When looking for start-up funds or other financing, research the agency or business offering money and the terms and conditions to help avoid cons or scams. This information is also useful for staying alert when hiring employees, subcontracting work (like building a website), or dealing with a manufacturer or supplier. Some scams happen gradually and can look legitimate until the very moment you realize you've been conned.
In general, before giving or receiving money:
The resources on this page cover how to spot warning signs, places to look up repeat offenders or report scams, and ways to protect yourself.
The following external websites provide links to resources on avoiding business fraud and scams.
The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.
If you have been a victim of a scam, report the information to the police, the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau so that there's a record. The following resources have forms for reporting, and many also link to more information on frauds and other scams.