I’ve written before about how you can recognize hook ads on Craigslist and other job directories. A hook ad is one that pretends to be offering a job, but is actually selling you something like a paid membership or an ebook. Once you have the basics down, you can recognize these ads in a matter of seconds in most cases.

They’re ALL scams (except this one)
Lots of web sites exist that do the same thing or something close to it. They claim to have tested “all the offers out there and guess what? Most of them are scams. EXCEPT for these five programs that actually do pay you.” They have “teams of researchers” or an individual who has tested hundreds of programs and is now going to share the secret of which ones are legitimate. They often turn up in the sponsored areas of Google searches, in ads in your email window, and as Adsense ads on [ahem] sites that discuss the work-at-home niche. [Disclaimer: We have no control of which Adsense ads appear on I’ve Tried That. I’m just sayin.’] After these sites warn you about the scams, they’ll tell you warm stories about the few legitimate internet-based businesses that they found and will now share with you. For Free! Some of them link directly to their list, some show you the banners for their approved sites so you can link immediately and get started on your new life, and some first capture your email address and then email you the goods.

popups-size2.gif These sites are recognizable by cheesy stock photography, such as attractive people kicking back with their laptops, or manly men endorsing “Jessica Miller” of workathometop10. (Wanna know the real reason manly men endorse “Jessica Miller?” Do a Google image search on her and you’ll understand.) You can also spot them by their urls, which usually contain words implying “scam free” or that the jobs have been “checked out.” I affectionately call them B.S. urls. For our international friends, “B.S.” is an abbreviation for the American English term of endearment, “Bunny socks.” Whenever we’re disgusted with something or know that something is not true, we say “Bunny socks.” Get it? Because bunnies don’t wear socks! It’s funny! There is no need to click. Just hover over the link that’s calling to you and if you see words in the url that are anything like the following, don’t waste your time.

top-10-work-at-home.com/ (This one is my personal favorite. Try to close the window and you get a pop up ad that you have to address before you can do anything else. It seems Dana wants to chat. For this reason, this site gets the hall of shame photo spot in this post.)

Do you see the pattern? The urls are meant to inspire confidence. “Hey,” the naive reader thinks, “it says right here these are the highest paid work-at-home jobs available! And they’ve been fully checked out! Yesssss!” The I’ve Tried That reader, on the other hand, sees “fully researched” in the url and thinks, “Fully researched? That’s bunny socks. You “researched” to see which ones would bring the highest affiliate pay!” You guys are a skeptical lot. Makes me so proud!

Why is the info free?
I’m going to have that question tattooed on my forehead. (Or better yet, on Steve’s.) It’s the first question you should ask yourself. These sites can give information away for free because they’re drawing hefty commissions on scam programs that we’ve already exposed here—data entry jobs, primarily, with some web-based product sales thrown in. You’re just prospects to them. Let me make you a promise. I spend lots of time reading about online work and signing up for crap. When I find the job or business that will make you as much money as you want, GUARANTEED, I’ll sell the secret to you at a high price so you’ll know how valuable it is. “You get what you pay for” is as true in the online world as it is offline. Tomorrow’s post will show why Steve and I are passionate about scambusting with another true story in our series, “I was scammed: tales from the trenches.”

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Join the Discussion

  • Nona Johnson
    Nona Johnson

    I think everyone posting a response here has missed the point – lol – THEY ARE ALL SCAMS! If you want to work from home start your own legitimate business that you run from your home. Point made!

  • Nancy Wylde
    Nancy Wylde

    Thanks for this information Joe. This helps the novice out there who is genuinely in need of working from home. I have been blessed with a good sense of intuition, however it doesn’t take long to work out that anyone who promises you can make 50K per month for a layout of $9.95 in total is somewhat of a scam!
    I like so many others just a WAH job and no B.S

  • kim

    Has anyone heard of http://www.angelpin.net? How about http://www.dataentrymembers.com? I came across these today and wanted some real opinions before I venture forth. This site seems more trustworthy than the rest. Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you.

  • ellen

    Hi Kim I signed up for this after my cousin showed me it she is making $4000. a month and so happy, I have not made anything yet but I am working on it have signed up to learn how to bring traffic to my site just not getting alot of time to do this good luck

  • kim

    I am honestly sick and tired of all these “work at home” scams. I just want an actual idea or site that offers legit pay for real work-at-home. I too have checked out a few of the sites mentioned in your posts, and googles a few of the names as well; lo and behold they don’t exist!! If anyone out there has found a real WAH offer….let me know.

  • Vickie

    I looked at that website supposedly promoted by Jessica Miller. I has a picture of here standing with her arms folded wearing a black suit. If you look on website The Online Business Systems you see the same picture but this time the female’s name is Tanya Warren Davis

  • Flora Centeio
    Flora Centeio

    is this a scam http://www.mycreditcardcash.com/signup.php

  • Michelle Buchanan
    Michelle Buchanan

    Can you check to see if this website is legit? It was recommended by an ad on your page. Sounds good to me but I’ve been scammed many times before. Thanks.

  • Joe

    Peggy, I have no idea what you’re saying. Try again.

  • peggy

    I read this one to-day and he was advertising
    dear Angel penbrook.
    I found him on or site to boot
    how come.
    because I still have not receice my refund YET

  • Larry bauge
    Larry bauge

    It sounds good until I’m asked how much money I’m willing to invest in this buissiness and 5 options ranging from $250.00 to $10.000 were my choices and I chose $10.000 and emmediately got 3 sites to choose from. I closed the site and came to this site for some info. I’m at the point now that I don’t trust any sites because it always is the same garbage.I am 61 years old with arthritis and have worked hard all my life and am not looking for handouts and would appreciate an honest site to work online with.(so far I have been scammed 3 times).I get at least 3 to 5 emails a day from these scammers and the most are from Mark Hodges.

  • Linda

    There can’t be a place like that Sabrina because New Trash Companies will SUE you all the time.

    So the list will always be late by months.

    As for now, https://ivetriedthat.com is the best place I found in the subject.

  • Susie

    For whatever reason, this line is the one that made me LOL: “I spend lots of time reading about online work and signing up for crap.”

    Anyone that reads this regularly cannot argue with that. :)

  • Joe

    You’re right, they probably wouldn’t believe it. And it’s because we’re appealing to reason while the scam sales pages appeal to emotion. We need to write a pre-sell page with all the bells and whistles that points people AWAY from GUARANTEED! EASY MONEY! Steve? How about it?

  • Sabrina's Money Matters
    Sabrina's Money Matters

    Bunny Socks, now that’s funny. I wish that there were a website that ran a tally of all the scams that have been found, something like scam.com, but then no one would believe the listings and likely would check them out and blow their money anyways, lol.

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