The easiest way to avoid being scammed is just to NEVER, EVER pay for a job! You'll never get scammed out of your money if you keep it in your pocket.
Beware of anything that sounds too good to be true – it usually is!
Don't fall for pressure tactics. Scammers want your money now because they don't want to give you time to change your mind. If the special offer ends tomorrow, in all likelihood, the same offer is given every day and there's nothing special about it.
Be wary of ads that shout at you in all caps with lots of punctuation.
Check out any opportunity thoroughly. Ask for references. Make sure the company has a physical address and a phone number. Call them. Check them out with their local BBB.
Be skeptical of return email addresses @hotmail or @yahoo. While there are plenty of honest people using those services, scammers use them all the time, and change them all the time, so you can't find them when you want your money back. In the same vein, be careful of companies using free web sites such as yahoo, geocities, etc.
Watch out for 800 numbers. You don't have an 800 number unless you're selling something. And don't call 900 or 809 numbers either because they're just making money off your phone call.
If you're told there's no fee, make sure that's no fee ever, or you might find yourself owing money every month after being hooked in the first free month.
If you're told you've won a prize and you haven't entered a contest, you can be sure there's money involved, and it'll be coming out of your pocket, usually to pay for shipping or something else that costs far more than the prize you've been promised.
Always print and keep a hard copy of all information (URL, email address, etc.) pertaining to any offer you're considering.
If you can, always pay by credit card. That way you can ask your credit card company to charge back the company if you're not satisfied. But be careful in what manner and to whom you give your credit card information to.
Don't be fooled by money-back guarantees. You can't get your money back if you can no longer contact the company you sent it to.