What is it about human nature? Even if all the signs tell us that this thing is wrong, we still go ahead and check it out for ourselves.
No, I am not talking about bad relationships and vices. I am talking about work at home job and business opportunities that we see all the time in the classified ads. We know that many of them are too good to be true, even fraudulent, yet this knowledge doesn’t stop people from trying them out.
The Proliferation of Work-at-Home Scams
Take a look at this email sent by a reader: “I recently was reading through the classifieds and I found a web site. I read through it, listened to their sales pitch, and well it sounded too good to be true. I want to know if these are true, and if you can’t find out that’s quite alright with me because it’ll only cost me $36 dollars to find out I’ve been hornswoggled.”
See how this guy thinks? Even if he doubts the ad, he is still willing to send out money just “to be sure” if he is going to be hoodwinked or not!
Imagine if 1,000 individuals had the same feeling as this person and sent in the $36 fee. That will be a whooping $36,000! Multiply that with the number of people who has the same attitude everyday, and you can imagine how much these companies will be making. No wonder these companies still exist and even thrive.
The bad news is: as long as there are curious people willing to lose small amounts of money, scam artists will be continue to multiply.
They prey on people who needs extra money and wants to get rich the EASY WAY. And unfortunately, there are millions of people out there who wants to get rich quick.
To hoodwink people, these scam artists offer business opportunities, some even with complete packages (e.g. computer, manuals, do-it-yourself kits). They impress to people in their print ads, infomercials or web sites that it so easy to make money using their SECRET FORMULAS.
To convince you further, they show you “testimonials” of people who have made it big using their products or kits – some claim that they now earn six-figure monthly income, or own huge houses, drive fancy cars, and mingle with the jet set aboard their yachts.
They sweeten the deal by pricing their “products” on the low side, because they know that people are more willing to part with relatively small amounts like $20, $36 or even $100.
Remember though, these brokers have been there for a while. They have studied and tested the factors that get people’s attention and what people want. They know how to push your buttons! Their web sites almost always contain the following elements: the long sales pitch, the testimonials with pictures of people who supposedly became rich, and the come-ons to entice those dollars out of your pockets. These crooks know how best to draw out those dollars from your pockets!
For example, they know that people always want the best for less so they use magic phrases like “Much more with MORE for less.” Or, they will convince you to part with your money by giving FREE extras, like FREE this, FREE that, more FREE this, and more FREE that, if you sign up today or before the week is over. If after reading 4-6 pages of sales pitch you still aren’t convinced, the free items are supposed to be the “clinchers” to your doubting mind.
All the sweet sounding words, money back satisfaction guarantees are designed to make you decide to part with your money, even against your own volition.
Those who take the bait do so with the attitude that “if it works, fine; if it doesn’t, then charge the $36 paid as tuition fee in life education.” Although an increasing number of victims do complain and demand for a refund of their money, you can be sure that it will be a while before you take your money back, if ever it does.
What to Watch Out For
Before you write out that check or call their toll free phones to give your credit card number for your order … WAIT! Scrutinize the business offer, and find clues to help you ascertain the validity of the business opportunity.
- Is the web site full of rhetoric and empty promises, but short of descriptions of what the business is all about? That is a big warning sign!
- Will the site send your “business packet” only if you give them your email address? Why can’t they post their business offering upfront so you can decide whether you want to go for it or not. Watch out for this one! Your mailbox will soon be deluged by spammers as you are now listed as a “business opportunity seeker.”
- Do they give you pages and pages to read testimonials of supposedly successful people, instructions on how to handle your instant success — only to be told at the end of the 10th page that you need to send $25 if you want more information about the business? Some scam sites are deliberately long on sweeteners, but are silent on what exactly is the business opportunity. Why do you need to send in money just to know what the program is all about?
- Does the company claim to be traded in NASDAQ or in Dow Jones to convince you of their business success, only to find that their company is not listed in any stock market? Check and verify their claims. Then report them to the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission to help warn others.
Always remember the words of wisdom: If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious. Some of these business opportunities and jobs may be legitimate, but many more are merely scams. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that people hopeful in looking for entrepreneurial opportunities lose more than $100 million a year to prepackaged businesses that promise big riches with little effort.
Curiosity kills the cat, they say. Rein in your curiosity and go treat your family to a nice lunch with the $36, instead of sending it to these fraudulent companies.
- Book: The Last Chance Millionaire
- 12-Step Template to Write an Effective Sales Letter
- Pros and Cons of Financing a Business
- The Enthusiastic Employee: 16 Myths on Employee and Performance Management
- How to Raise Money to Finance a Franchise