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Be Smart: Don't Get Scammed

It seems these days that everyone wants to start a part time business. We all want to find ways to bring in some extra money. The rising acceptance and popularity of Internet commerce has also created an explosion of scam artists and online business schemes.

You’ve probably seen lots of ads claiming that it’s easy to make big money on the Internet. Some tell you that all you have to do is put up their free website and watch your bank account grow with no effort on your part. But the truth is that websites don’t make money by themselves. You have to sell a product or service, and you have to have a way to find large numbers of visitors for the site.

Others declare that you can own your own successful “business” if you just follow their secret system. They post long ads about all the benefits and wonderful features you’ll receive only if you buy their method. These ads usually go on and on about the supposed value of all the different components that are included before finally letting you know what their “bargain” price actually is. With many of these programs, the only thing you get for your money is instructions on how to put up your own ads doing the same thing to other people.

If you’re looking for ways to get something for nothing, there’s no end to the schemes you can try. Most of them are cons, many of them are illegal, and few of them make any money – except for the one who starts it.

Another popular rip-off is the so-called work at home job opening. Although there are some legitimate job offers and telecommuting opportunities available, many of these are also cons designed to separate you from your money.

So how do you tell the difference? There are a couple of ways. First you can look carefully at the ad itself. Does it try to use fantasy or emotion to create some idyllic image in your mind? Is it skimpy on the specific details of the offer or the price? This is one clue that the offer is not what it seems.

Another thing to watch out for is cost. An actual work at home employment offer will not ask for money. You don’t have to buy a list, or purchase instructions. And you also don’t have to send money to get the details of the offer. A real job offer will include contact information for the company doing the hiring. They will ask you about your experience and qualifications just like any other job. They won’t claim that “anyone can do it”.

Use your common sense when considering any offer for home-based work or businesses. The old adage is true: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Take for example the two popular scams of envelope stuffing and home product assembly. Why would a legitimate company incur the expense of shipping items and paying you to do something that can be easily and cheaply done on site with automation or their own regular employees? Avoid these offers.

The same guideline applies to business offers. If it’s that easy, they don’t need you to do it for them, except as an additional channel to peddle their product and produce profits for them. A real business takes real products and services, and real work. All of the offers you see aren’t scams, but most are – so make sure to always carefully evaluate all the facts.


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