It’s unfortunate that there are so many schemes and scams being promoted to people looking for a home business opportunity or way to make money online. Everyday I read stories of victims of scams who have lost a lot of money and who are now afraid to start any kind of home business or online opportunity. And everyday I see the question “Is it a scam?” asked about many different types of companies and opportunities.
Sometimes I think that if you’re asking the question, there must be something about the company or opportunity that makes you uncomfortable. If that’s the case, no matter what answer you get, it might be best to just move on and find something that doesn’t raise issues for you.
But in many cases, starting a new business or online job is just outside our comfort zone and asking the question can provide a bit of a reassurance.
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for online opportunities:
- Legitimate companies sell a tangible product or service.
- Beware of promises of earning large sums of money in a short amount of time. Get rich schemes and scams abound.
- Similarly, be cautious about opportunities and jobs that promise that you don’t have to do a thing. You’ll have to work to make money.
- You should never pay to get a job. A business opportunity will likely have start up costs, but don’t send money or provide bank or credit card information before you’re sure the company is legitimate and that you want to move ahead with the opportunity. Legitimate opportunities will explain exactly what you get for your money and almost always have a product return policy.
- Legitimate companies provide full contact information including a physical address and a phone number. They will also name their management team.
- Use the Better Business Bureau and FTC’s websites as well as other online resources to search for information about the company and its leaders. But also be aware that on some websites it can be difficult to sort through accusations made by people who simply failed at a legitimate business vs. real concerns about schemes and scams. It’s best to use several sources for information and…
- … Don’t forget to use your common sense!
There are many real, legitimate opportunities to work from home and make money online. It’s good to be cautious and ask a lot of questions before signing up for anything, but don’t let fear paralyze you. Research completely, make sure you feel absolutely comfortable with the company and its products or services, and be prepared to put in the work necessary for success. Be careful out there!