The sharing economy and online selling platforms have brought about many new opportunities for entrepreneurs and consumers. But it has also led to new opportunities for scammers. Sometimes, spotting a scam can be difficult for an individual. That’s where Fireball Approves comes in.
The company’s owner was once almost a scam victim herself. And the experience led her to want to start a business that could provide guidance and protection to other buyers. Learn more about the company and the story behind it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Confirms the identity of product advertisers to cut down on the risk for scams.
Owner Tammy Sorrento told Small Business Trends, “Fireball Approves will confirm the identity of the advertiser of a specific listing of interest. Examples of listings we verify are: property rentals (short term and long term including homes, apartments, townhouses, condos, timeshares, etc., motor vehicle purchases (cars, trucks, rvs, boats, motorcycles).”
In addition, the company provides services for property accreditation.
Sorrento says, “We will vouch for property owners and/or leasing agents/authorized contacts who pass our robust vetting, which includes: proof of property ownership, positive Identification, phone and email.”
Providing affordable service.
The company just charges $19 to verify any listing, and there are no additional service charges or commissions taken off listings. Additionally, all services are currently free for a limited time.
Sorrento adds, “We refuse to make our customers pay service fees.”
How the Business Got Started
After realizing just how easy it is for customers to get scammed.
Sorrento says, “After a personal experience of ALMOST getting scammed when renting a vacation home online, we decided to fight back!”
Getting some early press coverage.
Sorrenty says that the team’s first news interview with WJXT JAX was a major win early on in the company’s life.
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Rent an office.
Currently, the business is a lean operation with two team members. So Sorrento says she’d like to rent an office space to perform daily activities.
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Image: Fireball Approves, Tammy Sorrento
Is there a way to really become scam-free? I don’t know if it is really possible.