Lions Among Internet Marketers: Beware!

There are Lions

Funny! When you log onto the Internet, there is nothing that indicates that you have just entered an untamed jungle. You don’t hear any roaring lions or other ominous sounds and you don’t see any wild animals that are planning to have you as the main course for dinner but they are out there. They are just in disguise.

There is no particular order that you will meet these dangerous characters but some of the first ones that you are likely to meet are those that I like to think of as the ‘welcoming committee’.   

Selling What’s Free

The object of this welcoming committee is to sell you what can be had for free all over the Internet if you know where to look.

Anti-Virus Protection

The first thing that you will be told that you must buy is anti-virus software. Now, there are some very good anti-virus programs out there that are being sold. But if your financial ability is somewhat limited, you really do not have to buy expensive anti-virus programs.

Yes, you must have an anti-virus program on your computer. There isn’t any doubt about that one. The Internet is full of creeps that get their jollies by infecting computers with viruses, worms and trojans. You don’t want that to happen to you or your computer.

There are those that spend their every waking hour just dreaming up new and insidious ways of making problems for the rest of us. Luckily, there are just as many good folks out there that spend their time figuring out how to keep them from doing it to us.

Two of the best known anti-virus programs out there are Norton and McAfee and both of them are very good programs. Both of them are also rather expensive. McAfee is more expensive than Norton but neither one of them are really cheap and they are certainly not free.

However, there is also a very good one that is absolutely free. AVG has many anti-virus and other security programs available but they also have a free version. This free version works very well and provides ample protection. You can find this free program at AVG (


Most computers today come with built-in firewalls. Windows added that feature to XP. It is already on your computer when you bring it home.

Just because you already have a firewall that is sufficient to protect your computer, doesn’t mean that there won’t be members of the welcome-to-the-jungle committee who won’t be trying to sell you one.

You will be told that the one that is on your computer has failed to protect you. You will see these little pop-ups telling you that you need to have your computer scanned.

The scan is, of course, free. The purpose of the scan is to sell you something that you don’t need….usually a firewall, but there are other programs as well.

You already have a firewall and multiple firewalls do not add protection. They actually interfere with each other. You are better off to stick with the firewall that came built into your computer.

Instructional ‘Courses’

There are many very good instructional courses available on the Internet. There are even more instructional courses on the Internet that are totally bogus. They only offer you information that is readily available for free and charge you large sums to provide it to you.

One of the very worst ones that I have seen promises to teach you ‘data entry’. This course has absolutely nothing to do with data entry or data entry work. It ‘teaches’ you to sign up for affiliate programs and place ads in Google Ad Words for those products.

Affiliate marketing can be a very lucrative Internet business. It isn’t learned easily but it is a real Internet business. This program tries to disguise affiliate marketing as data entry solely for the purpose of fooling young stay-at-home-moms, retired people, and others into spending fifty hard-earned bucks on a program that isn’t going to be of any value to them at all if they are looking for a work-at-home job and aren’t prepared or able to put in the hundred plus hours each week that are required to launch a successful affiliate marketing business.

Remember this. Anybody with dollar signs in their eyes, a computer and an Internet connection can advertise instructional programs. Some of these ‘helpful’ folks simply gather information that is readily available on the Internet, package it, write some slick advertising and then sell it to unsuspecting, hard working newbies who just haven’t learned the ropes yet.

Before you ever sign up for a ‘course’ and pay money for it, do some research about the subject being ‘taught’ first and then ask yourself these questions:

Question #1: Can I find this information for myself?

Question #2: Is this information that I really need?

Question #3: Can this information really help me?

Question #4: Is the information being offered what it appears to be?

Question #5: Is there a guarantee?

Question #6: Will I be required to spend additional money to implement the information?

Question #7: How stiff will the competition be?

Question #8: Does the ‘course’ assume that I have more computer skills than I actually possess?

Question #9: Is the person teaching the course really knowledgeable or well-known?

Question #10: Does the advertisements sound too good to be true?

Disguised Pyramid Schemes

Pyramid schemes have been around since about the time the actual pyramids were built. You’d think that in the intervening few thousand years people would be able to easily recognize a pyramid scheme when they came face to face with one. The people who dream these things up, however, are pretty slick characters. A pyramid scheme never, ever, comes labeled as a pyramid scheme.

