Internet opens new horizons, brings us loads of opportunities and vast possibilities of all kinds. As everything, it has two sides: it can be a dangerous weapon for anyone not knowing how to handle it right, and a great, helpful and obedient servant for everyone knowing how to use it.
One of major problems is scam and waste of time because still too many people don't recognize it in time, before they lose either their money or credibility or even all business. It is crucial to tell hype, scam and waste of time, and protect yourself, your business, your time and your money. To protect your name, your business, your brand, and in first place your credibility is same important as to protect your money and your time.
First, let's try to clarify mysterious words 'scam' and 'hype': it is an activity aiming at getting other people's money using unethical tools. Purposely I don't say 'illegal' but 'unethical' because many of tools are legal. However, result is scam or waste of time anyway. And result decides.
It is also necessary to realise that there are basically two kinds of 'scam': intentional and unintentional. I consider latter even more dangerous. I will explain this in a minute.
Second, your credibility: All of us make mistakes. It's OK, but way you treat your mistakes decides about your success or failure. Once you are in business, you must care about your name and your credibility. Sometimes it may happen that you lose some money. It's 'fine' if you yourself lose money, but you can survive and no one knows. You at least know way wasn't right to take. You received your lesson, and will be more careful next time.
However, you must be extremely careful to lead people trusting you into such a loss. Even if you can survive financially, mentally, your business will not because your credibility is ruined. So, be very cautious before you recommend something to another person.
And in spite of this, we can see literally thousands of people claiming to be netpreneurs recommending scams and hype all over Net. If we suppose that most of them don't do it intentionally, then there are only two reasons: carelessness or inability to recognize scam. And both are absolutely unacceptable within an entrepreneur.
So, how to tell scam and not only on Net. The immediate signs:
1) unrealistic promises, one-time opportunities 2) upfront payment to join an opportunity 3) unprofessional behaviour 4) lack of proper communication 5) misleading information 6) hype advertising 7) fraudulent conduct
Now, you say you can't imagine much.
So, let's have a look at individual items:
ad 1) unrealistic promises, one-time opportunities - this says it all. If someone claims you can develop a steady income of thousands of dollars within a week without work, you must know it's a lie. If someone invites you to copy a one-time opportunity, he's either a liar or not a professional, business person able to recognize a one-time opportunity. Of course, you can sell scam, even be making some money on it though not for long, but definitely you can't successfully copy a one-time opportunity.
ad 2) upfront payment to join an opportunity - you should realize that once you join someone's opportunity, you help to build his business, you take up obligation to work for him, you endorse his business, so never pay for this. The other point is that it is an opportunity for you to build yours as well, a chance for a successful business relationship -what quality co-operation will be is up to both of you, and beyond scope of this short article.
ad 3) unprofessional behaviour - a couple of examples: a) you receive an ezine singing chorals about a hype and/or having your first name all around issue, b) you come to a website and you can't make out a business theme, actual offer, their business line (please don't confuse with technical side, nor products offered, we're talking about people behind now), c) showing your cheques.