Before the Internet, it was stuffing envelopes. But today that has all changed. The Internet has brought the scam artists right into our homes with offers of quick riches. With unemployment hovering around 10%, the scam folks are having a field day suckering people into their web of deficit. So how do you spot a potential scam?
Here are some tips:
•The company claims that you can make a lot of money with little effort and no experience.
Though there are legitimate ways to work from home, Southwick says, “They’re not easy, and they take work,” so if a company is offering something that seems too good to be true, it usually is.
Southwick says you can usually differentiate legitimate work-at-home opportunities from scams based on whether the company is offering you a job or just the chance to make money.
“A lot of these work-at-home opportunities aren’t really jobs,” she says. “You’re not becoming employed.”
•The company promises you’ll make a profit. Consumers should be wary of companies that offer any type of guarantee, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
•The company wants you to stuff envelopes. There are certain types of work-at-home jobs that consumers should always avoid, including: assembling small crafts or toys, stuffing envelopes, processing rebates, getting paid to run online searches and setting up a home medical billing business, according to the FTC.
Tina Waller, CEO of the South Alabama BBB, says companies that advertise the opportunity to inspect and reship goods are also suspect.
Victims of reshipping scams often end up involved in criminal activity, unbeknownst to them, because the goods they’re asked to reship are sometimes purchased using stolen credit cards, she says.
“They hide behind the person that receives the goods and ships the goods,” she says. “They’re hoping if they get caught, (the victim) is the one that takes the fall.”
Southwick says consumers can avoid falling prey to a scheme by doing research before spending hundreds of dollars.
One of the first things you should do would be to run a Google search for the company and alleged employees. I have done searches of companies, even legitimate ones, just to cover my bases before dealing with them. It is amazing what you can find out about any company.
What would you do to avoid becoming a victim?