You can get rich in three easy steps! Become a young millionaire! If you’ve ever gotten any spam, you’ve probably seen these claims. Is there any truth to them?
See if you’ve got the smarts to keep from getting scammed.
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The financial world is a risky one. Can you handle it?
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Your friend just joined a business organization that requires an entry fee of $200 dollars.
While legitimate businesses often have start-up costs, some schemes rely on peoples entry fees to make money. Its good practice to proceed cautiously when an entry fee is required, and find out where its going.
Theres an exciting line of cool personal hair care products out, and you can make money from home by selling them to your friends, family and fellow students.
When you actually have something three-dimensional to sell, its easier to track where youre actually making money. When presented with an opportunity, find out just what it is youd be selling, and if its worth the money charged.
Your brother has been making a lot of money– practically overnight– from this new venture that hes just joined. He says everyone is getting rich and the sooner you join, the sooner youll get rich too.
A company youre thinking about joining pays its employees by mail. Paychecks are sent the first day of each month.
Do you know how and when the company will pay you? If there is a set schedule, and its clear how you will get paid, thats good. If you dont know exactly how youll get paid, be careful. Talk to others in the organization. If they havent gotten paid yet and arent sure when they will, thats a sign to be on your guard. Confusing payment structures can be bad news– even for legitimate businesses.
A friend is excited about a great new way to earn money, and wants you to check it out with her. The seminar you both attend feels more like a pep rally than an informational session.
Dont be fooled by glamour and glitz. Is the emphasis on fun, food, friends and excitement? Is there a celebrity spokesperson? Is no one really talking about exactly how money gets made? Are they talking more about how itll be jingling in your pocket? Red flags all. Step back and dont be afraid to be a party pooper. Distractions from hard facts are common ploys used by sketchy business ventures.
At an information seminar, one of the company reps is almost too friendly. She wont leave your side and keeps trying to get you to sign up that day.
If you feel any pressure at all, dont be afraid to say no. Many frauds depend on getting you to make decisions quickly, without giving you time to think about things or do research. High-pressure sales tactics are a red flag to watch out for.
Your uncle joined a company that pays a "finders fee" for new recruits. Hes trying to get everyone he knows to join as well.
Many companies offer a reward of some sort when they hire someone youve recommended. Its still good to have your guard up though, for many fraudulent schemes are dependent on people exploiting their personal connections to pull new victims in. People are more likely to trust their friends and neighbors than someone they dont know. Find out if your main source of payment at a company comes from bringing people in– if it is, thats a red flag.
Your friend is so enthusiastic about a business opportunity that he wants you to join, he has an answer for everything you say. He doesnt even seem to hear your concerns.
Many fraudulent schemes– and some legitimate ones as well– offer scripted responses to peoples questions or doubts about the venture. If youre asking questions, like a savvy person should, and youre getting answers that are vague or distracting or brush off your concerns, then watch out. Never agree to do something youre not comfortable with or dont fully understand.
Youve come back from a really fun and interesting business seminar, but you cant explain to your sister what it was all about.
Fraudulent schemes are a slippery beast. A good rule of thumb to go by when considering a business venture: if you cant understand and explain it to someone else, you should probably hold off. That goes for legitimate ventures too.
The brochure says you must be 18 and up to sign up, but your 17-year-old cousin has been a member for over a year and says they dont really check.
Any organization that doesnt follow its own rules is one to watch out for– and that includes legitimate businesses as well.