Become a Partner in a Business... and a Scam Victim

  
     
Looking for a way to invest your money?
February 16, 2016

If you are looking for a new job or investment opportunity, watch out for this scam. It seems like an entrepreneur is inviting you to partner in a business venture, but it's actually a version of the classic advanced fee con.

How the Scam Works

You get a call or email from someone claiming to represent a business. The company is looking for new partners. These investors receive 50% equity in the business, but there's a catch. You need to pay thousands of dollars in "associated fees and costs" first. 

Versions of this con have been around for a while. Typically, an overseas "businessman" emails targets looking for investors in his amazing new company. It is very similar to the Nigerian Prince con. This new version is far more sophisticated. Scammers have a credible business, website and backstory. 

Tips to spot an advanced fee scam:

  • Use the "too good to be true" rule. If an "opportunity" just falls in your lap (or inbox) and appears too good to be true, there's probably a catch. 
  • Don't share banking information. Do not reply to emails asking for personal banking or credit card information.
  • Be wary of individuals claiming to be overseas. In many different types of scams, con artists claim to be living abroad to avoid in person contact. Consider this a red flag. 
  • Be suspicious of transactions that involve additional fees. Scammers will often tempt victims with a great offer (lottery winnings, job offer) and request additional fees to further the transaction. 
  • Hit delete. Don't reply, and don't click any links or download attachments in emails such as this.

For More Information 

To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).