How People Get Scammed in Marketing Frauds


Crime has kept pace with the digital age and evolved into cybercrime. Unfortunately, it is a prevalent realization that affects millions worldwide. For instance, firms in America incur losses of more than 525 million dollars annually courtesy of cyber crimes.

A byproduct of the information age, cybercrime has proven to be a lucrative line of work for criminals. Irrespective of their size or stature, no one is safe from cyber attacks. In 2014, e-commerce giants eBay were on the receiving end of a data breach that affected 145 million customers.

Another branch of fraud is known as marketing scams. It is the phenomenon of deliberately misguiding the public to provoke a reaction, such as an interest in the product. We will examine mainstream marketing fraud techniques below.

Bogus Marketing

Perhaps the most popular method employed by scammers is the notion of affiliate marketing. They advertise the idea of fake courses and training opportunities. This is done in order to exploit and extort money from unsuspecting consumers.

You may have received a phone call or a text message with a pledge to change your fortunes drastically with their latest product or service. However, it is better to renounce such claim since they are possible bait. Consumers should beware because this may be nothing more than a marketing tactic to coerce them to spend money.

In any field, people are seeking to gain a competitive edge. Scammers seek to use this to their advantage as they orchestrate courses which are otherwise offered via eBooks, DVD’s and webinars. They use the ploy of proclaiming these products as game changers. The promise of making money can prove very enticing for some.

Scammers trade these products in exchange for money, which is never recovered in most cases. The trick is complete when these products are delivered and it turns out that it does not amount to much. This is why it is imperative to conduct the appropriate research before cash changes hands.

Quick money schemes

Consumers may be forgiven for having the desire to make quick cash. This is essentially where the affiliate marketing scam of getting rich quick offers comes from.

Scammers are assigned the task of contacting consumers and coercing them into contributing to a scheme which would make them rich. There are a plethora of such ads on the internet. The mode of operation of scammers is they begin by asking consumers to invest money in the business plan. They are persuasive and encouraging in equal measure.

If consumers succumb to the pressure exerted by scammers, they might send a lump sum to a bank account for instance. However, the money they transfer is as good as lost. Suffice it to say, it defeats logic that someone who makes a significant amount of money in a short duration would be interested in sharing their wealth. There are several ads online which make bold declarations like ‘earn X amount of cash for only Y hours of work’.

If you encounter an offer that pledges to make you opulent overnight, it is best to walk away from it, since it is probably a con artist at play.

Illegitimate Products

The profession of affiliate marketing is known for the promotion of goods and services. However, scammers may concoct fabricated products with hopes of cajoling consumers into purchasing them. This is achieved by associating the product with a famous brand, which is what makes it a difficult scam to recognize as well.

Scammers who use such tactics are extremely thorough in their approach. They create a dossier of products, insert images and infographics which make their service appear authentic. They even make use of personnel who advertise their products.

As part of this trick, scammers use a pyramid scheme. They elicit money from customers as admission fees and make empty promises about the prospect of high returns in the near future. This is only done to cement their place.

Placing your hopes and expectations can be to your detriment, especially when it comes to marketing scams. Consumers are advised to proceed with caution when investing to avert a financial disaster.

Paid programs

Another common trope of scammers is when they implore innocent consumers to gain membership of a new endeavor. In reality, bona fide affiliate marketing programs have free membership. However, if you are asked to join such programs, then you should continue with heed.

The ideal course of action is to do your own homework. Researching the individual or company you are on the brink of forming a business relationship with is a sensible maneuver. A quick glance on Google can provide interesting results. If the firm is comprised of scammers, then a red flag is bound to appear.

The majority of pay to join plans are nothing more than glorified pyramid schemes. On the other end of the spectrum, legitimate affiliate programs are free to join and come with no risks attached also. Consumers are strongly urged to steer clear of any affiliate program that requires them to pay a membership fee.

Domain name scams

A recent strategy used by scammers is the concept of fraudulent domain names. For the sake of comprehension, assume that a consumer is the proprietor of a domain name. They receive an email with an offer to purchase said domain name. This can originate from a local or international source and they will seek to ensure that your domain is a registered trademark.

This is where it can get intricate. Scammers state that they are the owners of the given domain name and are willing to give the concerned consumer preference in terms of purchasing the link. In order to do so, the consumer will have to register the domain with the other party i.e. the scammer.

At this stage, the con men usually discuss prices of the domain title and expect payment. Those who don’t know better are liable to fall into the trap.


Posted On March 31, 2018