Working at home sounds very appealing.  No commute and you get to work in your pajamas.  What could be more convenient than that?  Stuffing envelopes, a common work at home scam from the past has been updated 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.
Amazon is much in the news for how rapidly its business is expanding with many financial analysts predicting it will soon follow Apple as the next company to be valued at more than a trillion dollars, which is why it may seem plausible when you receive a voicemail message inviting you to apply for a work at home job with Amazon that pays extremely well. Once you are hooked, you are told that you need to pay $200 for what is referred to as an enrollment kit in order to officially apply for the job. Once you pay the $200, you never hear from the scammer again and you are out $200.
Recently there has also 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.
As always, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Check out work at home offers with the big three – your local attorney general, the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Scammers often use the names of legitimate companies. You can find legitimate job offers for companies on their website. Always check there and respond to the contact information on the website rather than to a phone call from someone whom you have no way of knowing is legitimate or not.  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.
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