warnings http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/3787/all en-US It's a Jungle Out There: Spotting Fake Reviews http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-jungle-out-there-spotting-fake-reviews <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-a-jungle-out-there-spotting-fake-reviews" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jungle.jpg" alt="Walking through the jungle" title="Walking through the jungle" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s an old admonishment, but now, more than ever, you really can&rsquo;t believe everything you read. Exploring the jungle of the web, I&rsquo;ve found a lot of places that look intriguing, but are actually traps for the unwary.</p> <p>No, I&rsquo;m not talking about poisonous <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/multi-level-marketing-the-future-or-folly">multi-level marketing</a> come-ons, or religious or political voodoo diatribes. I&rsquo;m talking about reviews touting Amazon products, forum discussions endorsing hotels or restaurants, and even blog posts offering apparently sensible advice &mdash; all written by people who were paid to say it. In fact, what you read may be someone else&rsquo;s words, stolen, rearranged, and used with new meaning to fit the site or circumstance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-spot-work-at-home-job-scams">6 Ways to Spot Work-at-Home Job Scams</a>)</p> <p>I was looking at freelance jobs offered at <a href="http://vworker.com">vWorker</a>&nbsp;and <a href="https://www.upwork.com/">Upwork</a>. As I thrashed my way through the sites, chopping away at the underbrush so I could see the treasures, I found all kinds of task-oriented work such as designing logos, building websites, collecting data, transcribing documents, and writing stories. But, like any public market, you may find both jewels and junk.</p> <p>One employer was looking for someone to write 20 &quot;articles&quot; for a shopping website with titles such as &ldquo;I&rsquo;m looked (sic) to buy the best LCD TV.&rdquo; The writer, paradoxically, had to promote a certain model and brand, not ask for advice, and make it appear to be a genuine question from a genuine forum member.</p> <p>So how can you protect yourself?</p> <p>If someone&rsquo;s forum post or comment sounds more like a sales pitch than a question, search for that person's online name, and see if he's infested other places on the web with their poison. Include &quot;scam&quot; in your search, and see what pops up.</p> <p>Whenever you log onto the Internet, imagine yourself as an explorer in an information jungle. Before you is a whole world of exciting places to explore, but many are not what they seem. Take precautions, and it can be a wonderful visit.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-jungle-out-there-spotting-fake-reviews">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-your-retirement-account-from-a-hack">How to Protect Your Retirement Account From a Hack</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-private-info-private">10 Ways to Keep Your Private Info Private</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-safe-is-craigslist">How Safe Is Craigslist?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs online reviews scams warnings Fri, 28 Jan 2011 13:00:07 +0000 Tom Harnish 483561 at http://www.wisebread.com Street market scams. Don't believe the hype. http://www.wisebread.com/street-market-scams-dont-believe-the-hype <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/154051594_0450e98e4e.jpg" alt="Market" title="Market" width="315" height="252" /></p> <p>Part three of my Real Hustle compliation is the one I have wanted to feature for a very long time. The other two posts were lighter in nature, this one is more grim as it involves more of your hard-earned cash being swindled from you. And it&#39;s personal to me because, well, I fell victim to the first con featured. I consider myself a fairly smart guy, but I was way too naive in college. A hard lesson learned. </p> <p>It&#39;s a long story, but I was in my 1st year of college at the time and had very little money in savings. I wanted to stretch my money as far as I could, and as Christmas was only a month away I thought the &quot;auction&quot; would be a great place to bag some presents for my folks for super-cheap. As you&#39;ll see from the first video, Jam Auction, it was nothing but a scam that played on your dreams of getting a great deal. </p> <p>In my case, I thought I&#39;d be getting a $1000 Kenwood audio system for around $200. What I got was $50 worth of junk for $200. It was a horrible scenario, over 60 of us thought we were getting something amazing. It turned out that the sheep mentality worked, coupled with the fact that &quot;plants&quot; in the crowd get freebies that kick-butt. Trouble is, those plants are in on the game and the free gifts go straight back in the van.</p> <p>Here we are then. Remember, living large means being careful with your money. If it seems too good to be true, 99% of the time it is.</p> <p><strong>1: THE JAM AUCTION</strong><br />As I said, it&#39;s a scam that dangles an amazing deal in front of you. Packages of PSPs, Digital Cameras, all kinds of goodies. They promise bargains beyond anything you could get in a high-street sale or even on the Internet. They hook you with cheap giveaways, and the bait is a huge bargain. But that huge bargain never ever materializes and everyone is left shell-shocked and out of pocket.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/0orfzAZWeOI" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0orfzAZWeOI" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>2: NOT-SO-MIRACLE BLADES </strong><br />With a home video camera, a few chef outfits and some repackaging, the gang are reselling cheap &amp; nasty knife sets as superior kitchen utensils. And it works. The fake infomercial and the new packaging, plus the story about it being a hot-seller, convince people in no time.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/OmmZ_1vBN0E" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/OmmZ_1vBN0E" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>3: ORGANIC FOOD FAKES</strong><br />Taking advantage of a growing market is something scam artists do all the time. In this case, organic food is the big draw. Genuine organic olive oil, real organic hand-made sausages. Sounds great. Trouble is, they&#39;re really selling cheap mass-produced oil and sausages at a massive mark-up. </p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/FjTbKtzhLT0" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FjTbKtzhLT0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>4: THE SKIN CARE SCAM </strong><br />This one&#39;s even more convincing because the hustle team rent a store for their product. And this is one of the most common cases of daylight robbery around in the UK right now. If it&#39;s happening there, I guarantee it&#39;s happening here. All they do is buy a ton of cheap lotion, mix it with parsley (mmm, parsley) and repackage it in tiny bottles. The same idea goes for the soaps and hair care products. It&#39;s all sold at a <strong>3000%</strong> mark-up!</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5r5_YlFfClw" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5r5_YlFfClw" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><strong>5: DON&#39;T EAVESDROP</strong><br />Sometimes, you ARE meant to overhear a conversation. Especially when hustlers are trying to convince you that they&#39;ve just found an incredible bargain (like an $800 plate selling for $60 on a market stall). You may think you&#39;d never get taken in, but this con works exceptionally well because you believe you have insider information. All you&#39;re actually buying is a worthless piece of junk.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/x10PtjDKeyk" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/x10PtjDKeyk" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p>As I always say, it&#39;s a jungle out there. Watch your backs folks. </p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/toniphotos/">Toni V</a> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/street-market-scams-dont-believe-the-hype">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carnival-of-scams-top-4-fairground-cons">Carnival Of Scams - Top 4 fairground cons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-panic-do-this-if-your-identity-gets-stolen">Don&#039;t Panic: Do This If Your Identity Gets Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-ripped-off-by-one-of-these-8-unnecessary-services">Are You Getting Ripped Off by One of These 8 Unnecessary Services?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">5 more ways to hustle free drinks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-a-jungle-out-there-spotting-fake-reviews">It&#039;s a Jungle Out There: Spotting Fake Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks cons flea market Real Hustle rip-offs scams something for nothing street market warnings Tue, 10 Apr 2007 22:21:55 +0000 Paul Michael 486 at http://www.wisebread.com