Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beware of Work At Home Scams

Many of you know that I would love (translate: need) to find a part-time job. It's not finding the job that's hard. It's finding the job that will work out for my family that's tough. If I'm just working to pay daycare, then why bother. So I see an ad on Craigslist that looks interesting. I inquire and get this long email telling about how I have to pay a fee for the training manual, but otherwise I can start right away. Yeah. Right.

The last, and only, time I paid a fee for the "training manual" I got a 4 page document explaining how to place and ad in various places advertising the same thing they did. I was mad at myself for being so gullible, but I guess we all have to learn sometime. So I e-mail this person back.. Here is the exchange:

Original Email:


Thank You for your interest.

Welcome to a job opportunity working from the comfort of your own home. It is a fun and financially rewarding position. If you are serious about wanting to work at home, please proceed with the outlined instructions below to begin. You can start as soon as today, if you would like. I look forward to hearing from you!

Job Description:
Work at home Part-Time or Full-Time
Earn $400 - $700 Per Week or more
Full Online Training

Completely Legit

Work your own hours and days

You can stop working at any time

Computer with Internet and Email access
Good Typing Skills
Basic Internet Knowledge

This home based position is a great opportunity for stay at home moms,

dads, students or anyone who wants to work in the comfort of their own home.

There are no calling strangers, taking surveys or click banks.

There is always work available for you to do.

This Home Based position gives you the opportunity
to earn $100 or more per day. We are seeking only self-motivated people
with the desire to work in this field.

No experience is needed.
This work is completely legit.

You must have a computer with Internet access, a dedicated e-mail account,

and basic typing skills.

You can choose to work full-time or part-time and can choose to work the

hours of your choice.
You do not have to contact anyone.

We do not send you a List of potential work!

Everything is sent to your email account.

There is no contract to sign; the amount of work you choose to

do is entirely up to you.

As with any job, you must be willing to work hard.

The average person makes $600 per week.

The amount of money you earn is entirely up to you.

You will be paid daily to your PayPal account.

You can then request a check or withdraw to your bank through PayPal.

The training materials you receive will give you step-by-step
instructions on how to get started.

When you receive your training materials you may begin working the same day.

There is no special software required for this position.

Method of Payment:

There is a ONE-TIME non-refundable fee of $11.00.

There are no other fees after you start.

This cost will cover the training materials sent to you. You will make back this fee in about 10 minutes of work.
Please understand that as much as I would like not to charge this small
processing fee, we must protect ourselves from those who are not
serious about this work and to pay those who answer your questions etc. No business can afford to cover administrative cost, wasted time or provide costly materials to everyone who inquires about this position.

The Training Materials will automatically be sent to your e-mail within 24 hours after your payment is received through PayPal and cleared, you can then get started right away.

If you do not have a PayPal account just click on the link below to open a free premier account, so you can get paid for your work and purchase your materials.

Please notify us when you have made the payment, so we can be sure your Materials were sent to you within the 24 hrs.

When making your payment please enter the word " GOODS" only in the Message/Product area. Do not write messages or notes!

Please send your payment through PayPal to our account address: XXXXXXXXX

Thank You and I hope you join our team!

So then I email back the following:

Been here, done this. It's a scam and you should be ashamed.

Here is the reply I get:

Sorry no scam. And you should be ashamed of judging before you even know.

My reply:

I send you money, you send me back a training manual telling me how to place the same ad you did in craigslist, etc. Am I correct?

Reply I get:

All that is required is typing, mostly forms. It is very easy. Thanks

So I send this back:

I apologize. I've been taken by a scam that words itself EXACTLY the way your ad does, all the way down to the reason for charging for the training manual. I think most people follow through just to get their fee back.. but I couldn't do that to someone else. Good luck.

I'm a big enough person to apologize if I'm wrong. And while I don't believe I was here, I may have very well jumped the gun on this. BUT a legitimate job will never ask you to pay ANYTHING upfront. And how do I know this person is telling the truth? What if I decide to send the money for the manual, only to get exactly what I got before? So anyway, I apologize and explain why I was (am) suspicious. Here's the snotty reply I get back:

Thats funny because all I get is thank you notes. And I myself make 200.00 a day. So nice try.

Nice try? What does that mean? Like I'm trying to pull the wool over her eyes? What would that gain me.. a free "training manual"? No Thanks.

After that I realized talking with this idiot was a waste of time. Then I reported her ad to Craigslist.

Why do I bother with this? Because I hate seeing people get taken. So I daily go through the craigslist ads and inquire about this stuff. If it's a good deal, then great! If it's not, I try to find out and then report them. I always say the same thing too.. that they should be ashamed of themselves. Until now, no one has ever had the guts to respond once they find out I'm on to them. And a lot of the time, their ad is gone before I can get back to report it. See? I am doing a bit of good in this world.. I'm like a superhero! :0)


Logical guy said...

Judging by the english use I'd say that the person writing back to you was not necessarily in your country. Maybe they are doing the same thing in many places.

Of course, this thing has been around before the internet (probably with more success then, due to lack of adverse publicity).

I suppose it is necessary to just chalk it up to experience, and thanks for the reminder that these things happen. Like you said, for any real job, you don't need to pay any money. Why would you?

Cherry said...

Usually people will just write several samples articles about a topic then use that as a portfolio. Then they register to or other internet marketing forum to offer their services.

So yes, I can't see why so many people ask for a payment upfront. Everybody can do this for free and make money (although the amount is really subjective)

About PJ said...

About 20 years ago I was desperate to find work from home. I was still employed at the time. I literally spent hundreds of dollars trying out each "seemingly different" option that I found in major newspapers, in magazines, etc.

Of these, two turned out to be valid. One was making doll clothes. If I were the best seamstress in the world, I might have averaged $1 hr so that was pointless. The other was doing circuit board sawdering or something like that. They did actually send me the board with instructions, you had to pay up front because you know, they were giving you actual materials. I didn't think I could make enough like that, though it did appear the most legit of anything.

However, hundreds of dollars worth of ads were utterly useless BS of exactly the kind you're describing. It was truly disenheartening.

I might add that I now work from home FT as a project manager in a publishing company. I work from OK and my corp is in CA. But it took 10 years of working for myself on the internet and then a somewhat accidental move into this company (the one I worked for was bought by them) to make it happen, and they don't hire that way far as I know. I think the work from home thing is a major issue in our society. I know plenty of people with excellent skills who'd happily work for peanuts just so they can raise their own kids or live where they want. I wish more emphasis was placed on this option in today's world.

Sparky's Girl said...

Thank you all for your comments.

PJ, I'm sorry to hear you wasted so much money looking for something that would work for you. I agree with you. It would make it much easier on parents if there were more emphasis placed on work-at-home programs. I do know that there will always be slackers who will take advantage of such programs. There are moochers in every realm of life. But I believe it would work beautifully if given a real chance.