Yikes… where do I begin with this one?
First of all, there are lots of legitimate ways to run an online business.
Now on to the scams!
You’ll see ads out there all the time for companies saying that you can earn $1000s in just weeks with their amazing internet business! You don’t have to do anything. They’ll set up the site, submit it to search engines… you just pay them a monthly fee and rake in the dough!
That’s one of the basic scams. Here’s the problem: search engines don’t need to be submitted to (it’s far better to get links pointing to your site and let the search engines find you), and they don’t particularly care for replicated sites.
Another variation is essentially nothing more than an online pyramid scheme. You pay your money to your upline while trying to build your downline, all without any real products.
As with any business, it takes a lot of work to get an online business running and profitable. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s all playing on the internet; it isn’t!
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.