How to Avoid Scams

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While this article was being edited SilverInvestmentCapital finally took their site down. This article was written prior to the site being taken down.

By default, many assume that what they read on the internet is true. Unfortunately, it is not.

The internet is filled with everything from exaggeration to outright lies. As skeptical as I am, it still amazes me. Take for example the SilverInvestmentCapital website. Seven years ago, I wrote about them in “Anatomy of a Scam.” At the time, I thought that this website would be out of business in a year. Anyone foolish enough to offer packages based on thousands of percent of return for 48 hours is an obvious scammer. Yet here they are seven years later, and their website is still up. What is worse, it has an 86% trust rating on ScamAdvisor. Such a score is described as “The trust rating is high. Might be safe.” They say:

It seems that is legit and safe to use and not a scam website.

The review of is positive. The positive trust score is based on an automated analysis of 40 different data sources we checked online such as the technology used, the location of the company, other websites found on the same web server, etcetera.

Websites that score 80% or higher are in general safe to use with 100% being very safe. Still we strongly recommend to do your own vetting of each new website where you plan to shop or leave your contact details. There have been cases where criminals have bought highly reliable websites. You can use our article “How to recognize a scam website” to create your own opinion.

One of the two reasons it is ranked so positively is: “This website has existed for quite some years.” The other reason is that “According to Xolphin the SSL certificate is valid.”

Supposedly here are the negatives:

The website’s owner is hiding his identity using a paid service

This website does not have many visitors

We found several negative reviews about this site

This website is not optimized for search engines

We found many low rated websites on the same server

Characteristics of a HYIP site detected

Elsewhere, they explain HYIP stands for “High Yield Investment Program.” Despite having the signs of investment fraud and several negative reviews, the website still has an 86% trust rating.

Long ago, I reported the website as a scam. Still my report has not been documented and has not affected the 86% trust rating. So much for and their supposed ranking system. I decided that they too were not legitimate and did some additional research.

See this Quora entry for the question “Is legit?

scamadviser is owned by Minerva services llc registered in the Seychelles, I have been researching one company, and what I have found is well disturbing, there is a network of people around the globe that are all interlinked, and between them they have 1,000′s of sites, Minerva bought scam adviser and uses it to protect the network of scum that feed off of trusting people and even the not so trusting, you will if you investigate and dig deep that most scam or consumer reporting sites are owned by the same group of individuals

or this answer: is a thinly veiled scam itself. It’s one of the best examples of “hide in plain sight”.

So both the original website and the review website are likely scams.

ScamAdvisor is run by a group called the eCommerceFoundation. They also run Safe.Shop and several other supposed scam-investigating websites. This site is also probably a scam.

Regardless, the details don’t matter. It takes a lot of work to root out a scam. Thousands of bots and writers are generating free misleading content with revenue generating back links at an alarming rate.

It is difficult to know which sites to trust, but it is easy to know that someone is violating one of the eight safeguarding your money standards or can’t answer the ten questions to ask a financial advisor.

If they are violating those, you don’t need to know whether they are scam or a fraud, just don’t do business with them.

Photo by Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash

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President, CFP®, AIF®, AAMS®

David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. In addition to his financial writing, David is a co-author of The Haunting of Bob Cratchit.