Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

Warning Signs of Business Opportunity Fraud

Take your time when investing in a business opportunity. Scams and frauds can be hard to spot, do your homework and investigate thoroughly. 

Here are some warning signs of business opportunity fraud.

High Pressure Sales

If you are pressured to make the decision now, don't.

Promises of High Profits

Beware of promises of high profits, especially if they are "guaranteed".

Little or no Risk

If you are told "you can't go wrong" you had better look elsewhere. All businesses involve risk.

High Start-up Fees

Steer clear of business opportunities that involve high sign-up fees, requirements of large product purchases, expensive product, or have a no product repurchase policy.

Evasive Answers

If the promoter will not or cannot answer your questions, don't purchase their product.

Incomplete or Skimpy Contracts

If your contract takes only a couple of minutes to read or seems to be incomplete and the promoter makes promises not covered by the contract, beware. Take the contract to your attorney before you buy so he or she can make sure your rights are protected.

Irregular Business Practices

You are asked to travel to another state to sign the papers and make payment. The promoter asks you to send your payment by private courier instead of through the mail. The only references are half way across the country or even in another country. The promoter is only willing to give phone numbers of references. The promoter is willing to fly in and meet you at the airport to quickly sign you up.