There have always been scammers. But with the Internet, scammers easily gain access to their victims, often posing as legitimate businesses. As people have come to recognize the more obvious scams, scammers have become more sophisticated and it can now be difficult to tell the real from the fake.
- Beware of websites that use “http” instead of “https” at the beginning of the site URL.
- Check that there is a lock icon next to the URL.
- Beware of offers that sound too good to be true, a sense of urgency (only 6 hours left to take advantage of this opportunity), and being asked to pay via an unsecured method such as a money order or transfer.
If you’re interested in partnering with or buying from a company, do some research to make sure they’re legitimate. With that in mind, let’s look at 10 Legit Business Industries That Look Like Scams.
Related: The 10 Weirdest Catfishing Scams
The antiques business is not logical. After all, why buy a 100 year old table for a thousand bucks when you can get a more modern one at your local furniture store for a lot less?
Setting the price of an antique or a collectible does not depend on practical concerns such as utility; it depends on nebulous qualities like rarity and what the market will pay for. The antiques and collectibles market is worth approximately $1.7 billion a year in the US Antique dealers are not usually scam artists, although they naturally try to get the best possible price.
If you’ve decided to buy antiques or collectibles, perhaps as an investment, you should do a lot of research and find out what similar items are selling for on sites like eBay or in auction catalogues.
9 Used Car Sales
Used car dealers have a terrible reputation. They often work on commission and need to sell vehicles quickly and at the highest possible price. But this does not mean that the business is a scam. A seller would probably be surprised if he accepted the advertised price without haggling. This is not a scam; It’s part of the game.
If you buy a used car privately, you know that the seller is trying to get you the best possible price and there may be some back-and-forth negotiations. It’s no different in a car lot or on the Internet. Several websites will give you price comparisons so you know if the price is reasonable for the year and model you want to buy.
Even if you know cars, it’s always a good idea to have a friend with you who can point out obvious problems you may have missed.
8 content creation
There are countless websites out there just waiting to grab your attention for more than a few seconds. To do this, companies need good content that is interesting and informative. An industry has developed to meet the demand for engaging content.
Content providers promise to provide well-written articles that meet the needs of their customers. Competition among vendors is fierce, and writers typically don’t get paid much for their articles. Many people believe that these providers are scammers and that the writers will do their job and never get paid for it; that’s not true.
While some providers may not be entirely trustworthy, most understand that their writing team is their best asset. If you’re considering writing for one of these sites, there are several review sites on the web that will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Many disgruntled writers leave negative reviews on forums, but these people may not have understood their companies’ terms and conditions. The vast majority of content providers are perfectly legitimate.
7 Health and Wellness Articles
The global market for health and wellness food products is worth about $841 billion, and that’s just food. Add in supplements and treatments, and the market is huge.
Everyone wants to live a longer, healthier life, and many of us are willing to spend a lot of money to help us achieve our goals. This allows scammers to exploit our vulnerabilities and sell us products or treatments that are of dubious benefit or sometimes downright dangerous. This is a headache for the many genuine companies that market carefully crafted products that fill a real need.
You should carefully research both the product and the seller. The rule of thumb is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before taking supplements, it is a good idea to consult your medical provider.
6 recruitment agencies
A professional recruitment agency wants to put the right person in the right position. The company the agency represents pays a fee whether the work is part-time or full-time, temporary or permanent. It is a legitimate business that can save an employer time and effort and find a job applicant the position that suits her needs. Unfortunately, some scammers also work in this field.
Fake recruitment agencies may offer jobs on social media or contact you directly via email. These are after your personal information; do not answer if you do not know the agency. Some job placement agencies ask you to pay a registration fee. This is a red flag; a genuine agency will charge the company, not the job applicant.
Again, it’s a matter of doing a bit of homework to find out if the placement agency is genuine.
5 Technical support
A true technical support team works under a strict code of conduct. Take Microsoft as an example. Microsoft will never send you an email out of the blue that your computer has a problem. The company will not call you to ask for financial or personal information. If your computer displays a pop-up asking you to call a number, no matter what you say, it’s not from Microsoft. In other words, they won’t contact you if you don’t contact them.
Scammers posing as tech support personnel may ask you to pay for a repair you don’t need or try to scam you out of your personal information.
You should report any suspicious messages directly to the actual company (eBay, Amazon, Walmart, etc.) and consider reporting it to your local police. These scammers are giving real tech support teams a bad name.
4 online training
You may have decided to go out on your own and try a new profession. Perhaps you do not have the necessary experience and want to learn a little more before taking the plunge. Check out online providers like edX or Coursera who offer a wide range of courses that might be just what you’re looking for. These platforms offer well-designed courses that are sometimes free to access, but will charge you a fee if you want to earn a certificate.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for on these trusted sites, you can contact a professional brand in your chosen field and see what training courses they suggest.
Unfortunately, scammers have moved into the countryside with promises of guaranteed income and untold wealth. Please vet these providers carefully before parting with your money.
3 Real estate
You can make a lot of money in real estate, but it requires training, and many courses offer the necessary preparation. An online course can allow you to continue in your current job while preparing to change careers. Most of these are legit, but there are some shady ones out there.
Your course must meet your state’s licensing requirements and your state must certify or approve the course. Talking to a local real estate agent is not a bad idea to see what they would recommend. Online seminars that charge a fee but are not complete courses may be scams.
If there’s one area where scammers show what a cruel business they’re in, it’s charity. And it is not surprising because there is a lot of money in the charity business. In 2020, Americans donated a whopping $471 billion to worthy causes. Or they believed they were worthy causes.
Most charities are perfectly legitimate, but some are criminal. After a natural disaster, for example, “charities” appear immediately, asking for immediate financial help for those affected. Some of them just go for your cash and disappear as quickly as they arrived. And sometimes even genuine charities can be mismanaged.
It would be a shame if all charities fell under suspicion just because some are scams. You should always check before donating, especially if you are unfamiliar with the charity. The Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator, and CharityWatch oversee charities.
Due to scammers, people may be wary of donating to genuine charities. Whichever you choose to support, be sure to do your homework before handing over your hard-earned money.
1 debt collection
Nobody likes debt collection agencies, but they do a difficult and necessary job. A code of ethics and federal law govern what a debt collector can do in the legitimate recovery of money owed. They should treat people with respect, register complaints about the validity of a debt, and never use threatening behavior when trying to collect.
All genuine collectors adhere to the rules and codes of conduct that apply to their business.
Because many people naturally fear debt collectors, scammers have moved into the countryside, hoping some of their victims will pay up to avoid threats of repercussions. A professional agency will never use threats in writing or over the phone.
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