Many of you always question of ways to determine if a company is real
or a scam. In most cases, people are referring to companies whom they
have not heard before and are overseas. Before committing anything, it
is recommended to perform due diligence and find out more.

Note para 7, about countries normally associated with scammers. It depends on what type of scams. Based on our impression, we can say that:

Nigeria is famous for 419 or inheritance scams.
China is famous for commercial scams.
Russia is famous for romance scams.

This is a checklist provided by Shirlene Nixon.
Are there any complaints filed against the company? You can call the
Better Business Bureau or search through the internet to know the
answer to this question. If through surfing the net you discover that
the company’s name returned to be a scam or poor service, look for
different topics and issues concerning them. Use for better judgment if
it’s just plain complain or a constructive one. A little research can
save yourself from waste of money and effort because of scams. You can
also search newspaper and magazine archives for press releases.

Is the company had undergone legal proceedings filed in the Securities
and Exchange Commission? Find out if there are already lawsuits charged
against the company you are looking for.

3. Are they involved
in alleged fraud and other questionable business practices? You can
also check this through the SEC by reading through documents about the
company’s office, staffs and directors.

4. Do you know who is
behind the company? If you answer is no, check with the government
departments and agencies like the secretary of the state’s office
should the company is not publicly traded. You can do this by reviewing
incorporation documents.

5. Are there filed liens against the
company property? You can visit and check this with area courts. While
at there, you can also ask the attorney general or whoever in the
consumer-protection or fraud division if any complaints against the
company have been filed.

6. Are the contact number and address
posted in the company’s website are real? You can determine this by
giving them a ring or visiting their physical office to make sure that
it is not a mere front or mail drop. If there is a brick and mortar
store, then probably it’s a legitimate company.

7. For online
company, is the domain name of the company rings a scammer’s bell?
Scammers usually use a domain name using hostile nations like Russia, China and Nigeria. (e.g. .ru and .cn)

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