Can You Spot a Fake News Website?
Fake News Site Example
French TV reporter Melissa Theuriau's image is often photoshoped into advertisements.

Fake news websites are an advertising method that has been used by unscrupulous affiliate marketers for several years now.

These marketers create online advertisements and web pages which are formatted specifically to appear as legitimate news sources.

They present advertising claims and promotions in a way that makes them appear to be facts investigated by a journalist, rather than advertising slogans.

Generally fake news sites pose as a local online paper running a feature story on a successful work at home Mom or Dad. The website owners use an IP tracking tool to make sure that their “paper” has your local town in the heading.

For example, if you live in Fresno, CA, when you visit the site the heading would read "Fresno Times," while someone from Des Moines, IA visiting the same site would see “Des Moines Times.”

The whole point of this facade is to use a “reliable” news source to gain your trust, by having you associate someone successful from your neighborhood with their product; then they use it to sell their product. The newspaper and the article are both completely fabricated, entirely for the purpose of making sales.

What's the Real Scam Here?

The worst part about these fake news sites, besides the obvious deception, is that the programs they sell are rife with hidden charges. Many claim that you can sign up for just the cost of Shipping and Handling, but in reality that is just for a short trial period.

After the trial, they use your billing info to charge you a large monthly fee. The only place this is revealed is deep in their Terms and Conditions pages.

The majority of people never sees them and consequently has a series of charges on their credit cards that they never authorized. And as soon as one site gets busted, another pops up to replace it almost instantaneously. The best way to protect yourself is to learn how to recognize and avoid these scams.

Here's an example of what these fake news sites look like:

fake-news-sitemary steadman

You may see variations of these sites but the general layout is the same. The only thing that changes are the names of the couple or person in the picture, a few details about the bogus job that was left to pursue internet riches, and, as mentioned before, the name of the town that the "paper" is from.

Another important sign of a fake news site is that all links available on the page only go to one place: the sales page of the product they are selling. If you see something similar to this, do not buy whatever it is they're selling.

Here are a couple of examples of fake news you can take a look at yourself:

1)    2)

Unfortunately, it does not stop at fake news sites. As these sites become more exposed, dishonest affiliates and companies are resorting to new tactics. Some sites posing as Yahoo or Wiki Answers, and others are pretending to be personal blogs of people who have found wealth and success with this “proven system.”

It's important to always use your best judgment before you purchase business opportunities online.

What’s Being Done About It?

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced that it is asking federal courts to enact a permanent ban on affiliate marketers being able to use the fake news site as a marketing method for health and wellness products.

Likely the FTC has gone after fake news sites promoting health products because it will be easier to prosecute them for their intentional and dangerous misleading of the public.

Hopefully, once they’ve accomplished this, the FTC will be able to establish the precedent for how harmful this particular form of advertising is and eventually put a stop to it once and for all. And not just within the health and wellness community, but in the work at home community as well.