If you are a looking for a part time job working from home, there are a few things you need to know to stay safe from bogus business opportunities and other scams related to making money online. Scammers use the fact that you need money, so they devise ways to tempt you to join their opportunity. While many work at home jobs are legitimate, some may not only lead to you losing money but could also lead to identity theft.
Unfortunately, identity theft is a threat we face any time we provide our personal and financial information to an untrustworthy source. The Federal Trade Commission and the Bureau of Consumer Protection warn job seekers to beware of bogus business opportunities promising to make you real money. Try using the following tips to avoid these types of scams:
- Keep yourself informed about the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule which requires sellers to disclose their identity, if they have any pending lawsuits against them, their refund or cancellation policy, a list of references as well as provide an earnings statement if the seller stands to make money from your contribution. According to this rule, the business opportunity seller has to provide this disclosure within seven days before you pay any money or sign a contract. The Bureau of Consumer Protection suggests that you use this time to research the company.
- According to the revised Business Opportunity Rule, a business opportunity seller is not allowed to state they are offering you employment and must not misrepresent the nature of the opportunity by saying it is an investment.
- Do a Scambook search before paying any money by going to http://www.scambook.com/ Remember that you may need to type in keywords if you don’t find the business right away, so do a thorough search.
- Remember that a fancy looking ad, website or well written testimonials do not make them legitimate. You should also be weary of money back guarantees, because according to Scambook victims when they tried to obtain a refund, they found that the business changed their contact information.
- Remember that the online world allows fake companies to operate under the radar just by changing their domain name.
- Search the name of the company with the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/us/
- Always ask questions before you pay money to avoid falling for a scam.
When it comes to identity theft and business opportunities, remember that the key to being safe is to be stingy with your personal information. If you do decide to invest in a business opportunity, be sure to use a prepaid, untraceable debit card so that your bank account is safe. If you are a Santa Ana resident and you are a victim of identity theft, contact the Santa Ana Police Department at 714-647-5400 to file a police report which you will need to contact your creditors. If you don’t live in Santa Ana, for help and resources in your area visit the Identity Theft Resource Center at http://www.idtheftcenter.org/map.html
As always thank you for your visit today, as it is appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment to share your story and don’t forget to subscribe for the latest updates on identity theft and scams.
BCP (2013). Bogus Business Opportunities Bureau of Consumer Protection Business Center website. Retrieved from http://business.ftc.gov/documents/inv02-looking-earn-extra-income-how-avoid-bogus-business-opportunity-offers