Tips for Avoiding Home Business Scams

watch out for home business scamsWith so many people looking to make money from home, it’s no wonder that home business scams are on the rise.

This has always been a problem, but today with the Internet the opportunity for scam artists to con innocent home business opportunity seekers is greater than ever.

The problem goes far beyond the old classic schemes such as envelope stuffing or home based craft assembly. There are far more scams than I have room to list here. What I’d like to do is give you a few general guidelines to keep in mind when evaluating any home business opportunity.

Can This Really Be True?

If a home business or work from home opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Scammers love to prey on people looking for easy work and fast money. Thus, you’ll often see pitches from business promoters that claim you can make a stunning amount of money in a very short time. When you see claims like this, no matter how many “testimonials” they offer, get away quickly. It is VERY easy to get pictures of people from free stock photo libraries and create page after page of fake testimonials on a website.

Paying For the Privilege of Working From Home

Some scammers promote “work from home” jobs, where you will supposedly be doing some sort of work for an hourly or daily rate. This can include many tasks, some as silly as “sending emails to a list we provide for you”. I’ve actually seen that one. Of course, you have to pay money to buy the list, and they claim they will pay you to email the names on the list. Not many would fall for that, but there are other opportunities that sound perfectly legitimate. Bottom line – if you have to pay money up front for supplies being hired to work from home, beware. Back off. Leave that one behind.

Feeling the Pressure?

Many shady operators peddling home business scams are smart enough to write very persuasive sales copy. They usually include a “fear of loss” factor, such as “sign up today – there are only 12 positions left”. A sure red flag is pressure to buy something or make a commitment now, today, without having time to check it out. Great sales copy can leave you really sweating it and truly afraid you’ll miss out on something you were very fortunate to come across. Don’t buy it. Don’t get involved in any home business until you’ve checked it out thoroughly.

Try to get information on the founders of the home business opportunity. Check the WHOIS listings to see if the website promoting the opportunity is registered to a real person. Many scams hide behind private registrations. A private domain name registration does not automatically mean “scam”, but it is one factor to take into account. If you can’t find out who is really behind an opportunity, that is cause for serious caution and concern.

Pyramid Schemes

One type of home business scam that often gets confusing is pyramid schemes. The basic operation of a pyramid scam goes like this. You are recruited with promises of making very big money. You pay a certain amount of cash up front to become part of the scheme. You then help recruit others into the pyramid, with the expectation of receiving money from people who join the scheme after you. For a few at the top, this can work pretty well until the whole thing collapses or is shut down by the government.  These schemes are illegal. The key characteristic to watch for is exchange of cash, with no product of value received. You are just paying for the opportunity to participate.

Sometime, legitimate MLM or network marketing home businesses are confused with pyramid scams, because the recruiting structure appears similar. However, the big difference is that real MLM or network marketing opportunities are based around genuine products of value, and money is made from sale or consumption of those products not only by distributors, but actual customers as well. The difference is pretty apparent, just check out any opportunity carefully before you sign on.

Did you get some value from this post? If you did, I would really appreciate you sharing it with others! And, your comments are welcome below!

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Eldon Beard, Home Business Success Coach

If you have a home business and are happy, that's good. If you are looking for the right opportunity, the right mentor, and something you can build online, I would enjoy the opportunity to share what I'm doing. Click here and let’s explore the possibilities.

About Eldon Beard

Making money with a home business should be fun! I help others create a profitable global business from anywhere using an Internet connection and a phone. Send me a message and let's talk! Connect with me on Google+.

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