Protect Yourself From Scams – Do a Little Homework!
SCAM – – a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation…
We are all afraid that some business we get into might turn out to be a scam. But sometimes the personal needs of individuals outweigh the thought process needed to recognize that something could be fraudulent. Many people are looking for ways to make extra money and the Internet can provide many ways to accomplish that need. But it can also provide an easy vehicle for individuals to lose their hard earned dollars.
We recently did some research on a program that we were interested in and found that the entire operation was quite questionable. While we couldn’t prove that it was outright fraudulent at this point, we saw enough risks to say no, we are going to put up any money. We also advised the 90+ people who joined based on our referral and most have told us that they are passing it up too.
Sometimes all it takes is to do a little checking on your own behalf. Sure it takes time but if you invest a little of that time up front you may save a lot of future headaches. Sometimes when you do a couple of checks you may find that a lot of the work has already been done for you and is posted on sites that are available for your review.
The following are some sites and suggestions you might consider in checking that program out that you are considering. These are by no means all that are out there. You can go to one of the major search engines and search on scams and find many more resources.
Victims Against Scams http://pub31.ezboard.com/fvictimsagainstscamsfrm60
International Council of Online Professionals http://www.i-cop.org/pledge/1029.htm
In an effort to keep fraudsters from slipping through the cracks, the US government has created The Sentinel. It’s an online database of all sorts of information regarding Internet scams and fraud. http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/
The Better Business Bureau Online http://www.bbbonline.org/
Internet ScamBusters http://www.scambusters.org/
The National Fraud Information Center http://www.fraud.com/
The Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov
Look at a program and ask yourself some of these questions:
Is the product something that I would be proud to sell or promote? If the answer is no, then stay away.
Make sure that there is an actual service or product that you will be selling. If you are just going to get paid for every new member you recruit, then it may very well be an illegal pyramid or ponzi scheme.
Is there contact information easily available at the site? Do they show their email addresses, street address, names of principals, company name, telephone number? Send them a question and see if you get an answer or an automatic reply.
If you have a address or telephone number go to www.yellowpages.com or www.whitepages.com and check them out. You can use the telephone number and do a “reverse directory check” which checks the telephone number and gives you an name and address if one is on file.
Check out the web site’s domain name at http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois Just enter the domain name i.e., whatevername.com and you can determine who the administrative contact, normally the owner, where they are located and how long the site has been registered.
Do they offer you a free promotional site for your use with your own personal referral code? If you have to pay your entry or membership fee and then find out you have to pay another $100 or so to get a promotional site and email advertising package, and that is the only way they allow you to promote it, be leery. They are making their money up front. I don’t believe that you should have to pay a company for basic promotional tools to promote their company. They can take the expense off as a business expense if they are for real.
Of course you will still have to make an informed decision on your own after doing your research. But you may find enough information from any one of these resources or all of them to sway you one way or the other. Just make an informed decision before you spend your hard earned money and resources.
Article by Joe Reinbold, Publisher of Home Income Quarterly
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