Work from home scams: Part 1

Working from Home may not generate the income that you expect.

What better way to earn extra income than to work from home? Some consumers believe that working from home will allow them to spend more time with their families and reduce the expense of commuting to work. Advertisements for ‘Work from Home’ opportunities can be found everywhere from a posting in a supermarket to your computer.  The promise of earning big bucks from your couch is tempting but consumers must do their research to find reputable companies.

Work From Home scams are plentiful. Operators of these schemes make promises of prosperity. Some promise to return the consumer’s money if they are not satisfied. Many promises are made and few, if any, are kept. The con artists don’t disclose details about the long hours involved and  little money to be made. They may put unauthorized charges on the consumer’s credit card. It’s not uncommon for the victims of this fraudulent activity to lose thousands of dollars and waste time and energy.

This is the first of two articles that will aid consumers in learning about Work From Home scams, how to avoid becoming a victim, and what to do if they have been victimized. In this first article, a few of the most popular scams are explained.

Envelope Stuffing - The consumer is charged a fee to receive materials about stuffing envelopes at home. Unfortunately, the consumer receives information explaining how to entice others to ‘buy’ into the envelope stuffing business.

Assembly or Craft Work - Consumers purchase expensive tools and supplies to assemble products at home. The company refuses to pay for the products because they are ‘substandard’. The consumer is stuck with the product, tools and supplies.

Rebate Processing – Consumers pay a fee for training, certification and registration. They receive inferior training materials and no rebates to process.

Medical Billing – The consumer is charged an astronomical amount to receive computer software, customer leads and technical support. They receive nonworking software, out of date and fraudulent leads.

The educators at Michigan State University Extension urge consumers to be wary of Work From Home opportunities.

Other articles in this series:

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