business opportunity or scam

8 Signs That “Business Opportunity” Might Actually Be a Scam

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So you’ve been offered what seems like a great deal.. but is it really a scam?

Some marketers are aces at cleverly disguising their scams as legitimate offers. On the other side, legit opportunities sometimes fail to mention the risks or potential downsides involved.

woman researching if a company is a scam

Remember: 

  • Keep your guard up.
  • Investigate claims being made.

Offer sound too good to be true? You have good reason to be suspicious.

You want to avoid taking anything at face value and investigate any costs due at start-up. Considerable start-up costs that are only mentioned in passing in the small print should be enough to cause you to proceed with caution.

Let’s discuss some other scam flags to watch out for: 

Buzzwords: "Turnkey" "Easy" or "Automatic"

Claims that a program requires “little to no work” right at the jump should be closely scrutinized.

After all, if it was so easy, wouldn’t they just set up the income streams for themselves and keep it a secret?

Some things to ponder:

  • If it’s so easy and actually works, everyone would be doing it for themselves.
  • Too many users would create cut-throat competition, destroying hopes for decent profits pretty quickly.

Think about the wording used in ads and on sales pages. 

Vague Wording

Vagueness is a huge warning sign. If you don’t really understand what you’re getting or getting into, steer clear.

Companies with legit offers eagerly spill all the details. They are usually proud of their offers and want to tell you all about it.

Simply Put: The Offer Makes No Sense

If you can’t make out what the exact revenue stream is, no dice.

A few things to ask:

  • How does the marketer make money from this offer?
  • Do they make revenue by charging for training?
  • Do you need to pay for ads, a website or other fees?

After all, if they’re not profiting in some way, they most likely wouldn’t even be making the offer. 

Loopholes for Days

Is their warranty chock full of all the ways they aren’t liable?

They might contain words like:

  • possible
  • can
  • may
  • potential 

Companies with legit offers don’t try to weasel out of liability within their warranty.

In your research, make sure the warranty is iron-clad. 

Obscure Company Location

If the people offering the company are located in an obscure country, do some thorough research.

Yes, legit companies can operate anywhere, but if the company is in a place you can barely find on a map, be overly cautious.  

In the same fashion, if there is no listed address and you can’t find any company/owner info, do NOT give them your money. 

Magical Marketing > Magical Product

Does the offer blither on about the magical marketing, but only mentions the magical product? It might be a magical scam.

Behind a great business opportunity, you’ll find:

  • great product(s) 
  • exclusivity 
  • solid branding 

The marketing should come second. 

Cost + Location = Red Flag

Out of state company + less than $20k start-up costs = Think Twice!

With the current commerce laws, it’s both costly and complicated to sue out-of-state companies. (Source 1 & Source 2)

Federal prosecutors are simply too busy to handle these types of cases, unless they are “of great importance or of great interest to the press and public”. (Source)

Be aware of the business laws in the state where the company is located. 

Newspaper Ads

Say it isn’t so!

You mean all those “make thousands stuffing envelopes” ads aren’t legit?

OH MY GOODNESS! Haha moving on.. 

Little info + outrageous claims + toll-free number = S C A M!

Just because the ad is in a legit paper doesn’t mean the ad itself is legit. 

The bottom line? 

Do your research and always protect yourself.

Know your escape routes and trust your gut if something doesn’t feel right. 

Check the legitimacy of companies in question: 

  • Contact your state AG office or the AG of the state where the business is located.
  • Check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau). They have a Scam Tracker that might be super useful. 

Remember: a lack of complaints doesn’t mean it’s not a scam. If you feel you’re being taken advantage of, ask for your money back. If they refuse a refund, contact the AG and provide any relevant correspondence.

When you are presented with a business opportunity, be cautious and move slowly through their onboarding process. If you’re being pressured to make a quick decision, err on the side of caution and say no.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs and protect your investments. 

Stock Photos:

Ivory Mix 

resources

Helpful Links

To report Fraud, file a report with the FTC

To find your AG or the AG of the state the business is located in, click HERE

Access the BBB’s Scam Tracker HERE to see if the business is on their list.  

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