Ways to spot home business scams

Many folks look at the words home business and automatically think of scams and there is no doubt that there are far too many home business scams just as there phishing sites, tech scams and every other type of scam online and offline – ain’t that the truth!

After reading Dave Cottrels blog post titled ,Scams, Scammers and Scam-busters I thought it might be useful for people, new and experienced  to know the various ways to find out if the online business you are looking at is the real deal.

A lot of what I am going to say is based on my own experiences, which I hope will help others to not get scammed – trust me it sucks!

Before going into  the various ways to spot home business scams, I have noticed there are so many ways of saying  online home business such as:
work at home
home based business
network business
online jobs
work at home opportunities
( and lets not even  get into such phrases  as internet marketing, online marketing, affiliate marketing so on and so forth.)

Heck there are times when I get some of them confused and tend to lump everything together because it is easier and similar as they all have to do with doing an action online.

Usually and over time we may  figure it all out but I’m sorry to say that there are too many of us who have learned the  hard way by losing our money  which in turn helped us to lose our trust in any and all ways of creating an income using the different programs or offers that are  shared online.( that was me being politically correct but hopefully accurate)

Like many people I had this holier than thou attitude when I came online, saying to everyone (and you should have seen my kids faces) I knew what I was doing, I was doing my “due diligence” and I was going to prove the world wrong and that it was possible to make an income online…Ya right!
My due diligence by the way was to type in such phrases as

legal jobs online
working online legal work
authentic jobs online
list of online work that are legal
creating a legitimate business online
and those are just a few of the phrases I used as I recall.

scamming and ways to spot home business scames

What happened? well lets see, the envelope stuffing work fell through..but I paid $49.95 to be told of companies that might be hiring people. Then there was the get paid for email proccessing and the data entry job where you only have to work a few hours a day and bingo you would get paid. This deserves a special section on its own! Did I mention I was really naive and DUMB!

Yes Alice there are real work at home or online home business, but typing in a few words in a search  is no guarantee that what you see is what you’ll get!

Oh the horror of it all!

While I am kind of laughing now, back then I was devastated,embarrassed and sick to my stomach – how could I have been such an idiot and how did I get fooled so easily?

To be brutally honest and like many people, I was looking for something that would be easy to do, would be a part time job and fell into the trap of – its online there are lots of things a person can do online..right? once again you should have seen the look on my daughters faces..sigh!

To be fair and my only real excuse ( albeit a poor one) I was also unwell at the time, so going outside the home was almost impossible.

I am telling you all this, to let you know that I am talking from experience of how NOT to find an online business or opportunity and really you are not alone, even though you must feeling pretty darn silly as I did when caught in one  or more of these scams.

If it helps you in anyway, the scammers are very good at what they do, they know human behavior and how to use words to convey or entice a person.

O.K lets get at it shall we?

 Starting off with the spotting home business scams is the Job Scam

While this is not strictly about a home business I am adding it in because scammers have no boundaries, if you are reading  any kind of advertising to find a job and that means TV, radio or online, be aware of wording such as:

1. “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs.

If you didn’t  know this, all the federal jobs are free to the public.

2. Paying to get a job.
Yes you heard right. These people will say they’ve got a job waiting, or guarantee to place you in a job, if you just pay a fee for certification, training materials, or their expenses placing you with a company. hmm does that sound fishy to you?

3. No experience necessary.

The reality is that you need to have some kind of experience to get any job.

4. You are asked for private and personal information.

There is no legal reason for any potential employer to ask for personal or financial information until AFTER you are hired and have verified that you are working for a legitimate company!

scam-cheque-ways-to-spot-home-business-scams

How to research Ways to spot home business scams

red flag warning I know you must be sick and tired of hearing the expression “ If it is too good to be true it usually isn’t. Remember that when you read such things as

Make money while you sleep
Get Paid Daily
Automated – No selling
Work from home part time
earn $???.?? or more a month

and other such lovely subect lines.

Do yourself a favor and go the bottom of any site and read!  Is there an earning disclaimer? Does  the site  have a privacy or TOS? Does it have such wording as  “There is a risk involved?”  Is it written in proper English with good spelling?
These are all red flags and you need to walk away fast!

red flag warning What looks legitimate isn’t always what it seems

There are those scammers who will  create very good looking websites, that give the illusion of being  legitimate and  may even  contain the name of a legitimate company. Do yourself a favor and see what the email address is – if it’s a free email, then that is a red flag. Think about it, would a popular or big company even think to use a free email? Nope!

red flag warningDo I have to mention or even talk about the web sites that have the new cars, the babes in bikinis or the Palm trees? I hope not!

red flag warningI have to love those sites that say they have big companies using their service. While there may be well known companies who really do use a service, you really need to think about it. Just because these people have used an association with a company does not always make them more trustworthy!

red flag warningNow I know there are going to be people just a wee bit upset with me on this one, but if you are looking at any kind of opportunity, are you looking to be told a fairy tale of those poor people who were down on their luck, homeless or some other terrible thing and then bingo they got rich – or- you see those sites that are way cool and glamorous and there is this guy with that very cool voice showing you ,that you can get awesome cars or houses? Personally they might be good for entertainment, but what you are wanting to know is facts and information. When you ask good questions about the so called   opportunity and no one will give you a straight answer that is a red flag to walk the other way!

