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Scams Circulate On Internet, Too
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People are becoming more cautious when they read the want ads, but they should not let their guard down when surfing for opportunities on the Internet.
The increase of computers at home and the increasing desire to work at home is driving many opportunity seekers to the Internet.
Dr. Beth Duncan, extension home-based and entrepreneurial business specialist at Mississippi State University, said the Internet is one more avenue scam artists use to hook people.
"Many people are looking for that American dream of working at home and making good money. Sometimes, offers sound so good people want to believe they are true. This desire to believe can hurt their better judgement," Duncan said.
Some Internet offers may include the chance to make money with a home computer. Since Internet surfers typically enjoy using their computer, it's an offer many find hard to pass up.
"Treat work offers found on the Internet with the same caution you would one found in a classified ad in a newspaper," Duncan said. "Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
Before investing in any business opportunity, request a complete description of all initial and future charges which you must pay.
Duncan recommended asking companies for written proof of their claims, especially about success rates. Check out companies with Better Business Bureaus and the state Attorney General's Office where the company is based.
The Federal Trade Commission has a web site on the Internet at http://www.ftc.gov and theNational Fraud Information Center also has a site at http://www.fraud.org. Mississippi Attorney General's Office web site at http://www.ago.state.ms.us .
"Don't just check the references the company gives you," Duncan said. "Consumers can't always trust the lack of complaints as a sign the company is a safe investment.
"Use your common sense and intuition. If something seems suspicious, don't invest," Duncan said.