Online Business Scams – How to Spot and Avoid Them

Online Business Scams – How to Spot and Avoid Them

Online business scams can be easy to fall prey to, especially if you’re new to the world of e-commerce and Internet marketing. You may not even know that you’ve been scammed until it’s too late, as many online business scams involve businesses whose sole purpose is to steal from others rather than actually help them grow their own businesses. If you want to avoid online business scams and learn how to spot them before they happen, read on to learn about some of the most common scams on the Internet today and some tips on how to avoid them altogether.

Man looking at phone surprised with credit on hand

When Is An Online Business A Scam?
There are many great opportunities online, as well as some huge scams. To help you spot which is which, you need to be able to identify what a scam looks like. There`s a common saying: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When choosing an online business opportunity (or any investment for that matter), ask yourself these questions: Is there proof that others have made money with it? Have others been satisfied with their experience? Does it come from a reputable source? It may seem like common sense but if an offer seems too good to be true, think twice about whether it’s actually worth your time and money.

How To Know If An Online Business Is Legit Or Not?
Let’s start with a few ways that an online business scam could happen. Online business scams come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. Some scammers will look at their audience’s level of knowledge when deciding what kind of online business scam they want to run on them. Here are some examples: A Digital Product Business Scam: In a digital product scam, you buy an e-book or video series from someone who claims they have all kinds of information about making money online or turning their hobbies into an online business. Then, once you buy that product, you get bombarded with tons of follow-up emails trying to get you to buy more products for a monthly subscription fee.

Different Types Of Online Business Scams
All online business scams fall into one of four categories: product scams, business opportunity scams, affiliate scams, and work-at-home scams. A product scam entails a misrepresentation of a product or service sold through an online marketplace such as Amazon or eBay. Business opportunity scams usually promise to get rich quick results by promising sellers instant access to millions of consumers with little effort on their part. These types of offers are appealing, especially for those looking for ways to make extra money with minimal start-up costs. Let`s not forget also the Affiliate scams and work-at-home scams.

Affiliate scams and work-at-home scams
You can often spot these scams by looking for inconsistencies in what they’re promising. If an affiliate site says that you can make thousands of dollars a day, but all of their advice is about how to make 20 or 30 bucks an hour, you might be on an affiliate scam. Likewise, if a work-at-home job posting promises you big money for little effort—but their advice involves making your own website, getting Facebook fans, or starting your own YouTube channel—again, avoid it. This isn’t to say that there aren’t legitimate affiliate sites or real work-at-home jobs out there. It just means that, once again, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Five Resources For Verifying An Online Business
Online business scams are a concern for most people looking to start an online business. Here are five resources you can use when trying to verify an online business: 1) The Better Business Bureau: This is a great place to start your search, but it’s important that you don’t just take one company’s word at face value. If you’re dealing with a large-scale company, always check them out with multiple BBB offices. 2) Search Engines: Some scammers will attempt to bury their negative results under search engine clutter or rank well in certain areas of Google or Bing; therefore, it’s also helpful to make sure they’re real by simply searching their names on Google and Bing (or any other search engine). 3)The Internet Crime Complaint Center- Here you can report Internet crimes against you or your business.

Things To Do If You Have Been Scammed By An Online Entrepreneur
If you have been scammed, unfortunately, there is little that can be done by an outside party. Though if you’re able to track down both your scammer’s IP address as well as his or her physical address, you can attempt to file a report with law enforcement officials in that jurisdiction. As mentioned above, it may be possible to trace your scammer’s IP address back to his or her Internet Service Provider (ISP). Additionally, if your scammer uses PayPal or another service where he or she has linked a credit card account you can try filing a chargeback through these services. Lastly, make sure you change all of your passwords after being scammed so that they are not being used by someone else for malicious purposes.

How to get your money back after being scammed online
One of your first steps should be to report it to authorities. You can file a complaint with local police, your local BBB, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC website offers additional information about how you can protect yourself from scams, such as ID theft scams. You should also get in touch with your credit card company or bank. They may be able to help you get your money back, although they may decide not to do so based on their own internal policies.

Conclusion
So far we have talked about all kinds of scams that relate to online business. Now it’s time to actually get out there and take action. The first thing you need to do is look for a website that verifies legitimate businesses. It should provide you with information regarding their location, phone number, email address, hours of operation, and other details which will help you identify if it is a real business or not. Another way is by searching through your local business directories such as Yelp or Yahoo Local Pages where you can contact them via telephone or email and see if they respond in a timely manner or not. There are also government agencies that deal with these kinds of fraud businesses:1) https://www.usa.gov/stop-scams-frauds, 2)https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/, 3)https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection, 4)https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes/internet-fraud, 5)https://www.justice.gov/archives/stopfraud-archive/report-financial-fraud, feel free to check these websites for more information on how to avoid these types of fraud and what to do if it happens to you.

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