How To Spot A Scam Site

In your quest to earn an online income, you may have found that not all money making opportunities are equal. To save your time and money, here are 11 ways to spot a scam site.


Like I mentioned before, I have spent money on good and bad opportunities and still lived to tell the tale. So you do not have to get your fingers burnt like I did.  So let’s start with –

    •  The sales page will show a picture of a man or woman telling you how she or he made thousands of dollars on auto-pilot.  Included in the sales pitch will be a rags-to-riches story.
    • You will be encouraged to leave your email address so you can be tempted with offers
    • There will be a page of testimonials that show earnings that colleagues have made.    I have even seen testimonials where the people had FAKE accents…It was a real giveaway  as to the calibre of the site.
  • You will be sent an email every day, but will  not be able to reply.  If you have a question and send an email, you will be waiting forever for an answer.
  •  There will not be a support system in place if you get stuck technically or otherwise.
  •  It will be very difficult for you to get your money back if you decide to cancel your membership
  • A funnel will be used.  This means that there will be an offer to learn more information at a higher level if you part with more cash.  If you  fall for that, there is normally an ‘upgrade’ that will ‘be sure’ to help you earn more at an intermediate level. Funnels like these can hike up the initial price into the thousands.  So be warned!
  • The design of the site will be amateurish.
  • The instructions to ‘help you get started’ will be difficult to understand
  • If there are any products or services on offer, they will either be outdated or non-existent.
  • You will have to heavily promote on social media without really knowing what you are doing.

It seems that the whole world is on the internet these days and some are experienced at earning money and doing business in an ethical manner.  However, watch out for those that are not.


Word Ouch in capital letters


Fingers Burnt by Traffic Monsoon

The story I am about to tell you shows how easy it is to fall prey to a scam or a ponzy scheme. I hope you never have to experience this.

Well, towards the tail end of 2016, a friend told me about a program called Traffic Monsoon. All you needed to do was click on 10 ads a day and you would earn credits which translated into cash which  would mount up in your Traffic Monsoon account.

At first I was skeptical and asked her how old the site was. “Oh it’s over 5 years old and is high in Alexa rankings.” I was still skeptical but agreed to accompany her to one of Traffic Monsoon’s local meetings. Fast-forward one month and having checked out the site, I deposited the initial £50 to get started and clicking on a minimum of 10 ads daily.

The idea was if I wanted to gain ad credits, I would click  on ads and any money I gained I would put into my Traffic Monsoon account to buy more credits and click on more ads.  Confusing right?  I didn’t really understand how it worked either but found it addictive to watch my account go up in funds.

For a couple of months I got sucked into attending local meetings and watching Youtube videos of people like property developers who were throwing thousands of pounds into Traffic Monsoon.

Two months later, it was announced during a local meeting that Paypal had frozen Traffic Monsoon’s monies and so they were unable to pay Traffic Monsoon members.  We were encouraged to keep calm and wait for our money to be paid to us.  It seemed the main people to lose out if were not paid, would be the ones who had invested a lot of money.

The reason Paypal froze Traffic Monsoon’s account was that they were ‘growing too rich too fast’ and it looked ‘suspicious’.

To cut a long story short, Traffic Monsoon had to close down because Paypal (the bank for Traffic Monsoon) froze their assets for good.

The only good thing for me personally was that I had only invested £50 and put no extra funds to buy ads. However, I had lost valuable time and had got my fingers burnt again.  My first hunch was right – if a company is still less than 10 years old and is making a ton of cash for itself, with no real product or service to promote except ad-clicking, something has got to give.


Look Up The Site In Reviews

Review sites are very useful and are often run by people who have been scammed and decided to tell the online world where not to spend their hard-earned cash.

A good review site is Scam Exposer. It is very useful and holds testimonies and ratings of dodgy and more legitimate sites.  It holds a very comprehensive list of sites you should be wary of.  It also recommends such sites as Wealthy Affiliate to learn affiliate marketing.  Scam Exposer also lists recommended online sites that  can help you in your quest for online wealth.

So remember, look up everything you can find online in reviews about the site or membership program you want to join.  If the site has a free or very low cost 7-day trial, all the better.  That way you can try before you buy.


As you can see it can be very easy to get sucked into online schemes that promise the earth yet give little in return.

If you do your research diligently you will be able to spot the hogs from among the gems.  Sooner or later you will reach your financial goals and be earning a sizeable income.


