Where to Start
It would be wonderful if I could honestly tell you that I had not fallen victim to
a work at home scam myself, but that would be untrue. When I was very desperate
to find a job where I could make money from home I lost money in a couple of different
work at home schemes which caused us both a small financial loss as well as being
a disappointment that rather than making money for our family, I was losing money.
There is a variety of work at home scams that are listed on papers, sent to you through
email, and posted on job boards. They claim that you can earn hundreds of dollars
a day doing simple things like stuffing envelopes or data entry. Let’s face
it folks, if it sounds too good to be true, you better believe it is.
Here are just a few of the scenarios you may run across and be tempted, in a moment
of weakness, to respond to:
Nigerian Money Email
I have received emails and faxes for this scam countless times. The Better Business
Bureau reports that this scam has been around for ages, however, with the dawn of
email it has taken on a whole new life. The fund fraud transfers scams can come
to you through email, fax, or even by personal mail. The sender, who claims to be
a government official or member of a royal family, requests assistance in transferring
millions of dollars of excess money out of Nigeria and promises to pay the person
for his or her help. The message is always of an urgent, private nature. Although
the country primarily listed is Nigeria, I have seen other countries listed with
the same urgent news.
Those willing to assist are asked to provide their banking account number, Social
Security number, birth date, and often times other personal information. Or they
are asked to send money to the letter-sender for taxes and various fees. Victims
will never see their money again and the con artist pockets the money.
You may think that there is no way that people could fall for such a ridiculous scam,
but the FBI reports annual losses of millions of dollars to just these types of
schemes. In fact, some victims have actually been lured to Nigeria, where they were
imprisoned or much worse.
If you should receive an email of this nature, forward it to
firstname.lastname@example.org, then immediately delete the correspondence. If you have already,
however, responded to this scam or know someone who has, please contact the U.S.
Secret Service as soon as possible by phone (202.406.5572).
This type of scheme is where you send a company money to send you supplies to put
together different types of crafts, bows, or other type of small project. You send
hundreds of dollars to the company for supplies who have claimed they will pay you
“x” amount of dollars if you put the items together as instructed. You will invest
hours of your time into putting these crafts together only to have the company tell
you that you did not meet the “standards” for the work that they have sent. They
will then send the materials back to you which you will be stuck with items and
you will also be out a bunch of your own money which you had invested.
UPS & Federal Express Recovery
This is a scam that I have personally been victim to and spent $69 of our money only
to discover that I was stuck with software that I could not use. Stupidly, when
I think of a name such as UPS or Federal Express I automatically think that this
has to be legitimate, right? Wrong!
The claim with this software is that companies that send out large amounts of shipments
through Federal Express or UPS do not have the time to track these packages. If
the packages are even one minute late with delivery, you are entitled to a full
refund. With these “amazing” software packages, you will now be able to track all
these parcels for the companies. You simply call on behalf of your clientele and
they will get fifty percent of the refund while you pocked the other fifty percent.
These people will agree to this because this is money that they wouldn’t have had
otherwise. You can make $50-75 an hour and download the list of the packages while
you are sitting in your robe and sipping your coffee. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
First of all, neither Federal Express nor UPS is affiliated with any of these software
programs. They also have every right to refuse the refund to you, a third-party
who did not pay for the shipping in the first place. UPS online tracking system
can only be used by the sender of the package or by the recipient. Besides, information
obtained through the tracking system can only be used to monitor one's shipment
and not for someone's commercial gain unless UPS openly authorizes it. To top it
off, UPS prohibits any uses of automated software to access its online shipping-related
systems. Therefore, the software you would be using would be deemed illegal.
I guess I had been under the assumption that they would be providing a list of people
to contact that would be interested in these services. What they did provide was
a list of general types of companies to target like the health industry, industrial
services, or retail companies. Through this list you are supposed to come up with
a list of people you think would be interested in your services, try to obtain the
name and email address of the correct person who should be targeted, and send them
this letter that the company has so kindly supplied for you. Then you just sit back
and watch people chomping at the bit to get this amazing service. Who in the world
would ever give out any of this private tracking information on their packages to
a complete stranger? The answer to that, of course, would be no one in their right
This is also a very old scam, however, people continue to fall for it. This scam
informs you that you can earn hundreds of dollars by simply stuffing envelopes for
companies. What you end up doing is paying someone to get information about stuffing
envelopes and instead you get information on how to place the same advertisement
for other people to become suckered in just as you have. Today everything is so
automated that there is no reason that a company would outsource for envelope stuffing.
