As people face job loss and financial insecurity, they may look for alternative ways to make money. But beware of promises of quick money. You may find yourself worse off. Say you see an ad or website saying you can earn big money at home. Or one that offers help starting an online business with a proven money-making system. Or maybe the ad offers information in a booklet that will teach you how to start a successful business.
Once you buy the system, you get access to a website with testimonials that appear to come from successful investors. But that's not the end of the sales pitch. In order to make a lot of money, you must enter into a consulting contract, which costs even more.
And now you learn that the promises of big money were all lies. If you buy that proven system, you’ll get pressure to pay more for extra services. But you won’t get anything that really helps you start a business or make money. And if you give that caller your driver’s license and bank account numbers, they might steal your identity or your money.
This is the common pattern of "Get-Rich-Quick" scams. The ad or website catches your attention with claims of having vital information that will lead to high earnings with little effort. The scams usually sell their program through a booklet, DVD, or downloadable files with all the information you need to make more money or reach some other personal or financial goal. Don’t take their word for it — many of these “jobs” are scams, or don’t deliver on the claims they make. So do some research and learn about common get-rich-quick and information scams.
Here's what you can do to avoid these scams:
- Be skeptical of success stories and testimonials that tout these programs. They often are fake stories to promote and lead to scam websites
- Take your time and do your homework. Don’t rush into registering your email on websites, paying fees, or making purchases on unfamiliar websites
- Especially, keep an eye out for websites that require an initial registration fee, offer expensive serives after your initial purchase, or rush you into buying something with "limited time offer!" slogans
Remember, legitimate businesses will not promise that you will make a lot of money with little effort.
If you encounter such scams, please report them to:
By reporting scams, you help stop scammers from harming other consumers.