Are you still asking yourself the $64,000 question: “Can I really start my own business?” Well, we may have some bad news for you. It turns out that a lot of businesses are actually fake businesses. And it’s only getting worse. Here are 12 brutal truths about fake business and risky business themes to help you decide whether to start your own company or not.
1) Not every email is from a real person or company (sometimes it’s just spam)–
You get an email from someone who wants something from you; they usually want your money, but occasionally they will want your time, energy and creativity too. They ask you to call them on the phone or send them an email. So, you do, and you spend an hour or so on the phone with someone from the Philippines. Very often, there is no real person on the other end of the line. Yes, this happens all the time!
2) Not every news story you read has been fact checked (sometimes they’re just fake) –
It seems like we’re reading more fake news than ever before. What’s really going on is that people are just paying more attention to it and calling it out when they see it. Here’s how you can tell if you’re reading real news or fake news.
3) Not every restaurant really has the best food (perhaps they only look good on social media) –
The food photographs that restaurants post on Instagram and Facebook are often edited and “photoshopped.” Some restaurants might be putting “filler” in their meals to bulk up their customers or adding “stickers” to their digital images of food for the same reasons. If you want to know if your favorite restaurant is being truthful, try a little experiment called, “Ask for the check before your meal arrives.” If they’re real, they’ll respect your wishes.
4) Not every time a celebrity is featured in your favorite magazine has been written by a real writer (sometimes they’re lying about their credentials too) –
Celebrities, celebrities, celebrities. Nothing seems more important than a celebrity these days. But if it’s fake news and not just all about the celebrity on the cover, then you need to know what’s going on. The Black List is an insider’s guide and resource for finding out if these famous people are who they say they are (we rate them ourselves).
5) Not every person who wants to meet you is a good guy (sometimes it’s just an identity thief) –
Identity thieves want to “get their hands” on your personal information so they can steal your identity, drain your bank account and take away your credit. They often pretend to be someone they aren’t — like a job recruiter or an “agent” of some kind — that knows all about you already. They’ll insist on meeting with you in person right away. That’s how they get their hands on your data. But sometimes it’s even simpler than that: for example, this happened to the daughter of John McAfee, founder of the antivirus software company. She had set up a fake LinkedIn account in which she pretended to be an employee of his company. The identity thief impersonated the real McAfee and hacked into her laptop, stole her password and accessed her personal information.
6) Not every single person who says they can help you will do so (often they’re lying about their credentials too) –
After all, you’re probably being contacted by a lot of different people who all say they can help you start your business. And there are many companies out there that say they can help with “business consulting,” but in reality their services are really aimed toward selling you their products and services, and just not telling the truth about it.
There are more fake businesses out there than you know (maybe even more than you think) – But here’s the truth: fake business is getting worse, not better. There are seven billion people on the planet. The number of businesses in the world has grown significantly since 1980, going from less than 60 million to 619 million in 2017. That’s a 550 percent increase in just over 40 years. So that means that there are about 638,000 more fake businesses today than there were when we started this research project back in 2015.