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Watch out if ad promises hundreds or thousands of dollars with little effort, "guaranteed!" No one can guarantee that any business will succeed, and all businesses require effort and time to make money.
Also beware if no experience is required. While there may be legitimate opportunities out there that do not require experience, it is more likely that they are trying to prey on inexperienced.
LOOK OUT FOR CAPITALIZATION!!! AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! Got your attention there, didn't I? That's their goal too. A scam wants you to get so excited about their opportunity that you don't think. Be too smart to fall for that.
Vague ads where you have no idea what product or service you will be selling are also trouble. Legitimate companies want you to know what you'll be selling, so you'll be excited about business and product. Scams just want you to be excited about business.
If you feel pressured to make an immediate decision, tell them answer is 'no.' Once again, a legitimate company wants you to be enthusiastic and happy with your decision. If you're buying a franchise opportunity, make sure they have a money back guarantee.
Check company out on Ripoff Report. Businesses can reply to reports here, so you get both sides of story. See also BBB's report on work at home scams.
If You Get Scammed
First try to clear it up with company. If they are uncooperative, let them know that you will be contacting officials about matter. Then do it.
* If you found out about company on a website, let site know so that they can take it off their site. * Post your story on Ripoff Report, so that others can see your story. * Contact Attorney General in your state or state company is in. * Contact BBB, both your local office and in company's state. * Contact National Fraud Information Center if this was a "get rich quick" or "easy money" scheme. * Your local Consumer Protection Offices. * The Postmaster if you recieved offer in mail. * The Federal Trade Commission. Although FTC does not handle individual complaints, they are on lookout for patterns of deception and unfair practices. To register a complaint, write to: Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580.
Stephanie Foster is the owner of Home with the Kids, a resource for parents who want to stay home with their families, save money, or work from home. You can visit the site at http://www.homewiththekids.com.