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Why Don't Work at Home Scams Get Shut Down More Quickly?

Aug 9, 2008
The bane of searching for a work at home job is avoiding all the scams. They're so prevalent that finding a real opportunity is a pretty long search for most people.

Ever wonder why so many scams thrive? There are a few reasons.

1. Affiliate programs.

Not all affiliate programs are bad, not by a long shot. Many sell physical products, such as in Amazon's Associate program.

But the trouble comes in when dishonest affiliates recommend a dishonest program. Sure they're making a bit of money... selling to you the same report that got them started, recommending that you sell the same report to new people.

It's the online variation of the old envelope stuffing routine.

This is why you have to be so careful about when you see a product being enthusiastically recommended by many people. Some won't have even bought and/or used the product themselves. They're recommending it based on the sales copy and the desire for a quick buck.

2. Name changes.

Things move fast online. It takes less than $10 at most registrars to buy a new domain name. That makes it very easy for a scam to just change names and keep going anytime the old name starts to develop a really bad reputation. It also means it's very hard to catch the owners.

3. The Internet is international.

When you're dealing with an online business, you often don't know where they're located. A physical address could be nothing more than a P.O. Box. While some use these to keep their home address private, others use it to keep the real location of their business secret.

As you can see, motivation makes a big difference there. If you're running a home business there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep your home address out of it, but other reasons for a P.O. Box can be less honest.

The international aspects of the Internet are some of its greatest delights, but also its greatest challenges. You can interact with people from around the world. But that also means that if someone is running a scam from elsewhere in the world there is little to be done about it.

What Can Be Done?

To avoid online work at home scams your best protection is education and research.

Educate yourself about what a scam looks like. With name changes so easy to make you cannot just rely upon a lack of negative reports. Study up on the signs of a work at home scam, especially in the areas you are interested in working in.

But even in areas that have legitimate opportunities there can be scams mixed in. This is where research comes in. Check out the company. Typing their name into your favorite search engine can help, but you need to do more than that to really protect yourself. The name alone may get nothing more than the enthusiastic affiliates that are promoting products they don't really understand.

The BBB is not always a help. Too often they have no information or the business has cleared up those negatives reported to the BBB. Check on sites dedicated to scams or to working at home and ask for opinions.

If You Do Get Scammed

Don't let the scammers win if you do fall for a scam. Report what happened to the FTC, your state's Attorney General, the BBB and the site where you learned about the scam. The FTC can do nothing about a scam without complaints about it. Same for the rest.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.homewiththekids.com/ as a resource for people who want to work at home. Learn more about spotting work at home scams at her site and sign up for the free newsletter.
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