Scam or Not A Scam?

scam-alertThere are a lot of scams out there that have gotten very practiced in their methods of separating honest people from their hard earned cash. There isn’t one of us who hasn’t been taken at one time or another.

Even a small thing like driving your car to a local restaurant for their weekly special, only to find out the deal wasn’t that great, and to top it off, on your way out you notice you left your car lights on, your battery’s dead and now you need roadside assistance or a tow truck to take you home.

The point being, things can escalate quickly and can turn into something much bigger like the housing debacle of the recent past where you found yourself trusting the wrong people with your investment and lost a bundle. I think the overall awareness and subsequent paranoia grew exponentially starting back a few years ago with Enron which boldly and flagrantly took people’s monetary futures away.

It was hard to believe that so many good people were left at the mercy of the cheaters and liars. Since then we have all been more cautious. Big or little, a scam by any other name is still a scam and we are left feeling mistrustful. We’ve become suspicious and cautious – sometimes overly cautious.

The thing is . . . Not everything that sounds super good is a scam. It may be overhyped, but that doesn’t rule it out as a possible winner. Take a few steps of precaution and then decide the direction you want to go.

#1 Be discerning

By that I mean it’s important to be shrewd and not simply assume an opportunity that sounds good is a rip-off. Do your homework and investigate through proper channels. Use your intuitive good sense but also rely on sure fired reviews. I had one fellow tell me an offer he heard about “smelled like a scam.” I don’t call that thorough investigation.

#2 Depends on your efforts

The most fertile playing field for scamming people is the internet. Cons have been around since the beginning of business, but with the internet the con artists has a much bigger target to hit. One such example of fertile ground is the work from home industry. Sites are popping up all over the web. The work from home proposals I am specifically referring to are the ones that DOE – depend on your effort but also ask for a lot of money to get started. It will always take a little cash to start a business – any business, but beware if it’s an unrealistic number, or they promise you riches in 30 days.

The thing to remember is not all opportunities are stings. There are ways to check out a company’s reputation. With a little bit of investigating you can separate the good guys from the bad. Yes, there are legit businesses out there that really do want to see others succeed. Check out companies on YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, the Better Business Bureau, Google. Make sure any company has a legitimate disclaimer and is transparent with their income disclosures.

#3 There are no guarantees

There are no guarantees in life and we all take chances in whatever business we go into. Give some serious thought before going into a work-from-home job that promises the world with little to no effort.

Only 1% of people who have the midas touch start making money right out the gate. Most have to work harder and spend months building a lucrative business endeavor. If you are not the type to discipline and preserver, then even a legitimate company won’t work for you. You might cry foul and list them as a scam, but in reality you weren’t cut out for the type of work.

I suppose there is no turning back, but we take the lessons forward with us. If an opportunity interests you then be wise and don’t assume the worst or fall all over yourself assuming the best. Do your homework, be smart about your reasons why and have a plan after that. It starts with a few keen first steps in a future you can believe in – it’s true, not everything is a scam.