Work at home scams

The ads are everywhere, on the Internet, in the mail, posted on trees or at the local grocery store, telling you that you can work at home making money typing on your computer, or stuffing envelopes.  All you have to do is send in a start up fee and they will send you all of the supplies.
When the supplies arrive they are not forms to type up, or envelopes to stuff.  It is a packet of information that tells you how to place ads to recruit others to do the same thing.  Some people just lose the initial start up fee, and those who try and make it work will most likely end up losing more than they make.

How to Protect Yourself


You may have heard complaints from unemployed constituents in the midst of a job search. They may have seen ads for firms that promise results. Many of these firms may be legitimate and helpful, but others may misrepresent their services, promote out-dated or fictitious job offerings, or charge high fees in advance for services they guarantee will lead to a job. Here are some tips for them from the FTC:

— Reject any company that promises to get you a job. Be skeptical of any employment-service firm that charges first, even if it guarantees refunds.

— Get a copy of the firm’s contract and read it carefully before you pay any money. Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. Make sure you understand what services the firm will provide and what you’ll be responsible for doing. If oral promises are made, but don’t appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.

— Take your time reading the contract. Stay away from high-pressure sales pitches that require you to pay now or risk losing out on an opportunity. Be cautious about buying services or products from a firm that’s reluctant to answer your questions.

— Be aware that some listing services and “consultants” write their ads to sound like they have jobs available when they’re really selling general information about getting a job.

Cut and paste these tips or the FTC’s other free content into your district newsletter, link to it on your Member’s website or hand out publications in town hall meetings. Share the FTC’s new video about avoiding job scams with your network. Learn more at

Make money FAST!

Now that I have your attention, if you ever see a commercial that tells you that you can make money fast, easy or with no work, please only continue to watch that commercial to laugh at it.

This morning my husband and I turned on the television, and the channel it was on just happened to be in the middle of one of these types of commercials. It was for Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions. In the commercial there are two women who are interviewing people who have used the program and are making tons of money. Some are making thousands of dollars a week, and one man even showed a check for thousands of dollars that was supposed to be for one day pay.

And how much does it cost you to get the information to do this yourself? Normally it would cost over $40, but if you call now it will only cost $19.95.

They claim that they will set you up with one of their ready to go websites in just a few clicks of a mouse, and you will be ready to start making money. I said to my husband, if this guy has all of these “ready to go websites” for people to pick from and they just have to put them out on the internet to start making money, why doesn’t THIS GUY just launch the sites and make the money himself? According to him, you can make thousands of dollars a week of the websites, but he is only making $20 a person for selling the websites off so it just does not make sense.

If you do a google search on Jeff Paul or Jeff Paul’s Shortcuts to Internet Millions you can find TONS of comments from people who have tried the program, and none of them are making any money with it. Also, from what I have found, it sounds like getting your money back or canceling the program is difficult to do. There are posts that say that people were charged monthly fees, which is something that is not mentioned on the commercial, and some people even had to cancel their credit card to get the monthly payments to stop.

Some people might say, “Okay . . . so the first $20 gets me the CDs that tell me a little about the program, but the membership gets me into the websites that make the money . . . I am fine with that.” Well, from what I have read the websites are the sites that sell all of those e-books that tell you how to make money. Without joining it myself and really trying the system, it sounds a lot like the old pyramid schemes where they sell you the program to teach you to make money online and you make your money by selling it to others.

If you have to spend money on a program to make money, don’t do it.

There are ways to make money online, without paying into the program. Yes, they will not make you the millions of dollars over night like these commercials claim, but they do bring in real checks and do not cost you anything. If you set up a website, or blog like this one, and use the Google AdSense program. This really is simple to use, and can be set up in just a few clicks of a mouse. In fact, Blogger sites like this one have a tab called Monetize that is tied into the Google AdSense program so it makes it even EASIER to put the ads on your blog, and then you can also check your earnings. And if you have multiple blogs, you can have multiple streams of income, like we do with our other blogs and Since we use this program I can tell you that you really do get checks and you can make money off of these . . . not enough to quit your full time job, but every little bit of extra income helps.

Another thing that you can do to make money online with your website or blog, that does not cost anything to “join” is Affiliate Marketing. This is when you sign up to be an affiliate of another company, and they allow you to place their ads on your site, and then when people click on these ads and make purchases from YOUR link, you make money. Again, it is not the thousands of dollars that the “make money fast” commercials claim you can make, but again, every little bit helps. I even made money off of my online Christmas Shopping this year because I did some of my online shopping through sites that we are affiliates with like,, Best Buy, and Amazon.

So how do you join these affiliate programs? Well, you could go to each and every business and find the affiliate program link, usually at the bottom of the webpage with all of the legal information, or you could do what we did an sign up at a site like Commission Junction or LinkShare

Once you register with one of these sites (no fee . . . just filling out your name, email and mailing address type information) you can then look at the huge list of companies that you can be affiliated with. Once you join the individual company’s program (again, no fees) you can begin to post their ads. There are links to all the different types of ads, so you can filter things and make it how you want . . . just text ads, all banner ads, small buttons . . . it is up to you. Then you just have to get people coming to your site and clicking on the ads and making their purchases with companies they probably already shop with. You can see some of the sites we are affiliated with at

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
There is strength in numbers!

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Thank you Monster!

I have been wanting to see this happen for YEARS! Monster just sent out a warning about work at home/employment scams to all of their members! Here is a copy of the information.

