Wealth Building Scams

I have some good news and I have some bad news. First the good news. The number of infomercials on television is decreasing.

Some might say that is great news. But, before you yell hurray, here's the bad news. They are reincarnating as web sites. Changes the whole picture, doesn't it?

For those who've never seen an infomercial, it is a program-length TV commercial touting easy ways to make money in a variety of ways.

Real estate is probably the most often run program. Others include low-interest government loans or grants to start a new business or go to college.

Then there are the old standby classified advertisement sections in newspapers or magazines promising "big money" business opportunities and/or work-at-home schemes. The companies behind these infomercials and print ads claim that by using their products and services, you can learn how to increase your wealth or start a business from the comfort of your home.

These infomercials and advertisements make it very clear you can make the big bucks only by purchasing their books, audio and video tapes, or computer hardware and software. The materials range in price from less than $100 to several thousand dollars.

To clinch the sale, some promoters include a toll-free telephone consulting service with your purchase and offer a money-back guarantee. The fine print in the guarantee is what gets most people.

Web sites promoting these same type of "opportunities" look like an infomercial. Hype, glitz and promises of big money adorn the screen. On the other hand, contact details, other than ordering information, is scant if existent at all.

On television, these infomercials are designed to look, feel, and sound like real TV programs. The FTC says "they often imitate the format of genuine talk shows or investigative consumer news programs."

Because they imitate real programs, "the products being sold often are discussed as part of the program and touted by paid "experts," "moderators," or "reporters", according to the FTC. The programs may last for 30 minutes, interrupted by advertisements for the shows products with ordering information.

As in the offline world, online promoters of wealth-building schemes claim that if you follow their methods, you can make substantial sums of money. The means to easy wealth have shifted from real estate and government auctions to web site sales and development, autoresponder sales, gift clubs and bulk email programs.

The offline world uses the infomercials and advertisements to invite you to attend seminars where you can learn more about their program. You can rest assured the seminar is a slick sales pitch.

The smooth-talking salespeople tout the programs, materials, and services and use testimonials of the people in the back of the room selling the materials to illustrate what easy money you can make. The truth is these people are paid to give testimony. They are on the payroll as salespeople and that's it.

At these seminars the pitch is feverish and it is easy to be lured by promises of success into parting with your money. They are designed to work off the herd mentality. Don't fall for the nonsense.

On the Internet, the herd mentality is engaged through testimonials and a rush to action. You are encouraged every step of the way to BUY NOW! There are only so many days left and this opportunity will be gone forever or some other such nonsense.

The FTC, and everybody else who has studied these programs, gives the following advice:

1. Be skeptical about "get-rich-quick" advertising claims.

2. Ask companies for written substantiation for claims in their presentations, especially those about success rates.

3. Be aware that "experts" who endorse a product often are paid by the advertiser.

4. Be cautious about "testimonials." They may be paid for and probably owrse, do not reflect the experience of most consumers.

5. Be wary of purchasing a program if company representatives give you evasive answers or aren't willing to answer your questions at all.

6. Before you buy, decide whether the price reflects a fair market value.

7. Be wary of promises of free money or low-interest government loans. As a rule, these are available only in limited circumstances.

8. Dont be pressured to purchase immediately. Good opportunities are not sold through high pressure tactics.

9. Before you buy, ask about the companys qualifying requirements and refund policy.

10. Check out the company with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, and state Attorney General's office. They should be able to tell you if any unresolved consumer complaints are on file.

Additional consumer protection resources are available at your local library. Check out materials on personal finance and those geared toward the small business owner.

Your local community college may have a marketing department. Call and ask to speak with one of the professors. Explain the program and ask his/her advice/opinion.

The Small Business Administration and your state and local government have publications and programs for new and potential business owners. Write or call and ask for a list of available publications.

Tap into the Internet. That's right, search engines could turn out to be your best friend. A host of scam busting sites exist and expose scams online and offline.

As always, common sense is your best weapon in the fight against this garbage. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, if you have more than a passing interest, do your homework. Getting too much information is not a crime or a hazard to your wealth.

2000(c) All rights reserved. No one may reproduce this article without permission of the author ([email protected])

GUARANTEED! Turn your paycheck into a cash flow geyser. Cashclique.com Dollar$ign Newsletter provides proven paycheck stretching money management tips, tools, techniques and strategies to increase your personal cash flow. This is YOUR fail safe money management program. FREE subscription at http://www.cashclique.com/page4.htm

In The News:

Correena D. "Cori" Ewald  newschannelnebraska.com
Roland Jack Garrison  newschannelnebraska.com
LuvStarr Adkins, 41, formerly Nebr. City  newschannelnebraska.com

Ten Ways To Sell Your Ideas To Anyone

You have a great idea you know is a winner.... Read More

10 Marketing Tips For Your Business

Here are a few ideas to get you started, all... Read More

Business Profitability - 10 Ways To Boost

10 Ways to Boost your ProfitabilitySo many business owners work... Read More

Top Ten Things to Do to Make your Signature File Sell

Always include a powerful signature on every email you send... Read More

Seven Steps to Achieving Your Dream

"Vision is the spectacular that inspires us to carry out... Read More

10 Ways to Develop A Free Agent Attitude

Whether you are self employed or you work for someone... Read More

Seven Keys to Get Out of a Rut

Rut -- a routine procedure, situation, or way... Read More

Bookkeeping Techniques For Morons

Please don't think I am calling you a "moron" to... Read More

Top 10 Ways Websites Makes Me Suffer

I believe some people create and publish websites for the... Read More

10 High-Impact Viral Marketing Strategies

Viral Marketing is allowing people to giveaway and use your... Read More

How to Apply the 12 Steps for Managment Conflict and Resolution

1. Admit there is a problem.The very first step in... Read More

10 Things To Do Before You Start Your Business

If you are thinking of starting a new business, or... Read More

7 Super Ways To Drum Up More Sales

1. Use subheads throughout your ad copy.Subheads are great to... Read More

Ten Reasons to Implement Choice Theory in Your Organization

What is Choice Theory (CT)? CT is a theory of... Read More

How To Use Bartering To Gain An Advantage Over Your Competition

If you have a business on the Internet you should... Read More

How to Counsel Your Non-Performing Team Members - 10 Tips

Counselling non-performing team members is a tough part of any... Read More

Seven Ways to Get the Most Out of the Next Training You Attend

Sometime soon you will be attending some training. It may... Read More

7 Money Saving Tips to Decrease Home Business Expenses

We all know that running a home business is highly... Read More

Reminders For Running A Better Business

The following tips are from an article we contributed to... Read More

Surviving When Clients Arent Rolling In

As the holiday season starts to settle in, the workload... Read More

How To Make $20.00 For Every $1.00 Invested

It has been said you can lift the Rock... Read More

7 Ways To Make A GREAT First Impression!

1. Focus on the other Being known as a... Read More

Ten Tips for Working at Home

1. Maintain regular working hours and stick to them.2. Get... Read More

Event Planning: Seven Best Practices Successful Planners Use

Do you plan events for the corporate world like product... Read More

10 Tips to Successfully Use Business Networking as a Marketing Strategy

Networking is probably the best way to build a profitable... Read More