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Office of the Indiana Attorney General

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The truth about work at home scams

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The thought of earning a lucrative salary from the comfort of home is a tempting one – and that’s precisely why so many organizations take advantage of unsuspecting Hoosiers through “work at home” business opportunities. Learn how to avoid being taken advantage of by knowing what to look for.

Understanding Business Opportunities

  • A business opportunity is commonly referred to as a “work at home” job. Examples of common business opportunities include:
    • Envelope stuffing
    • Transcribing medical records
    • Operating vending machines
    • Setting up display racks
    • Internet malls
  • The Indiana Business Opportunity Transaction Act regulates the sale of business opportunities in the state of Indiana if they require an initial investment of more than $500.
  • Be wary of investment amounts just under $500 (for example $495) as this is likely an indication that the seller is trying to avoid regulation as a business opportunity seller.
  • Most business opportunities are advertised in the classified sections of newspapers or through Internet sites and promise a large monthly income while allowing you to be your own boss and set your own hours.
  • Most people find that the promise of a large income never materializes. Often, the sellers never deliver the goods. Or, if the goods are delivered, investors discover that they are low quality and/or the market for them does not exist or is already over-saturated.
  • Many sellers require you to sign leases for credit card machines or other services that allow them to deduct money from your account each month. Many people find that the withdrawals continue long after they attempt to cancel the contract.

Helpful Tips

  • Before soliciting or advertising the sale of a business opportunity, a seller must register and post a bond with the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.
  • You can contact the attorney general’s office to learn if the company is registered.
  • Properly registered sellers must use the attorney general’s office registration number in any advertisements.

Resources

You can contact the Federal Trade Commission at:
1-877-FTC-HELP
www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/bizopps

Below are the Business Opportunity Questionnaire and Business Opportunity Transactions Standard Disclosure forms and related materials requiring completion in order to comply with the Business Opportunity Transactions Act, Indiana Code § 24-5-8-1-21.

In order to register as a business opportunity, you must return the completed forms, together with a filing fee of $50.00 made out to the Indiana Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.

If you are renewing your registration, you must return the completed Business Opportunity Transactions Standard Disclosure with the $10.00 renewal fee, to the Division on or before the anniversary date of the initial filing for the particular business opportunity. If any material change in the information occurs, you must pay a $10.00 amendment filing fee. You may not advertise or make any other respresentations to any investor in Indiana unless you have first registered with the Division.

Copies of the Business Opportunity forms are included below for your convenience. While Division staff have reviewed these copies for accuracy, the Division will not be responsible for any inaccuracies that may be on the copy. It is simply a guide. It is the responsibility of the Business Opportunity to comply with all the provisions of the Business Opportunity Transactions Act, and to ascertain the laws applicability to their activities in Indiana.

(Links open in new windows)

  1. Business Opportunity Questionnaire
  2. Business Opportunity Transactions Standard Disclosure Form
  3. Business Opportunity Acts & Definitions IC § 24-5-8-1-21
  4. Business Opportunity Secondary Seller Information Questionnaire
  5. General Consumer Business Opportunity Questionnaire