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Scams - How Can I Tell Which Jobs Are For Real?

By Rachel Goldstein
Posted Monday, December 27, 2004

The internet and newspapers are filled with scams. In fact, sometimes it is hard for me to even market - because many people see "Work at Home" and they instantly think that I am trying to sell them a "scam job". This article will outline how to tell which jobs are scams before you invest your time and heart into any venture.

Have you ever seen something like this in the classified ads section?

$5000/$6000 A Week From Home Work from home, work part-time or Full-time. Your Choice. No Experience Necessary. SASE to PO Box 1455, etc.

It sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Lets face it, who makes this much money in one week other than doctors and lawyers? If it sounds too good to be true, than it IS! Another thing that you might take notice of with the above job listing is "SASE to PO Box 1455". The reason the job poster wants you to send an envelope is because he is going to probably send to you more information about the job, mainly an order form so you can buy the supplies to begin working. NEVER send money to anyone offering you a job. Another rule of thumb is to never apply for a job that you have to send a self-addressed envelope without mention of having to send your resume too.

Here are a few examples of Scam Jobs:

1. Envelope Stuffing -
The envelope stuffing scam has been around for as long as I can remember. The way this job works is that the job seeker will see an ad in the newspaper for something like this: "Make 100s of Dollars Stuffing Envelopes from Your Home". This person will send a self-addressed envelope with $5 - $30 to the individual who posted the job. In return the job poster will send to the job seeker information on how he/she can also post these ads and make money. It is all a big scam, there wasn't ever any "actual" envelope stuffing position open. The individual who started this envelope stuffing scam in the first place gets about 95% of whatever profits are made from this "ad posting". This "scammer" might even refuse to pay you any money at all because you didn't adhere to strict guidelines (even if you did).

2. Assembly of Crafts -
In this scam, you will need to purchase hundreds of dollars in supplies in order to start your craft business. You will need to spend countless hours assembling crafts by hands. In most cases you will not get paid for what you have submitted. In many instances, craftworkers will receive back a letter saying that the crafts didn't meet their quality standards. In fact these fraudulent craft operators never intended to pay the money. All that was intended was to sell to you the machinery for your home craft business.

3. MLM / Pyramid Schemes -
(Doesn't apply to mlms that acutally sell a product like Quixtar and Agway) MLM and Pyramid schemes are like chain letters. Chain letters are letters that you send out to a set number of people. These people are supposed to also send the letter out to a set number of people, so on, and so on. Pyramid schemes are based on chain letters. This is how they work. You pay to get into a pyramid / mlm scheme. You are then in someone's downline. this means all of the money that you make adds into this person's profits, as well as your own. The way that you make money is to build your downline by recruiting others into the scheme. These people need to do the same, and so on and so on. The problem is that you sell "nothing", you sell "commissions" only. This is illegal. Plus profits that are claimed to add up from this is not true.

4. Medical Business Opportunities -
In the classified ads you may see a job listing for Medical Claims / Billing Processing. The marketing materials say that you can earn substantial incomes working either part-time or full-time from your own home. They also claim that you don't need to find clients, their salespeople will do the selling for you. This is rarely true. The price for the software, training and technical support usually goes up to $8000. The FTC claims that the references that are given on start of this business opportunities are "shills" - individuals hired to give great references. So be careful.

"The Federal Trade Commission suggests that consumers follow the following steps before buying into any business opportunity:

Get all earnings claims in writing.

Interview references provided by the promoter of the business opportunity.

Study the business opportunity's franchise disclosure document.

Ask the Attorney General's office, state or county consumer protection agency and Better Business Bureau in the area in which the business opportunity promoter is based and where you live whether the promoter has a history of unresolved complaints.

If the business opportunity involves selling products from well-known companies, call the legal department of the company whose merchandise is being promoted. Find out whether the business opportunity and its promoter are affiliated with the company.

Consult an attorney, accountant or other business advisor before you put any money down or sign any papers. " (FTC)

If you have already been entrapped in a scheme and you want to complain to higher authorities, complain to your state's attorney general, local Better Business Bureau, local post office, or a local consumer protection offices. Scams are illegal. You can do your part to save others from being scammed by these scammers.

The most important precautionary measure is -



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