Blog Scams: How Do You Know If The Hype is a Scam?
With the line between a legit blog and scam blog getting harder to detect, how do you really know when the blog you are reading is a scam blog? As part of this ongoing series on blog scams, we’ve covered how blog scams are growing and the impact on the economy and job market for stay-at-home workers. Learning to tell the difference between a legit blog and a scam blog is becoming more and more important as the work force moves online looking for jobs.
Some of the sites I recommend you use to check your facts when it comes to the hoaxes, scams, and snake oil claims some blogs can make include:
How to Spot a Scam Blog
Sometimes, it’s just a feeling that tells you it’s too good to be true. It usually is. Then why do so many people not listen to that screaming voice in the back of their heads warning them before they hand over private information or their money to scam artists?
Since we tend to not listen to our intuition, let’s look at some of the visual clues and hints that the blog you might be viewing is likely to be a scam blog.
- Evaluate the language used. Are the words used in the post full of hype, promises, and too much excitement? Does it use sensational language? Does it say “the best”, “the most”, “most popular”, “unbelievable”, “too good to be true”, “you’ll have to see it to believe it”, and other dramatic words and phrases? Or are the words serious, calm, and stating “facts”. If they are working too hard to convince you with grandiose claims, be warned.
- Over use of bold in the middle of paragraphs and statements. Using bold text to emphasize keywords is a Page Rank scam as Google’s algorithm used to score words in bold higher than non-bolded text.
- Long pages. A traditional blog tends to feature two to four screens worth of content. The longer the page, going down 5-15 screen lengths, combined with exagerated claims and testimonies, the more likely it is to be a scam.
- Exaggerated Use of Fonts and Colors. Large, colorful font text is another visual clue of exaggeration and attention-getting efforts that could be indicative of a scam. The harder they work to grab and hold your attention with visual graphics and text, the more desperate they tend to be.
- WHOIS no match. The WHOIS account owner doesn’t match the name or author of the blog. This could be true of a legit blog, but check the WHOIS information as it often contains warnings and alerts if this site has been reported and received complaints.
- How old are you? A two month old site could be legit, but it could also be a sign of a scam. Look in the WHOIS registry information for the history and age of the site. Many blogs will come and go within a few months. You want to work with someone with some history, not the baby on the blog block.
- Non-domain email. Their email is a non-domain account, such as using Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL or a different email account rather than their domain name such as [email protected]
- No easy-to-find contact information. No contact information or loops to jump through to communicate directly with the owners/bloggers.
- Requests for personal and private information: Forms that request too much private information. Contact forms should request no more than name and email, URL optional. Protect your password and security information at all times.
- 4,503 blog posts in one month. Too many blog posts in a short period of time is a clear sign that a machine is at work and not a human being. 4,503 blog posts in the month of September and one in August is a clear clue that something is wrong here.
- Are sources credited? Are there links in the post referencing the source of the information? Or just claims without sources?
- Check search engines. Hit the search engines to find out who else is talking about the subject and what they have to say about it. Those with more information than you and the blogger you are reading may have more to say, thus become a better source, or debunking the claim.
- Ask the right questions. Are the right questions being asked and answered? Or are presumptions and assumptions being made? Look at the material and evaluate whether or not they are honestly answering the questions with facts or fiction. Then you ask the right questions and find the right answers.
Any one of these characteristics and clues are not indicative of a scam blog. If you add up enough points to the scam score, then it could be very likely these are scams. If your blog has any of these characteristics, maybe you are legit but sending the wrong message to your visitors.
Scammers aren’t stupid. Some are paying close attention to how blogs work and working hard to design and implement them in a way to make them look “normal” and legit while they steal your personal information and lead you astray.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.
Having a very useful post like this can bring me only two questions. Can one conclude that the opposite of your list means a blog is NOT scam? What major factor can one blog have be identified as a legit one?
I will be glad to see a separate post about this.
