Avoid Home-Based Business Scams

Buying a business or franchise is a legitimate way to go into business. However, there are millions of so-called “opportunities” out there that are nothing more than rip offs and scams.

Consider these tips for spotting and avoiding work-at-home rip offs and scams:

  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Classic rip offs include classified ads encouraging you to stuff envelopes at home for cash, and flyers tacked to light poles at busy intersections claiming you can earn up to $50,000 at home with your personal computer.
  • If they ask you to send money before offering you an opportunity to evaluate the business opportunity, chances are that it’s a scam.
  • Consider the source. You will rarely find a great business opportunity posted at a bus stop. At the same time, just because your local paper is reputable, doesn’t mean that everyone placing a classified ad in that paper is legit.
  • Before you send money or otherwise commit, be sure to check out the organization with your state’s Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
  • Don’t send cash, and never send more than you can afford to lose.
  • Keep copies of everything, including the advertisement you are responding to, any guarantees, as well as the information you send to them.
  • Send all correspondence by certified mail so that you will have proof that it was delivered.

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