If you want to know how I built this website in a few easy steps, you can either join Wealthy Affiliate as a Free Starter Member or save on Premium Membership pricing  by going Yearly.


If you have any questions or comments, do feel free to leave them here below…





26 thoughts on “How To Spot A Scam Site”

  1. Hi Stella,
    Thanks for your insights into looking at scams and it is a shame you got burnt with Traffic Monsoon. However, I guess, we have to go through these times to be able to tell the tale and hopefully assist others not to do the same! It is a shame you lost alot of time but atleast it wasn’t alot of money in the end!

    I am always checking out Reviews now if I am interested in any type of product online. And I never stop at one!

    • Yes Sharon, 

      We are never to young to be scammed!  

      Even when looking through reviews, you have to find a detailed one that enables you to make an informed decision…

      Traffic Monsoon was deceptively simple, but as you can see, I was still being careful.

      We are all still learning how to ‘spot the difference’, and will get there.

      All the best!

  2. Hey Stella:

    Thanks for your heads-up about spotting scam sites. You are right. Even though we are all wary about getting scammed, often it can be very hard to tell whether a program is the real deal or not.

    Your pointers are very much appreciated.

    Mostly, I think, it’s best to go slow and let the reviews of the program or site guide you.

    • Hi Netta,

      Yes, scam sites and programs are showing no signs of disappearing,

      I’m glad you agree..

      All the best, Stella

  3. I am so happy to have come across this review. I was so close to getting sucked into this scam myself. I have a blog website and I was very eager to get traffic to my site. This one sounded to good to be true and like you I was skeptical. Now I know that I made the correct choice. Thank you for putting this out there. I hope more people see this because I’m sure they didn’t just go out of business. I bet they already have another scam in the works.

    • Hi Jason…

      Yes, there are some really tempting offers on the net these days aren’t there?

      It’s good to hear that you avoided getting caught in a scam, saving precious time. One of the best ways of getting traffic to your site is to make sure you have decent SEO strategies in place so you rank high in Google and other search engines.

      Also, setting up an automated email campaign then attracting traffic using Bing Ads,etc, will boost your brand awareness.
      If you stick with Wealthy Affiliate, over the course of time, you will see success. Consistency is key here.

      I wish you all the best in affiliate marketing.

  4. It’s real shame that you were hit by Traffic Monsoon – but take solace in the fact that you are not the only blogger that made initial mistakes…

    I made two beauties!

    Yep, a total of $60 went down the drain when I first started out earning online – on two separate opportunities.

    The main problem is that people who come online to work are usually quite desperate for cash…and this leads them to clicking on the shiny objects…

    Hopefully your article will go some way to educating them in what they should be looking out for!

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, it is easy to be attracted to shiny buttons isn’t it?  As time goes on we come to understand the difference between the fake and the real.  Which is a good thing…

      At least we have learnt what not to do. Although it  came with a price which varies from person to person.

  5. It is very important to look up site reviews before trying to make any purchase online or to join any program. Few months back I fell victim of a $280 scam. I already paid and paid for useless upsells before I read a review of the site and found out I’ve been scammed. 

    Since then I have really learnt to do my research well before trying to interact with the site. Thanks for helping people learn how to discover scam early.

    • Very true Lok..

      We all have to beware of sites that are only out for a fast buck.  At least you are safe with Wealthy Affiliate!

  6. Really insightful. I have fallen for most of these tricks over time. I guess i was just in a rush to make quick bucks. The most apparent give-away is the fact that you get little or no support from these programs promising you paradise.

    From my personal experience, I can boldly say that making legitimate money online requires more than “clicking ads”. Such a pity you had to learn the hard way. We live and we learn.

    Thanks for Sharing

    • Yes Ike,

      We definitely live to learn.  There are very few people who are new to online business, who have not been taken for a ride.

      We need to warn them!

  7. Thank you for sharing your own experiences being scam. You make me more alert about all those scammers in the internet. There are scammers everywhere now and the worst thing is we did not know how to detect one. Maybe because they are very professional scammers.

    I agreed to avoid paying for anything before you test run the program. As for me, I always choose FREE TRIAL to avoid making mistakes I  might regret later. Next time, I will follow your advice to check the review first. Thank you dear for the great tips.

  8. Thanks for supplying this information. I checked out Scam Exposer, and I saw a site I sunk several hundred dollars into a few years ago. I’m embarrassed to say, but I was one of those native suckers taken by Traffic Monsoon. I’ve been waiting years for my refund.

