How to Spot a Business Scam

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How to Spot a Business Scam

There’s just no denying that we’re in a market niche that opens itself up to scammers and spammers. The vast number of people who want to work from home makes it look like an “easy prey” market for these types of bottom feeders.

Many people are desperate. Many people don’t take the time to get educated about home business or business at all. That’s the reason so many MLMers fail–they go in knowing nothing about business, nothing about sales, and nothing about marketing and assume that just because someone in the organization pulled down a six figure income selling bottles of special grape juice that they, too, will be able to pull off that kind of success.

That’s the kind of tragedy that happens when you don’t do your homework. Still, you have to be able to sift out the difference between an opportunity that has a high failure rate due to lack of experience on the part of those entering it and an opportunity which isn’t an opportunity at all, just an excuse for someone to run off with one’s money. Perfect for Moms!!!

It just goes to show that sexism is still alive and well. People assume that Moms are willing to sit at home and work for every little tiny scrap that gets thrown their way. Some Moms are. A lot of those moms get scammed. This ad works because it targets a somewhat vulnerable market. Mothers who desperately want to stay home with their kids but who also know that without their own ability to contribute to the family income, the family will sink. Or mothers who really feel they should stay home with their kids but crave the validation that comes with a paycheck.

Surely it can’t be this easy! Ads which tell you that you’re going to get paid to type are almost always scams. The idea is that you sign up for a website, or a CD, or some package and they tell you that you’re going to get paid to cut and paste ads of exactly the same type that you just responded to. You can end up posting some 200 ads before you realize the payment isn’t coming, you can’t contact anyone, you can’t find them, and they still have your $48.00. The way to avoid this scam is by getting real.

Machines stuff envelopes and it only costs a company pennies a day to make it happen. Nobody gets paid to cut and paste anything in the real world. In the world of work, the value you bring to the table is what you get paid for, no more, no less. Where is the value in a ten second control-v, control-p? Even if your argument is that you have to find all the places to post these things the fact remains that nobody pays anybody to surf the internet, either.

Craft Kits Crafty people can and do make money with their crafts. They do so by creating original designs and creations. They almost never do so by gluing pieces of pre-cut felt from a website that sends them by the thousands to the back of magnets. Craft people have pride in their work and have taken the time to master it, as opposed to someone who is “kind of crafty” and understands how to use a glue gun to put together a little kit. If you like making crafts from kits that’s fine, but you typically can’t make a business out of that because that’s using someone else’s copyrighted design without paying royalties on it.

The way these companies get you is with some sort of “buy back” program where you make the crafts and they pay you more than you paid to get the kit. Of course…you have to meet their quality standards. Many people have found this impossible. Sometimes, they’ve sent back the test sample as their own in a group of samples just to check and see how the company treats that one sample. Surprise! The company rejects their very own quality sample, too.

And since the sample is supposed to be indistinguishable from the finished product, one might wonder why this is. Companies without a product There are companies out there who have you buy a product or who sort of are nebulous about the product and its value. The focus is never really quite on selling the product, either. It’s always on recruiting more work from home people. Hmmm. This is probably because the work from home people each have to buy the product and the original recruiter is pocketing all the money.

It’s probably because work from home ads convert 99%% better than ads for the product, too. So your upline leader or your downline leader or whatever else its called might not care in the least whether or not you ever sell another unit, because he’s already made his commission off you. In point of fact, unless you live halfway across the country he doesn’t even want you to sell any because that would be competition for him. Real companies do not make you buy what you sell.

I’ve sold for Dish Network and never had a dish, Direct TV and never had the Monday Night Football package, ADT & Brinks and never had an alarm system, Dolphin and never had a vacuum cleaner, the newspaper and never had anything I’d ever need to advertise in the classified’s section. I’ve sold apartments I couldn’t afford to live in.

No company requires you to buy their product before you join the sales force. It may be recommended and encouraged, and discounted, but no company requires it. Companies, real companies, send out their sales rep to sell the product and not to recruit other sales reps. The hiring department recruits sales reps. You don’t.

Legitimate Job Opportunities for Evil Companies With the mortgage crisis going on and the lending crisis going on there’s room for plenty of scammy companies running things out of the back of a van courtesy of their phone and their WiFi connection. They promise the moon and they honestly hire real telemarketers to do their work. The telemarketers, ignorant, for the most part, about how the loan industry works, are just doing a job and getting paid for it. They never realize they’re participating in a scam. One I got approached for recently was a “foreclosure acquisition company.” The basic premise was that these homeowners in trouble called the number or people wanting to rent or buy but couldn’t get real credit called the number.

Then you either sold them on listing their house with this service or you sold them on a website membership that supposedly put them in touch with the people losing their homes to do a loan assumption. They said it would all be very simple and easy, a matter of some shifted paperwork, when in fact loan assumptions are really rare and require the full approval and consent of the bank. That means applying for credit as per the normal. Would the average unemployed person desperate for a job and looking at the potential gift of a work from home opportunity know this? Probably not–not without doing some digging. That’s why its important to do a little digging on any home based business opportunity.

That’s not to say that the old argument about needing to invest in your business doesn’t hold some water. Obviously if you were going to start a McDonald’s you’d pay for the building and the franchising fees and all those supplies. However, you still aren’t buying a McDonald’s hamburger to open up a McDonald’s. When I started my work at home writing business I had to pay some fees to join a reputable job board site–but they also had a free membership, and I landed my first gig on a free membership. It was my own business decision that I would benefit more from the higher level of membership which gave me access to more bids and features on the site.

In this case, though, I still wasn’t buying my own writing. I was essentially purchasing’s ability to act as an agent and find me buyers that I didn’t feel comfortable or able to find myself. So yes, you do need to invest. No, you do not invest by buying the company’s product. Not if you ultimately want to feel good about what you are doing. And if the new company’s ways seem a bit fishy, they probably are.

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