If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.” Whether you are searching for a new job through Monster or other websites, keep in mind that the same technological innovations that help in your job search may be used by cyber-criminals looking to lure job seekers into questionable job “opportunities.”

Monster, the worldwide leader in the online recruitment industry, makes protecting job seekers a top priority. While Monster continually monitors its network and database to detect and terminate fraudulent access or job postings, keep in mind that Monster’s primary purpose is to serve as an open forum for employers to advertise open positions and a service for job seekers to broadcast their qualifications to interested employers. We work hard to ensure that only appropriate parties (such as employers) have access, but neither we nor any other online recruitment company can guarantee that inappropriate parties will not gain access to a posted resume. Accordingly, we’d like to remind you of what you can do to help keep yourself safe during a job search.

Know What to Avoid

Some employment scams appear as job postings or classifieds while others may target victims with an offer through an unsolicited email. Below are the most common scams you may see:
Money-Laundering Scams
Money launderers often create job descriptions that offer commissions or pay as high as $2000 per day to process checks on behalf of foreign nationals. They are recruiting local citizens to “process payments” or “transfer funds,” because as foreign nationals, they can’t do it themselves. The image below is an example of a money laundering scam hidden behind what appears to be an offer of employment. Learn more about money laundering scams here. »

Reshipping Scams
Reshipping, or postal forwarding, scams typically require job seekers to receive stolen goods in their own homes– frequently consumer electronics — and then forward the packages, often outside the United States. Those who fall for reshipping scams may be liable for shipping charges and even the cost of goods purchased online with stolen credit cards. Read more about reshipping scams here. »

Pre-pay/Work at Home Scams
Although there are genuine jobs working at home, many “offers” are not valid forms of employment and may have the simple goal of obtaining an initial monetary investment from the victim. Using claims such as ‘be your own boss’ and ‘make money quickly’, Work at Home scams will not guarantee regular salaried employment and almost always require an “up-front” investment of money for products or instructions before explaining how the plan works. Find out more about avoiding these scams. »

Protect Yourself

What seems like a lucrative job offer could cost you your savings and more. Learn to identify the signals of an employment scam to protect yourself. When conducting a job search:

Look for signals in a job posting or email offer, which could serve as an indicator that what is being presented as employment is not legitimate. Don’t get involved with an employer that can’t make its business model perfectly clear to you or one that’s willing to hire you without even a phone interview. Do your own research on any employer that makes you feel at all uneasy.

Never put your social security or national ID number, credit card number, bank account number or any type of sensitive personal identification data in your resume. You should never share any personal information with a prospective employer, even if they suggest that it is for a “routine background check”, until you are confident that the employer and employment opportunity is legitimate. Use Monster’s resume visibility options to ‘Be Safe’.

Do not engage in any transaction in which you are requested to transfer or exchange currency or funds to a prospective employer. Remain alert for the Work at Home employers who require you to make an up-front investment.
Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
If you see a questionable job posting or suspect misuse of the Monster website or its brand, please report the suspected fraud to Monster.

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, immediately report the fraud to your local police and contact Monster, so steps can be taken to ensure your safety. We also recommend that you file an online report with The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C). For more information on how to conduct a safe job search, visit Monster’s Security Center. You can also check out

Best regards,

The Monster Team

Chris Malta

Chris Malta is a scam fighter on a mission . . . to travel across the country to educate people about the scams out there that are costing people thousands of dollars every day.  Go to to see if Chris will be traveling to a town near you.  Chris will tell you the good, the bad and the ugly of the EBiz world.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
There is strength in numbers!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through

Scam Victim Arrested

What started out as excitement about a new job quickly turned into a financial and emotional roller coaster for one Texas woman.  In July of 2009, Nicole Ball, a stay-at-home mother from Pasadena, Texas was offered a job by someone claiming to be with a company called Formations House processing paperwork for their clients.  Nicole was ecstatic, and in this economy who would not be when they found not only a source of income but a way to do so and continue to stay at home with her young child. 

She began to receive packages in the mail with instructions to process the checks in the package.  She was instructed to keep a portion of the checks, for her payment, and then to forward the rest of the money along with some paperwork on to a man using the name of Stanley Clarkes. 

On July 23rd she entered the bank to bring in another check that she had received, and when she brought them to the teller her whole world turn upside down . . . the bank employees brought her into an office, called the police and pressed charges against her for forgery.  She was devastated.  To add to this, her young daughter was with her at the time and she had to witness her mother being told that the check was a fraud, the job she thought she had was a scam, and that now she was going to be arrested and have to spend time in jail. 

It is cases like this that show how significant the need for Scam Education and Awareness is, not only for the average American, but for bank employees and law enforcement.  With the right questions, not only could the bank employees have seen the warning signs of a scam and warned Nicole, but they would have also realized that she was not the one that needed to be behind bars or prosecuted.  With the right questions or a search warrant, the police could have seen that Nicole was not the one manufacturing these counterfeit checks that were good enough to fool bank employees.  They could have reviewed the information on her computer and in her home to see that she is a victim of this scam and not the perpetrator.

Nicole’s story is far from over.  She will now have to endure court proceedings and pay for legal fees all to prove that she is innocent.  I hope that the law enforcement and government officials in Pasadena, Texas will step in on this matter in order to assist Nicole Ball and her young daughter.   Beyond that we ask for your support and partnership in a Scam Education and Awareness Program in Texas, and across the country so that stories like Nicole’s will not happen to others.


Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
There is strength in numbers!

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and more through