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Opportunity Or Scam? Four Internet Business Opportunity Danger Signs

Feb 21, 2008
While there are many genuine and legitimate opportunities offering to set people up in their own home based internet business on the internet, it can be difficult to separate them from the ones that only want to take your money. That's why it is important for you to be aware of some clues hidden within the offers which can mean the difference between finding a legitimate business to operate and ending up helping someone else make money while you lose your shirt.

Typically, there are four danger signs that need to be thoroughly checked out before you sign up to a business opportunity on the Internet. Understand that not all of the companies that make these claims are fraudulent, but these are four things that many scams have in common:

Firstly, you will be expected to pay a large entry fee before you can operate the business. Secondly, you will be told that you can get rich without any effort on your part. Thirdly, there will be no clear information about what you will be selling. Finally, there will be no clearly available contact information such as a genuine street address and telephone number.

Not every business that requests a set up or entrance fee is fraudulent but what you have to consider is the amount being demanded before you can qualify to start selling their product or service.

It should also be easy to understand what you will get in return for your investment in terms of products, services and training. Many a fraudulent company will list training as one of the perks, but often the training consists of nothing more than links to other sites where you are expected to learn about the company's business model.

If the training focuses entirely on how to recruit others into the business in return for a commission instead of selling real products, the company's operation may very well be a scam or certainly of questionable legality.

Ask anybody who has ever been involved in building a real business and you will be told that it takes effort. You have to work your business if you want it to succeed. That is no different for businesses that operate entirely on the Internet. But one of the most common pitches Internet scams make is the promise of easy money for little effort, no more than an hour or two a day or even a week. Sadly, however, there really is no such thing as a free lunch and anybody who tries to convince you otherwise is not being totally honest. Claims about how much some people have earned are usually accompanied by a disclaimer stating that the quoted figures are not necessarily typical of the potential earnings, which should beg the question about why the figure was quoted in the first place.

Many scam artists keep you in the dark about what their business offer is about until after you have spent your money and discover there is no way you can sell the business to others with a clear conscious. So, if you have been reading a business opportunity website for several minutes and still have no idea about what the product or service is, it could be that the offer is a scam. You should at least know what the product is, and how much it will cost, before you get any further involved with the business.

Check out the contact information. If the only way of contacting the company is via an email address that might be because they don't intend to be around long enough to deal with your questions or complaints. Money back guarantees are worthless if there is no place you can go to claim your money back. Neither post office boxes nor email addresses can be relied upon if there is no other contact information available.

Finally, there are a couple of quick and easy things you can do to check out a company's reputation. First, simply type the name of the company and the word "scam" into Google and check the results. Another place you can check out a company is on a business opportunities forum. Sign up to a forum and then start a thread asking about the company that concerns you. Remember, though, that just because a disgruntled person calls something a scam does not necessarily mean that it is. However, if there are a lot of complaints, and if the company charges a large entry fee, makes outlandish promises, offers no clear product information and posts no genuine contact information, then the chances that you have found a fraudulent operation are quite high. Don't sign up to their offer and certainly don't give them any of your money.
About the Author
David Hurley writes articles on a variety of subjects. For more information about Internet success strategies, sign up to his free Internet marketing tips newsletter at: Grasp-The-Nettle.com.
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