Have you ever been tempted by a newspaper ad that claims to make you rich while working at home? Don’t believe it. It is always a scam.
Opportunities that promise a large income and the flexibility of working at home are not new, but there has been an increase in these scams.
Here are some of the most common work-at-home scams;
· Envelope Stuffing
The pitch: Earn money by stuffing envelopes at home. After you pay the required fee, you will find there is no job, and they don’t respond to your appeals.
· Assembly or Craft Work
The pitch: Earn money working at home by making things which the company will then purchase from you. You make the items, sometimes investing thousands of dollars in equipment and materials. But the company never buys them from you. None of your work is ever “up to standard,” according to them.
· Computer Work
The pitch: Make money working at home doing data entry and word processing tasks. All you have to do to get started is send in a small fee. If you fall for this work-at-home scam, all you’ll get is a useless guide to work-at-home jobs.
· Medical Billing Work
The pitch: make big money by starting a home business providing electronic billing services, including accounts receivable and electronic insurance claim processing for doctors and dentists. For your investment of $2,000 to $8,000, you are promised software, training and technical support. Unfortunately, you are not promised any clients.
· Reshipping Work
The pitch: Make money simply by repackaging goods sent to you. The scam works when people are promised considerable sums of money for receiving, repackaging and then, remailing merchandise that was originally ordered online and sent to a foreign address. Unknown to the person who agrees to this process is that the items in the boxes were purchased using stolen credit cards.
Before investing any money, research the company with the Department of Consumer Protection, and with the Better Business Bureau.
The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule requires companies to disclose key information about business opportunities they are selling, to provide references and to back up claims about how much you can earn.
- assume a work-at-home offer is legitimate because you saw it in a trusted newspaper or on a legitimate job website. It could still be a scam.
- believe website testimonials. Fake work-at-home sites are full of personal stories of people (often struggling single parents) making thousands of dollars a month because they took advantage of this amazing opportunity.
- sign a contract or make a payment without doing your homework about the company making the offer. Have a friend or colleague review it.
- stick around if there’s any suggestion that your earnings are based primarily on recruiting other people to join the operation — it’s probably a pyramid scheme.
The consequences of falling for a work-at-home scheme can include unknowing involvement in criminal activity; please be very careful before you engage in any work-at-home schemes.
Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!!!
This article was written by Catherine Blinder, chief education and outreach officer of the Department of Consumer Protection of the State of Connecticut. To learn more about how the Department of Consumer Protection can help, visit us online at www.ct.gov/dcp.