Separating the Scams from the Real Opportunities

We all know that there’s lots of home business scams out there. The thing that’s probably the most frustrating though is how legitimate some of these scams sound. In this blog, I’ll look at a couple of the most common scams I’ve seen and the reality of how they really work. Let’s take a look.

Home Assembly and Stuffing Envelopes
Sounds legitimate, right? We all know there’s lots of junk mail out there, and someone has to put that stuff in the envelopes. Here’s what happens: you spend $25 to $50 as a fee to get set up with these companies. They send you a set of directions and materials – here’s the catch – if your product doesn’t meet the standards of the company, they won’t use you. And no one ever meets the standards. You’ve just spent money to get directions to complete a task when they never had any intention of using your services.

Pyramid Schemes
Oh, the might pyramid. This is one of my favorites. Supposedly you recruit people to join the company, and they recruit people to join, and they recruit more, etc. Your pay is based on the “fee” paid to join the company and you’re supposed to get a percentage of the fee from the people you recruited, and so on. Wait! How does this company make money? There are no goods or services to sell, just a bunch of people standing around. You’ll never see a cent.

It Sounds Like a Real Job
There are lots of business opportunities that sound legitimate – for instance, medical transcription, or submission of insurance forms. These are indeed legitimate home based businesses, but they are done by people that are trained in the service, someone who’s at least taken a class from a reputable community college in completing the transaction. Put yourself in the shoes of the customer – if you are a doctor, would you want a transcriptionist from the local training program, or someone who claims that know what they’re doing because they learned it over the Internet. These are legitimate business, but they require you to spend far more time getting qualified than the course implies.

Don’t let yourself get sucked into a scam out of desperation to find a job. If you are truly interested in starting a home business, take some time. Research the company and the supposed market. Talk to people that are doing the business now, ask them how they got started.

If you’re curious about some other business scams, or you want more information about a business you are considering, check out the Friends In Business site. You’ll find lots of great information about legitimate and not so legitimate home businesses.

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About Beth Sawyer

My name is Beth Sawyer and I live in Washington State. I’m a mother of brilliant and active son. My husband and I have been married for almost two decades, and we’re going strong. For many years, I worked for a variety of corporations, training individuals in management skills and writing training programs. When my son was born, I stopped working and stayed at home. In the last three years I’ve been building my own home business as a freelance writer. I work with a variety of companies, writing web content, articles, and profiles. My home business gives me the flexibility I need to spend time with my son, volunteer at his school, and just have fun, while balancing my work schedule.