Of course, there are scam artists who target those who want to start their own home based business, but there are also scam artists who target average computer users around the world. These scam artists are adept at creating web sites that look and feel just like the web sites that you commonly use. For example, they can make an exact duplicate site of your banks web site, in an attempt to trick you into providing them with your username and password, or other sensitive data, such as your account number or credit card number.
In home based business scams, however, things work a bit differently. In this case, the scammer simply wants you to give him your money, in exchange for a load of lies and unfulfilled promises. He doesn't need your bank account information, he just needs payment, which inexperienced hopeful people will happily give him. He will take your money knowing that he is crushing your dreams and draining your bank account - and he won't care.
Protecting Yourself from Business Opportunity Scams
So, how can you protect yourself from these scammers? The first step is to use good, sound common sense. As always, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Learn to recognize hype, and to avoid offers that are 'hyped.' Hype means that outlandish promises are being made. For example, a scammer might promise you that you can make tens of thousands of dollars in just a few short days, with little or no work. That is a common ploy used in scammy home based business advertisements.
Research the Company
Before you invest your hard earned money in any business opportunity, you need to fully research the company. Check with the Better Business Bureau first to see if there are any negative reports. You can also pay for a basic background check, which generally costs less than twenty bucks. A great deal can be learned from such basic information.
Use a post office box, instead of your home address, and never give out personal details if you can avoid it. However, when doing business online, many times you will need to provide personal information. When doing so over the Internet, make sure that the site is secure by ensuring that the web site address in your address bar begins with https://, instead of just http://.
Read the Fine Print
Read everything, including the fine print, and make sure that you don't pay for anything until you have read all agreements and such. You should know exactly what you are paying for, before you send that payment. If possible, ask to talk directly with other people who have invested in the business opportunity, and verify who they are. Note that a scammer can put people up to telling you anything that they think that you want to hear, but often, when asked for references and such, a scammer will move on.
Once again, use good common sense in all transactions, and trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you are unsure, do not move forward until you are sure. The right business opportunity will come along, but by paying attention, and knowing what to be on the lookout for, you won't spend a great deal of time or money investing in business scams.