Archive for the ‘Scams’ Category

• FTC Targeting Web Scams Again

In conjunction with state law enforcement officials and other federal agencies, the Federal Trade Commission will hold a press conference on Tuesday, February 9, 2010, at 11 a.m., to announce a law enforcement sweep cracking down on job and work-at-home scams fueled by the economic downturn.

Presenters at the conference will include the Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Assistant Attorney General for the U.S. Justice Department, Ohio Attorney General, and a job seeker how lost money to a phony job scam. Monster.com, Microsoft, and the Postal Service will also be in attendance.

Also being released tomorrow is a new consumer education video the FTC has prepared to show people how to avoid scams. It will include screen shots from some of the sites that were targeted in this recent work-at-home scam sweep. The video can be downloaded at http://aperturefilms.com/ftc/ once the press conference begins.

I hope they show the scammers being tarred and feathered!

Have you been a victim of a work-at-home scam? Feel free to vent your spleen here so that others can learn from your experience.

• Mystery Shopper Warning from FBI

Mystery Shopping Warning Issued by the FBI

Mystery shopping is on the FBI’s latest hit list. They issued a stern warning today (January 20, 2009) to be on the lookout for unsolicited emails and snail mails inviting mystery shoppers.

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), the mystery shopping scam goes like this:

You receive an email or snail mail inviting you to be a mystery shopper. You’re are asked to send a resume and are purportedly subject to an extensive background check before being accepted as a mystery shopper. You are sent a check with instructions to shop at a specified retailer for a specific length of time and spend a specific amount on merchandise from the store. You receive instructions to take note of the store’s environment, color, payment procedures, gift items, and shopping/carrier bags and report back to the employer. The second evaluation is the ease and accuracy of wiring money from the retail location. The money to be wired is also included in the check sent to the you. The remaining balance is the your payment for the completion of the assignment. After merchandise is purchased and money is wired, you are advised by the bank the check cashed was counterfeit, and you are responsible for the money lost in addition to bank fees incurred.

In other versions of the scheme, you are requested to provide bank account information to have money directly deposited into you accounts. The scammer then has acquired access to your accounts and can withdraw money and steal your identity.

Read more about how to sniff out these and other internet and home-based job scams on the FBI’s IC3 website.

If you’ve been a victim of a mystery shopper or other home based job scam, please share your story in the comments here. Your experience may save others from the agony!

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• Assembly Jobs Are Probably Scams

A reader wrote:

I’m seriously considering assembly work at home to supplement my part time job (all I could find in this recession). I know it’s mostly scams and one has to be extremely careful and do a lot of  research to find a legitimate company. Would you agree with this assessment and would you know of any such companies?

assemblyAssembly work seems to us to be a very unlikely source of supplementary income, largely because there are so many scams out there. We also have trouble understanding how any legitimate company could economically hire anyone and pay them a reasonable wage to do work that can be done by machine, or by offshore labor,  for much less. (We’re not advocating offshore labor, mind you, just reflecting reality). What’s more, in all our research we haven’t found any companies that offer real assembly work for real pay. So we’re very suspicious, as you should be too.

Now that’s not to say legitimate assembly jobs don’t exist, but we haven’t found one. If any readers can point us tpoeard one we’d like to check them out.

Our recommendation would be that you look to odesk.com, elance.com. and similar freelance sites, and see if you can identify gigs that match what you’re good at.

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