- “Between 2005 to 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. In 2015, 3.9 million U.S. workers were working remotely. Today that number is at 4.7 million, or 3.4% of the population.” ~FlexJobs
- Due to covid-19 related layoffs, many individuals are looking for remote gigs to supplement their lost income.
- Scammers are leveraging email campaigns and robocalls to pitch their work-at-home scams.
2020 was shaping up to be the best year for job hunters in recent history. The U.S unemployment rate in September 2019 fell to 3.5%, the lowest it has been since May 1969! Fast forward to the May 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the US unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14% in April! With organizations laying off employees, many are actively searching for work-at-home opportunities to supplement their income. Sadly, scammers are targeting those who are desperate for work – conning them out of their hard earned cash and, for many, what’s left of their savings. Today, we’ll highlight 3 typical red flags associated with work-at-home scams, in an effort to assist those in need.
- You’ll earn a “huge” paycheck completing data entry tasks!
While data entry jobs can be legitimate, they often pay cents per entry or sentence. This means that the likelihood of an individual making anything above minimum wage is relatively low. According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers have been known to charge “employees” an application fee, which typically ranges from $25 to $250 to join the company and or obtain the required software to work. Additionally, these fictitious companies will often send “employees” a booklet containing the contact information of companies which hire data entry clerks, in an attempt to legitimize themselves. Of course, the companies on said list have never heard of your “employer” and do not hire work-at-home data entry clerks…
- Just buy our starter kit or certification and you’ll be rolling in dough in no time!
Many of us have seen this type of scheme in some form or other. Scam Corp, an affiliate of [insert fortune 500 company], believes that you have what it takes to become the next millionaire or independent business owner! All you have to do is buy their starter kit, or pay for their certification and you’ll be the next Jordan Belfort! Upon purchasing said starter kit or certification, via credit or debit card of course, you’ll notice that your card continues to be charged without your authorization. The U.S Federal Trade Commission has received countless complaints about this type of scam, and has provided guidance on how to deal with the issue.
- Stuffing envelopes each day keeps the landlord away!
The envelope stuffing scam is effective because it’s so easy! All you have to do is stuff an envelope with ads on behalf of a company and mail them out, right? Nope. Upon applying for the job, you’ll be required to pay a fee to learn the art of envelope stuffing… Then, when you receive the instructional material, you learn that you actually get paid by recruiting individuals into the envelope stuffing crime syndicate. Smells like a pyramid scheme to me! Like the National Consumers League says, “You won’t get rich, and you could be prosecuted for fraud”.
Most legitimate companies will not require that you pay a fee to join their ranks. If you believe that you’ve fallen for a work-at-home scam, inform the company that you plan on notifying law enforcement officials. If the company refuses to return any money spent on their programs, you can file a complaint with the organizations below:
- The FTC complaint form, or via phone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
- The Attorney General’s office in your state or the state where the company is located.
- The Better Business Bureau
O’Mard Consulting Services, LLC is here to help you weather the storm during these unprecedented times! Let us know is you have any questions or comments related to work-at-home scams, and make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay up to date with the latest security related tips and tricks!