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How to Avoid Getting Scammed by Home-Based Business Opportunities

With the number of opportunities to make big profits working from home, there is good reason to be skeptical. Always take care to thoroughly research a company before investing time, money or your good name. Here's how to protect yourself.

First and foremost, use common sense. E-mails sent to you that automatically float into your spam folder should be the first clue to their authenticity. Unless you have signed up for a specific e-mail list to update you on home-based business opportunities, your best bet is to delete the e-mail without opening it. Use extra caution if there is an attachment. That attachment could very well be a virus that could take more than a subscription fee from you. No one likes a wiped hard drive.

Look for legitimate home-based business opportunities online and you are barraged with websites. How can you tell which is worth your time and which is garbage? Keep an eye out for a few telltale signs.

* The website makes many elaborate claims without any specific information. This is a dead giveaway that things are not as they seem. The likelihood of you making tens of thousands of dollars in a week is the same chance the pope will stop in for dinner.

* Said claims are not supported by any real proof. Real proof does not include shoddily made spreadsheets of rapidly multiplying figures. This goes double if there is a jagged red line shooting into the stratosphere at the center.

* Lots of ecstatic punctuation, poor spelling, excessive capitalization, mesmerizing flashing text, or really big text. This means a couple of things. First, the website was poorly designed and cheaply assembled. Second, the person running the scam behind it is betting that you are gullible and easily drawn in.

* Testimonials that are way too excited. Even if someone does happen to be making a decent living from a home-based online business, it is doubtful they will scream like they've just won the lottery.

Another thing to look out for with any business is upfront fees. If you have very little grasp of what is being offered and they immediately ask for money to get more information, then that is a red flag. You should not have to call a number that will charge high amounts per minute, such as a 900-number. Also, don't provide your personal information to just anyone who asks for it, even if you are promised a grand opportunity in trade for your e-mail address.

Once you have some notion that a company is legitimate, make sure to check them out. Contact the company for the names and contact information of people who have worked with them. Good companies will be happy to give references.

Research the company with the Better Business Bureau. See if any complaints have been filed against the company or firm. This of course requires the name of the company and specific information. Always find out the full name of the company, where it is located, and if there is a larger parent company or corporation. The local state attorney general's office can also provide information about complaints.

Another website you can use for research is the National Consumer's League Fraud Center. They post updated articles on the most recent online and telemarketing scams. Tips on avoiding business scams are updated frequently.

Always be wary if you are pressured or coerced into an immediate decision in any business situation. Raise an eyebrow if someone asks you to attend a gathering regarding an opportunity but won't provide any details. Always stop and reconsider the situation if specific questions are met with resistance.

About the Author
Tom McMullen writes articles related to home business
You can see more of his articles at:
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