How to Tell if An Online Opportunity is Legitimate

How to Tell if An Online Opportunity is Legitimate

People lost hundeds or thousands of dollars a day to bogus online "opportunities." While there’s no way to know for sure if an internet program or opportunity is 100% legitimate without trying it, this article discusses 5 concrete ways to evaluate a site's credibility.

Doing a credibility check BEFORE taking a financial plunge, significantly reduces the chance you’ll experience online “buyer’s remorse.”

Internet Legitimacy Sign #1

The site has posted a privacy and terms of use policy. Some people argue that website’s are obligated to post privacy policies dictating how they collect and use data. However, even if they’re not obligated to do so, posting a privacy policy says much about a company’s professionalism. Read the “terms of use” and “privacy policies” of a company, and decide what you think of its policies before buying its products.

Internet Legitimacy Sign #2

The site has posted testimonials and they sound reasonably credible. Testimonials can be faked, but few net cons will take the time to do so. Read the testimonials and decide what your gut thinks about their authenticity. If you're able to contact any of the testimonial authors, do so.

Internet Legitimacy Sign #3

The site has few complaints at the Better Business Bureau or a more informal consumer advocacy site such as the Rip Off This sign is a toughie because competitors sometimes unfairly malign companies, and any good project has its critics. Consistency and credibility are the things to note in complaints. For instance, if you see 10 complaints, are they all saying about the same thing (e.g. company refuses to give refunds, customer service is poor) or are they varied? Do the complaints seem reasonable and well explained, or does the complainer sound like they have a vendetta against a certain company, and nothing will make them happy? How does the company respond to complaints posted on sites such as the Rip Off Report? Do they insist they can do no wrong, or are they willing to make amends?

Internet Legitimacy Sign #4

The site posts a 100% refund guarantee that’s good for at least 30-days. If a site isn’t posting a 30-day refund guarantee, that's probably because the site owners have little faith in their product. Before purchasing a product, read the “Terms of Use” and “Terms of Purchase” pages to make sure there aren’t any hidden catches in a “100% refund guarantee.” In particular, think twice before signing any kind of "refund contract."

Internet Legitimacy Sign #5

The site’s customer service staff responds to information requests in a courteous, professional, and intelligent manner. Have you ever submitted a question online and gotten a canned answer back about how great XYZ product is, and how 1000 people have made gazillions of dollars using it? Did you wonder if the customer service rep didn’t really understand your question or was just reading from a script? If the service is poor before you’ve even purchased a product, imagine what it’ll be like after the company in question already has your money in hand. Before buying anything from a site, e-mail the customer service folks and see how they respond to a question about the legitimacy of product XYZ.


There’s no guarantee that any online company or product will be everything you hoped it would be. But by checking out an opportunity before purchasing it using the steps above, you greatly decrease your chances of falling victim to a scam.


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