Shirley Rooker, president of Call For Action, a national consumer help line, says think twice if you are considering a business deal that includes any of the following:

1. A company refuses to give you references or send you written information about the offer.

2. A telemarketer acts as if he has done business with you before.

3. A "prize" is delivered by an alternative carrier, not the U.S. Postal Service; many con artists use alternative carriers in order to avoid postal-fraud charges.

4. A company representative requires you to act on an offer the same day.

5. A company asks you to pay a fee before you receive goods, services or information.

6. A telemarketer or a company advertising on the Internet asks for your calling-card number as identification for purchases, or your credit-card number to qualify you for a "prize."