Thursday, December 22, 2011

Watch Out for These WAHM Scams

Around this time of year many, many people are looking to earn a little extra cash for the holidays and gift giving by taking on Work at Home jobs. (I advocate taking on such jobs during the entire year if you can find and handle them to increase savings. ) This brings out scammers in full force. What out for these common scams that can cost you a pretty penny:

E-Commerce Con There are a lot of ways to legitimately make money by running an e-commerce business and using affiliate marketing. This scam builds upon that. A company will offer to set up a website for you featuring goods for sale or a service like credit card processing. You will be in charge of encouraging people to shop at this website, and every time someone buys a product you will get a piece of the profit. All this will be done for you after you pay a one time fee of a few thousand dollars. After you fork over the money, you will never hear from these people again. Lesson learned "if it seems to easy to be true, it probably is".

1-900 Numbers The scammer will post a legitimate seeming job opportunity and give a 1-900 number for you to call to get more information. You will be put on hold so that you rack up charges - 1-900 numbers are numbers that allow the phone company to charge the dialer certain fees per amont of time spent on the phone. The owner of the number then gets a hefty portion of these fees. Never call them. By the time the phone company learns of the scam and shuts down the number, the scammer has moved on. The phone company is not liable to repay your fees and the scammer still gets his payday.

Overpay This crops up all the time in many times. In all cases you are providing a service and the recipient is paying via check. They unfortunately send you more than needed. They ask you to deposit the check, take your fee and whatever incidental charges you need, and then wire or mail the leftover back to them. By the time you find out the check has bounced or is a fake you will have all ready sent the scammer a check or money wire. So not only do you lose your fee and have to pay for a bounced check but you have just lost some of your own money by paying the scammer. Never take more money for a service than is required. Never send money back to people. Always wait for a check to clear before providing a service. Never agree to cash someone else's checks for a small fee.

Medical Billing This is a legitimate profession. However scammers will promise you thousands per week for processing medical bills after you complete their training course to get certified as well as receive a list of potential Dr.'s to market your services too. Usually these training materials can be purchased for a tenth of the price at a store like Best Buy, the list of potential clients is fake and the promised training sessions are never held. If you really want to get into medical billing find someone you know that is in the profession, that is employed by physicians you have heard of and know are legitimate, and ask them how they got their training. Get your software at Amazon, Circuit City or Best Buy, and realize that there is a lot of competition out there, it is hard to find jobs and neever pay for a lead list of clients.

Mystery Shopping Yes there are some legitimate mystery shopping sites out there. The scammers however, typically charge you a sign up fee. This is a very good sign that they are not legitimate. Another good sign is when they promise that you will earn tons of money this way. Legitimate sights will warn you that at best this is going to be pocket change. Another mystery shopping scam resembles the overpay scam - your first assignment is to evaluate Western Union or some other money wiring system. You are sent a check to deposit into your bank including your fee and told to send some cash via Western Union back to the main office and then evaluate the service. Except that the check bounces after you have wired the money. Never Ever wire money to someone who is supposed to be paying you.

Several lessons emerge from these scam. Never, ever pay to sign up for a service, to receive a list of jobs or for the promise of a future job. Do not pay for kits to make products that someone else is going to sell. Never take overpay and then send back a refund. Never send money to those who are supposed to be paying you. Unfortunately many of these scammers go ahead and use the names of legitimate business when communicating with you. There is no way for the legitimate company to stop them because by the time you alert them to this scammer, the thief will have moved on to another scam.


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