Working at home sounds very appealing.  No commute and you get to work in your pajamas.   Years ago, stuffing envelopes was a common work at home scam. That 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 conventional media that have not checked out the legitimacy of the advertisements they run.  Merely because an ad may appear on a legitimate television show or publication does not mean that the ad can be trusted.

Recently an Ohio man responded to an ad for a work at home job and he was sent a legitimate appearing check for $3,000 that he was instructed to deposit into his bank account and then wire three payments totaling $2,300 to accounts that were related to his work and keep the remaining $700 for himself. The scam victim followed his instructions, but the check sent to him was counterfeit and bounced leaving him out the $2,300 he sent from his account.

It is important to remember that although a check may appear to have been cleared by your bank after a few days, all you are really getting is “provisional credit” and when the counterfeit check eventually bounces, the credit is taken back from your account and you are left having sent your own money to the scammer. The prudent thing to do when being paid by a check is to wait until the check has fully cleared before you can feel confident that the funds actually are in your account.


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.

Never accept a check for more than what you are owed under any circumstances.  That is always a scam.

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