Magazine article Work & Family Life

Beware of Work-at-Home Offers on the Web

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Beware of Work-at-Home Offers on the Web

Article excerpt

Q After my sister lost her job, she accepted one of those "work at home and make big money" offers that turned out to be an Internet scam. She paid for a "start-up kit" but didn't realize that she would also be charged every month on her debit card. The offer seemed too good to be true, and it was.

-S. R., Atlanta

A Schemes promising big bucks Hfor at-home jobs have proliferated on the Web, and they may seem legitimate. But you're right to be wary. The Better Business Bureau has reported a sharp increase in the number of frauds targeting job hunters this year.

Social networking sites such as Facebook are often used as phony blogs by people who tell you how they're making thousands a month - and conveniently link you to the "great offer."

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says the schemes fall typically into three categories:

SETTING UP A MEDICAL BILLING BUSINESS. But it's very difficult to generate revenue, let alone cover your initial investment.

ENVELOPE STUFFING. The promoter has no employment opportunities, however. To make money, you're advised to place ads in newspapers and try to get others to invest.

ASSEMBLY OR CRAFT WORK. After you invest in various equipment, the company may disappear or tell you that your finished products don't meet its "quality standards. …

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