Beware of Business Coaching Scams
Have you seen websites or ads, or gotten telephone calls that say a home-based internet business could be your ticket to making easy cash? Some claim a business coaching program will help you get going. Before you respond to an offer for business coaching services, keep your money in your wallet and your eye on a recent case brought by the FTC.
The FTC has announced a settlement with Ivy Capital and related companies alleging that the companies sold bogus business coaching services to people by phone after the consumers responded to online ads or e-mails for work-at-home opportunities. Using high-pressure sales tactics, Ivy Capital promised big online earning potential, access to expert business developers, and insider tools and tactics to help consumers successfully launch Internet businesses. People who bought these services had virtually no success. Many were coaxed into spending thousands of dollars upfront for services and guidance that were readily available for free and that could not realistically help them make substantial money online.
What should you know before starting a home-based internet business?
- Don’t pay for free information. You can get free business development advice and counseling by experts in the field through government agencies like the Small Business Administration and community colleges with small business centers.
- Do your own research. Are you familiar with the company and its products or services? Is the company affiliated with a legitimate certification or business accreditation program? Does the company have a good reputation? A good way to find out is to type the company name in a search engine with terms like “scam” or “complaint.”
- Beware of the “upsell.” If you find yourself paying for a product or service you have yet to receive, and then get additional calls pressuring you to plunk down even more money for another level of product or service, that’s a red flag. It’s better to cut your losses now. If you think it’s a scam, file a complaint with the FTC.
Want to know more? Check out BusinessUSA for help with starting your own home-based internet business, and hear our new one-minute audio tip.