Written by Susie Michelle Cortright

Continued from page 1

THE OVERHYPED Be leery if there is a strict time limit for investing in a business opportunity. Scammers know thatrepparttar faster you act,repparttar 127566 less you think (and research). And if this is a fly-by-night company, these time limits provide a better opportunity to takerepparttar 127567 money and run.

Also, don't get too excited about deep discounts on starting costs. More costs may come later. And keep in mind that, in many states,repparttar 127568 government does not regulate business opportunities with investments of less than $500. Some of repparttar 127569 worst scams may fall into this category.

RESEARCH Use your knowledge ofrepparttar 127570 internet to avoid being scammed. Check for listings withrepparttar 127571 National Fraud Information Center ( as well asrepparttar 127572 Better Business Bureau (

You can also conduct a search forrepparttar 127573 business opportunities on Google Groups ( Here you'll find an archive of newsgroup postings. If someone has been scammed, chances are they'll want to warn others.

IF YOU DECIDE TO SIGN... Get everything in writing, including business expenses-- from fees to equipment to supplies. Willrepparttar 127574 company refund any of your initial investment if you change your mind? Keep detailed records.

Some online opportunities are lucrative and legitimate, and--armed with a few online resources--it's never been easier to sortrepparttar 127575 good fromrepparttar 127576 bad.

When it comes to working from home, "when there's a will, there's a way." Now it's up to you to findrepparttar 127577 way that best suits you and your lifestyle.

Susie Michelle Cortright is the founder of Achieving At Home, an online support center for parents who want to work from home. She is also the editor of Momscape ( and the author of More Energy for Moms.

The Top 10 Scams for 2001

Written by Audri and Jim Lanford

Continued from page 1

6. Auction Antics

You can get a lot of terrific deals through online auctions, but you need to be careful. Before buying anything that seems too cheap, or that shouldn't be on an auction site at all, ask questions.

Look atrepparttar seller's feedback rating and comments. You'll get a lot of clues from that. Checkrepparttar 127565 retail price ofrepparttar 127566 merchandise. If it's new merchandise, you can probably expect to pay 1/2 to 2/3 of retail, even at auction.

Rememberrepparttar 127567 old story ofrepparttar 127568 fellow who raffled off a brand new Lincoln at a small town carnival? Tickets were $1 each, and everyone figured they had a good chance.

He sold a lot of tickets, and, as promised, he delivered a brand new Lincoln... penny.

For more on auction fraud, you can check outrepparttar 127569 issue of Internet ScamBusters called "Online Auctions: Deals or Steals" at:

5. Chain Letters

"Add your name to position X, moverepparttar 127570 name in position Y to position Z, send 200 copies of this letter to your closest personal friends, and very soon you'll have no personal friends left!"

Don't believerepparttar 127571 claims about legitimacy, folks. These things are illegal, immoral, and probably fattening.

4. Viruses

Get a good anti-virus program, keep it updated, and keep it running.

Huh? What are viruses doing inrepparttar 127572 ranks of scams?

They're actually amongrepparttar 127573 more clever of scams, if you think about it. Deceptive subject lines, hidden code that causes you to spread them to your friends, and almost always appealing torepparttar 127574 most common desires.

3. Nigerian Fee Scam

This is an oldie, and a real baddie.

The basic line goes like this:

"I represent some high mucky muck who wants to get a lot of suspicious money out of my country, and we need help from you to do it. We'll pay you stupid amounts of cash to be a front person."

The system escalates until you've got money sunk intorepparttar 127575 scam, and they want you to visitrepparttar 127576 country in question in person. There have been people who played along with this and never made it home alive.

Originally this was focused through Nigeria, but with recent events, you may hear about Taliban leaders wanting help, or people from other war-torn countries.

Don't respond to these people in any way. People die falling for this one.

For more on this scam, check out:

2. Identity Theft

This is a VERY serious problem. We covered this in our last issue of Internet ScamBusters. If you haven't read it, do so now at:

1. WTC Scams

The spams relating torepparttar 127577 World Trade Center began within an hour ofrepparttar 127578 attacks. They range from appeals for aid torepparttar 127579 victims, usually sent throughrepparttar 127580 spammers' web sites, to fake news items concerning reported attacks.

There's nothing funny to be said about these.

Don't pass them along, and don't contribute through any site that doesn't belong to a recognizable charity, such asrepparttar 127581 Red Cross orrepparttar 127582 United Way.

You can read more about these scams at:

When you consider doing any sort of business online, look over this list and see ifrepparttar 127583 appeal sounds like one or more of these scams. If so, check it out carefully before sending money.

Most online businesses are run by honest folks and are quite safe. Just use a little common sense and caution, and you should be fine.

Avoid getting scammed on the Internet. Sign up for a free subscription to Internet ScamBusters, the #1 publication on Internet fraud. Send a blank email to or visit:

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