This really happened just minutes ago.
There's a ad on the right column tt says you can earn income by becoming an associate partner of Amazon (yes, the .com) by hosting a paid web (you pay a monthly fee!) to sell their goodies. Before I had even completed the form and credit details, I changed my mind because there were no sample websites I could inspect to check validity and reliability of the source. What happened next came as a rude shock.
Moments later, I got a PHONE CALL from some caucasian lady who claims that she is from USA. She had the genuine American accent to back. Very sincere at the beginning, she failed to explain how she got my contact details despite me having not click SENT or DONE button on that application form. I gave her some overseas airtime to explain her cause - free trial at USD1.95 to play around their platform for 5-6 days and thereafter, I am free to cancel the offer. Basically you get a commission for HIGHLY POPULAR products advertised on the web which you can host and design using their ready made templates. I requested for sample websites of folks who have signed up with them. She continued to repeat the offer and added that billions were given out to associates on the programme this year alone. After repeating my concerns again, she politely (as she has been all along) assured me that after I had paid the initial activation fee (USING THAT CREDIT CARD - mind you!), she would walk me through the setup process over the phone. What a nice gesture, I thought. Motherly, almost genuine and polite. I thanked her for the kind explanation. The greatest assurance would be sample sites for me to evaluate the offer. Until that happens, I would need time to think about this entire too-good-to-be-true money making scheme. She immediately thanked me (well, you have to give her credit for her consistent politeness) and hung up. ???!!??
Thoughts of what-if I could generate another great stream of income to free me up to pursue my passions in 2012 came to mind. The devil's advocate also came knocking. I could end up with a hefty credit card bill as the 2012 welcome gift by online scam artists. But ads on Facebook should be reliable right? Then again, what is real and what is not so on the internet? Who verifies them? Do you even take time to check the background of some claims made online?
A scam or a genuine offer by Amazon? You decide.
As for me, I guess it's better to err on caution than to slip foolishly down the dark rabbit hole in wonderland.
Spread this word around if you can.