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By Todd Thomas
If you spend any reasonable amount of time on the internet, no doubt you’ve seen many an ad for different home based internet business opportunities. And you’ll see them seemingly everywhere. Sometimes even where you weren’t necessarily expecting. Surely with so many out there, they can’t all be bad. The good news is they’re not! The bad news is many are. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate the real, legitimate opportunities from the ones that only want your money. Knowing what to look for within these offers can mean the difference between starting a real business to operate and losing your money to a scam.
Most fraudulent offers for internet business opportunities have similar red flags that should be your warning sign(s) to move on and keep looking for a legitimate business. There are four red flags specifically, that would be e-entrepreneurs should investigate thoroughly before signing up to work with or for a website. It’s important to note that there are many great companies that ARE NOT out to take your money. However, if you spot one or more of the four following signs then look closely. Most “less than honest” companies have these in common:
1. A SIZABLE upfront investment
2. The promise of making big money with little or NO work
3. They are vague and ambiguous about what you will be selling
4. A curious lack of available contact information
Now just because there IS an upfront fee to become a representative for a business, this should not automatically raise a red flag as to whether a business opportunity is legit or not. It is not uncommon when you are considering being in business that there is some sort of investment outlay. However, you have to consider the amount in question before you should decide to sell a product or service. Does it seem unreasonably high? This could be a red flag. You should also know EXACTLY what you are getting in return for your investment. Also, it is common for opportunities to say they offer “training”. Many times, however, the training is simply a series of links to other sites where you are expected to learn a company’s business model on your own.
Additionally, training may also seem to have a sole focus of recruiting others while offering to pay a bonus for bringing in new people. A company that focuses on the recruiting of new people as your primary source of income instead of actually moving a product could be on the border of being illegal.
Beware of the promise of a huge payday with only an hour or two a day or even per WEEK of work! There’s no question that some businesses require more work than others. A person running their own fast food restaurant most certainly works more than someone with an online business, but the both REQUIRE WORK. There is no such thing as a free lunch and those who tell you otherwise are not being totally honest. Another thought for you on this… He who puts the work in makes the most money. It may not be forever constant work if you build a residual income, but there is certainly the work factor in the beginning of any business.
If while reading an online based business opportunity, you find yourself struggling to figure out what you would actually being doing or selling, this could be your red flag for a scam. Many such “opportunities” keep it secret until your spend your money with them. Then you discover what they built up is either unrealistic to sell to others or you just can’t with a clear conscience. You should know what the product or service is and how much it will cost before giving an offer any consideration.
Finally… Look closely and see what kind of contact information a company offers.
Are you only able to contact them through an email address and is it a yahoo address or hotmail or the like? If so, this red flag could mean they don’t plan on being around long enough to answer any questions or complaints. Money back guarantees may look good, but if you can’t contact them to get your money back what good does that do you? For the most part, email addresses and P.O. Boxes are NOT good contact.
A good resource I’ve discovered to help protect the consumer from online scams is the Work At Home Watchdog. They receive votes on a regular basis on numerous opportunities as to whether they are good or not from actual participants. These statistics are posted and updated regularly. They also have helped many people get their money back from companies they have been dissatisfied with. Check it out at: http://www.WAHWatchdog.org/go/12978
About the Author: Todd Thomas President,
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