This is another scam that I fell head over heels for when searching for a work at
home job. I saw an advertisement for a position doing data entry. All I needed to
do was pay ten dollars for my “training packet” and they would send to me all of
my training materials. For this particular company, I emailed the person in charge
to request more information. The person that emailed me back seemed so sweet and
told me how much money she was making doing this, sent me an application, (here
was the clincher for me) signed it “God Bless.” Well, I figured this woman had a
little God in her life so she wouldn’t be scamming me….right? Wrong again!
Upon filling out my application I received within two seconds an email explaining
that all I had to do was send the same advertisement out to other unsuspecting people
along with an application for employment, review the application (for what reason,
I do not know) and send them the congratulatory letter that there employment has
been approved. I would then get half of the money and the other half would go to
the person who recruited me. Believe me when I say that I got my money back for
these training materials. I will explain more on what to do if you become a victim
at the end of this article and how to try to salvage your money.
There are tons of phony advertisements out there for this job. While knowing medical
transcription is great in a traditional work place, unless you personally know the
company and they check out with the Better Business Bureau, be very wary of these
types of job listings. The typical scenario usually plays out with the company telling
you that you can make hundreds of dollars working from home and all you will need
is the CD Rom which will have everything you need to know about medical transcription
and at the end of their course you will officially be certified and people will
be dying to hire you because of your qualifications. After purchasing your software
and the computer system needed in order to link with the central computer system
for “training purposes” you will have spent thousands of dollars with absolutely
little or nothing to show for it. There will be no job and no clients with an amazing
certification from Jon Doe’s Medical Transcription Online Schooling Company and
you will have wasted both your time and money into yet another fruitless cause.
Tips for Spotting a Scam
These are just a few of the many scams that you will find on the internet and could
become a potential victim to. These advertisers are looking for desperate people
especially stay-at-home moms who are dying to continue staying home with their children
or are in a difficult financial position. It is important for you to be an informed
mother and know what to look for in a work-at-home scheme. Here are a few red flags
that should help make a work-at-home scam more apparent:
- The advertiser is using ALL CAPITAL LETTERS with lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IT WOULD LOOK SOMETHING LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!! AREN’T YOU LUCKY TO BE SCAMMED????
- They claim that you can make hundreds or thousands of dollars a day with no experience
needed and minimal effort is needed in order to achieve this financial miracle.
- There is a fee in order for you to apply. This fee is for training materials, a
membership into a work-at-home club or for a transaction fee and it is an obscure
company that you have never heard of. If there is a fee involved, chances are that
you are being scammed. If you are applying for jobs in your neighborhood you are
not charged transaction fees in order to submit your resume to a job so you shouldn’t
be charged for one for a work-at-home job.
- The advertisement lists no company or any information that you can check into. They
don’t give you any contact information other than a first name and a number where
you can leave a message. A job listing shouldn’t be a mysterious advertisement unless
there is something to hide. Be very leery of these types of advertisements.
- Look the company up on the Better Business
Bureau’s web site. If they do not check out on this web site, chances are that
this company is trying to scam you. The Better Business Bureau is a wonderful tool
for you if you are trying to spot a scam. Their web site is full of helpful information
and tips along with consumer alerts on new scams that are taking place.
What to Do if You've Been Scammed
Okay, so you are asking, “What if I have already been scammed?” How do I get my money
back and who do I report the scam to. As I said before, I had been victim to the
“data entry” position and so when I found out that instead of doing data entry I
was typing the same dirty little ads out to other unsuspecting victims, I simply
sent the company an email and asked for an immediate refund. I received an email
back stating that I should have known what I was getting myself into and that they
were sorry, but they wouldn’t be refunding my money. That is when I looked on the
Better Business Bureau’s web site to find out how they suggested I get my money
back. There web site states the following:
If you become a victim of a work-at-home scheme, ask the company for
a refund. If they refuse or give you an evasive response, tell them you plan to
notify law enforcement officials.
Keep careful records of everything you do to recover your money. Document your phone
calls, keep copies of all paperwork such as letters and receipts, and record all
costs involved, including the time you spend. If the company refuses to refund your
All it took for me to have my money refunded was to tell the company that I was planning
to contact law enforcement. Hopefully, if you are victim of a scam you will not
have to go through these steps, but it is good information to have just in case.
Please see my Work-At-Home Ideas to give you
more ways to make money from home.