Con artists are taking advantage of the nation's high unemployment rate by cashing in on "work from home job" scams. There are some legitimate options, but watch out for scams.
Making thousands of dollars a week working at home just simply mailing postcards sounds like a good deal. "Consumers were told they would earn $1 for each postcard they processed. All they had to do was place a pre-addressed label which promoted a mortgage assistance project and send it back to the company," said Daniel Forrester, U.S. Postal Inspector,
All the aplicants had to do was fill out a form and pay an upfront fee. Then, the would receive a starter package. According to Forrester, "Usually they are enticed in the package by what they are applying for - a promised wage - and a certain enrollment fee they are responsible for."
Postal inspectors got involved after hundreds of complaints were filed from employees. "They were never paid the wage promised. For the first time, they were told someone would have to actually buy the mortgage product to be paid," said Forrester. Employees were out the upfront fee with no prospect of future money.
Forrester warns that "consumers should be aware of any work at home scheme that asks you to pay a fee upfront." His advice is to use common sence. "A company claiming to pay you thousands of dollars for a job that could cost pennies; just apply logic."
Postal inspectors say to make sure and research a company before applying for a job. In this case, the con-artist running the scheme had been charged 5 separate times for engaging in the exact same fraud.