Business Opportunity Scams

Looking for a job or to earn extra income? Ever thought about starting your own business? Buying into a business opportunity that makes big claims about what you can earn might sound like the answer. But don’t sign up just yet.

Learn about your rights and the seller’s responsibilities under the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule, and questions to ask that can help you avoid a rip-off. 

Even legitimate business opportunities involve risk. For example, if you’re considering buying a franchise, you’ll want to find out more about how to shop for a franchise opportunity, the obligations of a franchise owner, and questions to ask before you invest.

Starting a Business

Before you sink money into a business opportunity, it’s a good idea do some research and get specific information from the promoter.

Thinking About Buying a Franchise?

Buying a franchise is a major financial investment and a serious personal commitment. Understanding your abilities and goals is one step toward deciding whether a franchise is right for you.

Bogus Business Opportunities

Want to buy a business? Here’s how the Business Opportunity Rule can help you evaluate the opportunity — and the seller.

Starting an Internet Business

Thinking about an internet startup? The promise of big bucks and terrific working conditions can be tempting, but consider these factors before you hand over any money.

Multilevel Marketing

Some multilevel marketing plans are pyramid schemes, which are illegal and risky.

Work-at-Home Offers

Many work-at-home opportunities are promoted by scam artists. These can cost you more than you can earn.

Work-at-Home Businesses

Many work-at-home opportunities are promoted by scam artists. If you pay in, it’s likely that you will spend more than you can earn.

At-Home Medical Billing Businesses

Many medical billing business opportunities are worthless. Their promoters lie about their earnings potential and fail to provide key information.

Envelope-Stuffing Schemes

Offers that promise quick and easy income from stuffing envelopes at home virtually never pay off.

Investments

If you risk a lot of money, you can lose a lot of money. High pressure offers promising high returns are virtually always scams.

Investment & Biz Opp Seminars

The “opportunities” pitched at seminars usually don't live up to the hype. Take your time, ask questions, and listen carefully to the answers before you consider an investment.

Job Scams

Paying for the promise of a job is a nonstarter.  

Government Job Scams

There’s never a fee to apply for a federal or postal job.

Mystery Shopper Scams

Interested in mystery shopping? Here’s how to distinguish real opportunities from bogus offers.