how do you tell a scam sales page from a legit one?

37 replies
HI ,

I've been looking at some of the sales pages around and got asked a question by my wife, which I think I would like to ask here. "Can you tell a scam sales page from a legit sales page? I mean what kind of things would make you think this looks like someone out to take my money and run rather that somone helping me?

I didn't really have a reply for this so, if you have a thought please have you say.
#legit #page #sales #scam
  • Profile picture of the author JWB
    One thing to look at are the graphics....if the page has a lot of stock pics as graphics, that would send up a red flag. Check out any testimonials that are on the page by going to the website that is listed in the testimonial.

    A lot of times you can get a " feel " if its a scam by looking and digesting
    what is being offered...the old adage.. If it sounds too good to be true...then its probably isnt true...is a true test also...
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    • Profile picture of the author SageSound
      Originally Posted by JWB View Post

      One thing to look at are the graphics....if the page has a lot of stock pics as graphics, that would send up a red flag. Check out any testimonials that are on the page by going to the website that is listed in the testimonial.

      A lot of times you can get a " feel " if its a scam by looking and digesting
      what is being offered...the old adage.. If it sounds too good to be true...then its probably isnt true...is a true test also...
      I don't usually say this, but ... what a load of CRAP!

      Stock photos as a "red flag"? Geez, you just flagged 99% of the top marketing firms in the world as scammers! Who hires their own models and shoots their own photos just for web pages? I mean, who has the time and resources to hire a model, a Ferrari, drive to the beach, and take a bunch of photos? Sounds like a fun way to spend a weekend, but ... when you can get a stock photo for $5 and 5 mins of your time, why would you even think otherwise? (Unless, of course, that's your job and what you're offering on the web site!)

      As for testimonials ... it's common practice to put initials beneath them, but it's far more rare to put somebody's web site URL there. In fact, as a rule-of-thumb, bigger vendors are less likely to provide URLs or even names in testimonials, just initials. So, your advice in this respect would have the reader shunning sites run by larger, more solid and reputable vendors.

      "If it sounds too good to be true" ... then 99% of the weight-loss products on the market would be gone! This tidbit of advice does not seem to have made a dent in the areas that the FTC says are the most prolific for scammers: weight loss, credit and debt repair, sexual dysfunction, and sites offering to sell "real" prescription drugs at 10% of their cost through the mail (a fraudulent act in itself).

      Look, here's the bottom-line on that: if you can come up with an even half-way decent "fraud detector", I'm sure there are TONS of companies who'd be happy to hire you for 7 figures. Like eBay, Craigslist, most classified ad sites, dating sites, .... need I go on?

      On the face of it, I don't think it's easy to tell a fake offer from a valid offer.

      You need to dig a little. I like to send the vendor a few questions and see how quickly they respond, and HOW they respond. If I get no response, I won't buy.

      Just a heads-up: there are tons of sites around the internet that have been up for quite a while and that aren't being monitored by anybody. People die and don't leave instructions on how to access their hosting, PayPal accounts, etc., perhaps after having prepaid their hosting accounts or paying them through their PayPal acct automatically. As long as the sites make enough money to cover the hosting, and the domain name is paid up, they'll keep on filling orders.

      (Oh, yeah, you forgot one other supposedly "tell-tale" thing: the Whois record shows that the domain name owner only paid for one year. Yeah, right. I know very few people who DO pay for more than a year at a time on any domains other than their "primary" ones.)

      HTH
      -David
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  • Profile picture of the author kemdev
    Generally, you don't have to worry about too many scams...

    If you purchase something, you will get it - that doesn't always mean, however
    that it will be any good. Trust me, there is a lot of junk out there.

    The best way to sift through the trash and filler, in my opinion, is to just check
    out the review section of this forum. If you're thinking about buying something,
    chances are, someone has already bought it and evaluated it.
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    • Profile picture of the author WritingMadwoman
      It's not always easy to tell (BTW, I use stock pics on my salespages and webpages but I'm not a scammer...LOL) - but I don't worry about it too much. If they use Clickbank as a payment processor, you're safe because you can get a refund whether the seller is honest or not. Paypal maybe not quite as cut-and-dried as Clickbank.

