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Work-at-Home Classified Ad Draws Scrutiny

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Work-at-Home Classified Ad Draws Scrutiny

Article excerpt

You knew it was too good to be true.

"No Experience needed. Work at home a few hours and earn a lot of money. The work is simple and non stressful."

Surprise - classified ads that make such claims rarely deliver on their promises.

But beyond that, they might be fraudulent. Over the last month, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in San Diego has received more than 283 consumer inquiries about just such an ad that recently ran nationwide.

The ad, placed by a company called Alliance Secretarial Staff, offered "big bucks" for a work-at-home clerical/typist position - but in order to be considered for the job, applicants would first have to send in a $37 "processing" fee.

An 800 number that appears in the ad is answered by a machine in San Diego. According to the BBB, Alliance Secretarial Staff's address is a postal mail drop near San Diego State University.

The BBB tried to contact Alliance Secretarial Staff to verify the company's earnings claims.

Not being able to do so, the BBB then got in touch with the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the postal box was shut down.

"It's very common," said Lisa Curtis, president of the San Diego BBB. …

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