Find us on Google+

Educational Consumer Tips

Work-At-Home Schemes

Author: Better Business Bureau

Every day, ads for work-at-home jobs appear in newspapers across the country, as well as in national magazines and on the Internet. Some of the offers include stuffing envelopes, assembling products, reading books, reviewing movies, medical transactions, or selling advertising on the Internet.

The Better Business Bureau suggests using extreme caution when responding to any such offer. While ads claim high earnings and short hours with little or no experience, Bureau files nationwide indicate no evidence of anyone making the promised money. Rarely, if ever, are these ads an offer of legitimate employment. Generally, these "jobs" require up-front fees for information or supplies, and only the person who ran the ad makes any money.

In response to growing concerns about an industry that regularly tops the list of types of businesses generating the most inquiries to Better Business Bureaus, the Bureaus in cooperation with the United States Postal Inspection Service, conducted "Operation Job Fraud." Bureaus shopped and investigated more than 100 work-at-home companies. The results of the investigation continue to support evidence that little or no money is made. In fact, more money is paid up-front than will be made doing the advertised work. 

 Work-at-home deals are "too good to be true." Operation Job Fraud's mission was three-fold: to alert the public to work-at-home schemes, expose these practices and operators that deceive and rob the public, and help law enforcement in criminal prosecutions. Information gathered was shared with the Postal Inspectors. The public should be aware that they risk investigation and possible prosecution by postal or other law enforcement agencies if they become involved in one of these schemes.