Internet Security 101

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Internet scams, Work at home scams

Top 5 Work At Home Scams To Watch Out For

work at home scams

There are indeed legitimate work at home jobs such as general transcription but unfortunately there are also many work at home scams. These scams can empty your pockets of your hard earned dollars leaving you with nothing in return or even result in the police knocking on your door.

Scammers are ingenious at finding ways to scam people who are simply looking for a job and there are many more work at home scams than I have listed. That said and done here is a list I’ve compiled of the top 5 work at home scams.

Package forwarding scam

Not only does this scam rob the victim of their hard earned dollar but it also results in law enforcement showing up at the victims door not to help the victim but to question them as a suspect. This scam begins with a criminal using a stolen credit card to purchase merchandise. They are well aware that if they have the stolen goods mailed to their own address that this will likely result in them attracting the attention of the police.

What they do than is set up phony ads on Craigslist and other online boards saying that they’ll pay you in return for forwarding packages. Often they’ll say that they need the package forwarded to help an overstocked business or to help someone they know who is traveling.

The unsuspecting scam victim then receives the stolen merchandise. On top of that they also receive instructions on where to forward the package to. After the poor victim diligently follows the instructions, forwarding the package with their very own hard earned money now comes the time when they’re supposed to get paid for their hard work. However, what they receive in return if anything at all is a counterfeit postal money order or check.

Things than go from bad to worst with there being a good chance of the police showing up at their door demanding to know why they received stolen merchandise at their personal address.

Envelope stuffing scam

In this scam the criminal claims that you can earn a whopping $1 or more for every single envelope you stuff. This is where alarm bells should go off as if you owned a business how profitable would it be for you to pay someone this exorbitant amount to stuff envelopes for you when in reality a machine can do the job much more efficiently?

Generally in this scam the victim is supposed to send in $1 or more for a “kit” to start their exciting new job of stuffing envelopes. Isn’t that what you dreamed of wanting to do when you grew up when you were a child?!?

In reality in return for your investment you are mailed with instructions to place ads to get other people to mail you $1 or more for their very own kit to start earning $1 or more “stuffing envelopes.” Watch out! This is just one variation of this work at home scam. Be on the lookout for other variations of the envelope stuffing scam.

 Assembly Work Scams

I remember being tempted with ads in work at home and business opportunity magazines (pre-Internet years) to assemble crafts and what not when I was a young man struggling to make ends meet. Sadly, this is yet another work at home scam. Before the scam victim can begin the job you have to spend what often amounts to hundreds of dollars on a kit in order to assemble the crafts or other types of products.

Most of the time it is very hard to assemble the product so most folks give up at this step. Even if they actually somehow manage to persevere and assemble the product, dutifully sending them back to the company they’ll likely be told that they did not assemble it correctly and are thus not paid one single cent.

Even if they were to get paid for all their hard work it is often in the amount of pennies per hour as it takes a ludicrous amount of time to assemble the product.

Data Entry Scam

Before telling you about this scam I should point out that there are indeed many legitimate data entry jobs. Sadly, though there are many data entry scams out there as well. How this work at home scam works is the “employer” (in reality the scammer) will place an ad or post a job for data processors who can work at home. When the unsuspecting job applicant contacts them they’re put through an interview and given the job.

The scam victim is then told that they must use a special type of software for the job. This software can only be purchased by the scam company in the amount of thousands of dollars if you can believe it. After the poor victim parts with this exorbitant amount of money they are never given a job.

Mystery shopper scam

While there are legitimate mystery shopper job opportunities out there unfortunately there are scams as well. There is more than one variation of this scam. In one of the variations the victim is offered a job as a mystery shopper, being told that their very first job is to evaluate a money transfer service, such as Western Union.

The work at home scam victim than is instructed to deposit the check into their personal bank account and to withdraw the amount in cash. They’re told to wire the amount to a “third party”, which in reality is to the scammer.

The check that they’re sent though in reality is counterfeit and the work at home scam victim has lost their hard earned money as once their financial institution identifies the check or money order as counterfeit they’re liable for the full amount deposited in the bank.

In a second variation to the mystery shopper scam the scammers send out emails and place newspaper ads giving the impression that mystery shopping jobs can lead to well paying jobs with reputable companies. The scammers a lot of the time will have websites where the scam victim can “register” for their exciting new job opportunity as a mystery shopper.

There’s a catch though. First, they must pay a fee to be guaranteed a mystery shopping job, for info regarding a certification program or for a directory of mystery shopping companies.

In reality though there is absolutely no need to pay a single cent to anyone to become a mystery shopper. Almost always the certification offered isn’t worth the piece of paper that it is printed on. Lists of legitimate mystery shopper jobs are on the Internet not costing you a penny and you can get a list of companies that hire mystery shoppers for no charge.

The scam victim won’t have any luck getting a refund from the scammers either. Their phone calls or emails likely won’t be returned by the scam company. If by chance they do hear back from the scammers it’ll be to try to try to scam them further.

Final thoughts

This is just a small sample of work at home scams where scammers empty the pockets of unsuspecting scam victims. It is sad that there are fraudsters out there who take advantage of people who are simply looking for a job and often can least afford to lose their hard earned dollars. Please feel free to comment below, especially if you have been a victim of one of these or any other work at home scams.

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