Amidst a pandemic, it is no surprise that businesses and jobs are choosing work from home as the safest and most convenient option. While this idea is giving birth to successful startup ideas from the comfort of one’s own home, it is also increasing the possibility of scams.
Sensing financial vulnerabilities of the public during this economic downturn, scammers are tricking unsuspecting people into investing thousands and millions in start-up businesses on the internet through eye-catching emails, websites, and commercials by claiming to help users earn money fast and easily.
The reality, however, is far different. These scammers are determined to get you invested, and by the time they have pressured you into thinking that it is an investment of your lifetime, it is often too late. Before you can become a potential victim, here are 9 ways to avoid such internet business scams.
1) Observe if The Scheme Makes Sense
When the seller explains the business plan to you, notice every little detail. He should be able to describe what he is selling to you, how it is being produced or operated, and what is the source of it. You should be able to know what is your benefit here and how you will be able to execute business with it with your potential customers.
Apart from the technical details, the seller should give you an accurate estimation of the expenses associated with starting the business and the income you can expect from it. They cannot project random numbers which will be a violation of the law.
2) Lookout For Shady Payment Policies
The favorite tactic of the sellers is to pressure you into making instant decisions by using terms like “No Risk Refund Policy”. While you may think that you are benefitting by paying now, in reality, this policy may not exist at all. Bottom line, you have been scammed even with a plain refund promise which you will probably never receive.
Also, look out what methods of payments they are accepting. While credit cards are safer as fraudulent activity can be detected easily, wiring services are not. Similarly, be wary of companies that tell you to pay through reloadable gift cards because proper up and running businesses will not prefer such methods.
3) Always Do a Thorough Sleuthing
The advantage of running into an internet business is that it is on the internet, and you will not have to go through tiresome efforts to dig up salient information on it as it will be readily available on the very platform it exists in. If there is nothing to hide, like a legit business, their information should not be difficult to find.
Do an extensive search of the business by searching its name. Often the search engine algorithm may not show the dark side of the company, especially if it is an obscure one. For that, include keywords like a scam, hoax, and complaints alongside the name to find out if they are trustworthy or have scammed several buyers before you.
For better outcomes, take the help of websites that give out honest reviews of such internet-based businesses for digital, trading, stock investment services like BizReviewed. If you have been offered to buy stocks at attractive prices online but you are skeptical of the source, you can read further on stock market articles on BizReviewed blog to help with your research.
4) Invest In A Good Antivirus Software
Honestly, this is the only investment you should readily choose. Having a strong reliable anti-virus software will protect your computer from spammy websites and fishing malware. Keep on updating the antivirus software often for better protection
5) A Random Seller Will Not Ask You For Your Personal Information
Hang up immediately if you feel the caller seems unusually suspicious and ask for a bank or security-related details. Sometimes the scammer may use software that will show fake caller ID information to look authentic.
If they claim to be calling from a well-known organization, disconnect the call and call the organizations’ number given on their website to verify. Do not open links or attachments via email or social media sites unless it is from someone you know or is trustworthy. Sometimes, scammers hack into your friends’ profiles on social media and send you direct messages with their scam content. If you get an unusual message from a friend on Facebook, contact them in other ways to find out if they were intending to send this information.
6) Know When To Alert The Authorities You Are Associated With
If you feel that your sensitive information like passwords or PINs have been compromised through an online scam, alert the authorities and the institutions you have your accounts with right away. They might be able to halt all the transactions so that the scammers cannot access your accounts.
7) Discuss With a Friend Or Family First
No matter how big or small the investment is, it is still a part of your life that will affect your family members or friends in some way if it works out or turns out to be a scam. Before giving in to the seller’s persuasion, take time to think about it, do some sleuthing or talk to someone who knows about these things better.
8) Avoid Recorded Sales Calls At Any Cost
If you receive any calls from such numbers, Do not press any further numbers they tell you to and hang up immediately. Report this number to the FTC since they are illegal.
9) Look For the Conditions of the Free Trial Offers
Instead of persuading you to invest a hefty sum, such businesses may offer you free trials and keep charging for it months after months before you notice the charges on your bank account.
Before accepting the offer, read their terms and conditions for the free trials thoroughly to look out for free trial cancellation procedures. The safest way is to keep on reviewing your bank statements regularly so that you can point out unusual payments.
One can never be too careful, that too in today’s technology-driven world. You must realize that not all internet businesses will be scams, but it is okay to be skeptical and do your due diligence to verify the information they provide. We hope that with the given tips, you will be able to make the proper decision of investing in an authentic business idea and flourish from it.