Protect Yourself From Home Business Scams

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So you want to start your home-based business, and it's going to make you rich. Perhaps you want to start one because you've been approached by a friend or family member, and what you saw or heard made you stay up late last night just thinking about the possibilities! You are so excited aren't you... and you are ready to be your own boss, right?

Before you jump on the home-based business bandwagon though, there are some things you need to know that are really tough to hear, especially after you have just found the "one thing" that will get you your dreams. If you have never looked into this kind of thing before, then now is the time to really sit up and pay attention.

First of all, it is important to realize that most home business offers are not what they seem. To put it bluntly, the majority are illegal scams that will suck your checking and savings accounts dry. Think about it, if it really was that easy to invest a little cash and strike it rich in ninety days, wouldn't everyone be doing it? What I would like to do for you is offer some real information that will help you to recognize and avoid the most prominent scams.

The Right Location

Chances are you saw your "dream opportunity" on the Internet. Or perhaps a very personable guy named 'Joe', who you don't really know sent an email to you. Or maybe a poster caught your eye, or maybe you got something via 'snail mail'. If either of these is the case, then I can guarantee you that it is not legitimate. There are better sources for home-based business opportunities; job magazines, newspapers, job search websites, etc. The important rule is to always thoroughly investigate each offer before spending any money! Assume it is a scam until you have strong proof otherwise.


Envelope stuffing as a business, can you really make money? You will probably spend hundreds of dollars trying to establish an envelope stuffing operation, and I would not be surprised if you get a serious letter from the Postmaster General telling you to cease and desist! Envelope stuffing is the oldest form of home based business scam. In short, you pay the money to sign up, and then you receive a set of envelopes and ads just like the ones you responded to! This is a classic example of an illegal pyramid scheme, and there is absolutely no money in it for you. Repeat after me: "Chain letters are illegal!" And yes, the high tech way of doing this sort of thing is via email. It's called spam and you should not try this as a way to make money.

Pay for your supplies upfront

Let me put it to you this way: The phrase "you have to spend money to make money" should have you running for the cellar, the bomb shelter, the hills, or wherever. Just run from it, because if you don't you will end up in the poor house. Real companies do not require you to pay upfront for materials that you will need in order to work for them. If anything, they should be willing to deduct any costs from your first paycheck, if there is ever really going to be one. There are few exceptions to this rule, very, very few.

Working for Free.

Some opportunities look so real don't they, and especially when it's crafts, making clothes, ornaments, toys, etc. And you didn't have to spend any money getting the materials, so it's the real deal right? The scam goes like this: After you have completed the work and sent it in, the company you did the work for tells you that it did not meet their quality standards and therefore you don't get paid! THEN they sell what you made at a profit and move on.

If you are great at crafts, wonderful. Sell it yourself! Find a wholesaler or retailer who accepts home made crafts. You might actually make some money on your own terms.

Home Typing, Medical Billing, and More.

Yes, there are a lot of legitimate work from home opportunities. Yes, there are lots of companies with work that needs to be done, especially the tedious kind of work that involves the typing of medical documents, billing, etc. But you shouldn't have to pay anything or buy anything in order to work for them! These scams have the same basic hook: they emphasize that all you need is your computer, but then you will have to purchase the 'proprietary software' you'll need in order to make your job easier and faster.

What it really boils down to is an elaborate marketing scheme by the makers of the proprietary software, and the only thing easy or fast about it is going to be how easily and quickly your bank account gets emptied. Remember, the legitimate opportunities out there generally do not require you to spend anything up front except your time.

Some last important points. Know whom you are dealing with. Also, realize that you will certainly not make any great amount of money working at home for only one business. Lastly, owning your own business, in whatever form, takes an extraordinarily huge amount of time, money and effort. Unless you are willing to invest your full attention and your entire bank account to the venture, then it's probably best that you leave it alone.