Scambusting Work-At-Home “Opportunities”

If you’ve spent any time looking for home-based work, you’ve no doubt already been exposed to the pandemic of false opportunities that plague the Web. All of our posts in the How To Find Work At Home series remind you to be on the look out for scams and virtual boogie men who, unfortunately, lurk where legitimate employers go to find home-based workers. So how do you recognize a scam when you see one?


Some might say, if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a cabbage. Ah, were it only that simple. Sure, while some scams have “SUCKER” written all over them, but others are cleverly disguised decoys that bleed consumers of millions of dollars every year.

The problem is so pervasive that even Uncle Sam has stepped into the fray: “Bogus business opportunities trample on Americans’ dreams of financial independence,” said FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. “If a business opportunity promises no risk, little effort, and big profits, it’s almost certainly is a scam. These frauds offer only a money pit, where no matter how much time and money is invested, consumers never achieve the riches and financial freedom promised.”

Determined to remedy the situation, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a federal and state law enforcement sweep targeting bogus business opportunities and work-at-home scams. The crackdown involved more than 100 law enforcement actions by the FTC, the Department of Justice, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and law enforcement agencies in 11 states. In four FTC cases alone, consumers lost more than $30 million. Their 2006 sweep led to sentencing of 25 defendants to a total of over 160 years imprisonment for the $86 million in consumer losses they caused.

Starting this Friday (February 15th) we’ll launch a series of blogs called Home Business & Work-at-Home Scambusting to help our readers keep from losing their shirts as work to undress4success.

Here are some of the topics we’ll cover in the weeks ahead:

• Top Scams Uncovered By the FTC

While many of these scammers are wearing striped pajamas these days, their schemes live on. Do any of these “opportunities” look familiar: affiliate web site marketing, envelope stuffing, medical billing, online surveys, free government grants, business card sales, healthcare insurance, phone cards, internet kiosks, craft assembly? Same scam, different name.

In future scambusting posts we’ll look at:

• 22 Ways to Spot a Work-From-Home Scam or Home Business Opportunity

• 10 Questions To Ask Before You Sign Up for a Home-Based Job or Business

• How to Use the Web to Investigate Prospective At-Home Work

• Getting Even—What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed

Next Up:

• Finding Work At Home: Part 3—Yahoo HotJobs

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