As 2014 comes to a close, have you found yourself looking back fondly over the year? Have you thought about all the events that happened to you and your family, all the successes you had, and all the opportunities you were given to learn and grow? If so, congratulations!
2014 has been a momentous year for the HighYa team as well, and we feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to share so much knowledge with our readers. Not only did we continue to test new ways of helping you become more informed about the products you buy, but we also provided you all the tools you need to avoid scams. And because of this continued focus on quality content, we reached over 700,000 monthly site visits from loyal readers just like you!
With this said, in keeping with our “year in review” theme over the past couple weeks, we’ve already laid out HighYa’s Top 10 Consumer Guides and Editorial Reviews for 2014. This time though, we decided to go back through each article we’ve written over the course of the past year, and pull out the most common themes among them. And to be honest, we were a little surprised that our vast archive fit so neatly into just 3 categories; but at the same time, we’ve also learned that when it comes to effectively avoiding scams, it’s all about the basics.
So, in no particular order, here are 2014’s top 3 ways of avoiding scams and hanging on to more of your hard-earned money:
1. When it Comes to Avoiding Scams, a Good Offense is the Best Defense
What does this mean? In other words, the best methods of avoiding scams are often related to being proactive; e.g. actively taking measures to prevent becoming a scam victim, instead of reacting once this has occurred. And as we’ve mentioned many times, since many types of modern scams occur online, one of the first things you should do is make sure your internet connection is secure, and that your anti-virus software is up to date and includes an active firewall.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to never open emails from people you don’t know. Any if you do, don’t click on any links or download any files it contains. Similarly, in the real world, you should shred all your mail before throwing it in the trash, especially so for any bills or medical information.
Speaking of the real world, keep in mind that even when you’re surfing a virtual environment, there are a wide variety of precautions you can take to avoid being scammed and losing money. Throughout the year, we taught you:
- Secrets that the “As Seen On TV” Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know About
- How to spot a scam website in less than 30 seconds,
- How to identify fake celebrity endorsements,
- Why you should avoid free trials and autoship programs,
- How infomercials are designed to get you to hand over your money, and
- Why it’s important that you don’t enter your credit card information into a website until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to make a purchase.
Finally, by understanding that some personality types are more likely to be scammed than others, this can go a long way toward helping you avoid triggers that might cause you to hand over your hard-earned money, even though you probably know it’s not a good idea.
2. Thinking About Buying a Nutritional Supplement? It’s Important to Do Your Homework First.
Here at HighYa, helping you become a more informed consumer means that we talk about a wide variety of products; from education and learning to health and beauty. But second only to As Seen on TV products, the HighYa team reviews more nutritional supplements than any other type of merchandise. In fact, during 2014 alone, we reviewed nearly 250 nutritional supplements from all different genres, and even covered larger issues within the industry, including Dr. Oz's Senate Hearing.
Needless to say, the nutritional supplements industry is fraught with unsubstantiated claims and vastly overblown prices, so it’s extremely important that you research any supplement you’re thinking about purchasing, whether here on HighYa or another consumer review website. With this said, during the thousands of hours of research we undertook over the past 12 months, we tried to look at some of the most popular supplements through your eyes, answer your questions, and to address your concerns. As such, we covered a lot of territory, including:
- Colon Cleanse & Detoxification – Cleansing is all the rage right now, but is it even necessary in the first place? We cover all the basics here.
- Forskolin – Often called a “rapid belly melt,” the reality is that there’s very little clinical evidence showing forskolin supplements can reliably help you lose weight. Find out everything you need to know about this interesting little plant.
- Memory Supplements – Whether you’re a student pulling an all-nighter or a working parent trying to get a promotion, memory supplements (also known as brain boosters) claim to prevent cognitive decline and to increase brain power. But these new pills often aren’t all of—or anything close to—what they’re cracked up to be.
- Garcinia Cambogia – Perhaps the most popular supplement here on HighYa, this is claimed to help you lose weight, feel less hungry, and improve your mood. What’s the catch? The very little amount of clinical evidence available to support these claims.
- Testosterone Boosters – As a man, it’s tough growing older and watching our bodies get soft and our masculinity slowly fade. But if you think there’s an all-natural way to increase testosterone, think again. Get everything you need to know here.
- Green Coffee Bean Extract – Think you can lose weight using unroasted coffee beans? As it turns out, you can’t. We discuss why in this in-depth article.
- Raspberry Ketone – Raspberries are delicious, but don’t be fooled into thinking they can help you lose weight. Here, we talk about what some manufacturers claim, and why you should be wary.
3. Already Fallen Victim? Don’t Rest on Your Laurels.
Finally, if you’ve already fallen victim to a scam, it’s important that you don’t sit around and feel sorry for yourself. Instead, share your story as often as possible, so that you can help others avoid falling victim.
During 2014, the HighYa team talked in-depth about what to do if you’ve been scammed by a company, including how to tell the difference between unsavory business practices and outright scams, and additional steps you can take to prevent it from occurring in the first place. We also talked about actionable methods you can use to deal with customer service and get results, even if your past attempts have failed.
Finally, if a company refuses to play fair despite your best efforts, we talked about the how and why of disputing credit card charges, and how to decide whether or not a class action lawsuit is right for you.
Looking Ahead to 2015
At HighYa, just like our mission statement reads, we’re passionate about helping you to research products and avoid scams. In fact, some might even call it a bit of an obsession.
But however you define it, the reality is that the HighYa team has you covered against some of the most popular scams used by criminals today, and we’ll continue to stay on top of them throughout 2015 as well. Be sure to stay tuned to find out all the additional ways we can help you become a more informed consumer. Happy Holidays, have a safe New Year, and thank you from everyone here at HighYa for a fantastic 2014!