Scam of the day – August 20, 2017 – FTC obtains order to stop work-at-home scam

Working at home sounds very appealing.  No commute and you get to work in your pajamas.  What could be more convenient than that? Unfortunately, many work-at-home job proposals are nothing more than scams and, in the case of reshipping work-at-home jobs, you may even be an accessory to a crime when you are recruited to ship goods bought with stolen credit cards.

Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) obtained a temporary restraining order to shut down a deceptive work-at-home scheme the FTC alleges was being perpetrated under various names including Work At Home EDU, Work At Home Ecademy, Work At Home University, Work At Home Revenue and Work at Home Institute.  These companies promised their victims they could earn “hundreds of dollars per hour from home, without any special skills or experience.”  These  scams were advertised primarily through what is called “native advertising” which is paid advertising that appear to be legitimate news stories.  The advertising was placed in legitimate online websites including Forbes.com.

According to the FTC, the work-at-home jobs offered by these companies were just scams that violated federal law by failing to make required disclosures and provide evidence for their inflated earnings claims.

TIP

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Check out work at home scams with the big three – your local attorney general, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC.  And as always, you can Google the name of the particular company offering you the work at home program with the word “scam” next to it and see what turns up.  As for reshipping scams, they are always a scam and you should steer clear of them.

It is sometimes hard to distinguish native advertising from legitimate news stories so you should always be skeptical when relying on information contained in news stories that require you to make a payment.  In addition, most legitimate websites do not investigate the advertising that they carry so you cannot rely on a trustworthy website to contain trustworthy advertising.  Remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”

Scam of the day – April 27, 2017 – Work at home scam stopped by FTC

Working at home sounds very appealing.  No commute and you get to work in your pajamas.  What could be more convenient than that? Recently the FTC settled a claim against David S. Brookman and his companies involving work at home scams.   Brookman told people they could earn as much as $5,000 per week for merely stuffing and mailing “special advertising letters.”  These special letters actually were merely promotional flyers for another phony work at home scam.  Under the terms of the settlement, Brookman’s scam was shut down and he had to pay a substantial fine.

Stuffing envelopes, a common work at home scam has been updated by other scammers to offers of being paid to read emails, but it remains a scam.  The range of work at home scams is constantly changing and evolving, but the result is always the same – rarely are these work at home schemes legitimate nor do they provide any income except for the scammers who operate them.  Often the advertisements for these work at home scams appear in legitimate media that have not properly checked out the legitimacy of the advertisements they run.

Recently there has been an upsurge in a work at home scam that actually makes you an accomplice to a crime.  Your job is to receive goods, often electronics that have been shipped to you, inspect them and then reship them to an address provided to you by your new employer.  The problem is that these goods have been purchased with stolen credit cards and you have just become an accomplice to the crime when you ship them to someone else who will then sell them to turn the merchandise into cash.  The term scammers use to describe the people doing the reshipping is a “mule” and it can get you into a lot of trouble.  The companies offering this type of work may seem legitimate, but they are not.

TIP

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Check out work at home scams with the big three – your local attorney general, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC.  And as always, you can Google the name of the particular company offering you the work at home program with the word “scam” next to it and see what turns up.  As for reshipping scams, they are always a scam and you should steer clear of them.

Scam of the day – March 13, 2017 – Reshipping scam warning

Pennsylvania State Police are warning people about reshipping scams, however these scams are found everywhere.  Reshipping scams sound appealing.  You get to work at home and all you have to do is receive goods your new employer sends you, which are often electronics, inspect them and reship them to an address provided to you by your new employer.  The problem is that these goods have been purchased with stolen credit cards and you have just become an accomplice to the crime when you ship them to someone else who will then sell them to turn the merchandise into cash.  The term scammers use to describe the people doing the reshipping is a “mule” and it can get you into a lot of trouble.  It makes you an accomplice to the crime and participating in money laundering.   The companies offering this type of work may seem legitimate, but they are not.   Often the advertisements for these work at home scams appear in legitimate media that have not properly checked out the legitimacy of the advertisements they run so you can’t rely on the fact that the advertisement  appears in a trusted media source.

TIPS

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Check out any work at home scams with the big three – your local attorney general, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC.  And as always, you can Google the name of the particular company offering you the work at home program with the word “scam” next to it and see what turns up.  You also can use Google Earth to look into the physical address of the potential employer to see if it matches what the advertisement and communications with this employer indicate.  As for reshipping scams, they are always a scam and you should steer clear of them.

Scam of the day – September 18, 2016 – Work at home reshipping scams

Postal inspectors are again warning people about reshipping scams. Reshipping scams sound appealing.  You get to work at home and all you have to do is receive goods your new employer sends you, which are often electronics, inspect them and reship them to an address provided to you by your new employer.  The problem is that these goods have been purchased with stolen credit cards and you have just become an accomplice to the crime when you ship them to someone else who will then sell them to turn the merchandise into cash.  The term scammers use to describe the people doing the reshipping is a “mule” and it can get you into a lot of trouble.  It makes you an accomplice to the crime and participating in money laundering.   The companies offering this type of work may seem legitimate, but they are not.   Often the advertisements for these work at home scams appear in legitimate media that have not properly checked out the legitimacy of the advertisements they run so you can’t rely on the fact that the advertisement  appears in a trusted media source.

TIPS

As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Check out any work at home scams with the big three – your local attorney general, the Better Business Bureau and the FTC.  And as always, you can Google the name of the particular company offering you the work at home program with the word “scam” next to it and see what turns up.  You also can use Google Earth to look into the physical address of the potential employer to see if it matches what the advertisement and communications with this employer indicate.  As for reshipping scams, they are always a scam and you should steer clear of them.

Scam of the day – March 8, 2012 – Work at home scams

Work at home scams have been part of the arsenal of scammers for many years and with good reason.  They work – at least for the scammer.  Recently there has been an upsurge of work at home scams, many of which appear on line on sites such as Craigslist where you may find such scams listed seeking people to work in merchandising or processing.  The job is said to entail receiving packages or money orders and then repackaging them and sending them to another address, often in a foreign country.  You get paid by way of a certified check which you deposit, keep the amount that represents your fee and wire the remainder back.  The problem is, as I have indicated many times previously, the “certified” check you receive is a phony.  Some people who think they are prudent wait a few days for the check to clear before sending the requested money from their account only to learn when the check ultimately bounces that they only received provisional credit from their bank and once the check is found to be counterfeit, the full amount of the check funds are withdrawn from the account by the bank and you are left having sent your own money to the scammer.

TIP

These type of repackaging jobs are scams.  Don’t get involved.  Anytime you are given a certified check, contact the issuing bank to confirm it is legitimate and don’t consider the money yours until the check has fully cleared.