      Most of the time I'm referred to a product salespage by someone here or one of the lists I'm on, and I try to take those recommendations only from people I feel are trustworthy.

      If I happen to find a salespage on my own and don't know the seller, I'll see who their payment processor is and go from there.

      Wendy
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    • Profile picture of the author ironfist55
      Thanks JWB and Jesse Kemmerer,

      I agree with the notion of getting the product and it turns out to be junk, is their something to look out for when clicking the "Click Here" buttons or when going to the payment page?
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    • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
      I agree with JWB,

      Scam pages just have a "bad feel" to them. They're usually too uniform and read like they're written by H.A.L. rather than a human being. And the testimonials, if they have any don't read like they're written from real people. You just kinda have to develop a feel for it.

      But if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck...

      That said, those nigerian scam e-mails... evil as they are... are often very well written using some pretty stealth copywriting tricks.

      So I'm not being much help am I... :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Robyn8243
      First, it really depends on how you define what is a scam.

      If you are looking at any kind of internet marketing sales pages, I think the suggestion to look at the review section in this forum is a good starting point.

      Mostly you need to use your judgment and common sense. If the sales page
      promises great results with no experience and no work on your part ever and you will be making more money than you can imagine 15, make that 14, no 12 minutes from now...well at best they are exaggerating...at worst total lies.

      The quality of graphics is absolutely meaningless...the most successful scammers are more than willing to pay for excellent graphics. And frankly, there is nothing wrong with using stock photos...legitimate marketers and advertisers use them all the time.

      As a general rule, if you read the sales page, and your gut has you questioning whether it is a scam or other BS, it probably is a safe guess that it is.

      Spend some time here educating yourself for free before you start spending money without having a clue at what you are looking at.

      Just my opinion,

      Robyn
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  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    Several things to look for:

    contact information - should provide a valid mailing address, phone number and email address (preferably not a free email service although many trustworthy marketers do use them)

    WhoIs - check places like Alexa and the WhoIs directories to see who owns the site, when it was launched, etc. The longer it's been around, the more stable and safe it probably is. Follow through to try and contact the owners and see if they actually respond. If they are legit, they will want to speak with prospects.

    Poor grammar/English - while many legitimate foreigners set up sites, many scams come from non-English speaking countries / people. If the content doesn't make sense, sounds like gibberish, or is very low quality, I'd stay away.

    Page rank - if a site has been around awhile, it will have some sort of page rank. If the owner is just scamming, it's likely they won't have a page rank because that takes work and scammers don't want to work that hard. Although, sites with a page rank can still be scams.

    Actual content - if it sounds too good to be true (someone already gave you that one). Watch for exaggerated claims, testimonials that don't give proper names, like "C says..." would tell me the testimonial is fake.

    Those are some ways you can avoid scams, but it's certainly not all.

    Sylvia

    Clarification: Page rank isn't a very good indicator on its own becuase many people are new and legitimate. Use page rank in conjunction with other factors as I've indicated.
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  • Profile picture of the author Biggy Fat
    Scam pages usually throw a lot of promises that you'll make it huge without doing any work. Like this one:

    3 Hour Profits

    But a legit one actually gets down to the nitty gritty and DOESN'T make all those ridiculous claims, like this one:

    FlippingSpark.com | Comprehensive Guide to Site Flipping
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    First of all let's get a few things straight here...

    Graphics - This is bad advice as it means nothing, the design is in the eye of the beholder. I have seen some of the worst designed websites make the most money and the site was from honest people.. So please ignore this advice...

    I know many people that will run from a site just because it looks like a marketers site.. This does not mean they are a scam, it means these people do not like marketers and they do not want to be spammed with this product and that product.

