Too many people today look at an opportunity online, fall for the hyped claims and signup without thinking. You really need to take a step back and examine it before joining. Here are some things to consider.
One of the first things you should do is go through the site of the program you are interested in and determine who is running it, where they are located and what their contact information is. Know who you are dealing with. If you can’t find any of that, that should bring up a red flag!
If you were referred to the program by someone, email them or call them and find out what they know about the program, who runs it, how long they have been involved and are they making money. If they can’t give answers, ask them for their sponsor’s name and email. Maybe they have information from being able to access the program’s member pages, from a welcome email they received upon joining or maybe from checks/statements that they might have received. If they don’t have any information or are reluctant to tell you, they may be promoting it in the dark.
If they have some company information, i.e., telephone number, address or email addresses, contact the company and ask questions about how many people they have in the program, how long they have been in operation, do they have any business references you could talk to and whatever else you want to ask. If you email them and they don’t get back to you timely or at all, pop up another red flag. This may be an indication of the type support you are going to get.
If you can’t find any information on them through the above avenues and you still want to do some research take the URL (web site address) i.e., www.theirname.com and go to one of the major search engines and enter the address (theirname.com) or the name of the company.
The other day I searched on a company that has been around for a number of years. I entered the name of the company in quotes at Iwon.com and got a list of almost 25,000 sites. By doing this you can then check out some of the sites that you find for contact information or at least find other members who you could contact.
Another place you can go if you can’t find any contact information on the company is a domain registration site. Take the URL of the company you are checking and go to:
Network Solutions Whois Site http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois and enter the URL. You should in most cases be able to determine who registered the domain name, where they are located, a telephone number and/or email address. This will be under the Administrative contact section. You can also determine who hosts the site.
If the URL ends in one of the new domain types i.e., .tv, .ta, or .de for example I generally use the register.com site since it has info on these type domains: Register.com http://www.register.com
There are a couple of discussion boards that may have information that may help you. They are:
Victims Against Scams http://pub31.ezboard.com/bvictimsagainstscams
Friends In Business (Scams 101) http://friendsinbusiness.com/board/index.cgi?
iCop! Discussion Forum (International Council of Online Professionals) http://pluto.beseen.com/boardroom/h/50220/
The Home Business & Marketing Discussion Board http://www.homebizlink.com/wwwboard
A couple of sites that you may want to also check are:
The Consumer Sentinel http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/
Internet ScamBusters http://www.scambusters.org
The Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov
One other resource is the good old online telephone books. If you have an address or telephone number go to www.yellowpages.com or www.whitepages.com and check them out. You can use the telephone number and do a “reverse directory check” which checks the telephone number and gives you a name and address. You can also check out the address that you have and sometimes may be able to tell if the address is a valid business office or a mail drop by making a couple of telephone calls.
If you are getting ready to spend some of your hard earned money by joining a money making opportunity whether it is a one time cost or a monthly cost, make sure that you check it out. First you want to reassure yourself that it is legit and secondly if you are going to promote it, you want to make sure you have confidence in it since you are going to risk your reputation by recommending it to others.
Article by Joe Reinbold, Publisher of Home Income Quarterly
E-dition, a free weekly online marketing newsletter. To subscribe
just mailto:subscribe@h… with “Subscribe” in the
subject. Or visit The Entrepreneur’s Home Business Link where you
will find the solutions to your home business needs at: