Avoiding Work-At-Home Scams

For the average hard working and under appreciated American, there is always the thought of increasing your income and finding a better way than taking orders from some boss and punching the clock. Some people decide that going back to school to further their education and increase their chances of finding a better job or creating a business of their own is the wisest choice. There are some people that look to other solutions, such as “work-at-home” ads that populate telephone poles and the classified section in the back of the local newspaper. Let me tell you, those ads that guarantee you can make up to $6000 a week by stuffing envelopes or processing medical bills from home are very appealing. Many people are sucked in by these ads and decide to give it a shot. As a result, they end up spending more money than earning money, wasting valuable time, and energy. Don’t be deceived by those ads that promise instant money. There is no such thing. Work-at-home scams are all over the place and it is vital that you recognize what is a scam and what is not a scam.

If I had a dollar for every time I saw an ad for Electronic Billing and claims processing, I would be drinking daiquiris and enjoying the cool breeze on my private island far away from here. By Responding to one of these ads, you will get some over zealous salesperson trying to convince you on how “wide open” the market for electronic billing is and the potential of making thousands of dollars in a short period of time. They often will say that no experience is necessary. However, instead of processing bills and claims, you will be selling something that only god knows or it is your responsibility to find your own clients. By selling your soul, the salesperson immediately sends you brochures, video cassettes, testimonials and some form of licensing agreement for a one time fee of $59.95. When it is all said and done, you have coughed up thousands of dollars on worthless information that will help sell their products. The company may also give you a list of names to call for references, but the individuals could be hired to provide you with phony testimonials. You should always interview people in person and visit the company yourself to ensure you are not being ripped off or misled. Not too many people who purchase a billing/claims package find enough clients to generate a revenue or earn back the money that was invested.

The best way to create your own billing business is to take classes on the terminology of that particular field. For example, people who are interested in medical billing need classes to learn all the terminology needed to be effective. Upon completion you have the choice of working in a medical center, hospital, or creating your own business. This method helps to keep lots of money in your wallet and out of the hands of scheming sharks.

My favorite scheme is envelop stuffing. Salespeople or promoters advertise that only a small fee is required for the mailing kit. You are then told that a large number of mail pieces will be sent to you to stuff and mail out to customers and business companies. “You can earn up to $1000 a week stuffing envelopes”, the ad will say. If it was that easy to make a thousand bucks, everyone would do it. There is no way someone will pay you that much money to put paper in envelopes. They have under appreciated workers doing that on site for minimum wage. The reality in this scam is that the company wants you to stuff the same letter that you receive in the mail to other people such as your friends and family. You only make money if you receive a response and they decide to sell their soul as well.

You may have seen ads all over the place for some type of assembly or craft work. The company wants you to invest money in the equipment and supplies. You are promised to be paid for the goods that you produce for the company. When you finally spend countless hours producing what ever you were required to do, you may not get paid at all. Your hard work on a specific product may not meet the “quality standards”. For these companies, all of the work that is produced never meets the company standards and you are left with worthless equipment and an empty wallet.

In my young age, I have been robbed by similar companies a time or two, and eventually realized that I have to be extra careful when dealing with work-at-home jobs and glorious “get rich quick” schemes. There are legitimate work-at-home programs out there, but it is up to you to thoroughly investigate before diving straight into it. Make sure you ask lots of questions regarding the specific tasks in detail, information on payment plans, and your investment requirements. If you don’t get the answers that you want, simply walk away or hang up the phone. It would also be wise to check with places such as the Better Business Bureau, and the local consumer protection agency for details on the company. If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now believe the program may not be legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. If you are unable to get the issue resolved with them, there are a few places that you can contact.

� The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraud and deception. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or log on to http://www.ftc.gov/.
âÂ?¢ The Attorney General’s office in your state or the state where the company is located. The office will be able to tell you whether you’re protected by any state law that may regulate work-at-home programs.
� Your local consumer protection offices.
âÂ?¢ You’re local Better Business Bureau.
� Your local postmaster. The U.S. Postal Service investigates fraudulent mail practices.
âÂ?¢ The advertising manager of the publication that ran the ad. The manager may be interested to learn about the problems you’ve had with the company.

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