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Moms Are Big Target For Work-at-Home Scams

By Liz Folger

They find them on Internet message boards, in their mail and in their favorite magazines. Mothers are tempted with headlines that scream, "Moms Make Money In The Comfort Of Your Home Assembling Crafts."; "A HOMEMAKERS DREAM...Make money passing out samples..."; "COMPUTER USERS Needed -Typing and Word Processing from home... EASY MONEY, EXCELLENT PAY."

The new trend is showing that moms are wanting to stay home and raise their children. Finding a way to work-at-home sounds like the perfect solution. These scams, disguised as ads, sound like the perfect opportunity.....too good to be true. Unfortunately, many of these ads ARE too good to be true.

Victims

Lisa, a mother of three, read an ad about how she could read books and make money, but first she had to buy a book that told her how to do this. She says, "I bought one of these books only to discover that no publisher actually hires readers. I also met a man that swore he made money by reading for publishers and all you had to do was contact various publishers and offer your services. I spent a good amount of time contacting publishers all over and absolutely no one was interested or had any freelance reader programs."

Cindy, mother of five, was scammed over the Internet by a guy she calls "Richard". She explains, "I was in desperate need of money for paying bills. I didn't know which way to turn and this "Richard" sent me an email in response to an ad that I paid for on AOL requesting word processing, graphic design and accounting jobs that I could do from my home."

"Richard" seemed legitimate enough to Cindy's vulnerable, poverty-stricken soul. She explains the scam, "He offered me an opportunity to work for free. I was to send out emails to thousands of people worldwide. I would be paid the following week (checks mailed on Thursdays). As you can imagine, Thursday never came and when I emailed "Richard" regarding my pay and what was going on, I finally received two responses from him. One response dealt with a letter I'd sent him about so many of the email addresses being either fictitious or unheard of, and the other said that, in order for me to be paid, there would have to be some positive action in response to my emails. I finally stopped writing to him and never filed any claims against him because I realized that I had been a fool and had just been duped." While Cindy didn't lose money to this work-at-home scheme, she wasted a lot of hours working for nothing.

Recourse?

Some companies can get downright nasty if you decide you'd like to get your money back, as Mary found out. She was interested in medical billing and found a company she thought she could work with. She signed up with them, but then had second thoughts about what she had done. She called back to tell them she wasn't interested due to the research she had conducted on the company. Marie explains, "The salesman then told me that if I didn't want to make $4,000 - $6,000 a month, I was just stupid."

Moms are being scammed by misleading work-at-home ads every day. Single moms, disabled mothers, professionals, moms just wanting to spend more time with their family, moms that are low on cash....are all potential victims of a work-at-home scam. The majority of moms who lose their money to a scam never even try to get their money back.

Liz Folger, Work-at-Home Mom Expert and author of the book, says, "It's estimated that 6 million people answer classified ads each year regarding money scams. Don't become a victim yourself. Ads for assembling crafts, stuffing envelopes, medical billing, reading books...these are all potential scams ready to steal your money. Also, keep in mind that if an ad sounds too good to be true - it probably is."

As outlined in Folger's book, here are 8 ways to know when you're about to get scammed by a work-at-home ad:

  • The very first line states you can make hundreds of dollars a week working from home. There is no experience needed.
  • You can work just a few hours a week and still make a bundle of money.
  • There is lots of CAPITALIZATION AND !!!!!! used in the ad.
  • You read an extremely vague ad. You haven't a clue what the business is about; but boy, could you be making the bucks.
  • You're asked to call a 900# for more information.
  • For a fee, a company will send you a list of businesses that are looking for home workers.
  • You are forced to make a decision immediately and are made to feel stupid if you say no to their offer.

What To Do If You Become The Victim Of A Scam

First, write the company that you feel has ripped you off telling them you would like your money back. If they don't agree with you, then you need to let them know you plan to notify officials. The following people should be notified:

If you read about this work-at-home scheme in a magazine, let the editor know you've been ripped off by these people and you're not happy about it.

  • Consumer Protection Association of America - 888-727-4272
  • Postal Crime Hotline - If you were mailed the scam. - 800-654-8896
  • National Fraud Information Center - 800-876-7060 www.fraud.com

And for more talk on the subject, stop by Idea Cafe's Biz-Life CyberSchmooz Work-at-Home Forum

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