Many of us want new jobs with new opportunities. We are either bored with what we are doing at the moment and desire new challenges, or dislike the place we are currently working and desperately want a change. Many of us would love to run our own businesses. The freedom and independence that this brings, answering only to you and working when you want is an incredibly desirable thing. However, the reality of this materializing is slim to none in most people’s cases. Most of us don’t have the capital required to start a small business. Others are frightened off by the risk factor involved. Your steady income will be gone as well as the fact that nearly 90 % of all new businesses fail within the first year. Affiliate marketing is a way around the risk and start up costs. Affiliate marketing costs nothing to join and the risk is minimal. You paid according to what you produce and not according to how the company is performing. There are many wonderful affiliate programs for you to get involved with, however as with anything one needs to be cautious. Unfortunately, today we live in an age of internet and business fraud. Countless people loose large sums of money on these home business scams. Unfortunately, the world of affiliate marketing is not immune to this. While it is impossible to list every precaution a person should take, there are some signs that people can look for. These don’t always mean that the company is fraudulent but they should be looked into carefully. Many lull themselves into a false sense of security when it comes to affiliate marketing programs. They feel that, there is no cost to them money wise so they have nothing to loose. However, this isn’t true. You may get away with no money being lost but you could lose loads of your next most precious commodity, that being time. You’re going to have to work very hard to build up your affiliate marketing business so you will want to be legitimate. You should definitely ask the company for testimonials. Don’t rely on the ones that they post on their website. Anyone could have written these. Ask for names and addresses of people that you can contact to find out how the program worked for them. You can also try searching on your favorite search engine. By looking under scams or the company name, you’ll have a good chance of digging up any dirt that is there. Read the testimonials carefully. If you find a few bad reviews, this shouldn’t put you off. Sometimes people just are not cut out for certain programs. If there is more good than bad then things are likely okay. You can also use these testimonials for advice on what to do and what not to do. If you have problems finding information then this should be a warning. Good affiliate programs will have been around for a while and will have a track record. Resist the temptation to join up while the offer is still hot. If it is a good program it will still be there in 6 months time. If the product or service is worth having, there will still be plenty of profit to make out of it. The lure of running our own businesses attracts many. However, the reality of what is involved stops most of us before we get started. Affiliate marketing is a way to work for you without the financial risk. There are many great affiliate marketing programs in existence today. However, there are also many companies that are fraudulent. When deciding who to go with, check for testimonials. Use the internet to dig up the dirt. Check the company’s track record. No track record at all can be as bad as a negative record. Beware of new companies. If they are worth it they will still be there in a few months time.