..and now for the piece de resistance online data entry scams.

I guess after all these years I have a hard spot for this one ..not only was I suckered in ( yes my fault) I have seen others  being suckered in also and it just makes me angry!

1. Process Rebates… SCAM! you are told that all you have to do is fill out online forms and you will get everything you need. Of course you have to pay a fee for them to send you the program you need. You might even get something in the mail, but when you try to get paid..no money sent!!

2. Transcription style jobs. Ya this is the one I fell for by the way.  Transcription style jobs are considered a data entry style job. I had answered an ad, where I was “told” that this company would send me work which  I would transcribe into data. The fact that at that time I couldn’t type very well as well as the fact that I really knew nothing about transcribing anything – was totally beside the point.

The other factor at that time I was slow as molasses when typing two fingered  and I had just recently learned what a browser was. Of course it  never entered my mind or the so called company’s mind to ask about these basic abilities.  It looked good and so I  spent over $250.00  get everything I needed.  I honestly thought this was real – it  looked real and felt real. Of course I never got anything and what hurt was at that time I couldn’t afford to pay for this type of thing.

Of course there are the real transcriptions services, but you have to do things like pass tests to see if you are good enough to do this kind of job…live and learn!

3. For anyone who is in the know,  affiliate marketing is work and it is at  times hard work. There are things like creating a web site, learning some SEO, learning how to communicate with people etc.

 Unfortunately  there are those people who will mislead you with false advertising, making an affiliate product/  service sound that you will become rich and you don’t have to pay a thing.  That my friend is a scam and those people should be reported to the company offering the affiliate program.

To be honest  this kind of misleading people really pisses me off as I know for a fact there are very good honest affiliate programs on the market and it drives me a bit crazy knowing that there are people doing this.

Dave covered a lot of good questions and food for thought regarding knowing how to tell if a company or opportunity is legitimate ( I love the PayPal idea btw)

 Just as when you buy a car or buy a home you can be more prepared if you ask the owner, sales person affiliate marketer questions that will help you determine if an opportunity  is legal and just as important right for you. Some of these questions you might consider are:

How long has the company been in business?

How do people get paid? 

When people get paid has there been any problems?

What is the customer support for people in this home based business?

Do you provide good training to help people learn how to do marketing or promoting in ethical ways?

If this is selling or promoting business tools, are these tools of high quality or are they old and not being used anymore?

Is this something that is wanted global or local as in country or region?

Is this a product that is being used by others, is it timeless in it always being needed and does the product have a lot of competition?

What if the company goes out of business, will any money being owed to me be lost?

Where is this company located?  Is there a phone number to reach the owner or staff?

What is the turnover for people being in this online home based business?

Do you have any set rules for advertising or promoting this type of business?

What happens if I find that I don’t think this is the right opportunity for me and I have spent money in this business, what are the guarantees if any and will I be able to get a refund?

If you are satisfied with the answers and explanations you have received, there is one part of the due diligence that you really should do and that is finding out about this business from others.

Dave talked about different  scam-busters and how to be careful who you are dealing with.  There is no doubt that just like anything on the net, you are going to find  online sites where you will get good and objective answers to your concerns.  Personally I usually stay away from online forums or message boards ( yes they are still around) as I have found most of them to be less than trustworthy.

As Dave also said using the Better Business Bureau as well as different government web sites are usually good places to go to if you are needing questions answered.

I have found a few other places that you might want to look into:

Scambusters.org

ActionFraud 

[sidenote]I wish all the different countries would develop an umbrella so that all the countries would have listings on one page..lol, but maybe that is just me

I hope this post along with the blog post that Dave Cottrell made on the Social media and marketing blog by Bogdan Fiedur will be of use to you.

If you have any questions or thoughts about any of these posts, kindly leave a comment or message in the comment forms here and on the other blog.

Please share both posts, they are both important and if they can help even one person, our  information has been a success!

 

Meet Diane (Blogneta)

Diane Bjorling has written 42 posts in this blog.

Nice to meet everyone, I'm the Adlandpro Blogging Community Admin and here to help you with your blogging needs. If you need anything let me know and I will do all I can to answer your questions or concerns. Just have some fun. Please note only those blogs that meet the guidelines will be published.. thanks :-)

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