    PR - Page Rank means nothing and Alexa ranking means nothing, these are not correct and the fact is only google uses PR, one of these days people will realize that there is life beyond google and many many many ways to advertise without google. Some people actually do most of their advertising offline, and as such the age of the domain name means nothing and so does PR...

    Use Your Brain That God Gave You - If a site promises you to make $X in X days with no investment or no work then stay away. This does not mean it is a scam but chances are high that you do not want to be involved.

    Look for fake testimonials, visit the sites and ask the person what they really think of the product or ask them if they actually did give the testimonial.

    The bottom line is you can not always tell and you must go by your feelings, read the page several times if you must.

    Just my opinion though....

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author Hesaidblissfully
      You can't go by the sales page necessarily. When I'm thinking of buying something online, I usually look for reviews or comments from other people who've used it. Not testimonials or affiliate review sites, though. Also, I look for any free content the person has, whether it be a newsletter or a free report or a blog or video. The free content offered is usually a pretty good indicator of what you can expect from their paid product.
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  • Profile picture of the author captainDyl
    Go with your gut feeling. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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  • Profile picture of the author James Lancaster
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author psresearch
      NONE of the following are absolute proof that a sales page is a scam, but can be indicators:

      Use reverse-image search engines like TinEye.com to see if a picture that goes with a testimonial is either a stock photo or used on other sites.

      If the sales page features a "talking person" who claims to be the creator or owner of the product, check sites like LiveFaceOnWeb.com to see if they are actors.

      Do a reverse-ip lookup on sites with tools like DomainTools.com and look for the following:

      Are sites that recommend the product on the same IP.
      Are there known suspect sites on the same IP.

      If there are thousands of sites on the same IP those become less important, but if there are only a handful it maybe an indicator that something fishy is going on.

      Another way at checking on related sites would be tools like SpyOnWeb.com, DomainCrawler.com, or AdsSpy.com

      But as James said - the best solution is to "use your head" and common sense.

      I'd add to that to network and find people you trust that you can "hang out" with virtually or physically to share your experiences of what's working for you and what isn't, and learn what you can from places like the WarriorForum to hone your b.s. detection skills.

      One caveat is MANY times a sales page for a legitimate product will look like and be hyped like one for a scam product - not to throw a monkeywrench into this whole discussion, but from my experience that seems to be the case.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryansjones
    Just out of curiousity, what do you think of sites that have live chat pop ups? When surfing for traffic at traffic exchanges as well as doing paid to click sites (joined some of them through Earn Money Space), some sites have live chat windows that pop up when you try to leave the site with an agent trying to get you to buy. Some examples of sites with these are: eToro forex, FAP Turbo, Legit Online jobs, and several others. Just curious about those.
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  • Dead giveaway of any scam in the real world or on the Internet is that the scammer preys on your greed or desperation. Second (or third or fourth) what everybody above said about "if it sounds too good to be true..."

    Grand claims are my litmus test. Screenshots of "actual earnings" are a real turn-off as well. Obviously fake testimonials (anything with a first name and last initial "Suzy Q.") are another thing to watch out for.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    My favourite is to look at the clickbank cheques on the page and see if the figures actually add up because those that seem to fake them cant seem to count.

    This amuses me because if you cant fake it properly you are obviously brainless.

    kind regards


    sam
    X
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    • Profile picture of the author ironfist55
      Thanks to everyone that replied, I got some really good points to think about. What I've done is to get the best points and summarise them below for easy reference.

      The point of the post is to help in writing up your sales page and it 's good to get other peoples points of view on what they look out for and what will stop them from buying.

