Business opportunity warning signs could indicate a possible scam. Too many “get rich quick” schemes have cost people a lot of money because they failed to heed the Red Flags all around them.
And lets face it, It is too easy to fall for the promises of easy money and riches. These scam artists are good at what they do, but you can educate yourself and learn what to look for.
What seems like a legitimate business opportunity, often turns out to be just another scam designed to take your money. So, how do you protect yourself?
In this article, I am going to explain the business opportunity warning signs to look for, and hopefully help you avoid scams.
That is the reason I started this site in the first place. When I started in the online business, I fell for all kinds of scams and lost a lot of money. I got pretty upset about it and decided to try to uncover these scammers and get them shut down.
The best way to do that is to review products and find out which ones are legit and which ones are scams.
In this article I want to share some of the things I have learned that uncovered quite a few scams.
Research The Business Opportunity Before You Send Any Money
This is important! Research the internet business opportunity first BEFORE you send them your hard earned money! It is much easier than trying to get your money back later. The internet is a valuable research tool to use to do this. It is easy and quick, and you can do it from home.
You can start with looking for reviews on the particular business opportunity you are looking to buy. Chances are, someone has bought the product already, and has written a review explaining the pros and cons of the business.
Another way to research the company is to go to their online website and check for information. You can research the owner’s background and when the company was formed. You can check for their mission statement and contact information..
Many times, scams don’t have any of this information, and their contact pages take you somewhere entirely different. That is an instant Red Flag!
Here Are Some Helpful Links:
- BBB Scam Tracker
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Information
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Attorney General’s Offices List
- Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
- United States Postal Inspection Service
- Help For Scams And Frauds
Exaggerated Promises Are Business Opportunity Warning Signs
If the business opportunity you are considering is making some exaggerated claims, be careful. Chances are that “easy money” is just a scam. I have reviewed plenty of business opportunities that are nothing more than that, outright scams designed to take your money.
Here are two examples:
Both of those links were programs promising big profits, but they were nothing but scams. Anytime a business promises big profits like $10,000 per week with no experience necessary, it IS too good to be true. You can bet it’s a scam. Don’t send them your money.
Don’t Believe the Lies of Success
A lot of get rich quick schemes use fake people with fake testimonials to “prove” their system works. The problem is that they were “created”. The people don’t exist, or they are models for hire on sites like Fiver.
It is just too easy today to create fake testimonials, so don’t believe the hype. Always research any new business opportunity before you send any money.
Guaranteed returns are also a red flag for business opportunities. When a company guarantees returns, it implies that you will gain a predetermined return regardless of market conditions or other risks.
Every business carries risks and it is important to understand them. A business guaranteeing unrealistic returns, may not be able to deliver them. Whenever possible, check their track record before you invest anything.
Ask a Lot Questions:
Before you invest your money, ask the company questions like “What is my financial risk?” and “How much experience do they have in this particular venture?”
“Do they have the capital to complete the project?” “What is the expected rate of return?” “How much competition do they have in the market?” and “Is the product in demand?”
It is important know exactly what you are “getting yourself into” before giving up any money. You need to understand if their are any upfront fees. A lot of online businesses charge a series of upsells as soon as you sign up.
In my opinion, this is always a red flag. A reputable company will explain all the levels of their product and show the costs before they slam you with all of them at once. It is deceptive marketing.
Don’t Pay Upfront Fees
I always look for the refund policy and make sure you can get your money back if the product fails to deliver as promised. Never pay any upfront fees, look for a free trial period to check the product out.
The time to look for a money back guarantee is before you invest any money. And be sure to read any disclaimers.
The lack of a refund policy and/or terms and conditions are both red flags. I personally will pass up opportunities without a refund.
Especially if they are high price items. I think that a business should have enough pride and confidence in their product that they offer a refund, and a free trial period.
Also check for the terms and conditions of the contract. Doing these simple extra steps will reveal a lot more than you may think. Several Times while reviewing one site,
I have found terms and conditions for a completely different website! This is clearly telling you something fishy is going on.
Sometimes reading the terms and conditions can be a chore as more and more companies list a seemingly unending document to read. They hope you will just scroll to the bottom and accept the terms without reading them.
Business Opportunity Warning Signs – Suspicious Contact Information
When a business gives excuses for not having a phone number, but they do have an email address, it could mean they are trying to hide something and they don’t want to be contacted by phone.
It just isn’t good business practice, and doesn’t give you much reason to trust them. And wouldn’t be a company to trust with your money either!
Maybe they say they don’t have a business mailing address, and they claim it is because they are moving all the time.
That is suspicious right there. Why are they moving around so much? Chances are they are scamming people and can’t stay in one place too long.
