What Is A Scam – 9 Red Flags To Look Out For

“SCAM” is a word that is branded around the internet far too much these days, some folk just call everything a scam. How foolish!

I totally agree that there are too many people being scammed online which is why I have written this post to explain what is a scam and more importantly how to look for what I call “red flags” when doing your research.

I have been working online for some years now and believe me I have been scammed previously, it’s not a very nice feeling at all.

But remember, It’s not your fault! So don’t go blaming yourself.

I try and review as many products and websites as I can here on Newbie Affiliate and warn people of the ones to avoid. Over the years my scam radar has become more tuned and I can normally judge pretty well if it’s a legit business or not.

That said, always be on your guard as new and more elaborate scams are never far away.

Have you ever been scammed let me know in the comments below, also let me know which of the 9 red flags you normally lookout for?

Before I dive into 9 red flags to look out for, let me just tell you exactly what a scam is.

What Is A Scam

According to Wikipedia, a scam is a dishonest way to defraud someone by gaining their confidence.

This could gain personal information that could then be used to make money with eg Sold to a third party. Many people are promised goods or even products and services that will create riches.

Read here for some legit ways to make moneyΒ 

No Owner

This to me is a massive red flag because if you genuinely have got a business opportunity that people can earn lifechanging with would you not want to be given the thanks for creating it. I certainly would!

Sometimes sites have an owner listed but when doing further investigations they are never uncovered.

That’s why I love sites such as Wealthy Affiliate as both Kyle and Carson (the owners) are on the site most days helping people create a business online. Kyle even hosts live events where he is on camera.

Read how I gained success with Wealthy Affiliate thanks to Kyle, Carson and in fact, all the members of this great community.

Fake Reviews / Testimonials

This one makes me cringe. These are normally video reviews or testimonials they all say how much money they made but never mention the product or the owner.

I even visited a website recently that had not yet launched but the video testimonials were all saying how much they had earned… haha you have to laugh sometimes…

If you were to do some more research on places such as Fiverr.com then you will find the people who do the videos.

video review on fiverr

That’s why these videos are so generic and don’t really give you much information, they are normally short and to the point, longer videos cost more money πŸ™‚

False Claims

If someone states that you can earn $1000 in the next few minutes without any training, then you need to start raising that flag up the flagpole again. Even if they have this wonderful software blah blah blah the only people who are going to be earning the BIG BUCKS are the people selling you the software.

false claims

Don’t get me wrong in my early days online I spent thousands of dollars on different software from people saying this was going to be the thing that makes me millions… It never happened, luckily in most cases, I was able to get my money back but not in every case.

No LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the largest business platform in the world, if you want to look trustworthy and honest then having a great profile on LinkedIn will definitely help. Any business or business owner that wants to show that they are trustworthy and legit will have a profile on LinkedIn.

Use this as a marker for a possible legit business. A further check would be to make sure the profile is active and all the sections are filled in.

linkedin profile

No Social Media Presence

Not always but having no social media presence could be a flag, especially if there are bad reviews about the product or company and nobody wanting to defend it.

Again most businesses these days want to have a good social media presence as its a great way to market their products and services. Why wouldn’t you use this medium as it is free!

Contact Information

Contact information is something every good business would have on their website and social pages. Look and see if they have contact information readily available, test it out by trying to contact them.

You may even get a reply via email if you do make sure the email is not a generic Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo account. Businesses want to look professional and a legit business will have an email associated with their website. Like support@ourwebsite.com or info@ourwebsite.com anyway you get the idea.

Complaints of Non Payment

May sound silly, but if people are claiming that they have not been paid then I would walk away. Beware, companies may try and post bogus comments saying that they have received payments.

I posted a review of one such company that never paid out and I created a review on my blog stating this and not to join this business, but still people went and joined. They came back and posted a comment about not getting paid.

You just can’t help some people…

Here’s a snippet of the comments received

viral pay scam comments

View all the comments and the review of the company

Better Business Bureau Reviews

Using sites such as the Better Business Bureau or Trustpilot to search for reviews is always worth doing. Businesses are rated on both sites according to the reviews received.

If you are hitting one star on Trustpilot then there is a huge possibility that this company is one to look out for.

trustpilot review page

Note:- These sites only deal with companies and not really products so if you are searching to see if a product is any good then I would use Google to find out more. Also read through the reviews as the Viral Pay one people had commented that they hadn’t got paid but still given them 5 stars so can be misleading.

Too Good To Be True

There is a saying that goes “if it is too good to be true then it probably is” Also you sometimes get what they call a gut feeling about something, trust your gut and avoid like the plague.

