In today’s society, it is becoming more fruitful for people to make a living from home. There are numerous flyers, advertisements and emails promising thousands of dollars a week for stuffing envelopes, typing, and/or processing medical bills. However, knowing whether these are scams or legitimate opportunities is extremely important.
“Home-based businesses and work-at-home opportunity scams are among the highest type of internet fraud,” said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, Chairman of the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. “That being said, it’s important to note that not all home-based work opportunities are scams. Carefully investigating a company you are interested in working for is an essential first step.”
Knowing who you are dealing with also is vital. The company may not be offering to hire you directly, but rather to sell you training material for the work. Before you pay, be sure to get all of the details. A legitimate company would be happy to give you any information you may need in order to make a decision.
“It’s important to ask questions and find out as much information as possible before committing to the job,” Vicari said. “It can be a costly mistake if you neglect to do the proper research first.”
According to consumer experts it also is important to find out if there is a true market for the work being advertised. Just because the company claims they have clients doesn’t necessarily mean they do. Helpful tips include asking for references of other employees and potential clients and contact them. Also, inquiring about future work is advisable.
One of the most classic scams is the “envelope stuffing” job. Instead of getting material to send out on behalf of a company, you get instructions to place an ad not unlike the one you answered. The company would then have you asking people to send you money for information about working at home. Not only is this an illegal pyramid scheme, but you could get prosecuted for fraud.
If you think you’ve been scammed, contact the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs at (732) 929-2105 or visit the office at 1027 Hooper Avenue, Building 2, here, to file a complaint. [TLS]