Work-At-Home Frauds

Earning some extra cash at home, or even running a full-time business right out of the living room appeals to some people following retirement. But those dreams of earning a living in pajamas can be wrecked by other people’s desire to make money off of those dreams. That ad in the paper claiming you can earn good money stuffing envelopes, or that sign tacked to a telephone pole claiming you can make hundreds of dollars a week processing medical billings are just bait luring you into long-running scams.

For instance, a couple was hit with criminal charges last year for running work-at-home scams that falsely promised earnings of over $900 a week for computer data-entry work. Applicants were asked to pay fees ranging from $59 to $150 and in return were promised the inside track on a guaranteed, lucrative job market. The deal was supposed to include manuals, software and training to process medical bills. The computer software was supposed to provide access to health care provider or bill processor Internet sites. However, the customers either never got the software, or the disk they did get didn’t work. There were no guaranteed jobs as promised by this couple.

Don’t be tricked into the moneymaking “opportunity” of stuffing envelopes. You might have seen the classified ads proclaiming that thousands of dollars a month can be made just for stuffing envelopes in your spare time. The reality, though, is that companies can purchase a machine to do the work for them. So, why do they need to pay thousands of dollars for people to do it out of their homes? They don’t.

People were taken advantage of when they sent in a fee to get more information about this moneymaking venture. Instead of amazing secrets or a box full of envelopes, these people received a letter instructing them to place the same “make money stuffing envelopes” ad in newspapers and other publications. The only way to make money is if other people fall for the bait and send the fee in to the person placing the ad, turning the new advertiser into a new scam artist.

This scheme has been updated to take advantage of unwary computer users. Instead of stuffing envelopes, the advertising gimmick claims you can make money processing e-mails. However, the results are the same.

Assembling items at home is also a risky venture. You will be asked to send in a substantial startup fee for materials used to make things like crafts, baby items or handmade jewelry. The company advertises that it will pay you when you ship back the items you’ve assembled. However, many victims have reported that the company refused to pay for the items, stating that the items weren’t assembled correctly and so didn’t meet the company’s high standards. These companies aren’t really offering a home-based business opportunity; they just want to sell you the original materials, leaving you stuck with the crafts and no place to sell them.

For those looking for a home-based business venture, here are some warning signs of a potential scam:

You have to pay for basic information or materials. You shouldn’t have to pay to find out a company’s name, what kind of work is being offered or for instructions.

There’s a lot of hype about large profits.
The company claims that no experience or skills are necessary.
The company explains how the opportunity is legal and legitimate before you even ask.
The company wants you to act now, before you give the opportunity enough thought.
The company only provides an e-mail address or a Post Office box without any indication of a real physical address.