Every day you get phone calls from companies offering things that are too good to be true. You may see an ad online offering great products, or there’s a flyer in the mail with a fantastic offer you want. How do you know if a company is a scam or legitimate because the last thing you want to do is throw away your hard-earned money?
Spotting the Fake Company
There are always advertisements with rock bottom prices to entice you. These products and services seem to be the deal of the century, but you can’t always believe what you see. It would help if you did some research to ensure the company offering such items is legitimate or fake. Here are some tips to help you spot the scam.
1. Check the Better Business Bureau
The internet puts a world of knowledge at your fingertips. If you want to look up a company, it’s relatively easy to do. One of the first places you can check is the BBB. If there are any complaints about a company, you can easily see the issues and if they were resolved on this site.
This only helps when the company has been registered, but what if there are no complaints? It still doesn’t mean that the company is legit. It just means that you’re going to need to dig a little bit more.
2. Analyze Customer Reviews
The next place you can look online is by typing the company name into your search engine. You will get the good, bad, and ugly about the business. Frequently you will find ratings from one to five stars on places like Yelp, and a higher score means more satisfied customers.
Patrons usually don’t hold back when it comes to their honesty about a matter, and you will know with a few reviews whether to trust them.
However, sometimes you must trust your gut. Some companies get a bad rap for things out of their control, like the qnet scam. One disgruntled customer can certainly try to paint a business in the wrong light, but further research can help you find the truth.
3. Review Their Website
Every company that’s anything these days has a website. A business that doesn’t have a website either is just starting up or hasn’t acclimated to today’s world. Websites provide a wealth of information such as physical location, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Any reputable website will be professionally done and have background information on the company. This is all a vital part of ensuring a company is legitimate.
4. Ask for the EIN
The Employer Identification Number is given to a business by the IRS for tax purposes. These numbers identify them in the system, so they can pay their quarterly taxes. If a company doesn’t have such a number, it can indicate that they’re not legitimate.
They’re either trying to scam Uncle Sam or not set up yet. The EIN provides the information you need, but the company might be cautious about giving out such information. If the transaction is for a large sum of money, run if the company doesn’t want to share such information. It’s a private number, but you can use the number on the IRS website to look up and prove if they’re legitimate.
5. Trust Your Gut
After doing some research, you must trust your gut. If the company is legitimate, you can quickly tell by checking Google. If there are some negative customer reviews, you must learn to weed through them to find the ones being true.
Some people like to gripe and complain, but it’s nothing more than their disgruntled and nothing to do with the products or service itself. At the end of the day, if you don’t feel comfortable about doing business with a company, then don’t. The worst thing is to have a bad gut feeling and proceed anyway.
You can never be too careful when dealing with your money. Many good companies out there only want to service their customers and give good products and services. You can’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch. If you’re leery of taking a chance, then doing some research will help you make an informed decision.