Avoid Trouble When Looking for Work - KMOV.com

Avoid Trouble When Looking for Work

Many of you are looking for new jobs and are posting resumes on-line. We heard from a woman we profiled in our "Ready to Work" series who recently got a call from a person offering her a chance to join an organization for $29 to sell various products (everything from dog food to hand creams). She worried it may be a scam.

While there are multi-level marking businesses that are perfectly legitimate, the line between a good opportunity and a scam can be hard to distinguish.

Read what the Federal Trade Commission says about multi-level marketing businesses:

1. Avoid any plan that includes commissions for recruiting additional distributors. It may be an illegal pyramid.

2. Beware of plans that ask new distributors to purchase expensive inventory. These plans can collapse quickly -- and also may be thinly-disguised pyramids.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Beware of shills -- "decoy" references paid by a plan's promoter to describe their fictional success in earning money through the plan.

6. 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.

7. 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.em>

The Missouri Attorney General explains what a pyramid scheme is here.

Some other good tips?

Get as much information as you can about the business contacting you. Check to see if they have their proper licenses. Often, you can do that with a call to the city hall (in the city the business is based). Or call the State's Attorney General's office in the state the business is located to ask about complaints or investigations.

Warning signs?

Take time to check out an offer more closely if you're being pressured to sign a contract or pay start-up costs immediately. If someone says the deal is off the table tomorrow, you may want to do more research. Also, if someone promises extremely high profits with little work or time involved, think twice.

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