By looking at all these points above and doing some research you will then have that gut feeling. It then you have the decision to make go with your gut or pay the price.


So let’s just quickly recap these 9 red flags you should be looking out for when trying to spot what is a scam and what is a valid business opportunity.

  • No sign of the owners
  • Fake reviews and testimonials
  • False claims
  • No LinkedIn profile
  • No social media presence
  • Contact information false or not professional
  • Complaints and no payouts
  • Search review sites such as Trustpilot and BBB
  • Listen to your gut feeling

Am Newbie Affiliate I work continuously to uncover businesses that are not really going to work for you. I also give you guidance as to the best businesses to join so be sure to bookmark this site and come back every week to see what’s new.

You can also join nearly 100,000 people by connecting with me via all the popular social media platforms, where I post all my new content.

My No1 Recommendation

Before you go only fair that I finish on a positive angle, I hate finishing on a negative.

With that in mind, I thought I would share a great business with you. I have been associated with this business since 2018 and it has helped me generate a constant monthly income which is growing all the time.

The site in question is called Wealthy Affiliate (Yes I have mentioned it previously) and if you want to start your own successful business online then this is a great place to start.

They offering training, live events, and a community of members second to none. Even the members that are earning a few thousand dollars a month are still helping others start and grow their businesses.

Which is exactly what I can do with yourself, help you start and grow a successful business online.

Read my article all about the training you will receive in Wealthy Affiliate before you join as a free starter member

I personally have not come across a better website that continually over delivers to help its members.

I look forward to connecting with you in WA should you wish to start building your business.

Remember let me know in the comments below any businesses that you have come across that have scammed you.

start your own business

12 thoughts on “What Is A Scam – 9 Red Flags To Look Out For”

  1. Hi, this is a very good post  and unfortunately scams are everywhere today.  Many people do not care about integrity and telling the truth.  For whatever reason they are willing to lie (and even say they are telling the truth) just to make money.  Integrity and good character are still as much a part of success today as they have ever been.  Don’t sacrifice them for anything. 

  2. Wow.  You really got me with this article and thank you for all this explanation given.

    I was trying to build an online business but I find on the internet different information. I never realized how different platforms with so many explanations and ideas can be legal or scam. Sometimes you get lost in all these interesting words so you can be fooled very easily. Thanks to you now I can say that I will be able to realize what is not legal. I want to stop at your first recommendation and I can say that Wealthy Affiliate is the platform where I managed to create my own online business and make money. Everything is legal there and the other members always help you if you have difficulties. 

    If you don’t mind, I will share this interesting post of yours on my social media account. Wish you a happy new year! 

    • Great to hear you are a Wealthy Affiliate member too, I will connect with you there. πŸ™‚

  3. I really appreciate your post about how to detect a scam. It makes me sad that you had to write it, but it’s nowadays reality… I can’t understand why Fiverr allows for people to sell fake reviews and testimonials. 

    Checking LinkedIn profile is amazing suggestion, I would have never though about it. Thank you for making me more confident in detecting scams!

    • Thanks Katja I am glad this post has given you more confidence online

  4. I thoroughly concur that there are such a large number of individuals being misled online which is the reason I have composed this post to clarify what is a trick and all the more significantly what to look like for what I call “warnings” while doing your examination.

    I have been working on the web for certain years now and trust me I have been defrauded beforehand, it is anything but an extremely decent inclination by any means.

    In any case, recollect, It’s not your deficiency! So don’t go accusing yourself.

    • Sorry to hear that you have defrauded before. I trust this will help it not happen again πŸ™‚

  5. Hello Martin. Thank you for sharing this post on what a scam is. The world wide web is occupied by different people from all over the world with different intentions: some good and some bad. Many persons have fallen prey to cyber criminals, many are yet to fall but will fall very soon if they aren’t enlightened about these things. This article is the real deal and would be of great help to anyone using the internet for business, learning, social media etc.

    I have been scammed offline before and once. Since that day, I was always conscious and turned on my Scam Detectors… I have been on the internet for years too and have known some of these red flags. I have seen them especially in make money online opportunities. Fake testimonials, fake reviews, fake claims, hidden or fake identities etc…

    Helpful post to stay guarded using the internet.


    • Thanks for your comments, glad you found the article useful

  6. Hey, Your reason is awesome for writing.We totally agree that there are too many people being scammed online which is why you have written this post to explain what is a scam and more importantly how to look for what we call “red flags” when doing our research. If anyone want to start their online business then wealthy affiliate is the best platform to start an online business.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.