The internet is a world of opportunities but also it is a world of scams. If you are going to be successful online, you'll need to know how to separate money making schemes from pocket emptying scams.
Here are some useful tips:
Use Search Engines
If you come across any program you are interested in, before committing your money to it. Type the website or the name of the program into a search engine [eg Google, Yahoo or MSN Search], you should get results form it if it is a popular program and you will be able to get a general feel of how people perceive the program or site.
One thing I usually do, which helps me get meaningful result is to put scam in front of the program. For example, if I want to verify if a program called "easy money maker" is a scam or not, I'll type "easy money maker scam", I will get a list of results where people are either complaining about the program being scam orraising it for not being a scam. Try it with and without the quotes to get the best results.
Note that this is to give you a general feel of people's perception of the program; some people are just plain lazy and anything requiring a bit of work before results they will quickly label scam.
To determine the authenticity of a program or money making scheme, join good forums where money making skills and programs are discussed. Money making forums, work at home forums etc will give you a good result. Ask around in the forums for anyone who has invested in the program or has second information about it.
Money making opportunities abound online but there are also many scams out there, that was why I started MoneyMakingOnline.org to help people tell the difference and make a wise and informed choice.
Follow the above tips and remember when something looks too good to be true, look hard before you take a leap.