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Work-At-Home Schemes

"Assemble our products at home.  Earn $200 per week."  How often have you seen such an advertisement or others like it?   Advertisements like these are frequently nothing more than scams.   Rarely do they result in meaningful earnings.

The targets of the work-at-home schemes are those who need extra money but who are not able to work outside their homes.  Victims typically include mothers at home caring for young children, the unemployed, the elderly, handicapped persons and people with low incomes.

These advertisements typically promise a "large income" for working on projects "in great demand."  Some promotions stress "no experience is necessary."  Others indicate that "no investment is required."  The one characteristic common to all of these schemes is that you are required to purchase something before you are able to start any work.

Probably the most common kind of work-at-home scheme is envelope stuffing.  Typically all you receive for your money, if any thing at all, are instructions to place an ad like the one you answered.  Remember, modern mailing techniques and equipment have virtually eliminated the need for home workers to perform legitimate envelope stuffing, addressing, and mailing services from home.

Some work-at-home schemes don’t really offer work in the home.  Rather, they sell ideas for setting up home businesses.  Other scams require you to raise animals or produce items such as sewing baby booties or aprons.  You are not told that you must sell the items yourself and that there is generally little or no market for them.

Sometimes promoters of these schemes will tell you that "no selling is required."  They promise to buy back any items that you produce as long as your workmanship is acceptable.  Of course, these promoters will reject everything that you send to them based on the product not meeting its high standards.  You are left to sell the items on your own, if you can.

For additional information, visit the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/invest/workhome.shtm.


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