A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing

by Anna-Marie Stewart Venton

As I've mentioned in previous articles, there are a whole lot of various business opportunities for you, as a marketer, to get involved with. Before you do though, you need to be aware of the fact that there are also thousands of scams out there, posing as legitimate businesses. While a lot of these types of programs are totally on the up-and-up, some unscrupulous people will almost re-create the different types of program and scam you for all you've got.

No matter which road you decide to take in your pursuit of becoming an online marketer, always do your due dilligence and check up on whatever program you are thinking of becoming part of.

Here's a list of some legitimate type programs that can actually be easily re-created by fraudsters:

- Web Cramming -

Promise: You get a free custom-designed website for a 30-day trial period, with no obligation to continue.

Fact: Sometimes, people have been charged on their telephone bills or received a separate invoice, even if they never agreed to continue using the service after the trial period.

Be Aware: Check your phone bills and challenge any charges you don't recognize.

- Internet Access Services -

Promise: "You'll get Free money, all you have to do is cash this check"

Fact: You are at risk of being "trapped" into long-term contracts for Internet access or another web service. There's usually huge penalty fees if you cancel, or terminate the service before the "agreed" period is up.

Be Aware: If you receive a check, read both sides and look inside the envelope for any hidden conditions that you're "agreeing" to if you cash the check. Also read your phone bill carefully for any unexpected or unauthorized charges that may be there.

- Business Opportunities -

Promise: "You can kiss your 9-5 job goodbye, be your own boss and rake in the cash."

Fact: There's a lot of hype out there. Unfortunately, people believe all the wild promises about potential earnings, and end up investing big bucks into a program/opportunity that turns out to be a total flop.

Be Aware: Always look for evidence to back up the earnings claims. Talk to others who've started businesses through the same company. Get all the promises, claims and conditions in writing.

- Investments -

Promise: Just make one investment in a day trading system or service and you'll get huge returns.

Fact: Any promised profits come with a risk. The bigger the profits, the bigger the risks.

Be Aware: Talk to other people who invested through the program to find out what level of risk you're assuming. Do a check on the promoter through state and federal securities and commodities regulators.

- Internet Auctions -

Promise: You can shop for a huge selection of products at great deals, from the comfort of your own home.

Fact: A lot of people have received an item that is less valuable than promised, or at the very worst, nothing at all. Of course this is AFTER they've parted with their cash.

Be Aware: When you're bidding through an Internet auction, especially if it's for a large quantity, or a valuable item, check out the seller first. Also, insist on paying with a credit card or using an escrow service. An "escrow service" will act as a "paid middle-man". They will hold your cash until you get the merchandise, then they will pay the vendor, for a fee.

As you can see, there are lots of ways to get scammed, so always make sure you ask a lot of questions, do background checks and scrutinize ALL contracts and papers before you sign anything at all.

Remember, it may be easy just to sign up and wait for good things to happen, but it's just as easy, if not easier, to lose your shirt.

Anna-Marie Stewart Venton

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