Work at Home Scams

This page is a constantly growing archive where we’ll add new names of work at home scams as we (and you) discover new ways people are ripped off. Leave a comment and let us know if you’ve discovered new work at home scams (or even old ones) we haven’t listed.

Work at Home Scams Thumbnail—They say they can guarantee you income by filling out forms . . .after paying a $39 fee, of course. To collect the rebate you first sell a product that offers a rebate, offer a rebate of your own for some % of the company rebate, then process your own rebate. You get paid when the rebate check arrives, which you then have to split with your ‘customer.’

Medical Transcription Certification scams—Many companies claim to offer Certified Medical Transcriptionist (CMT) credentials. Some try to charge as much as $7,400 for the training they claim will prepare you for the certificate, but it’s bogus. Learn more here.—These ripoff artists will sell you a poorly written book and a CD that leaves you unequipped to succeed in the highly technical medical transcription field. See what one unfortunate victim has to say about these work at home scams here.—The ‘program’ is just a basic course in affiliate marketing, a system where you get paid for promoting other companies’ products. But no one pays you to process affiliate rebates, and the earnings are meager. The rebate actually comes out of your pocket, and you end up making less than if you’d just signed up for an affiliate marketing program directly, which you can do for free.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.—The “opportunity” to make money as an associate is consistently touted on the company’s website, in earnings releases, and during conference calls. It’s promoted as a viable business opportunity for anyone. Or not. Associates stop selling after only 5 months, on average, according to the companies own statistics. Details here.

Transam Associates—They’ll sell you some useless software, and then try to upsell you on better software and a foot pedal. Of course none of that really is helpful in preparing you for the demanding and technical medical transcription work. Details on this work at home scam here.—The company charges $2.95 to become a member (which only lets you log into the site) and commits you to a $47 a month charge. Good luck trying to cancel that. And what do you get? The chance to make $20 an article . . . assuming you actually get paid. Details here.

Mary Kay, Amway, Nu Skin, Usana, etc.—Multilevel marketing (MLM) or pyramid schemes pretend to offer participants executive level incomes while working just a few hours a week. The facts show that is not the case. Mary Kay, in a company press release, reported in 2006 that out of about 34,000 Canadian ‘consultants’ only 2500 made over $100 and only 362 made more than a poverty level income. In 1980 the Wisconsin State Attorney General’s Office revealed that out of about 20,000 Amway distributors, the top 1% lost $900—and that’s not counting product they bought and used themselves or gave away. Only 8 made more than the minimum wage. Details here and here, and especially these comments by a professional fraud investigator here.

Michigan Supply Company
Ashley Furniture Company
—While neither Michigan Supply Company or Ashley Furniture Company are scammers themselves, both companies’ names have been used for phishing. Whoever these work at home scammers are, they send out recruiting emails that ask for personal information under the guise of hiring you for a work at home job. No legitimate company will ever ask for your Social Security number (unless and until you are actually hired), checking or savings account numbers, or credit card information.

The Results Group—Working out of a boiler room in Phoenix, these work at home scams charged between $99 and $599 to build and host Web sites “affiliated” with the Web sites of Fortune 500 retail companies, such as and Consumers would make money when those retailers paid commissions for sales made through the consumers’ sites. In fact, the large retailers were unaware of any such affiliation, and consumers made no money. The operation falsely represented that purchasers would receive substantial income as well as substantial assistance from an expert staff, and used false and misleading statements to encourage consumers to buy the business opportunity.

HBG Publications—Consumers were told that for their $40 “registration fee” they would get everything they needed from HBG to earn $7 for every envelope they stuffed, and that their $40 would be refunded after the first 100 envelopes. Instead, consumers received instructions on how to buy their own ads, and how to collect $7 from each person who responded (these types of work at home scams function like chain letters). HBG misrepresented that consumers were likely to earn a substantial amount of money, and that they would pay consumers $7 for every envelope they stuffed.

EDI Health Claims Network—EDI made material misrepresentations when it sold consumers its work-at-home electronic medical billing business opportunity. Consumers reported that EDI promised they would provide them their first medical billing client or a list of potential clients. In addition, EDI told them they could earn $1,200 per month with just one client. Once the consumers paid them almost $6,000, EDI said they had to find their first client on their own, and to start by looking in the yellow pages. The vast majority of purchasers never found a single client, never processed a single claim, and never made a dime. EDI failed to provide interested consumers with information required by the Franchise Rule.

Wholesale Marketing Group—The operation promised to pay consumers a substantial income, for stuffing envelopes or mailing brochures, without having to sell anything. After consumers invested $60 to $180, they learned they would be paid only if their mailings resulted in sales (and, even then, consumers never received any income).

QTX—The company offered a work-at-home craft assembly business opportunity building bead houses.

World Traders Association – They offered a surplus-goods business opportunity. Consumers paid for access to overstocked or discontinued merchandise, training, and lists of clients who would want to purchase the goods. But they never made good on their promises.

Beware of work at home scams - you never know when they’re going to crop up.