Work at Home
April 08, 2014

The BBB advises that these are not real job offers. They are just schemes to get your money. Legitimate companies do not hire people to work at home stuffing envelopes, clipping coupons, assembling crafts, doing data entry, reading or selling advertisements on the Internet. Legitimate companies would never ask you to send money, they would simply hire you and pay you. In B.C., it's illegal to charge a fee in exchange for employment.

For your information, the BBB reports that 'Earn Money At Home' schemes generally have one thing in common. They require you to buy something before you can begin work. If you answer an ad offering you income for a work-at-home plan for which there is supposedly a great demand and which will require no experience on your part, you will probably wind up SPENDING money instead of earning it.

Everyday, ads for work-at-home jobs appear in newspapers across the country as well as in national magazines and on the Internet. Some offers include stuffing envelopes, assembling products, reading books, reviewing movies, medical billing, copying discs, clipping coupons, data entry or selling advertising on the Internet.

While ads claim high earnings and short hours with little or no experience, Better Business Bureau files nationwide indicate no evidence of anyone making the promised money.

Some ads promise a money back guarantee. Bureau experience indicates that consumers often face difficulties in obtaining their refunds. Usually it is impossible to contact the company or have them return your call.

You should be aware that the United States Postal Inspectors regularly investigate these fraudulent schemes, and that you risk investigation and possible prosecution by postal or other law enforcement agencies if you become involved in one of these schemes. 

There are two types of work-at-home schemes: 

1) Where you provide a service. 

2) Where you provide a product.

SERVICE: This is where you answer ads probably expecting to be hired by a legitimate company to stuff envelopes for a salary. This is not the case. This company is not offering employment and therefore earnings claims cannot be guaranteed. Legitimate companies usually do not place open ads for work-at-home programs and would certainly not require any type of payment in advance. For your information the BBB reports that, in many envelope stuffing promotions, a company offers to pay fantastic wages to 'stuff envelopes and submit them according to instructions'. Often after first paying for the instructions, participants learn that they must also buy the company's books on 'money-making' plans, and place advertisements at their own expense in newspapers, magazines or on bulletin boards. The advertisements invite other people to send the participant a self addressed stamped envelope for information on earning money at home. Each envelope received in this manner is then stuffed by the participant with the company's promotional material. Once a required number of letters is accumulated, they are sent to the company for payment. Earnings by participants is based entirely on the number of responses they receive to the ads they place. In practically all businesses, envelope stuffing has become a highly mechanized operation using sophisticated mass mailing techniques and equipment which eliminates any profit for an individual doing this type of work at home.

PRODUCT: This is where you answer ads that offer money for sewing or assembling products at home. For example, you may be asked to buy instructions, materials, and sometimes even equipment to make items such as decorations, toys, etc. and then the promoter promises to buy your finished products if the quality is 'up to his standards'. BBB experience shows that it is doubtful that anything you ever make will be up to their standards. If the promoter refuses to buy the items back, your only hope is to sell them yourself. This makes it highly unlikely that you will make any type of profit. The Bureau knows of no work-at-home scheme that produces income as alleged. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, even if it has been advertised on television or in the newspaper. Newspapers and TV stations generally do not check out individual advertisers unless they receive complaints about the nature of the ad. The BBB has not received any reports that work-at-home schemes produce income.