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If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Any offer that promises to make you rich
overnight with a business that works while you sleep is a rip-off. Watch out if a company
promises large profits for little or no work, or claims no experience is necessary.
If anyone can do it, why should you pay to learn about it?

For that reason, multilevel marketing (MLM) has gotten a bad rap.
Granted, there may be some legitimate money-making programs out there, but there are
also a large number of overhyped, overpromising, underdelivering scams too.

1. Research the company and always check them out with the Better Business Bureau.
Review the BBB's Work-at-Home Schemes information.

2. Ask for at least three references of people they have worked with. Call each person and
ask about their experiences with the company.

3. Don't be fooled by ads claiming you can make large amounts of money in short periods
of time. And be cautious of companies that require you to sign up immediately. Usually if it
sounds too good to be true; it probably is.

4. Before you invest in a business opportunity, get specific information (in writing) from the
company such as how long they have been in business, where they are located (not just a
P.O.Box), how many customers they have, what their refund policy is (read it thoroughly),
how long it takes to get paid and if there are any restrictions on payments, etc.

5. Try to use your credit card instead of cash if you invest in a business opportunity. That
way if you do want a refund, it may be easier to dispute the charges with your credit card
company rather than trying to get your money back from the fraudulent company.

6. Be cautious of any employment opportunity that asks for money (such as money for
"job" instructions, to test your printer, to see if you are qualified or for an application).

7. Research current scams on web sites such as ScamBusters. scamfreezone
Contact the National Fraud Information Center or (800) 876-7060 for information.

The Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission offer more information about
avoiding rip-offs like Internet business opportunity scams, plus ways to verify offers and
file complaints. Your state attorney general's office might also have specific or general
information about Internet business opportunity scams and offer an avenue to file

Another way to avoid the scams is to strike out on your own. If you don't know how, the
Small Business Administration provides genuine facts and resources for starting up a
home-based business from scratch in the U.S. These agencies won't charge you a
penny. You're already paying for some of it in your taxes, so why not take advantage of it
before a dot-con takes advantage of you?