Many people have been scammed by fly-by-night websites promising cash or prizes. Unfortunately, these scammers are a dime a dozen and the illegitimate ones far outnumber the legit sites. But there are still real, legitimate sites out there. The key is finding them. You can use interesting overviews provided by websites such as Bettingtop10 Canada or Google for them yourself and make us of your advice below.
How to spot scammers?
The first and most important criteria is you should never be asked to pay or buy anything to win a prize or to earn something. If they ask you to cough up some cash, or give your credit card details, even with the assurance that they will return it to you, just walk away. You can be 100% sure that it is a scam.
Second, if it is a game or a raffle, they are required by law to inform you about your chances of winning, the nature of the prize you could win, playing or entering is free, and how to claim the prize. If they fail to give you one of the above-mentioned information, alarm bells should start ringing.
Third, if they send you a check and ask you to send them a percentage of it, don’t do it. The check is most probably fake and you will end up paying off the money you got, losing the money you sent, plus legal issues (transacting with a fake check).
Fourth, some scammers use the name of a government agency or give you an official-sounding government agency name to entice you to join. But if it asks you to show some money first, walk away.
Lastly, when you receive an email, SMS or letter saying you won something, without entering anything, discard the message. If there is a link, do not click on it as it usually carries malware.
Are there legitimate sites that offer real cash or prizes?
Absolutely! It does require some digging to find them but they are the real deal. There are legitimate sweepstakes out there but none of them do any of the aforementioned.
There are sites where you can legally earn money by watching ads, clicking on links, answering surveys, etc. Some pay in cash or allow you to earn points, which you can later redeem as gift cards and use in selected stores. You can check out Fronto, Swagbucks, Perk TV, Luckstatic, Loco, PointsPrizes.com, among others.
Don’t let a few rotten apples spoil your dreams of earning some cash or winning some prizes online. You just have to be vigilant and do some background check on sites or apps before committing anything. You can easily search them online, check their website, and read up on reviews, complaints, or news reports about them. If you do confirm they are illegitimate, report it to the authorities, like a consumer protection agency, even the local media to alert others about it.