Net Alert

Protect yourself against Internet opportunity scams.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the August 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You've been warned repeatedly to check out business and , especially if they promise easy money. But while some scams are easy to spot, many con artists have gotten quite good at luring investors--especially over the . So how can you tell if an offer is too good to be true?

The Federal Trade Commission () recently released a Alert notice, "Net-Based : Beware of Flop-portunities," which includes the following tips for researching business and franchise opportunities offered on the Internet:

  • 4Remember, seminar "trainers" and "consultants" are often there to sell you a business opportunity, not to provide a true learning experience.
  • 4Investigate all earnings claims by visiting others who have invested in the opportunity.
  • 4Get all company claims in writing.
  • 4Don't accept the company's list of references in lieu of a list of franchise or owners.
  • 4If it's a franchise, request a disclosure document--the company is required by to provide you with one.

To check out FTC publications on this and other topics, visit the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and click on "Consumer Protection," or write to the Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, , DC 20580.

What's New

By Rachel Balko

  • Atlanta-based Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits is collaborating with casual dining giant Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, based in Chicago, to create "Popeyes Cajun Kitchen," a new chain of French Quarter-themed restaurants. The first of the New Orleans-style bistros, which will feature open kitchens, is slated to open this fall in Chicago, with a second location planned for Atlanta sometime next year.
  • Thomas K. Gandee, a former franchisee of Floor Coverings International (FCI), is now the Forest Park, Georgia-based company's new owner and CEO. In less than one year, Gandee, 50, went from franchisee of the mobile floor covering company to director of national accounts to president--and ultimately to his present position.
  • The Franchise Center at the University of Texas at El Paso will hold a Franchise Management seminar October 1-3 at the El Paso Camino Real Hotel. For more information, call (915) 747-7730.

Contact Source

ServiceMaster-Boise, 408 N. Allumbaugh, Boise, ID 83704, fax: (208) 322-3353.

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