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Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceSmall Business · 2 months ago

I got scammed a really bad?

So I ended up buying a business some reason money is not coming in, which doesn't make any sense because owner of the business showed me all of the credit card sales right there in front of my face,  It wasn't fake, he logged right into square .com right in front of me. and showed me all the numbers expenses and everything else. Customers havent came in I'm starting to think that he lied about the report somehow and I got scammed. Thing I can do go get the money back or can I sue? I'm a hundred percent convinced he showed me fake reports. What can be done about this? 

It's been over three months now and the income has barely been over $300 a month previous owner showed me that the net income was at least 3,000 a month. this is literally a nightmare and I've been losing a lot of money since I bought the business. The owner is completely gone, nowhere to be found, his phone number off, what can I do? Somebody please help.  I only have his 1st and last name, no phone number, no address. Nothing. And when I bought the business, I bought it as is. Have I sealed my fate?

19 Answers

  • Rita
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    And there are some rules: The property cannot be sold to the agent (unless there's an express agreement to do so) or sold at a price far below market value.

  • arther
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    I cant say if you have or haven't ****** up but remember throwing good money after bad trying to sue people usually doesn't end well.

  • 2 months ago

    Business owners sometimes do this when they want to sell. It's likely the sales are genuine, but he was selling at cost to friends and family. The intent was clearly to bump the figures up and make it look as if the business were thriving. It's not technically regarded as a scam unless you have particular false claims made by him in writing. It's not ethical, but also not illegal.

    He has possibly done this numerous times and it's likely that you can do absolutely nothing of benefit in that regard.

    Now the question is: 

    Based on the products or service you now sell, can you build a genuine thriving company or do you need to wind the business up and walk away?

  • ?
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    I read this twice.  This guy didn't even have to try to scam just believed everything he you wanted to be scammed.

    I bet you went in and said "This business looks great!  You have a lot of you make money?"

    And he said, "You would not believe how much money!  I just don't know what to do...I want to retire but the business ...t he customers..."

    And you just got this greedy thought in your head and decided you could just buy the business real fast before he changed his mind.

    And he led you on...and you didn't ask for any financial paperwork that would have shown you how badly he was struggling to stay afloat.

    You got scammed...and you asked for it.

    And you better check that he does not have a lot of loans attached to the place and the rent is paid....if you think not making money is bad...just WAIT until  all of the debts and advances he took out on the business suddenly become due.  

    You are now responsible for ALL of the last years taxes...unpaid sales taxes, CAMS ... past due utilities...the credit card account payments...the leas on that SQUARE credit card reader....

    You are now responsible for ALL of that.


    If the rent is not paid the landlord will lock you out, sue you and take everything in the business.

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  • 2 months ago

    Your fate isn't SEALED--but it's been severely hampered. 

    Yes, you got scammed. Yes, you are now burdened with a business that isn't what you thought it was supposed to be. It happens. Now--can you sue?  Not without more information for a lawyer--which you don't have. 

    Sell out--or dump this business--and move on.  There's literally not much you can do at this point except warn other people about your experience. 

    And next time remember that old adage:  if it LOOKS too good to be true, it probably IS. Also, "caveat emptor":   "let the buyer beware."  

  • 2 months ago

    He wouldn't need to show you fake reports to fool you.  He could have just charged a lot of money on his own credit card so that the real reports would show a lot of money.

    Or it could be that there were a lot of customers that really liked him and came only for that reason and stopped coming when he sold it.

    Or that he advertised, had lower prices, or did something else different from you.

  • 2 months ago

    He RAN his business,  you obviously don't understand how to do that.  Don't blame him.

  • 2 months ago

    It could be a scam, but more likely it has to do with how he ran his business.  You've said nothing about where he got, or you expected to get, the sales each month.  All you've said is that the numbers are about 10% of what you saw before.  What are you doing to keep and expand the business, or are you sitting back just hoping that customers will continue to exist?


    Did the previous owner start up a competing business and take customers?  Did you have that in the purchase agreement that he was not allowed to for a certain amount of time?  


    What you describe is not uncommon really.  I have a relative who owned a pre-school for 10+ years where she had to turn families away b/c she was so busy.  She retired and sold the business.  The new owners came back 6 months later saying exactly what you are.  She must have scammed them b/c all the families were pulling their kids from the school and nobody else wanted to join.  The fact is the new owners didn't know what they were doing and alienated their customers.  


    Separately, I a local bagel shop that was thriving for 20 years was sold and went under within a year.  The new owners didn't understand that running the place was more than just taking orders and making food.  The previous owner was known and loved by everyone who came in. (The food was just okay quiet frankly.)

  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Due Dilligence. No sensible person buys a business without seeing audited accounts and has a lawyer.

    You cannot sue because you were rather silly and negligent.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    People use accountants and attorneys for a reason.   The business should have been professionally valued just like you'd have a house inspected before buying it.

    You don't know if those reports were fake or not because you didn't bother to examine the proper documents.   You can't tell if a business profitable just by looking at credit card sales.   By the way, the ONLY document "all the numbers" are on (income and expenses) is his tax returns and anyone serious would have required transcripts ordered from the IRS rather than what he can manufacture at home.

    As far as decreased sales go, for all you know he told his customers in advance that he was selling.  He could have referred those people elsewhere or even started another business that they followed him to.

    Sorry, but you went about this all wrong and I don't see that you have anything to sue him for.

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