It amazes me sometimes just how desperate people get to work from home. They hear that someone is having success with something and they don’t even pause to think. They can be willing to send money to learn how to do what sounds like an insanely easy way to earn money from home.
This is how the envelope stuffing scam continues to thrive, as does its online counterpart. Here’s an excerpt from the FTC website about envelope stuffing:
“Promoters usually advertise that, for a “small” fee, they will tell you how to earn money stuffing envelopes at home. Later – when it’s too late – you find out that the promoter never had any employment to offer. Instead, for your fee, you’re likely to get a letter telling you to place the same “envelope-stuffing” ad in newspapers or magazines, or to send the ad to friends and relatives. The only way you’ll earn money is if people respond to your work-at-home ad.”
I’ve seen this scam both online and off. Online it is very easy for the person to create a website, include some testimonials from happy customers who may or may not exist, and take orders. The truly devious require that you only send cash, money order or checks which have to clear before you get your order, so as to minimize the chance you have to get your money back when you recognize the scam.
Recognizing this scam theoretically should be easy. You should never have to pay for a work at home job. All too often all you are paying for is a little report telling you to do what was just done to you. Trouble is, you can get in big legal trouble if you do this.
If you want to work from home, take the time to learn about working from home before you apply for any jobs. Read up on as many scams as possible. If you find an opportunity you like, try to find some people who don’t have anything to gain to tell you about it. Nothing wrong with eventually going through someone who gains by you accepting an opportunity, once you are sure the recommendation is legitimate.
For legitimate work at home jobs, it’s not too hard to find current employees who will happily tell you about what they do. I did that a lot as a medical transcriptionist, and still do that. It doesn’t matter that in most cases I won’t gain by telling you that such and so is a legitimate employer or that many people have complained about that employer.
If someone is trying to sell you information about a job, be careful. Do your research not only on their website but on what they are telling you about the opportunity. Often you can gain enough information to figure out if it is a likely scam or no. But remember that domain names can be changed very easily, so a clean BBB record means next to nothing.
A little caution goes a long way toward avoiding scams.