Scams and how to spot them!

I think it’s safe to say we have all gotten at least one email from someone in another country saying they got a big inheritance and need you to cash the check for them at a Western Union. Then they will give you a few thousand dollars just for your troubles if you send then money to them.

I hope by now you know any email’s like that is a scam. See, the person sending the email is more than likely from another country, and so if you do cash the check then it will be forfeit, and you could actually be responsible for paying the amount of that bounced check. Any email that asks you to cash a check, or send a money gram is one hundred percent a scam!

Let’s talk about some things that are on the borderline of scams, and that I try to stay away from.

Try this product for pay!

Get paid to try this wonderful product! Now, these are not scams exactly, but they are hiding a very sneaky way of getting money from you. These places will ask you to try this product or service for a trial period. You have to put in your credit card information so that when the trial period is over you can be charged. Now, you can cancel this before the trial ends and not be charged.

However, I have personally done a few of these and after doing more than one, you start to forget what to cancel and when. If you could find a good system for knowing when to send back, or cancel the service then I guess you could make it work, but in my experience, it was not worth the time or effort for the amount you got paid. When I did it, I never got actual money, I only got products.

Payment Processing jobs

These have been popping up a lot lately on Craigslist, and I have to warn you to not even consider this. In my personal experience, I’ve never found a payment processing job that was not a scam. How this works is much like the email scam. Someone from overseas will start a company, put some ads up on Craigslist, or other free marketing sites, and hire a few people.

They hire you to write checks with a software, and you write and send checks to the people listed and get paid for it. It might seem great at first, but the problem is these checks are fraud and you are committing a crime without even knowing it. The person who writes the checks is the one who gets charged with the crime. The person overseas collects the money and gets away, while you take the fall in jail, so do not….DO NOT fall for payment processing jobs EVER!

Surveys

I have done my fair share of surveys, and yes there are ways to get paid doing surveys, but all the ones I’ve done always had a hold before you can get paid. I believe when I did it, you had to make one hundred dollars before you’d get a payment.

So, technically you could say this is not a scam, but I did surveys for a few months and only got twenty dollars before I realized this really was way to much work, for no pay. Plus, you are giving out your personal information with every survey. How many kids live in your home, how many pets, all sorts of personal questions. After a while, it started to not sit well with me and I gave up. Plus, you would make maybe five or ten cents each survey so literally pennies.

Seminars

Again, not necessarily a scam but I just had an experience with this one. I was contacted on LinkedIn by a person asking about my marketing skills. He asked how I like my current job, and if I was looking to make extra income doing marketing. I thought why not, doesn’t hurt to listen to what the guy says, so we scheduled a conference call.

When he called, I had a thousand questions. Always ask questions, you guys. The guy was not able to answer my questions and kept repeating his same spiel. With every question I asked he would answer with, these questions will be answered at the seminar on this date, this time. He finally got the hint and had his manager call me the next day.

I was still thinking that just maybe they would be offering me a job. When the boss called me he also kept talking about the seminar, but I was honest and told him, I am a work at home mom with three kids. If I was going to pay a babysitter than I needed these questions answered now, or it won’t happen.

The guy changed his tone, and when I said, what would I be expected to do at this job, he quickly corrected me and said, not a job, an opportunity. This was a keyword and then I said oh, I see, and how much does this “opportunity” cost? BOOM! It was a $500 program to market to these big companies and make a side income. Yeah, not exactly a scam but if someone is not willing to answer your questions then walk away.

Most of these seminars are trying to sell you something. So, if you know that going in and can hold on to your purse, then sometimes you can bring knowledge home from these, but honestly I just stay away from them all together. 

Opportunity

A lot of companies will use the word opportunity to sell you on owning your own business, but in reality, you do all the hard work for next to nothing, while the owners of the company make all the money. You go out and advertise for them, you sell their product or services, you do all the hard work just to get a percentage of the profits.  Meanwhile, the owners sit in their penthouse eating lobsters from your hard work.

This is not to say that all companies selling you a “great opportunity” are full of it because we all know someone out there making an income from direct sales. I am only stating that you have to read between the lines when you see the words opportunity. Really do your research!

Envelope stuffing

To be completely honest I’m really surprised this is still around, but I kid you not I just saw an ad in my paper for this today. I actually did this when I first wanted to start working at home. I was sent a letter in the mail saying if I addressed the same letter to the list I was sent I’d get five dollars per letter.

The letter read something like, I have to share this awesome opportunity with you. If you can seal a letter you can make five dollars, please print and send this letter to these twenty people on the list. So, I did it and was supposed to be paid cash in the mail and never saw a dollar.

Another way I’ve seen this advertised is make twenty dollars by placing an ad in the paper. The ad reads if you want to make money place this ad in the paper. It’s like telling people they will make money if they pay you twenty dollars. Then the other person asks the next person for twenty dollars. It’s very shady and a huge scam.

Virtual Assistant

Now, a virtual assistant is a real job, and a great way to start making money at home. However, I have seen an increase in the scams using this title as a cover for a false job. I was on Facebook Marketplace a few months ago and I saw someone offering a virtual assistance job, no training needed.

Being the investigator that I am, I had to know more. So, I chatted with the person over messenger. She was offering to teach me to be a virtual assistant for only one hundred dollars. I said, okay what will you be offering? She said I would make a website using a free service like Wix, and write virtual assistant in the title and I would start getting clients. As simple as that! 

So, I went to her website, and I kid you not, she did exactly that. The website itself was all pictures of her kids and nothing professional at all other than the words virtual assistant at the top.

