This falls under the category of stinkers, as opposed to winners! (Yes, even the ones that seem the best to start can turn out to be stinkers!)
Basically, there is a very simple way to lose money online, rather than making it. That is to get into an "opportunity" that looks too good to be true.
Here are a few simple rules:
1.) HYIPs: If it requires very little investment and promises huge returns - you are going to lose whatever you invest. While a few who invest initially and pull their money out quickly will make money - that's just part of the scam. They start telling everyone how much they're making, people sign up in droves, the company gets rich, and the plug gets pulled. Simple.
2.) Automated wealth programs: No work, no calls, no big investment - what can I say... there's no such thing as a free ride. If you want to make big money, you have to put in big effort. Anyone who tells you anything different is lying to you.
3.) "New Secrets to Online Wealth" are hogwash in any form. This goes back to the old scheme of telling you to send a stamped, self-addressed envelope and $5 to get the secret to quick riches. You receive a note that tells you to post ads everywhere that tell people to send you $5 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to find out the secret to quick riches.
4.) The age-old rule: If it looks too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. Protect yourself and your friends by staying away from such things and by sticking with things that require hard work, perseverance, and entrepreneurship. That's the proven way to wealth.