Work at home scams target the senior citizens, stay-at-home parents, and
those who are poor, sick or disabled.
have probably seen online ads, email or junk mail offering easy money for
work you can do while you are in the comfort of your own home.
What is not mentioned in the ads is that you will need to spend your own
money to cover a one-time joining fee, or buy the system, or fund your own
advertising, or work long hours without pay, or become part of organized
crime that is reshipping stolen goods or carrying out fraud.
Work at home schemes appeal to our desires to earn more money, avoid having
a boss, work fewer hours, and stop commuting. Often scammers also tap into
our desires of a better life by stating "spend a few minutes a day and earn
all the money you need to make all your dreams come true."
Work at home scams are only expected to increase as economic conditions
worsen and people find themselves out of work or in need of extra cash to
deal with escalating prices for basic goods.
To avoid getting caught in these work at home scams, start by staying alert
and using your common sense. If a particular promotion seems too good to be
true, it probably is and so don’t waste your time or money.
Be Wary of Home Based Business Scams if There are:
Claims of "no experience necessary"
Contact details are solely an email address, a mobile
phone number or a P O box number
There are no details of exactly what is involved
You are asked to call a 1-900 number and are billed for seeking more
They are asking you to make something or do something a machine or
factory in China could do faster and cheaper
Claims of inside information such as "The government doesn’t want you to
Money is required for instructions or products before you know how the plan
works "To learn more, send $30 for shipping!"
Testimonials with vague details
Claims of guaranteed markets and huge demand for your handiwork
Exaggerated claims of huge profits and big part-time earnings like "Earn
$500 in just 3 hours!"
Be suspicious of any
job opportunity that requires any upfront fees or pays you with checks that
require a Western Union or other wire transfer. According to an October 2007
report by the Federal Trade Commission, about 2.5 million Americans — nearly 1
percent of the entire population, fall for work at home scams each year, and
many are repeat victims.
Questions to Ask
Before you get involved in any work at home business, and especially before
you invest your hard-earned savings, ask:
exactly do I need to do to earn money?
What tasks will I have to
What will I
get for my money?
Do I have
to purchase anything?
the total costs to get in on the deal?
quality standards I must meet for the products I produce?
receive a salary or is it based on commission?
When will I get my first paycheck?
How do I
Do I have
to sell anything or market the product or information?
Do I need
to recruit others to the program?
What is the
refund policy if I am not satisfied?
If the answers you get don’t really satisfy all your concerns, forget about
the promotion. The chances are good that it is really a scam.
Resources and Complaint Options
If you have been a victim of work at home scams, start with the company you
sent your money to and make sure you keep a dated copy of all information.
Federal Trade Commission
While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your
complaint helps the FTC investigate fraud. The FTC enters fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel which is a secure, online database
available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies
The NFIC shares complaints with other law enforcement agencies across
the country to help identify patterns of criminal activity leading to
The BBB explains how exaggerated work at home scams waste your time and
money and damage your reputation
at Home Scams
The more a promoter says the scheme is easy or legal, the more likely it
is a scam