It is really easy to get sucked into one of these schemes. You need to understand how they work and be able to spot them for what they are. There are a few ‘buzz’ words that can tip you off:

  1. Recruit: “to engage in finding and attracting employees, new members, students, athletes, etc.” That’s one of the definitions of the word according to the dictionary. The use of the word, ‘recruit’ (or any variation) should be a major tip off that the program that is being promoted to you is most likely a pyramid scheme. Some of these schemes can be easily spotted while others are a little harder to identify. Just beware when you see the word, ‘recruit’. There was a scheme that went around awhile back that was sent by unsolicited email that offered an ‘exclusive opportunity’ to earn a boat load of money by recruiting people to sell a device that would provide access to the Internet by television. No, I’m not kidding. This happened and people fell for it.

  1. Buy the secret and sell….’ This is a typical pyramid scheme that you will often see. This is another ‘offer’ that arrives in your inbox that you have not solicited. You are offered an ‘exclusive’ opportunity to buy a secret that will allow you to make a hundred thousand dollars a month (no work required) and then you can sell this secret to others for a substantial profit and they will make money for you. These gullible folks will just fill your bank account with beautiful green-backs. Wait! You are the gullible folk they are targeting.

You can believe me when I tell you that there really aren’t a lot of people out there in this world that are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to send you money.

You can also believe that there is no legitimate Internet business that is going to immediately make you hundreds of thousands of dollars a month. You might someday make that kind of money but if you do, it will be after you have put in an incredible amount of time and effort and not because you bought a ‘secret’…there isn’t one.

  1. Let others do the work’: This little phrase has pyramid scheme written all over it. The ‘pitch’ is usually for a non-existent product. You will be sent information buy bulk mail that gives you instructions for getting other’s to promote this ‘product’ and all you will have to do is count your millions. Right! Don’t fall for that one.

Disguised MLM

If you are really new to the world of internet business or work-at-home job opportunities, you may not know what MLM means. It means Multi-Level-Marketing. MLM is similar to a pyramid scheme but it isn’t exactly the same.

True pyramid schemes don’t involve the selling of an actual product but MLM is all about selling an actual product.

According to this glossary of Internet terms, “Multilevel Marketing is selling products by using independent distributors and allowing these distributors to build and manage their own sales force by recruiting, motivating, supplying, and training others to sell products. The distributors’ compensation includes their own sales and a percentage of the sales of their sales group (downline).

So,” you say, “that just sounds like a good idea for making money.” Well, it IS a good way for making money. The problem is that it is illegal.

Do you see that tip-off word, ‘recruiting’? The other tip-off that this is a MLM scheme is the phrase, ‘percentage of sales’.

There is nothing illegal about setting up and affiliate program and PAYING a percentage of sales to those who sell your products or services to others. There is nothing illegal about COLLECTING the percentages that are offered by the producers of the products or services. That is simply good business and a more than just common practice in the Internet business world.

The problem arises when you start COLLECTING percentages of sales from people whom you have recruited to sell the product. Then another level is added and it becomes multi-level marketing. Even one additional level is illegal but there are MLM schemes that will have many, MANY layers.

The main Internet banking and money exchange on the Internet is Paypal. Paypal employs full-time personnel to search for and identify MLM schemes. When these schemes are uncovered, the account (and all attached accounts and credit cards) are frozen.

Yes, it is true that sometimes Paypal does misidentify a perfectly legitimate business as a MLM scheme but it doesn’t happen very often and the problem can usually be resolved in just two or three business days. This very thing happened to a friend of mine not long ago. It was resolved but not without him being able to prove that his business was not a MLM scheme.

This does point out the fact, however, that there are those who are looking for illegal MLM schemes. You may think that you are very anonymous on the Internet but when you do business on the Internet you are not longer anonymous.

Beware of Lions

There are a lot of big hungry lions in the Internet jungle. They are looking for easy marks…they love newbies best of all.

Next post:  It get’s even better so stay tuned for… and there areTigers!  See ya…

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