      1. Check out testimonials are going to pages they state

      2. Go with your gut feelings, if it's sounds to good to be true... then its probably isn't true

      3. Grammar and use of English, it may come from a foreign country

      4. Check out the review section here inside the Warrior Forum

      5. Check to see where the payment processor is sending you from the site, clickbank, paypal etc.

      6. Look at testimonials to see if they are over stating and read false

      7. Research website by looking at whoIs, email addresses, phone number.

      8. Use Alexa.com to see how long the website has been up and running and traffic it's getting.

      9. Check that whole names are used in testimonials and initials like C Says etc

      10. Look at the free content being offered with the main purchase does it match the product

      11. Check the earnings pictures and see if the math is correct

      Hope you enjoyed this post and see you on the battle field

      Nick (ironfist55)
      aka - IMDETECTIVE
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  • Profile picture of the author pnisbet
    Personally I don't care if it's a scam or not. I buy it and if it doesn't measure up to the description I request a refund. If it measures up then fine. I don't hold much stock with testimonials - I've bought some junk from some of the top guys like some of the late Corey Rudl's team, and some great stuff from guys that this is their first product.

    Question: how do you get a testimonial for a new product unless you give it free in return for one? Is that going to be an unbiased testimonial? Who is going to tell Brad Callen his latest software is crap? Yet I think the version of Keyword Elite before KE 2 was overhyoped - I have used better keyword tools, but vs 2 is a lot better.

    I go by what I feel is fair. If the product does what it says it does for me then I don't care what others say about it. Testmonials are a con at worst and somebody else's opinion at best - the truth is in the middle. Many testimonials are paid for and you can't find that out easily.

    Pete
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  • Profile picture of the author MarcMilburn
    The easiest way? Is to buy it and take the risk.

    Theres very few total scams out there.. you'll pretty much get what you order but then you just have to sift out whats rubbish and whats worth the investment.

    Only buy things which come with a guarantee and then ask for your money back on the rubbish (assuming it isn't worth the price you paid and you are genuinely unsatisfied) and you'll be OK!
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  • Profile picture of the author JNFerree
    Here are the 4 things I do (usually in under 3 minutes) to determine if an offer is legit deal or a total scam. This formula is by no means comprehensive, but it does reveal the basics any that decent/strong offer should have. [Caveat] you need to use Firefox and a couple of (free) add-ons for this to work on your box.

    1. I check their Alexa traffic rank (if it's > 1 million, I pass)
    2. I check their Google PR (if no PR, I pass)
    4. I check their Page Info, note their KW's (run their KWs in Samurai, if OK I continue)
    5. I run Quark on the site (if its void of any solid info, I pass)

    If the site passes the 5 elements above and my gut instinct says this is an offer worth clicking the BUY button, I'll ping a couple of my trusty Forums to get an educated 2nd opinion on someone who owns the tool, ebook, product offering for an honest assessment, which usually proves acurate more often than not.
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  • Profile picture of the author JD Nunes
    The last post is ridiculous. Just because a site doesn't have a ton of traffic or SEO qualifications doesn't mean it's a scam...
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by JD Nunes View Post

      The last post is ridiculous.
      Almost as ridiculous as replying to a year-old thread just to say the last post in it is ridiculous.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    Overhyping, fake screenshots, fake clickbank snapshots...etc.

    But usually, it's not that you will be scammed, it's that you will end up with a bad product.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    Think about it this way...

    If you're in a casino in Vegas and a smoking hot young blonde walks up to you and starts making a move on you... and you are a 40 year old, chubby "regular dude"... Do you think "wow, this is the most amazing thing ever! This young hot chic who could have ANY man in this place looked across the room and saw me and thought that I must be the one..."

    You could think that, but... I would be thinking... "Too good to be true, therefore probably a hooker..."

    Websites are the same way. If you read it and think, too good to be true, then it probably is...

    I will say this though: Many people call something a scam just because it doesnt work for them - that doesnt make it a scam... There are many reasons why it may not have worked for them - not the least of which is user error.

    Bottom line is that most people do not want to work. All real systems require work. So there will be a high failure rate and people dont usually want to blame themselves, so it is much easier to yell scam!
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    • Profile picture of the author webmaestro
      Nice sig Kevin.

