As I journey into introspection..."When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are then challenged to change ourselves."


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Spam Wishers...

Location: Nassau, The Bahamas
So, I had someone ask me, “Why do you always have to ‘interrogate’people about PTC sites (Pay To Click), you do know that most of them are real, right?”

First of all; please don’t ever fool yourself into believing that most PTC sites are real, that is absolutely false!  Second of all; I have nothing against PTC sites; there are some fairly reasonable to excellent ones out there.  I do, however, strongly oppose persons foolishly chasing every PTC rainbow they see…and submitting my email and or any other personal information about me to random websites.  That is a very bad practice.  And unfortunately, sometimes our bad practices deflect upon others.

Here are the top three reasons why I interrogate you:

(1) I hate spam!
(2) I hate spam!
(3) I hate spam!

I wouldn't wish spam on my worst enemy!  (OK, maybe that's an exaggeration!)

As outlined in an about.com blog, titled How Do Spammers Get My Email Address, most people “unwittingly” pass out their email addresses and other personal information to spammers and scammers.  Of course, there are other ways they can acquire your email address, but it is important to be accountable for your actions online – just as you are in person, I’m sure. 

The reality is that most of these so called PTC sites are frauds.  Simple, yet clearly effective phishing scams.  Their intention is to create data bases to be sold to whomever is willing to pay for them.  Whether those purchasers are advertisers or hackers does not matter because dishonest money knows no boundary.  Advertisements for products that I have no interests in is one thing, but there’s no telling what will end up in my inbox once your (you being one of my contacts) email or other social media is hacked into. 

One of the most enticing (and most effective) 'email volunteer' methods that scammers use is the unbelievable money offer.  Personally, I say that if an online money venture seems too good to be true, it most likely is.  There are many opportunities for making money online, but it is important to learn to separate the real from the fake.  Please know that NO ONE will give you ‘free money’, and ‘easy money’ comes with time, after finding your niche.  There are literally millions of blogs out there that can guide you in this.  I found this one; “Your PTC Coach” quite simple to follow.

Here is my personal guide for avoiding spams and scams…

1.         Investigate a website before committing to anything (even a seemingly benign email submission).  If you come across a site that totes some incredible offering, such as “become a millionaire by sitting at home doing nothing” or “we have the key to eternal life” – “…submit your email to find out how…” Please run away!

2.         A PTC site that offers more than $0.10 per click (just to click a link) should be approached with caution – a site that offers dollars per click is out of the question.  There are PTC sites out there that do in-fact pay their users, but they do so in cents or fractions of a cent.  You’re not honestly going to make hundreds of dollars in a short period of time doing this.  The best approach to making money online is by applying the same principals you apply offline – put in work!

3.         Be careful about replying to emails from unfamiliar sources.  If you receive a special offer or subscription of some sort from a source that you do not recall signing up for, chances are, you didn’t.  By attempting to “claim your prize” or “cancel subscription,” you are infact inviting spam by indicating that your email address is active.  If you are not one hundred percent certain about an email offer, I would recommend opening another tab and conducting a Google search of the sender (if you’re as anal as I am) or simply disregard and delete.

4.         Some spammers will also email you using the name of a friend who’s email they have already acquired.  Review and carefully consider messages that appear to come from your friends asking you to “check this out!” especially if it comes from a friend who very rarely or never sends you links. 

5.         If you are considering joining a site, carefully gauge the level of interaction/feed back you receive from a potential venture – particularly those who require you to invest your own monies.  Generally speaking (online and off), investors love to share all the gory details with potential affiliates/associates – they are usually very excited to ‘win’and to show you how you too can 'win'.  So if you find that a particular site does not answer your questions thoroughly, you may want to reconsider investing your time and/or money.

The internet can be fun and full of wonder as long as we make proper use of it.  We would do well to remember to ascribe to the concept of personal accountability.  Failure to do so makes you liable to ruin not only your own online experience, but that of others (namely mine) in your social network as well.

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