I have been on this forum for a while now and have always seen cases where unlucky members have been scammed for their hard earned money. It really makes me feel bad when I hear these stories of members losing their money, regardless of how much it is - whether it was $10 or $1000. This forum is a great place, and this is the best forum I know of in my opinion - and this forum has great members. But there are some basic points you need to be aware of before going into a big deal or transaction with anyone. Here are some basic tips and points you should look out for when dealing online, not just on Blackhatworld. 1 - Know Who You Are Dealing With This mainly applies for JV's taking place between you and a third party or person. You come to an agreement on a joint venture and usually money is involved. For example, you may need to start by sending $500 to your partner who you will be doing the JV with. There have been scams of people sending money over and then being dumped. If you are doing a JV with someone you have only just spoke to, then chances are that you are the potential victim of a scam. If they "require" you to send money at the start immediately, then just back away. You are better of finding another JV which is safe, rather than risking your money to an unknown stranger. On the other hand, if you know who you are dealing with and have done transactions in the past without any issues, then you can go ahead and carry on the JV if you feel comfortable and know that there is absolutely no chance of any dodgy issues. However, you also need to be careful about it as not all reputable members are "good" for ever. Some have turned and moved into the "darker side". A good way to check if the person is clean is to do a quick Google check. Entering their email address will usually bring results and you can check from there onwards to see if there is anything unusual about them. Always find out you are dealing with before agreeing to anything. Find out who the person is, and only when you feel comfortable, go with the transaction. 2 - If Its Too Good To Be True - Then It Probably Is If you see something online, whether its a JV, service, or item which sounds too good to be true, then forget it. Because the cold truth is that it probably is. You may see JV's claiming to give you 20x your investment in a set period of time - just forget it. I know, it sounds really great and you could definitely make a huge ROI but the chances of that happening are probably very slim. Calculate the reality of the service or JV from happening. If it is something really miraculous then just move on. You want to play it safe. 3 - Unknown/Mysterious Offers Most of the times, people get scammed due to doing JVs and transactions with random strangers they meet online, who claim to make them money. Here are some basic ways for you to find out if that person is someone you should do a deal with: a) If you are doing the deal with someone from a forum, then check the number of posts they have (and actually check if the posts are general posts and not spam). Then check the date they registered and find out how long they are a member for. Check the number of threads they have and again, check if those threads are general or spam. Try and find anything dodgy about them. b) Hit their username into the search box and try and find anything dodgy that pops up. Try and find out about any past issues another person might have experienced with this person. c) If the person is someone with little posts, negative iTrader or spammy posts, then just forget the deal. You don't want to deal with someone that you don't know, whereas on the other hand, you would feel more safe dealing with someone who has been on the forum as you for a while. Again, don't always believe the people with the most reputation as there have been cases where those types of members have been caught as scammers. Always be critical about something and always try to find anything unusual or dodgy about that person. d) If it is someone from BHW - check whether they are a normal free member or someone who has paid to upgrade their account to Donor or JR Vip. I feel safer dealing with people who have spent their money to upgrade their account - but like I said before, do not trust everyone that is "reputable". e) Do you feel safe giving that money away? If the answer is NO, then don't do it. Wait for your time and that time will come. Just don't play it rough. I like to do deals where my gut instinct tells me that it is safe. If I see something which is too good to be true, I avoid at all costs. 4 - Scammed From BST? If you have been scammed from a BST on this forum, or another, then the same points above apply. The good thing about this forum is that all BSTs are approved by the Moderators or Admins before they go live. However, that does not mean you should count the thread as "legit". Before making an order, always check for reviews, negative iTrader and so on to check if everything is still going good. If you have been scammed, there are many ways for you to get your money back. a) If you paid using Paypal - then you can dispute the money. There is an old saying which says that sometimes Paypal sides the wrong person - that is bullshit. If you provide the right details to Paypal when opening the dispute, you will win. Just be honest. b) If the transaction was done via another system such as Plimus or 2Checkout, then get in touch with them. Talking to them on the phone is always better than emailing. Give them information on your problem in detail and they will come with a solution. c) Sometimes you may be able to claim the money back from your bank itself. This could be a doable option so get in touch with your bank and ask them about this. d) If at the end you have tried everything and your money is really gone, then take that as a learning experience. Do not deal with someone who you feel unsafe dealing with. Blackhatworld is a great place with great members. If you think something is unusual, send me a PM and Il be more than happy to give you some information which could help you. At the same time, there are many great Mods who are here to help you! A few are WizGizmo, Blackhit, Bigbuddy and Meathead. They are here to help you so if you have been the victim of a scam, give them a shout. I hate seeing people scammed, but most of the times, it's due to simple issues such as dealing with unknown members and sending money over first on dodgy and unrealistic deals. This guide was just made as a Starter guide - nothing too complicated. I know there may be a few other guides around but I just made this now as Ive seem too many people get scammed, on different places online. Be careful, and always think when dealing online.