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Lost Your Job? Need Income? Be Careful !!!

February 2nd, 2009 by Skip McGrath

Scammers and telemarketers are targeting the millions of people who have lost their jobs.

As the economy continues to tumble, millions of people are losing their jobs. Crisis like the one we are in now usually bring out the best in the American people, but unfortunately it also brings out the small percentage of crooks who look for ways to take advantage of people.

I am already starting to see this.  This week I received three spam emails with subject lines related to losing your job. All of them wanted me to click a link and read about the latest business opportunity. The same Is happening with ads on Google. If you search terms related to losing your job or making extra income you will see lots of ads for business opportunities with headlines or tag lines that say something like Lost Your Job?. Many of them are multi-level programs and other offers designed to generate a sales lead. 

I filled out one of these with a Gmail address I use just for this sort of thing. Within a few days I started getting phone calls from sympathetic-sounding telephone salesmen. One wanted me to join his Instant Wealth Creation Institute. When we got around to the cost he hemmed and hawed and finally came out with a number close to $10,000. When I asked what it was, he said they would give me a website loaded with thousands of products and I could start selling on the internet within days of signing up for the program.  So let’s see –I am going to get an instant website and compete with Amazon and Overstock.com? That should work.

A few days later I got another call from an outfit that would teach me how to make money buying homes out of foreclosure and reselling them. Their program only cost $5,900 and they would send me a list of foreclosed homes in my area. That sounds like a winner too.

Then I started getting the emails for all types of online success programs. For some reason most of them start at $199 and go up to $1999.  All of them promised instant income streams that would be so great I would never have to go back to work again.  One of them promised they would set up ten blogs for me and within days I would start earning income as people read my blogs and clicked on the advertisements. They promised to send me new articles for all of the blogs every day. All I had to do was upload the articles and wait for the money to come in. I assume they are selling those same ten blogs to thousands of people –That should work; Right?

Don’t get me wrong.  When it comes to making money online I am a believer. I have been doing it for ten years now. But there are no instant programs. There are no systems that someone can hand you for any amount of cash that will produce an income with little or no work on your part. Why would you want a website loaded with thousands of products that is identical to thousands of other websites these companies are handing out? Why would you want a blog with content that is identical to hundreds if not thousands of other blogs? And don’t get me started on multi-level programs. As careful and skeptical as I am, even I got burned by one of those a couple of years ago.

You can make money blogging but you will have to create unique content and add to it frequently. You can make money by setting up niche websites but again they have to unique and highly targeted if you want them to be found. And you can make money on eBay and Amazon like we do, but you can’t do it selling the latest and hottest consumer product. You have to find a niche and source products that aren’t being sold by everyone else including all of the big companies now selling on eBay.

Short of losing a loved one, losing your job probably causes more stress than anything I can think of. If this has happened to you, don’t panic. It is natural to worry, but you can take control of your life and reduce the damage for you and your family. Don’t blame yourself and don’t feel sorry for yourself. Worry and self-doubt are unproductive emotions that just waste the energy you need to focus on solving your problems.

Panicked people are natural targets of predatory sales people.  When stress mounts, take steps to reduce it. Exercise; spend time doing something you enjoy; spend time with your family; and most importantly be open and talk with your family and friends about what you are feeling.  There are ways to supplement your income while you search for a job or wait for your job to restart.  But there are no quick fixes. It will take some time and whatever you do will take some confidence, optimism and effort on your part.

So go ahead and investigate some of the business opportunities out there –and don’t just limit yourself to online opportunities. Over the years there have been millions of people who lost their jobs that led to them starting their own business. Yes many of them failed and eventually ended up going back to work in a job. But many others were successful and they never worried about losing their jobs again.

If you have thought about learning how to sell on eBay, or start a blog or set up an online business then good for you. But take the time to get some training. Read some books or buy some low-cost courses. You don’t need to risk your money on schemes or proven systems.  And most of all you want to start small. Now is not the time to take big risks.

Tough times always end and this time around is no different. In the meantime start exploring all of the opportunities around you.  But just be careful.

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