How to Discern a Fraudulent Business Opportunity from a Legit Business Opportunity
Scams are everywhere. You’ll find them on craigslist, your local classified ads, in your email inbox, and all over the internet. If you pay attention to the language in the ad, it can become easier to learn how to tell if it’s a business opportunity scam, or if it’s legit.
Points to Consider
- Is the name of the company listed somewhere as a scam? This isn’t always a 100% effective diagnostic, but it is a great way to look for any worrisome hints. Just do a quick google search to see if any scam alerts turn up in the search results.
- Does the organization have a website and can it be located in google? If not, you might want to hesitate to do business with the organization. Ask yourself why they don’t have a website.
- Is the ad, or is a “representative” asking for any personal information, like credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, etc? If they are, that should put up a giant red flag. Don’t move forward until you have absolutely verified that they are legit.
- Is the contact’s email address a free email account like gmail, yahoo, or msn? Many legitimate companies can afford to pay a hundred bucks per year to operate their own domain and company email accounts.
- Is the literature full of hype, but has little facts and details? Beware!
- If the opportunity includes products from a company that you’ve heard of before, give the company a call to make sure that they are indeed affiliated with the opportunity.
- If the opportunity is a JOB, the requirement of money paid by you to them is a sure sign that it is a scam. If it is a franchise, or business opportunity, the possibility does exist that payment will be required.
- Ask yourself what is in it for them. If you can find out the answer to that question, you’ll likely have a head start in finding out whether or not it is a scam.
- Is the “opportunity” simply a way to get other people to pay you money for an “opportunity”? Look at this review of EPS Prosperity Hotline as an example. Avoid these. They are scams.
What a Legit Business Opportunity Looks Like
Legitimate opportunities will offer full disclosure and will usually be well-reviewed. Don’t fall for an obscure “opportunity” just because it is advertised as being life-changing, disruptive, or guaranteed.
Real money making opportunities will not be easy. Most scams say that it is easy to do what they do. Easy things don’t pay, or else everyone would be doing it!
One example of a legitimate business opportunity is Wealthy Affiliate. You can read my in depth review of them here. They’ll be upfront about costs, honest about expectations, truthful about commitment, and sincere about claims of support and service. Read my Wealthy Affiliate Review to learn what a legitimate opportunity looks like.