Work-from-home scams increasingly common

The idea of making thousands of dollars a month while working from home sounds too good to be true. In most cases, it is.

However, work-from-home scams are becoming increasingly common. They trick people into providing personal information or giving out their hard-earned money. These scams often target the vulnerable (those out of work, in debt, in need of a second job to pay bills or are caring for a family) and dupe thousands of dollars out of individuals’ pockets.

There are many types of work-from-home scams. A common scam involves envelope stuffing. Scammers hire an individual to stuff envelopes under the pretense of making thousands of dollars a month. However, if you think about it, this activity can be outsourced to mailing houses for pennies, so why would a company pay someone thousands for an otherwise cheap task. Another scam involves hiring an individual to process medical billing.

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It’s not common practice for medical professionals to give private health information to strangers, especially with healthcare privacy rules. This is usually handled by a well-established organization with employees who are trained, insured and onsite. Other scams involve using people to cash phony checks, transfer illegally-obtained funds for criminals or receive stolen merchandise and ship it to criminals.

BBB offers tips to avoid work-from-home scams:

• If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use common sense when offered a high reward for a low effort job with no experience.

• Get all details, including earning claims and cancellation and refund policies, in writing.

• Find out exactly what you have to do, what the total cost is and who’ll pay you.

• Get references from a least ten people who’ve been successful.

• Don’t feel pressured to make a decision immediately.

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• Do your research on any organization that offers you a job. Use the internet and ask around about the company. Use the keyword “scam” when researching the company. If the organization is fraudulent, it will most likely pop up.

• Be wary of companies that will hire you with no experience and no qualifications or promise easy money and flexible hours. This is a telltale sign of a scam.

• If you can’t find a single thing online about the company, it is likely to be a scam.

• If the company requests money up front, it may be a scam.

• Report it immediately if you think you are being scammed have been scammed, or were offered a scam position

The more skeptical you are, the more likely you are to recognize a scam. Take the necessary precautions to avoid falling victim to these scams and use the resources available to you.

Make BBB one of your first lines of defense. Last year alone, BBB locally had nearly 769,000 web site visits, gave out more than 928,600 Business Profiles, served nearly 21,600 people on the BBB All Time Line and almost 400 through BBB’s online live chat.

Let us help you, visit or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.


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