Advice Worth Taking, ‘How to avoid online business scams’

How to avoid online business scams

Most of us believe that people are honest and that businesses are reputable. However, with the advent of the Internet, there are likely more business scams than most of us can remember. There are some signs that you can watch for that can help you avoid online business scams. Let us discuss some of these signs so that you can avoid being a victim.

1. Large up-front money requests – Any business that is asking you for large sums of money up front is a likely candidate for an online business scam. There are of course, some business ventures that will require up-front fees, but use some caution in determining the legitimacy.

2. Guarantee huge payouts – If you get an email, or “land” on a website that is guaranteeing you large sums of money, then chances are that you have just found an online business scam. Businesses take time, energy and work to get going. Your success is going to depend largely on your hard work and effort. There truly is no such thing as a free lunch!

3. Pins/Personal Information – Be wary of any business proposition that asks you up front for personal information. Now, understand that some legitimate business ventures will require such things as W9’s or even W8’s but factually, if you have to disclose a lot of personal information, make sure you look carefully at what you are getting yourself into. Don’t fall prey to an online business scam that is going to result in your identity being stolen.

4. Check the BBB – Nearly every legitimate business will have a listing that can be easily accessed from the Better Business Bureau. Use this handy, free tool to review what the history of the business you are considering. Do not panic if you see one or two complaints, but, be wary of red flags. Do your homework before you get involved in any online business.

5. Understand TOS – One of the biggest mistakes that people make when deciding to get involved in an online business is a failure to read Terms of Service. You should always read carefully any terms of service for any website you are visiting – this means whether it is a website that you are just reviewing or a website you are doing business with. Take the time to understand what you are committing to before you take any action.


There are hundreds upon thousands of legitimate business opportunities that you can get involved in online. Do not make the mistake of falling for an online business scam. It is not difficult to avoid online business scams, you just have to pay attention to what you are committing to.

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