      I actually have the same quote above my desk. Coolidge - 30th US president for those with defective memories like mine - was an all American boy born July 4th 1872 although I discovered some time after printing this quote of his that apparently he was not a very nice person and had a somewhat dark history.

      His quote is cool though and very apposite for IMers - budding or otherwise.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmaestro
    My four pennyworth:

    Can you tell if a site's a scam or not? ... err in a word NO!

    The bigger the scam the less likely the site will actually leap out at you as being "different from the norm". Think TV series like Hustle (UK) Leverage & New leverage (US) and their scams (intricate, convoluted, slick, believable) to get the idea. It's NONSENSE to suggest scammers won't put in the effort on a site - junk product sites often don't, but even that is not a rule on which you can rely.

    Whilst on the subject what's YOUR definition of a scam (that's you as in Warriors, not Ironfist55). I've never perceived it as being a junk/cr*p product despite often feeling that I've been scammed when having purchased such. Buying a junk product is NOT a scam any more say than buying a low quality electrical item that fails after three uses is. But buying a "top quality" watch at a "superb" price and as advertised at three times the price in glossy mags from a guy in a motorway service station is an obvious SCAM - I HOPE people understand that!

    SCAM: Already been mentioned earlier: i.e. Letters from Nigeria and elsewhere requesting bank details to deposit money on their behalf in the UK/US/wherever. The thing that makes me laugh about those is that it's a solicitation to commit a CRIMINAL offence - in the UK/US/others it would be classed as money laundering - why are people so DUMB?

    It's NOT so easy when it comes to web sites unfortunately as the products and testimonials and graphics and, and, and .... all tend towards conveying that air of legitimacy. The obvious scams are just that - OBVIOUS. The problem is that scammers are slicker and more tech savvy than you can imagine and often HIGHLY intelligent and organised with an excellent understanding of human psychology and how to exploit it.

    Bottom line: NO definitive way to tell, go with gut feel and research on-line - if it feels wrong ... it is! No really, IT IS! That's the ONLY way to deal with this. Do NOT second guess yourself. That's not a guarantee that you'll be safe but it IS a guarantee that you'll be safer overall by listening to your gut instinct.

    Best regards.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Buckley
    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I just made that up
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    Well this thread is over a year old but the info can be a good reference for someone so...

    How do I determine if a sales page is fake?

    1)whois:domain.com

    2)Google:review-persons name

    3)Contact Information that leads to a hotmail or some other address is not a legit representation for any serious business person legit emails would be support@websitename.com or something similar.

    4)What does my gut tell me
    -WD
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomas Michal
    If you don't trust it search for multiple reviews and no matter what don't give any personal information to a company you don't know.
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  • Profile picture of the author skyzeda
    Originally Posted by ironfist55 View Post

    I mean what kind of things would make you think this looks like someone out to take my money and run rather that somone helping me?
    Does the sales page make bold claims that seem too good to be true?

    It's junk.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanGNW
    I very much agree Thomas' comment.

    The over exaggerated prose of most sales letters make pretty much all of them sound like a scam.

    (You may enjoy this one I knocked together purely for amusement)
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    LOL WT?
    Now that's a sales letter. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    I went to buy something this morning, and got "You have requested an outdated version of PayPal."

    That's a pretty big warning sign, there.
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    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
    HAHAHAHAHA that's priceless thanks for the chuckle C
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    "As a man thinks in his heart so is he-Proverbs 23:7"
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  • Profile picture of the author AlanGNW
    Bottom line - don't buy anything. Use your brain - all of this stuff is freely available if you can be bothered to search for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Menno Marketing
    It's really hard to tell whether a product is a scam or not. Good indicators or extreme exaggeration, get rich overnight arguments.. stuff like that.

    But I really believe that it is not the site itself that tells you if it's legit or not but reactions or reviews from others.

    I know it is really hard these days to find genuine reviews (other than on this forum) because people just talk about a product like it's the best thing ever and include their own affiliate link.

    So my advice is, take some extra effort to find real opinions about it and make your decision!
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