March 30th, 2013

What Were the Top 10 Consumer Complaints in 2012?

Every year, the FTC releases a list of the most common complaints they received. Dealing with work at home scams as I do, I found the list pretty interesting. After all, this isn’t the only industry that has a lot of trouble with scams. Here’s the FTC’s top 10 consumer complaint list:

  1. FTC Top 10 Consumer ComplaintsIdentity Theft – 369,132 complaints
  2. Debt collection – 199,721 complaints
  3. Banks and Lenders – 132,340 complaints
  4. Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales – 115,184 complaints
  5. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries – 98,479 complaints
  6. Impostor Scams – 98,479 complaints
  7. Internet Services – 81,438 complaints
  8. Auto-Related Complaints – 78,062 complaints
  9. Telephone and Mobile Services – 76,783 complaints
  10. Credit Cards – 51,550 complaints

Really not a lot of surprises in there. Possibly the worst part is that they got more than 2 million complaints for the first time ever. I could wish that it were just people getting better about complaining when they get burned, but I doubt it.

While many of these have no relation to working at home, it’s important to remember that scams are out there all over the place. Be careful who you do business with and who you share your information with, always.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

March 22nd, 2013

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True… Check Out This Review

I love seeing people give honest opinions in a review, especially if it’s to tear a poor quality product apart. Too many people will praise it for the commissions, and judging by Eric Holmund’s review of Free Commissions, this is one of those times. There are lots of big name marketers promoting this product, which has way too many red flags, and even his look inside makes it appear more a scam than legit. Go read his review and see what I mean.

The issues with this product are lessons you can take when you see other products marketed and hyped. This one’s a classic, with the big houses, fancy cars, boat and bank account shots. Everything set to get suckers visitors to believe that they’ve come across an easy way to make lots of money.

If you visit the Free Commissions page (link through Eric’s review, not here), be ready for lots of exit pages. Five of them, with the price dropping until it hits $9. Don’t buy, I don’t think it’s worth that much even, and they’ll just try to upsell you more. If you want to review the anatomy of this stuff yourself, then maybe it’s worth the money, but not otherwise.

Simply put, there’s no way for the average person to earn that kind of money with no work. It doesn’t work that way. This is one of those offers that is just begging for FTC attention. Not a good thing for those promoting it, even if the people behind the product are out of reach.

Clicksure is the payment processor on this one, and a company to be careful of. Not because they’ll do wrong by you, but because they allow just about any product to go through them, and so things that pickier companies like Clickbank reject, Clicksure allows. I’m sure there are good products there too, as it’s one of the places internet marketers went when Clickbank got picky, but there’s a reason why some marketers go there.

Remember, be picky about the products you buy. Good ones will help you grow your online business, bad ones just cost time and money. You don’t want hype and promises about big bucks; you want information that will help you build a solid, reputable business.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

March 8th, 2013

You’ve Just Ordered Pizza Spam/Malware

While not the usual work at home scam I like to post here, I found this bit of spam interesting. What a way to get people to click the link and download malware! Fortunately, I know better.

Pizza order confirmation email scam and malware

Here’s the email:

You??™ve just ordered pizza from our site

Pizza Pepperoni Lover’s with extras:
– Bacon Pieces
– Onions
– Green Peppers
– Extra Cheese
– Extra Sauce

Pizza Super Supreme with extras:
– Bacon Pieces
– Black Olives
– Extra Cheese
– Extra Sauce

Pizza Spicy Sicilian with extras:
– Bacon Pieces
– Pork
– Pepperoni
– Black Olives
– Pineapple
– Diced Tomatoes
– No Cheese
– Extra Sauce

Drinks
– Simply Orange x 6
– Carlsberg x 5
– Mirinda x 6
– Bacardi x 3
– White wine x 4
– Coca-Cola x 6

Total to pay: 138.09$

If you haven??™t made the order and it??™s a fraud case, please follow the link and cancel the order.
CANCEL ORDER NOW!

If you don??™t do that shortly, the order will be confirmed and delivered to you.

With best regards

What I notice right away is that this isn’t how pizza places confirm online orders. Some send an email, sure, but this one doesn’t look right. Most places will address you by name, for one thing. Also, odds are good the name of the pizza place won’t be familiar to you. They don’t necessarily use the big names (although some of these pizza email scams do); my email claimed to be from Pizza by BENIGNO, which sounds like a good name for a pizza place, but certainly isn’t around here. Not that it has to be a local place for an online scam, of course.

There’s also the odd way the total is written. Aren’t many pizza places in the United States that would put the dollar sign after the amount.

I’d also expect more links to the pizza place itself than just a “cancellation” link. Some places offer tracking, for example.

These emails often link to malware sites, which give you a whole new set of problems if you click through. The link itself should be a hint – odds are it won’t really look legit.