Needless to say, this lady was just taking your hundred dollars and pocketing it, because you have to know a thing or two about this type of work to offer those services.

Never give your information out

The scammers are always coming up with new ways to make an easy dollar and unfortunately, all of us are their targets. We have to start getting educated on what to look for. If someone is selling you an amazing work at home opportunity, but won’t give you details until you sign up with your name, email, or phone number, don’t do it.

Your information is valuable. They can sell it to a company wanting to sell you stuff. They can use it to harass you with endless sales calls, or just get information on you and your friends.

Also, if someone is asking for your information on Facebook messenger then you know that is not a legit company.

I need money now

I am going to be brutally honest here, but I see it every day and it frustrates me to no end. If you post on groups with, I need money now, or please tell me how to make fast money, you are asking to be scammed.

You are the target person for a scammer. Someone who wants fast money is someone who is not willing to do research, and educate themselves on the person offering the job.

Anyone who shows photos with them holding stacks of money is a scammer. Think about it, when was the last time you saw a real rich person holding his money out for display? Don’t fall for those click bait type of job offers.

Be smart because as a ten-year veteran in the work at home field, I have never found fast cash or easy money from home. The only way that’s possible is if you’re willing to become the scammer yourself.

If you want real ways to make an income at home, and want to work for your money, I have a program just for you.

5 Work At Home Scams & How To Avoid Them!

5 Holiday Scams & how to avoid them!

The holiday season can be such a joyful time, but this is also the time of year where you have to be extra careful when looking for work at home opportunities and seasonal jobs because there are a ton of scams out there!

I am going to give you 5 red flags when searching for work at home opportunities this holiday so you can sniff out the fake ones from the real ones!

  1. Never pay for training – Some companies will ask you to work for a less amount when training, but I’ve never heard of a legit company asking you to pay them for training! This is a huge red flag, if you have to pay upfront for a job then walk away it’s a scam! If they ask for money don’t even look back, just walk away. Far…far away!
  2. No information – If you find a work at home opportunity that says, make 1500 overnight just click this link and enter your email, phone number and all your info, it’s a scam! First of all, if they are making 1500 overnight, I doubt they would be posting it on Craigslist or Facebook. If a company is not willing to give you their information up front, then that smells fishy to me. When I want to hire someone to work for me, I want to give them as much info on my company as possible so that I know if they will be a good employee or not. If the company is being secretive or asking for your email before you can learn about the amazing once in a lifetime job then walk away! Knowledge is power and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  3. Fake Charities – This is such a sad reality but it’s a huge problem this time of year. My husband and I were driving and we saw this church group collecting money in buckets as cars went by. We actually donated money to the church, but a few days later we saw on the news that they had been arrested for panhandling and there was no such church. You might find organizations asking for donations, or even asking for help for the holidays. I’ve even seen a few that have offered to pay for helpers for the season. However, I can’t stress this enough… do your research on them. If it’s not a well-known organization then I’d be leery of donating. If you want to donate, go to a well known and established charity like ASPCA or St. Jude! Now, that’s not to say that you can’t go volunteer at your local animal shelter or a local store you are aware of in your town. Just use good judgment when you see these seasonal jobs online asking for you to work and never end up paying you. There are a lot of great places out there that will pay you for your time, so do not give up on your search just use good judgment.
  4. Gift Cards – I’ve seen a few job posting on Craigslist offering to give you a $200 Wal-Mart gift card in exchange for emailing a list of people their information or stuffing envelopes. This is a scam. Anytime a company says they want to pay with a gift card then you’re probably never going to get it, and you put in the work for free. Any real company is going to pay you with a check, or through a bank, so they can track their expenses at the end of the year. You can’t do that with gift cards, therefore, it’s a huge red flag! Plus real companies know it’s cheaper to send emails and the biggest business are doing away with sending out mail unless it’s an invoice. So envelope stuffing is another red flag!
  5. Ask Questions– If you find a remote job that you think will work for your needs then ask them questions about their company. Ask specific questions like when was this company established, how many customers do you get, your salary, and as many other detailed questions as possible. If it’s a scam they will not be able to answer and will probably hang up or stop chatting. However in my experience, if it’s a real employer they admire your willingness to learn and know about the company and I have gotten hired at least 3 times by doing just this. Asking questions (a lot of questions) and the person hiring really loved how interested I was in the company and I got hired. So it’s a win-win. If it’s a scam you scare them off, and if it’s a real job you look like an enthusiastic new employee!
  6. (BONUS) Problem with payment – This is not a job but I had this happen to me with Amazon. I purchased a bunch of stuff for Cyber Monday and today I got an email from Amazon saying some items in my cart were not paid for. I clicked on the link in the email and it sent me to a fake Amazon site. It said Amazon at the top but it looked different and was just a log in screen. I also noticed the web URL was not Amazon. So I went to my real Amazon account and there was no issue with my payment. Someone was trying to get me to put my credit card info into their pockets.

Be smart, and be safe. As wonderful as this time of year is, there are also a lot of people out there that don’t care about anything but your money so please research the company you’re thinking of working for. Go on Snopes.com to see if it’s a scam. Also never meet anyone that you don’t know at a private location. If someone wants to use your services or hire you for a job and wants to meet with you. Go to a public restaurant or an area where you won’t be alone.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I do hope you will stay safe, and stay smart when it comes to holiday work at home jobs!

Here is a link to the podcast I did on this as well.

https://anchor.fm/sheenadiane/episodes/10ed46c