When You Suspect You’ve Been Duped by a Business Scam
It sounded like a too-good-to-be-true business opportunity. However, you now want to kick yourself for not following your instincts. As you watch virtually all of your life savings melt away, you realize you have been duped. Regrettably, that’s the harsh reality of a business scam.
In many cases, it may be that it just made sense to you. After all, just about everyone knows that going into business has some risk. You may think that you have done your share of due diligence. And that will make the insult to your pocket even worse.
A business scam may represent criminal liability. No doubt it will cause you incredible stress. Fraud is among the hardest things to encounter as you attempt to grow your resources. Legal counsel can help you determine if you have a cause of action to at least get some of your money back.
Better Business Bureau and Business Scams
With few exceptions, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a household name. Consumers use it to post complaints and reviews those made to others. For prospective investors, the BBB’s Scam Tracker is an excellent tool. Hopefully, you came upon it before someone convinced you to invest in a less than ethical business.
To date, there have been 72,064 business scams reported nationally since February 2013. Unfortunately, 10,670 of those cases were noted in Texas alone. Here are some of the submissions found in the BBB’s Scam Tracker:
- Tax Collection: Callers have identified themselves as IRS representatives. This happens to both individuals and business entities.
- Business Directory Scams: Collection calls for placement of business directory ads that were never placed.
- Phony Proposal Emails: Small businesses may receive emails with the subject line reading “Request for RFP.” Business owner responds to Request for Proposal. This scam directs you to another website that steals your confidential information. (As an aside, the Federal Trade Commission provides information for small businesses on cybersecurity.)
Fake Promises and Business Scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has its own insights concerning business scams. For example, you may have heard about problems with Herbalife distributors. If not, you should take a look at the information provided by the FTC.
As you may know, Herbalife is a form of multilevel marketing. It promised its distributors that they did not have to worry about selling the product. Instead, they could count on cash for recruiting others. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. And, a successful class action suit ensued.
Business scams also include fake agents claiming to have ready-made business opportunities that turn out to be bogus. Additionally, companies may offer you excess inventory that just does not exist.
The phrase Monday morning quarterback comes to mind when it comes to business scams. Yes, it would be wonderful to go back in time. However, if you feel you’ve been duped, you should absolutely bring your concerns to an experienced business fraud attorney.