It isn't just the tough that get going when times get tough, but scammers are on the move too. Not surprisingly the Better Business Bureau has warned that "work from home" scams are on the rise.
Criminals are getting more innovative and organized. With the holidays just around the corner, we need to become aware of the latest scams and become scam savvy.
Work at home scams have been growing and the approaches criminals use are a combination of old scams mixed with new takes.
Scams vary and can be difficult to detect as they come in a variety of forms and change regularly.
Here are some of the most common work-at-home offers & scams,
Envelope Stuffing Scams - These scams usually incorporate a "registration fee" to be paid before work can begin. Once this fee has been paid, the "employee" is asked to post an ad in a local newspaper or other media, using their own contact information. This ad is often the exact same ad that the "employee" responded to. Once the "employee" receives a response to the ad, he or she will fill an envelope with information/instructions on how to start and mail it to the new applicant. The scammer claims that your fees will be calculated based upon how many responses you get for the ad you placed.
Medical Billing - Advertisements for these pre-packaged businesses always contain an initial financial investment. The advertisement or solicitations will falsely state that only a small percentage of medical claims are transmitted electronically and that the market for medical billing is wide open. In reality, however, the market is well established. You should therefore be cautious of these advertisements.
List of Work-At -Home Jobs - These are offers to purchase a list of companies that are purportedly hiring for work-at-home positions. You should exercise caution before purchasing such lists because they are often inaccurate.
A couple of other scams that have grown in popularity are check cashing and shipping scams;
CHECK CASHING SCAMS frequently begin with email correspondence offering a job either as (1) a secret shopper or (2) someone who transfers funds internationally.
The scam artists often attempt to reassure the victim of the legitimacy of the position by offering documents which actually have no value, such as invalid contracts, forged or false documents bearing company letterhead, false letters of credit, payment schedules and bank drafts.
After obtaining the trust of the victim, the scammer continues. Checks, money orders or wire deposits will be sent to the victim for "processing" or for use as a deposit while "secret shopping" a local bank.
The victim will be asked to cash the check or money order (wire deposits will send the money directly to the victim's account) and send a percentage of the funds back to the scammers. The need for the "middle man" is often explained as being a way around international fees or taxes, and sometimes the need to obtain payments from PayPal or another online payment system.
Once the funds are sent back to the scammers (usually the victim is told to keep a percentage for themselves, as payment for their services) the victim's bank or financial institution learns that the check/money order/wire transfer was fraudulent.
The funds are then subtracted from the victim's account and they are made liable for the lost money.
RESHIPPING SCAMS are often targeted at work-at-home moms or other people trying to supplement their income. These scams begin with an employment offer, usually via email, to the victim. As with check cashing scams, these "employers" offer legitimate looking contracts and other documentation to make them appear legitimate. Once the victim's trust has been obtained, packages are shipped to the victim's residence with instructions to reship the packages to another address. (Often the victim is asked to repackage the goods.) Once the package has been shipped from the victim's residence (or by using a service such as DHL, FedEx or UPS) the victim is "guilty" of receiving and shipping stolen property. This can result in police involvement, as the return address or shipping receipts lead back to the victim.
Video from: myeyewitnessnews.com.
A video on an investigation on work at home offers from myeyewitnessnews.com an ABC affiliate in Memphis can be found on my blog by clicking below...