Dont get burned by work at home scams!

We have all seen the signs on the side of the road or received an annoying email telling you you can “be your own boss” or “earn six figures from home”.  We would all love to make a lot of money fast and easily but it is just not reality. Many of these SCAMS are pyramid schemes where a percent of what you make goes to the person who signed you up and you get a percentage of any one you signed up. Although you can make money with these you have to be willing to be a little pushy and possibly buy products from a specific company at no real discount. Other programs offer to help you get started as a medical transcription or a bill collector(usually called by a different name), but you have to give them an up front fee. Especially watch out for any scheme that could get you in trouble with you state licensing agencies, you can get sued or fined heavily. Here are some examples to watch out for:

  • Signs or emails claiming to give you a way to get rich quick and easy.
  • Programs that ask for a fee up front.
  • Any schooling that can be done in a few weeks or even months from schools you have never heard of.
  • People posing as a common business or Internet company you have heard of(Google, Amazon, ebay), it is easy to make an email look like an official business email.
  • Know that people wont go out of their way to show you the secrets of their success without there being something in it for them. These businesses need you much more than you might need them.

Finally do your research, the Internet is a great way to find out about possible scam business opportunities. Do a Google search of the companies name and a search on that particular business(i.e. medical transcription, medical coding). Also feel free to send us an email and we can do some research for you. If you are interested in finding some legitimate ways to work from home check out a list from about.com and some tips to starting a home based business from entrepreneur.com.new

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Bank scam’s becoming more frequent

Scams targeting your account information are getting more frequent. The ones I have seen are in the forms of emails, phone calls, or text messages informing the recipient that their account has been suspended and they will need to call a customer service number. Once they have you on the line they will want you to verify all your account information so they know it is you. Unfortunately on the other end is a scam artist probably in some apartment half way across the country with all your private information. They will say they are from a local bank in your area, in my case Bank of the Cascades and will just start contacting anyone in the area. In my case I don’t even bank at the Bank of the Cascades but they figure if they send it to 10 people they will catch 2. Here is a recent text I received:

“Bank of the Cascades alert: your card has been DEACTIVATED. Please contact us at 541-647-1133 to REACTIVATE your card.”

The only thing we can do is to alert your local police department and the bank you have received the text about. Some people can lose a lot of money before they can be shut down so pass it on to everyone you know.bofc1

What is a Ponzi Scheme scam?

Ponzi Scheme is false returns on an investment in order to get the confidence of an investor. A scam artist may pay money out of their own pockets in order to convince an investor to give them more access to their portfolio. This particular scam relies on your natural desire to make easy money. This particular scam is named after Charles Ponzi who all though was not the first, was possibly the worst. At the beginning of the century he swindled around $500,000 from investors, and was eventually caught and spent three and a half years in prison. The scam has many variations and may look very different, here is some things to look for:

  • Any promise of a return higher than 0.1% return per day.
  • A request for a much higher investment after an initial successful campaign.
  • You have never heard of the investment company

The bottom line with investing and letting anyone have access to your portfolio is do your research. Scam artists are very clever and charming and can fool even savvy investors.

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Beware of get rich quick scams and pyramid schemes

The way these get rich quick scams work is by getting you to give them your money. Basically you buy their program and they will teach you how to rip other people off. Its kind of like the add in the paper that says send me 5 dollars and I will send you the secret to making a million dollars. The secret is to put a add in the paper saying send me 5 dollars and I will send you the secret to making a million dollars. Sadly the target market for get rich schemes and pyramid schemes are the poor, the elderly, or people who are already in debt. And if you want to make money on a pyramid scheme you should start one yourself, otherwise you are just making money for other people. These are examples of common schemes:

  1. Buy real estate for pennies on the dollar.
  2. Wealth building seminars.
  3. Risk free stock market schemes.
  4. Muli-level marketing (pyramid scheme).
  5. Secret ways to make money that no one knows about.
  6. Psychic tips or betting tips.

Here are examples of phrases to run from:

  1. Get in at the top.
  2. Send us money and we will help you make money.
  3. Business opportunities “they”  don’t want you to know about.
  4. I made $10,000 dollars in 30 days, you can to.
  5. Make money from home.
  6. Want to make millions working part time?
  7. If I can do it so can you.
  8. You don’t need any education.

Remember the scam protectors golden rule; if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is.

Top 7 sign’s you’re getting scammed!

Here is a quick list of phrases you should watch out for:

  1. You must act know!
  2. You need to reset your passwords!
  3. You owe back taxes!
  4. You have won some money (variation is you have unclaimed money) !
  5. You get a high yield return with no risk!
  6. Do you know who this is?
  7. You have to send your payment via money order or wire transfer!

For a more comprehensive list download our telemarketers cheat sheet. Great for high risk family members, laminate it and keep it close to the phone. Telemarketers cheat sheet

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Killer for hire scam-Hitman scam, this one will creep you out!

Some of you might be thinking who would fall for this, but unfortunately some do. Fear is a very nasty weapon, and scam artist’s know it. Here is a sample e-mail threatening to kill the recipient if they do not pay them:

This is the only way I could contact you for now,I want you to be very careful about this and keep this secret with you until I make out space for us to se. You have no need of knowing who I am or where I am from.I know this may sound very surprising to you but it’s the situation.I have been paid some ransom in advance to terminate you with some reasons listed to me by my employer.It’s someone I beleive you call a friend, I have followed you closely for a while now and have seen that you are innocent of the accusations he leveled against you.Do not contact the police or try to send a copy of this to them,because if you do, I will know,and I might be pushed to do what I have been paid to do.Besides, this is the ist time I turn out to be a betrayer in my job.I took pity on you,that is why I have made up my mind to help you if you are willing to help yourself.

Now listen,I will arrange for us to see face to face,but before that, I need $12,000. I will come to your home or you determine where you wish we meet;I repeat, do not arrange for the cops and if you play hard to get, it will be extended to your family.Do not set any camera to cover us or set up any tape to record our conversation, my employer is in my control now. Payment details will be provided for you to make a part payment of $5000 first,which will serve as gurantee that you are ready to you co-orperate,then i will post a copy of the video tape that contains his request for me to terminate you which will be enough evidence for you to take any legal action against him before he employs another person for the job. You will pay the balance of $7000 once you receive the tape.

Warning; do not contact the police, make sure you stay indoors once it is 7.30pm until this whole thing is sorted out,if you neglect any of these warnimgs, you will have yourself to blame. You do not have much time, so get back to me immediately

Note:I will advise you keep this to yourself alone, not even a friend or a family member should know about it because it could be one of them.

Even when I know this is a scam I still get an eerie feeling. Also understand that if 99% of people will not comply, it still leaves that 1%. We need to get the word out before that 1% is left sick with worry. Note the poor English, it seems to be a reoccurring theme with a lot of scams.

Also check out our top 10 scam’s list, and our list of fraudulent websites list.