"Business Seminars" That Target Job Hunters
Earn up to $100,000 per year!
At the worldâ€™s most successful seminar, weâ€™ll show you how to multiply your money in 6 months or less -- with little risk.
Our experts will teach you the latest insider secrets for making money fast.
You canâ€™t afford to pass up this valuable opportunity.
What a pitch! You may have received a letter or seen an infomercial promoting a seminar or conference that promises to help you make a lot of money. Seminar hucksters say theyâ€™ll give you valuable information about how to invest successfully or operate a profitable business. Their "success stories" and testimonials seem to show that anyone who attends the seminar can make money from the investment and business program theyâ€™re selling. Some promoters may even claim to have gotten rich from their own investment in the program.
If you attend one of these seminars, youâ€™ll hear a series of sales pitches for a variety of business opportunities and investments. Consumers who invest in these "opportunities" frequently find that the pay-off isnâ€™t as promised -- and they canâ€™t recoup the money they spent.
The Federal Trade Commission wants to alert you to the secrets of the seminar squeeze. Be wary of promotional materials or sales pitches that make these claims:
- You can earn big money fast, regardless of your lack of experience or training.
- The program or business opportunity is offered for a short time only.
- The deal is a "sure thing" that will deliver security for years to come.
- Youâ€™ll reap financial rewards by working part time or at home.
- Youâ€™ll be coached each step of the way to success.
- The program worked for other participants -- even the organizers.
Promises of quick, easy money can be a powerful lure. If you buy into a business opportunity at a seminar, you may find that the products and information you purchased are worthless and that your money is gone.
You can avoid getting hit by the seminar pitch. Hereâ€™s how:
- Take your time. Donâ€™t be rushed into buying anything at a seminar. Avoid high-pressure sales pitches that require you to buy now or risk losing out on the opportunity. Remember, solid opportunities are not sold through nerve-racking tactics.
- Investigate the business youâ€™re considering investing in. Talk to experienced business people and experts in the field before spending your money.
- Be wary of "success stories" or testimonials of extraordinary success. The seminar operation may have paid "shills" to give glowing stories.
- Be cautious about purchasing from seminar representatives who are reluctant to answer questions, or who give evasive answers to your questions. Remember that legitimate businesspeople are more than willing to give you information about their investment or sales opportunity.
- Ask about how much money you need to qualify for the investment or sales opportunity, and ask about the companyâ€™s refund policy. Get this in writing. Keep in mind that you may never recoup the money you give to an unscrupulous seminar operation, despite the operatorâ€™s stated refund policies. Taking precautions before you invest is a more effective way to safeguard your money than trying to get a refund after the investmentâ€™s been made.
To File a ComplaintIf youâ€™ve been victimized by a seminar promoter, contact your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General, and Better Business Bureau
Multilevel Marketing Plans
Multilevel marketing plans, also known as "network" or "matrix" marketing, are a way of selling goods or services through distributors. These plans typically promise that if you sign up as a distributor, you will receive commissions -- for both your sales of the plan's goods or services and those of other people you recruit to join the distributors. Multilevel marketing plans usually promise to pay commissions through two or more levels of recruits, known as the distributor's "downline."
If a plan offers to pay commissions for recruiting new distributors, watch out! Most states outlaw this practice, which is known as "pyramiding." State laws against pyramiding say that a multilevel marketing plan should only pay commissions for retail sales of goods or services, not for recruiting new distributors.
Why is pyramiding prohibited? Because plans that pay commissions for recruiting new distributors inevitably collapse when no new distributors can be recruited. And when a plan collapses, most people -- except perhaps those at the very top of the pyramid -- lose their money.
The Federal Trade Commission cannot tell you whether a particular multilevel marketing plan is legal. Nor can it give you advice about whether to join such a plan. You must make that decision yourself. However, the FTC suggests that you use common sense, and consider these seven tips when you make your decision:
- Avoid any plan that includes commissions for recruiting additional distributors. It may be an illegal pyramid.
- Beware of plans that ask new distributors to purchase expensive inventory. These plans can collapse quickly -- and also may be thinly-disguised pyramids.
- Be cautious of plans that claim you will make money through continued growth of your "downline" -- the commissions on sales made by new distributors you recruit -- rather than through sales of products you make yourself.
- Beware of plans that claim to sell miracle products or promise enormous earnings. Just because a promoter of a plan makes a claim doesn't mean it's true! Ask the promoter of the plan to substantiate claims with hard evidence.
- Beware of shills -- "decoy" references paid by a plan's promoter to describe their fictional success in earning money through the plan.
- Don't pay or sign any contracts in an "opportunity meeting" or any other high-pressure situation. Insist on taking your time to think over a decision to join. Talk it over with your spouse, a knowledgeable friend, an accountant or lawyer.
- Do your homework! Check with your local Better Business Bureau and state Attorney General about any plan you're considering -- especially when the claims about the product or your potential earnings seem too good to be true.
Source: The US Federal Trade Comission
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