Safe from Scams: Work-from-home scam

Tens of thousands of people have fallen for an often easy to spot scam.
November 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Tens of thousands of people have fallen for an often easy to spot scam.

"There was no way for you to make the amount of money they said you could make," U.S. postal inspector Christopher Cizin said.

But it was the promise of making big money working at home that lured in a staggering 65,000 people. People who fell for the scam lost a total of $1 million

"Most people I spike to were stay at home moms who were looking to make extra income. They read about the opportunity to work at home from a parenting magazine or other magazines catered toward homemakers," Cizin said.

The company's website highlighted a, "legitimate work at home opportunity."

"They were told to pay a fee of $29 or $39 or $49 depending on which opportunity they were interested in. They responded and got some materials in the mail." Cizin said.

Postcards aimed at recruiting more people were sent out and if someone responded to those post cards. The sender might make $2, otherwise, nothing.

The website also had, "testimonials by people who said they made $600, $800 or $1200 dollars a month," Cizin said.

However, the testimonials were just another part of the scheme.

"From our investigation, we determined none of the people in the testimonials were actual people. Based on the records by the company, there was no one who made that type of money," Cizin said.

After getting several complaints postal inspectors went undercover, posing as someone seeking a work-at-home opportunity. While undercover, postal inspectors found the conmen running the scheme.

Postal inspectors have some advice for anyone considering a work-at-home job opportunity.

"Be suspect, if you have to pay in, that may be a scam." Cizin said.

Authorities say always check the company with the Federal Trade Commission or Better Business Bureau. Also, never give out personal information to a person or company you do not know.


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