Sunday, October 10, 2010

Avoid Work From Home Scams - The Early Show

Saturday on The Early Show we discussed online work from home scams.

Click here for The Early Show Segment
Click here for the CBS Backstage extended version

Until online work from home ad scams came up in the news recently I honestly kind of forgot about them. While they are still evident in everyday web searches, at the same time they've almost blended into the background. But, believe it or not this year alone the Better Business Bureau is just one of many agencies that have received thousands of complaints from many people that have lost thousands of dollars.

Now, in tough times companies are especially prying on the vulnerable – issuing false hope on the promise of an amazing career change. It's important to know that if you become part of one of these schemes YOU could be prosecuted – even more reason to stay away.

Key in 'Work from home' in Google - and 99.99% of all listings are not legit. Don't even click in the first place! And know that many of these companies are run overseas, rely on wire transfers and credit card transactions and disconnect before you can even contact them.

So an ad has caught your attention - is it real??
• Send in to 3 people you know that are tech savvy and ask for their opinion
• Ask – could a machine do this cheaper? Things like envelope stuffing (which is a popularly advertised one) can be done way faster by a machine - it doesn't even make sense to source to individuals
• For a reliability report on a specific work at home company check with the BBB first
• Remember the reality check: “You can be held liable for perpetrating a fraud by deliberately or even unintentionally promoting and selling fraudulent products or services to others.”- BBB

Red flags in ads:
• Lots of exclamation points – words in bold – capital letters
• Lack of branding and identity - vague altogether
• “It will change your life!” “Make $1,000 a Day”
• Are they asking for your credit card? Do you have to buy something like a “start-up kit” before you start working? (A lot of these start ups involve sending you a couple CDs and a couple pamphlets - these cost $0.10 to make not $300)
• Is there a phone number? If there is call and ask tons of questions.
• Key scams involve: Product Testing, Envelope Stuffing, Processing Medical Insurance Claims, Data Entry

I've also attached a few fake ads showing you how easy they are to create. These took me 10 minutes a piece to make.

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