But I can only thank you reminding us once again.
THE XTAGGED.COM SCAM
I’ve been scamed by xtagged.com. they use ther site to scam investors. Me and many others have lost alot of money with xtagged.com. We are trying to get the word out to wach out for xtagged and let other victims know they are not alone there are alot of us out there . Make sure you do your home work on xtagged before you invest you will find the owner lies 95% of the time.
wow can we defend our self against people like ryion butcher of utah all because hes unemployed and his wife had to get job to get them out of his in laws.
Wow. I have known you Ryion Butcher from heber city utah for a bit now. YOU Were my trainer at performax gym in layton city utah. losing your job at the gym and your wife having to get a job to support your family and living at your in laws. its hard out there ryion! We know but u dont start blogging lies. just because u wanted to be a millionaire in 30 days off a very small very small investment.
Andres Esquivel, A.K.A Andy , I would never hide from you . Thanks for giving a list of lies people can check up on and see what a lier you are. I did not get fired from my job you can call Performax gym and see for yourselfs the number is 1-801-825-7629 Or come in and see me and I will tell you all about xtagged and how i was scammed. I was never his trainner, I am the sales manager, I don’t live in heber city as he claims. If you like to hear my whole story go to XOUTSCAMS.COM Thanks Andy for proving me right again!!! Anyone who is a victim of xtagged.com investment scam please call me at 801-710-7521 and I can help. Also we can have you meet others who were scammed.
Attention all investors!!! I own 1% of xtagged.com and I’m now selling it at a discounted price!! Andy decided not to buy it back, when he said he could make upwards of $150, 000 off it, and I’m only selling it for $4,000! WOW! What a bargain! I’m going to prove to everyone that there are no investors beating down doors to get a percent of xtagged like Andy said. Not even Andy himself is willing to buy back this percent, because he knows it’s worth nothing!! I am only willing to sell my percent after you read the warning and still wanna go through with investing in xtagged. I will keep updating everyone online on the offers I get from all these so-called investors out there. Andy has been telling me and everybody else that he was going to buy my percent back and that it would help out xtagged because he would make so much money off of it. Even people in xtagged and are still in xtagged and are convinced it’s not a scam believed Andy was going to pay me back. Boy, did Andy prove them wrong!! It just goes to show that Andy is full of crap. Let’s see how many people contact me to get this percent. If you are interested in buying this worthless percent, please give me a call, 801-710-7521. Act quickly!!! These percents are going fast!!! Act now and you’ll get a free xoutscams.com sticker and Tshirt!!!!
INVESTORS BEWARE!!!! Recent articles state that “FMC Telecom is adding SMS to the company fold”. This is nothing but MORE name-dropping and empty technology dribble to form ANOTHER “shell” holding company for Florida Ponzi schemer Ed Berkhof. Who does he think he is? Allen Stanford? Florida Ponzi schemer, Ed Berkhof and fellow Ponzi schemer, Sidney D. “Trip” Camper used name dropping, donations to St. Jude’s, stamped passports, and falsified tax documents to gain trust and get private investors to hand over thousands of dollars in cash, company paid trips to England, and ultimately control of their company. Ed berkhof is NOT a president or COO of anything – Ed Berkhof is a third rate bass player looking to bully another victim into giving him money so he can pay his creditors = PONZI. Google “SEC Trip Camper Elandia resignation letter” . Frank Cassidy is either a NEW partner in crime for Ed Berkhof OR he is simply ANOTHER victim fallen prey to Ed Berkhof’s web of lies and empty promises to “take a company public”. The FBI has nabbed Allen Stanford and is now looking for the rest of Allen Stanford’s den of investment scammers like Sidney “Trip” Camper and Edward Berkhof. Don’t let this happen to you.
Your right anytime a blog claims any type of information look to see if they provide credible sources. If its a business opportunity look also to see what others have written the positive and the negatives in any business opportunity.