As with many opportunities, there are real seminars and there are scam seminars.
The first thing you have to do is take a look at what they are offering you. Are they offering you the chance to be an internet business consultant? How to run a web mall? Neither of these is terribly promising.
These seminars may charge you thousands of dollars, yet their goal is to sell you more of their products. Web malls may sound wonderful, for example, yet in most cases they are replicated over and over to the others who buy into them, so yours is not unique and scarcely of interest to either shoppers or the search engines. Such malls are very hard to market for most people.
If they start telling you that online “yellow pages” are a great way to get traffic – forget it! How often have you looked a business in an online yellow pages directory? You’re far more likely to be found by a search at a search engine if your site is of interest.
That’s not to say you’ll get zero traffic, but there are better ways.
Real seminars can be helpful. They can help you to learn more advanced techniques for your already established online business and give you new business ideas. But if you haven’t started an online business yet, there are far better ways to get information than an expensive seminar.
If You Get Scammed
First try to clear it up with the company. If they are uncooperative, let them know that you will be contacting officials about the matter. Then do it.
- If you found out about the company on a website, let the site know so that they can take it off their site.
- Contact the Attorney General in your state or the state the company is in.
- Contact the BBB, both your local office and in the company’s state.
- Contact the National Fraud Information Center if this was a “get rich quick” or “easy money” scheme.
- Your local Consumer Protection Offices.
- The Postmaster if you recieved the offer in the mail.
- The Federal Trade Commission. Although the FTC does not handle individual complaints, they are on the lookout for patterns of deception and unfair practices. To register a complaint, write to: Correspondence Branch, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580.