Unsuspecting entrepreneurs are sometimes easy targets for bogus online business opportunities. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stepped up its efforts to protect what it calls "Internet innocents" by offering a free consumer alert pamphlet, Net-Based Opportunities: Are Some Flop-portunities?
Recent cases the FTC has brought before the courts illustrate that while Americans are becoming more Internet-savvy, a little knowledge may not be enough. Under the guise of next-century technology, age-old pyramid and get-rich-quick scams are luring those eager to cash in on the Web's global reach.
The tip-off to a rip-off? Quite often, says FTC attorney Tracy Thorleifson, it's extravagant earnings claims. "If it sounds too good to be true," says Thorleifson, "then it probably is." To request Net-Based Opportunities and other FTC publications, visit http://www.ftc.gov
Leisure Trends Group, (888) 732-7373, ext. 104, email@example.com
The Seminar Center, (212) 655-0077, http://www.seminarcenter.com
Ski/Surf Shop, 1765 Artesia Blvd., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 379-2312
SnowSports Industries America, (703) 556-9020, firstname.lastname@example.org