Avoiding Scams

As the Internet has grown, so have the number of online scams and fraudulent opportunities. There were online scams 20 years ago when I started online and there are online scams today. It is a way of life. Just as when you pick up the telephone at home and someone wants to sell you the Brooklyn bridge, today you might get that same offer by email or find it at a site you might be visiting online.

So there is no real way to get away from them. You have to be observant and you need to research every opportunity that you might be interested in. If you don’t, you are going to get burnt.

There are a number of offers, that I have seen continually during the time I have been working online, that have a high probability of being a scam.

Here are a few:

Envelope Stuffing

This one is a classic and it has been around forever. It started originally being sent out in regular postal mail and then hit the Internet in full force. It usually promises you one to two dollars for every envelope you process. All you need to do to get started is send them a certain amount of money, for instance $2 and you will start receiving thousands of envelopes a week with postage and address already on them, that you will stuff and send out. That sounds pretty good – 1000 envelopes a week at $2 a piece. Good Money!

In exchange for sending in your money you receive a brief manual with instructions on how to proceed. They will include a proof of an advertising circular that you can have printed and either hang in supermarkets or mail to opportunity lists. What you are advertising is the work at home opportunity that you just sent for.

When people respond they send you their $2 and a stamped pre-addressed envelope and you send them a copy of the manual so they can get started doing the same thing you are doing. I would venture to say that you will spend a good deal of money for printing and advertising in order to get a 1000 envelopes a week.

It is a unique idea but I am sure it is illegal.

Assembly or Craft Work At Home

This one sounds enticing. Start assembling crafts or other products at home. The company advises you that they will buy the products from you. You will have to pay for a starter kit upfront and that could be any price from $40 to $100. You might also have to purchase supplies from the company in order to complete the tasks. The tasks might be assembling toys, or similar items.

After you complete the assembly, the company in most likelihood will tell you that your products do not meet the company standards. And in most cases none of your work will meet their specifications. The only one making money is the company.

Medical Billing

You are promised substantial income for processing medical claims electronically at home. You are told that there are many doctors, dentists and other medical professionals who need your help. You will be required to invest a good deal of money, probably close to $1000, to get your processing software and lists of potential medical clients in order to start your business.

What you will find out very quickly is that most doctors, dentists and other medical offices do their own billing or outsource it to large processing firms. Plus the list you get of potential clients is probably outdated.

There are other possible scams lurking out there. They include mystery shopping, email marketing (sort of like envelope stuffing) and chain letters/emails. I could go on and on but I think you have the idea.

The main thing you need to do is check out the opportunity before you turn over any of your hard earned dollars to anyone. The Internet has made it a lot easier to investigate work at home opportunities. So use it and don’t get burned.

Wish you success in your endeavors.
Joe Reinbold
Wealthy Affiliate Member

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