    You did me a service. I was getting heated remembering Traffic Monsoon, but you filled in the blanks by supplying the information about Scam Exposer. I really like the way you present Wealthy Affiliate.

    In fact, I believe it would be adventurous to purchase the year because at $29 per month there’s no better deal. Again, thanks for the great information.

    • Hi Rick,

      Sorry to hear you were scammed too. It sucks doesn’t it? At least you are with Wealthy Affiliate now and can see the difference between what is nonsense and what will help you gain a decent income.

      To Your Success!

  9. Thanks for supplying this information. I checked out Scam Exposer, and I saw a site I sunk several hundred dollars into a few years ago. I’m embarrassed to say, but I was one of those suckers taken by Traffic Monsoon.I’ve been waiting years for my refund!

     You did me a service. I was getting heated remembering Traffic Monsoon, but you filled in the blanks by supplying the information about Scam Exposer. I really like the way you present Wealthy Affiliate.  In fact, I believe it would be adventurous to purchase the year because at $29 per month there’s no better deal. Again, thanks for the great information. Is it difficult to make an ecommerce site? Will you be teaching that also?

    • Hi Rick,

      I do not know about ecommerce sites.  Magistudios has done a series on this topic.  It is in Live Events and is a webinar.  Just type in the Live Events search bar and the appropriate webinars will come up.

  10. Hello Stella,

    I am grateful to have read your post. You are doing an excellent job in your message to warn people to be careful when conducting online business. I applaud your efforts.

    It is a great shame that you were not able to make money with Traffic Monsoon.

    I do not know anything about Traffic Monsoon in any way so I cannot comment about his specific case.

    However, and I hope that you do not think I am sticking up for them (as I am not) the issue might not have been the problem of Traffic Monsoon, but rather Paypal.

    I have been working with Paypal for the best part of 10 years and have had many issues with them, for exactly the same issue.

    Paypal call it ‘suspicious activity’.

    What that means is they Paypal did not expect something to happen.

    Paypal’s protection system works, as far as I know in the following way:

    1) Paypal

    2) Customer

    3) Seller

    When I 1st setup my Paypal account, I did very little with it. I was busy setting up my website and other relevant platforms.

    I started selling tickets to a workshop that I was conducting. Payment were through Paypal. This was a live workshop and we had about 250 people register and pay. it was only $10.

    I was horrified to discover that Paypal had frozen my account on the grounds of ‘suspicious activity.’

    When I finally discussed this with them they classed these 250 payments as suspicious as I had not informed them it was going to happen.

    I was certainly not a scam and we had to finance the whole event ourselves. it took me 6 months to finally convince Paypal to release the payments to us and we vowed never to use them again for collections of this kind.

    So while I am certainly not supporting Traffic Monsoon as i do not know their individual case, it could be other circumstances were involved.

    However, I totally support your caution.

    One of the ways I use to confirm if I want to work with someone is I email them. If they don’t answer in an appropriate manner I don’t go any further.

    I hope this is of some help for you!

    Keep up the great work.


    • Thanks Tim,

      For a very detailed comment!  I am not against Paypal in any way.  However, it is very important to be careful when company funds are placed in 3rd party hands. As you have detailed here, no matter how small the amount is, it is still your (or other people’s) money!

  11. Most likely, a scamming website would also lure you with an easy money, saying you don’t have to work full time but you can earn $500 a day. Not working wouldn’t give you bread and butter unless you were born with a golden spoon.

    To honest, I was almost scam. I was ready to give in money and deposit to become a member but then there was a nagging feeling inside me so I decided to look for reviews about this company. It was exposed that they are scamming. It’s a blessing because I wouldn’t have known Wealthy Affiliate if not for this review. 

    Scams are everywhere. If we are not vigilant, we will fall into the wrong hands. Thanks for this useful article. Keep spreading the knowledge!

    • It’s a pleasure MissusB,

      Scams waste time, energy and money… We live to learn from the experience and create an atmosphere of trust when we write comprehensive, yet courteous, reviews about them…

  12. Great tips on spotting a scam site. I remember coming across ads for Traffic Monsoon and loads of people were promoting it, but I always called it out as being a scam but lots of people didn’t listen. At least you only invested under 100 though; I heard there were tons of people investing hundreds and hundreds of dollars into it.

    And you’re definitely right about something being up if a company is a decade old, but has no products/services; Yet somehow turning over millions of dollars for itself. 


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