I have to admit, this is one of the better shots I’ve seen. I can see how someone would get concerned enough to click the link to cancel, ignoring the warning signs. If you’re in doubt on one of these emails, first look at where they’re sending you (probably not someplace you’d expect). This email had a link to a .lt domain, which is a great warning sign… that’s not the kind of domain I’d expect, and the full name had nothing to do with the “pizza place.” If you’re still not sure, and you know the name of the pizza place, contact them on your own, not through the link and talk to them. Odds are they’ll be able to reassure you that it’s not legitimate.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

February 8th, 2013

Reshipping Scam Email

Reshipping scam email
I can’t help but chuckle sometimes when I  get one of these scam emails. This particular variety has been around for a while, a basic reshipping scam:

Hello, Will you be interested in being my personal Assistant? below are the the
details of the job :

Responsibilities
1. Receive my mail and  Drop them off at the post office or shipping center.
2. Pay my bills on my behalf and sit for delivery at home.
3. Pick up my items at your nearby post office at your convenience.
4. When you get my mail or package, you would mail all items to where I want
them shipped.All expenses and shipping charges will be covered by me.

The contents of the packages are mostly art materials and paintings. In
addition, there will be clothing I need for business and personal letters. No
heavy packages is involved,I would love to meet with you to discuss this job in
more detail, but I am currently away on business in China. If you decide to
accept the position, please read the employment requirements listed below.

EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS:

A. You are an honest and trustworthy citizen.
B. You will be required to work between 15 and 20hrs a month
C You need to be able to check your EMAIL 3 to 5 times daily.

THE PAY IS $800 WEEKLY and you are entitle to a brand new car after 1 Month if
you are hardworking and honest with me, WHICH IS NOT A BAD OFFER.

In closing, I have a couple of questions for you.
First, If I were to mail you money to do my shopping plus an upfront Payment for
your service, where would you want it mailed to?

Second, how would you like for your name appear on the Cashiers Check Or Any
other Payment option?To start kindly provide you’re details

Name :
Phone Home & Cell :
addres :
city :
zip :
state :

————————————————-
Thank You…..

When you know your scam basics, it’s pretty obvious. Unsolicited job offer, oddly high pay for the type of work, typos, plus, what legitimate businessperson would need help getting his or her mail while out of the country? The reply-to email address is also different from the visible one, which could well be a legitimate company. The reply-to is an address from a free email service, easy enough to get, and quite disposable for a scammer.

It’s not so difficult as all that, if you really need it. This one adds in the cashier’s check scam, which is where they have you cash a cashier’s check, probably for a too large amount, and then you send the excess back. At the very least, they’re having you spend the money on clothes you’ll be shipping to them, which means you will be out that money when the check turns out fraudulent, and you have to pay it back.

You can report email scams and other online scams to iC3 or the US Department of Justice.

Edited to add:

I got another email of the same type! *snicker* So similar.

I produce ART WORKS,I wanna meet with you to talk about this job but I am away on a business trip. I will return to the States April

I will have My mail diverted to your home as some would need immediate attention and some would be payments from clients which you would be required to process on my behalf. If you would prefer not to receive most of the mails at your house, I can have them shipped to a post office near you and then you can pick it up at your convenience But I would prefer any mail containing payments from my clients delivered to your front door.

When you get my mails, you are required to mail them to where I want them mailed to. You don’t have to put money out of your pocket, all you have to do is receive packages at your house and do my shopping at times. You are allowed to open the packages to reveal its content. The contents will mostly Art materials. All expenses will be covered by me.You will work between 10 and 15 Hours a week. pay is $800 as weekly payment.

I’d certainly meet up with you when I return and then we can talk about the possibility of making this long term.

send your info to get started

Full Name:
Full Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Home Phone:
Cell Phone:
Sex:
Age:
Occupation:
Email Address:
Bank Name : ( Just to make sure you have one)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

November 30th, 2012

Work at Home Scam Phone Calls

Got a call last night that really cracked me up. Now I’m not saying this was definitely for a scam, but contacting me in a manner that is against the law isn’t what I call a great introduction to your business opportunity. You see, this “work at home opportunity” called my house, using a recorded message. Very simply, robocalls are illegal.

This call  gave me a website to go to to learn to make money from home. Given what I do, I found the whole thing hilarious. I’m reeeeally not their target audience – I know too much to trust that easily. I did a simple site: search on the domain in Google to get past the initial sales page to see what was really going on.

Basically, they’re selling information on doing internet marketing and the ability to earn money by selling the same information to others. It’s expensive – anywhere from $667 to over $20,000. I’m not judging the quality of the information, but that’s quite a risk to take at even the lowest level. I personally think there are better ways to get an online business going than by spending that kind of money right off the bat. Doubly so when they’re ignoring the law in the initial contact. Just an awful sign for the quality of the opportunity.

Honestly, I hope the company running the opportunity as a whole kicks out the person running the robocall campaign. If you have a company, you can’t afford people promoting it illegally. Talk about a way to get law enforcement to look at your business!

And yes, I did report the call to the FTC through the Do Not Call website, which also takes complaints about recorded calls. If you get a call like this, you may be glad to hear that it’s really easy to report.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.