There are numerous opportunities to grow in the business world. You might start a company or look for the best places to invest money, but opportunities aren’t always what they seem to be. These are the most common scams to be aware of as a professional, so you don’t lose money on the road to success.


1. Sellers Offer False References

Franchise businesses are a popular revenue source for entrepreneurs because they’re easier to start than a new company. You’ll get a ready-made business with operating processes and branding in place. Scammers know how many people want in on a franchise location, so they make the process even sweeter by offering false references.

After discussing the down payment and monthly fees, you’ll receive a disclosure document that reveals any previous purchasers. Reviewing how much the business cost other owners will show if the company is a good investment, but check the purchase history closely.

A scammer could offer a list of references to appear legitimate. The purchase history will include those references if they’re real. If they aren’t in the document, you’re likely dealing with a scammer.


2. Employers Don’t Need Deposits

Recruiting a new employee costs an average of $20,283, which doesn’t include the fee percentage of outsourced recruiters. If you’re looking for a new professional opportunity and a potential employer requires a deposit to secure your job, they aren’t thinking about those costs.

Legitimate jobs don’t need any upfront payments to hire anyone. The company will budget for the hiring fees instead of placing them on candidates. Any company that requires a deposit at the end of their hiring process is likely a sham for scammers who don’t have a real job to offer.


3. Timeshares Could Have Financial Consequences

Timeshares can be a great investment opportunity if you’re aware of the possible financial consequences. You’ll pay into a permanent vacation home, which is a significant benefit for anyone who might travel to that specific destination frequently for work. 

However, you could have to pay for an exit package and security fees if you need to get out of your contract without a professional team negotiating on your behalf. Consider the financial stability of your long-term future and compare contracts before settling on any investment property.


4. Businesses May Be Fake

Anyone can create a website and make a business look real. If a company owner or representative reaches out to you with an opportunity for employment or an investment, look them up in the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

The BBB began in 1912 to build and advance marketplace trust through their free directory. It includes all legitimate businesses and charities that pass their accreditation process. They must pass the BBB’s eight principles for business integrity and history, so you’ll find more trustworthy companies through the BBB’s directory.


5. Multi-Level Marketing Doesn’t Pay Off

Multi-level marketing (MLM) organizations will reach out via direct message on social media and offer a substantial income for selling their products. The trick is that you have to buy the products to sell them and many people never find any buyers. Although a few people can make MLM opportunities work, they mostly trap people with overpriced goods that the market doesn’t actually want.


Watch for Common Scams

These are the most common scams to be aware of as a professional, so keep an eye out. You’ll watch your back, do your research and find more room for growth by avoiding pitfalls like these.