Consumers are able to detect Internet business scams by carefully researching any business opportunities, interviewing previous investors and conducting an online search for possible fraud reports. Consumers should also consult an attorney or accountant before committing to an Internet business investment.
A common indication of an Internet business scam is pressure to act immediately combined with an offer of a money-back guarantee or no-risk refund. A consumer offered a business opportunity should take the time to thoroughly research the company, the business plan and the background of the business owners. Any legitimate business should provide detailed verifiable information about genuine opportunities and be willing to answer any questions a potential investor or business partner has. A consumer should check out the company website, verify the domain registration details, and test any email addresses and links.
Consumers should request specific information on the success of previous investors and attempt to contact them by email or phone to check the legitimacy of their claims. Consumers can also conduct an online search specifically for scams by entering the company name or the name of the business owner and the word scam, complaint or fraud into an Internet search engine. Consumers should contact the local Better Business Bureau, state attorney general's office and consumer protection agency where the business is based to ask about any consumer complaints. Finally, a consumer should vet any formal business agreements with an attorney or business professional before signing.