If you have ever considered taking on extra work to make money, or you were forced to work from home during COVID-19, you might have come across a referral scam or two. These platforms essentially promise to pay you a commission just by referring someone that could potentially be a sale. It sounds easy and simple, but with one major catch, you never actually get paid.
These advertising companies are smart. Their main aim is to collect all of your personal information, including your email, social media accounts, and in some cases your bank details. With all the possibilities out on the internet to earn good money, it can be challenging to know when you are being swindled. For anyone concerned about getting involved with these scammers, read on for what you need to look out for.
Paying a Fee to Get Paid
This is the first important red flag and is common for any paid referral platform. Don’t discount them all, though, because some of these referral companies are legit and it can be a good way to make some cash. You just have to be careful when they ask you to pay a fee before you can participate, or if you have to fork out your own money just to create an account.
The biggest issue with referral scams such as this is that many people are desperate enough to give out all of their personal information. The need to make money and be financially stable is very real. Before they know it, their accounts have been hacked and they have wasted a good portion of their time doing something that will never amount to anything.
You Must Refer a Friend To Cash Out
A lot of companies use the “refer a friend” tactic to get you to suggest more potential customers. This is very much a normal advertising technique that many businesses that sell insurance use. The difference is that they will often offer you either a discount on your installments or add a few features to your coverage to make it worth your while. If an online referral company asks you to refer friends before you get your money, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Don’t give up hope though. There are plenty of legit websites that pay you to refer a friend, and they are 100% legal where you will most certainly get your hard-earned cash paid out. The golden rule is always that if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
It Promises a Quick Payday
Who wouldn’t want to get paid out immediately? This is such a popular trick because people often jump at these types of promises. Remember, that anything involving money or finance can never be immediate. It is the classic get-rich-quick scheme that so many referral scams use because it works and many people fall for their ploys.
You can spot these scams from a mile off. They will either advertise in big letters that you can earn hundreds of dollars daily, or you will find that when you try to create an account, you are met with some strange requests. Requests such as taking a short course for which you have to pay, or being asked to link your bank account to the referral system.
The $1 Trial Fee
It can be tempting to jump on any offering for anything that is just $1. Sure, some places legitimately offer you massive discounts, but the red flag comes when you are asked to enter your credit card details. Not many people think twice about this because $1 isn’t a great deal of money. The sneaky thing here is that they now have your credit card information. Even if you choose not to save those details, their system has already captured everything.
Look for payment systems that come with SSL encryption and allow you to either make payments via EFT or PayPal. Anytime that you have to enter your bank or card details online, you should take a few more steps to make sure that the company you are paying is a registered business. Also, look online for reviews and comments from other customers. If you cannot find any reviews at all, that is another major sign that the referral company is just out to scam you.
Some other points to keep in the back of your mind are if the referral platform has contact details. A company that has nothing to hide will willingly put as much contact information as possible to ensure that you as a customer are happy with their services. Hopefully, with this information, you will be able to spot scammers before they target you.