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Avoiding Scams

Scams are all around us. Sometimes it seems like there is more dishonesty on the Internet than legitimate opportunities. For this very reason, it pays to do your preliminary homework. Note the word “preliminary.” Check all companies, opportunities and products out first. Don’t be like many and find out the bad news after you’ve parted with your hard-earned money.

The Better Business Bureau

The BBB offers membershipto companies that meet their standards. Membership is the company’s choice and they pay for the privilege. The good part is that people can also complain to the BBB if a company has unacceptable business practices. Many company reports are accessible online. You can research a company, charity or website with as little as their name, URL or phone number. The BBB isn’t perfect, but it’s a good place to start when checking out a businesses’ reputation.

Consumer Affairs

Consumer Affairs, according to their website, is “a non-partisan, independent information provider.” They have also been around as long as dirt…or pretty close. Your parents called consumer affairs to complain about companies. I know mine did.

At the consumer affairs website, you can file a complaint via their complaint form, learn about the lemon law and read all the alerts on the “Scam Alert” page. It’s a great resource!

Internet Crime Complaint Center
This site is a partnership of the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center. They have a form for filing a complaint and good information on all the scams that are running rampant on the Internet today. Well worth checking out and bookmarking.
Fraud.org
You will find some great tips lists and other information listing at Fraud.org as well as a complaint form if you feel you have been scammed. One must read is their work-at-home tip list, http://www.fraud.org/tips/internet/workathome.htm.
Scambusters
This website is updated daily, and has been helping people avoid scams since 1994. An excellent resource when checking out an unfamiliar business opportunity.
Google.com
I can’t stress enough the value of a good Internet search before choosing to purchase a product or align yourself with a company or business opportunity. It is a sure thing, that if a company, person, website or product has scammed or disappointed someone they are on the Internet talking about it and you can learn from their mistake. Internet forums are today’s “gossip central.” Use them and grow wise!
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