If a business claims they don’t have a website, but offers to send information by email. It could just mean they honestly don’t have a website. But it could also mean they do have a website, and they aren’t giving out the URL. They may be trying to hide something.
Beware Of Unprofessional Communication.
One thing that really bothers me, it when the business owners just disappear after you buy the product. Whenever that happens to me,
I get that sinking feeling that I have been scammed again! Sometimes, it is a legitimate company, but it turns out to be a lousy one.
This is exactly why I always look for a refund policy. In this case, I would be asking for my money back!
Some companies just take forever to answer an email. And if you have no other way to contact them, you sit and wait until you get a response. If you are stuck on something, you need a prompt response. Good companies provide good support and answer quickly.
Most companies that make inappropriate comments in there emails or on their social sites are poor companies. One of the most common comments of this type are from products that aren’t performing well and customers are complaining.
The typical response is that it is the customers fault because he is not being dedicated enough or using the product properly.
They discredit people and shift blame away from themselves. Most of the time these are products to make money that don’t work as well as advertised. They just don’t work.
I have also had the unpleasant experience of companies that are scams, just ignoring your emails. They know their product stinks, and they just won’t answer you. They hope you just get tired and go away.
These are the companies that you have to report to the FTC, and the Attorney Generals office in your state.
They are scammers and they are very good at taking your money. Sometimes you can get lucky and the Attorney Generals office can get your money back.
Poorly designed websites Are Red Flags
Some business claim to be DFY – Done For You businesses where they furnish you a website. But it turns out that they are lousy websites. They are difficult to navigate, with confusing menus, unclear or hidden navigation, and hard to find information.
And they can have cluttered layouts and be very slow loading that causes customers to abandon the site. These are terrible to try to run a business on.
Some websites are just fake websites altogether. When you try to click on any menus, they all take you to the same URL, usually just another website that collects information on you.
All the links do the same thing, or they don’t even work at all. When you are in one of theses, get out as quick as possible! It is a total scam!.
Your Email Box Gets Filled With Unsolicited emails
Some businesses get you to give your email address so they can fill you inbox with spam emails selling you one product after another. You can however opt out or request to be unsubscribed. If they don’t comply, you can file a complaint about that. But, it just causes more headaches for everybody.
A few businesses don’t stop with filling your inbox, they sell your list to others so they can help to fill your inbox as well. Again you can opt out, but it’s just another hassle nobody likes. These are the warning sings the business you got involved with is not a good one.
Another Type Of Business Opportunity Warning Signs – Pressure To Act Quickly
This is another tactic to get you to buy products. You are told to hurry, this offer is only good for a few hours, or it ends at midnight. It’s just a ploy to make you feel you are missing out, and get you to buy before you think about it too long.
It can be difficult to make a good decision when you feel rushed. Take a few moments to think about what you are buying.
Limited time offers can work to create a sense of urgency as well. Though they are mostly used to entice buyers to make a sale within a certain time.
They can be very effective and motivate people to make a purchase. Scammers also know this and can use time limits to get people to fall for their scams. Don’t fall for it!
High Pressure sales tactics
High pressure sales tactics can be the worst. This works well over the phone where one salesman after another works you over from different angles to get you committed to buy their product. And they are very good at it. The best thing to do is to just hang up! And if they call back, don’t pick up the phone.
These tactics can involve false claims and aggressive language that creates a sense of urgency. They can be effective in the short term, but it usually creates customer dissatisfaction, and people don’t return to do any more business.
This type of pressure is considered unethical and destroys trust and loyalty. Avoid this type of business.
It’s important to be wary of any business opportunity that sounds too good to be true. By being aware of the common warning signs, you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
Always do your research and if something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and stay away from it.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
|How can I tell if a business opportunity is legitimate or a scam?|
|Legitimate business opportunities are transparent and provide a clear path to success, while scams are often promises of quick and easy money with little effort, and no experience necessary.|
|What are some common red flags to watch out for when considering a business opportunity?|
|Common red flags include huge investment cost without and refund policy, high-pressure sales tactics, lack of transparency, and promises of big money with little effort or investment.|
|What should someone do if they suspect they may have been scammed by a business opportunity?|
|If someone suspects they have been scammed, they should contact their bank to stop investing money immediately and report the scam to the FTC and the Attorney Generals Office in their state.|
|Are there any reputable resources or organizations that people can turn to for help identifying scams and protecting themselves?|
|There are many reputable resources and organizations that can help people identify and avoid scams, including the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. At Help For Scams And Frauds, our goal is to educate people to avoid scams and alert them of any scams we find.|
Thank you for reading my post. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will get back to you ASAP.
I am Chas, creator and founder of Help For Scams And Frauds. I started affiliate marketing and earning money online in 2015. And I can tell you, anyone can do this. But, in order to build a business the right way you must have the right training and avoid the get rich quick schemes.