When you see a headline like “Make $1500 a Day” or “Use our system to make a minimum of $10,000 next month,” do you turn the page or do you read the rest of the ad – perhaps even send money to the advertiser to purchase their product? While it’s tempting to believe the claims of instant wealth without working for it, don’t!
Work-at-Home scams, which range from stuffing envelopes and mailing postcards to buying overpriced vending machines, cheat gullible consumers out of hundreds of millions of dollars every year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC does attempt to crack down on the worst offenders, but simply can’t keep up with all of them due to limited resources. That’s why you need to protect yourself from all the bogus scammers and deceptive ads that trap thousands of trusting opportunity seekers each year.
Many business opportunities are legitimate, and offer information or training that can indeed produce a good income – but not overnight riches. But others peddle nothing but questionable, inflated claims of instant riches while working at your home computer in your pajamas. Here are a few tips on how to avoid the work-at-home scams.
Always Ask These 4 Questions:
1 To protect yourself, think “If this business opportunity is really that profitable, why are the promoters willing to share it with me for just $47? Whether the price is $47 or $470, just asking this simple question will put your brain in “scam alert” mode, and steer you away from most of the scammers.
2. Read the ads carefully. Does it sound too good to be true? If so, it probably is. Does the ad or other promotional material include contact information so you can ask questions about the opportunity? That’s a good sign, as shady promoters are hard to reach by phone or e-mail.
3. If the business requires a large up-front payment for merchandise or services before you start, check the company out before sending any money. For example, you can do a quick internet search in Google or any other search engine using the company name, to see if any one has posted warnings or alerts about the company. Check with scambusters.org to see what they have to say about the business opportunity. If you’re still suspicious, but decide to proceed, pay through Paypal so you’ll have recourse if there is a problem.
4. Is the business opportunity about a business that has been around for a while? For example, service businesses, such as car detailing, errand running, pet sitting and window washing are proven business models that have produced real profits for real people for many years. Newer and untested business models may be difficult to duplicate in your area, or fade in popularity and profitability as trends and technology change.
Remember when you see the next ad promising instant riches with no work or investment that there is no such thing as a free lunch – unless you’re in line at a soup kitchen! Starting a new business requires hard work and commitment, but the rewards, both personal and financial, are worth it.
To learn more about legitimate home-based businesses that can provide those rewards, and can be started for less that $500, browse the articles you’ll find on this website.