mail once a week with all the latest from the Bizcraft Blog!