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False promises from a work-at-home scam

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It’s hard to pass up a job opportunity that promises a large income and the flexibility of working entirely from home. Especially when the opportunity appears at the top of your online search results and includes video testimonials of success stories, making it seem legitimate. The problem is, most of these job opportunities are scams and won’t deliver on their promises.

Today, the FTC announced that a federal court put a temporary stop to a work-at-home scam that failed to live up to its promises. According to the FTC, Work At Home EDU made false claims that people could earn “hundreds of dollars, per hour from home, without any special skills or experience” by paying for a $97 work-at-home program. Once people paid, they were told that for $194.95 more, they could buy the advanced program and earn a whopping six figures a month. Unfortunately, none of it was true.

If you’re looking to work from home, here are some questions to ask to help you determine if a program is legitimate:

  • What tasks will I have to perform? Are any other steps involved?
  • What is the total cost of this work-at-home program? What will I get for my money?
  • Will I be paid a salary or commission?
  • Who will pay me? When will I get my first paycheck?
  • What is the basis for your claims about my likely earnings? What documents can you show me to prove your claims are true before I give you any money?

Before you hand over any money, also make sure you know what information you’re entitled to under the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule. Doing an online search of the company’s name with the words “complaint,” “reviews,” or “scam” also can be a good way to hear what others have to say.

For more, read our article Work-at-Home Businesses. And report scams to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Wondering, i got a job offer from a travel website to work from home as an Administrative Assistant. The hiring manager told me that I will be receiving a check on the mail to buy software for a new computer sent from the hiring company. I have done my research on this wondering if this is fraudlent, but haven't found any information. What else can I do? Thank you

It’s a good idea to research other people’s experience. Try entering the company or promoter’s name with the words “complaint,” “reviews,” or “scam” into a search engine. Read what others have to say. After all, it’s your money on the line.

You also might try checking out a company with your local consumer protection agency or your state Attorney General — not only where the company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether they’ve gotten complaints about a particular work-at-home program. But remember: just because there aren’t complaints doesn’t mean the company is legitimate. Dishonest companies sometimes settle complaints and change their names or move to avoid detection.

The company check might be a red flag. You might be dealing with a fake check scam. That's when someone sends you a check with instructions to deposit it and wire some or all the money back. The check is fake, but it may look legitimate and may fool bank tellers. You may get cash before the bank finds out the check is fake. It can take weeks to uncover a fake check. You are responsible for the checks you deposit, so if a check turns out to be fraudulent, you will owe the bank any money you withdrew.

To learn more, please see these FTC articles: Fake Checks and Using Money Transfer Services.

If a company is will to send you money /check before you worked for it it's a scam. They contact you from every trustworthy company and even send you links to the actual company site. If they contact you by text or email and ask you to contact them through google hangout, it's a scam. I get these text daily. I've asked them to stop contacting me but still meone new does everyday. Google and check out the company don't deposit any checks.

I was recently approached on LinkedIn about a job to work at home and be a debt collector for what appears to be a legit company in Japan. I was to send my information and interest to an email address of someone that was also listed in LinkedIn as an employee of the company. Although they called (from the number on the company site), I missed the call and everything has been email. I signed an employment agreement and after several days got my assignment.
My assignment was to send an invoice to a company in Florida for equipment purchased from . The company is a legitimate company, or appears to be. My company instructed me to send the customer an invoice and then call them to determine payment instructions. I got an answer from the email asking where to send the payment, name, address, company name and an ID card. This sent up a red flag to me. I responded to my company asking for this information and I am waiting for response. It feels like a scam but it is very elaborate. I have not had anyone ask me to deposit a check or wire money but I know if they do that I need to find work elsewhere. This is heartbreaking because I have been out of work 3 years and I am about to lose my house!

If you gave the hiring company your bank information, you could contact your bank and ask how to protect your account. Read about job scams that recruit people to deposit and transfer funds.

 

You could report this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

A scam company claims to be Bristol Myers Squibb and offers you a work at home job that pays 28.50 an hour. They send you an offer letter using the company logo. Then, they will send you a check in the mail to buy software. Beware!

My sister-in-law fell for a check scam and the FBI investigated her. She had to get an attorney and came close to having federal charges filed against her for money laundering. Be very careful because you can be prosecuted as well for the fraud.

What about these surveys for big companies it says go to something resource research everyday ibwin 3 or more gift cards they always want money sent by credit card if you complete silver option then gold its always a few bucks. I'm currently doing surveys for 4 or 5 different ones I haven't received a dime to date I'm owed bout 7 hundred dollars.

I used to like surveys many years ago, until I learned more about scams (mostly here) and now believe the primary use of surveys is to collect marketing information. After that, anything else promised is buyer beware.

I help out my fellow consumers by writing verified product reviews, but no more surveys for me.

2005 work at home scam:
I just lost my 60K career and started SSDI. I didn't know about the FTC site but tried to research the work at home offers and thought I found one that I could make a few extra hundred a month: Social Security allows me to make up to $900 a month without impacting my benefits.

My initial payment into the program I think was $350, after which the company would send me their materials (several large binders) with a contract included. The agreement was, I was to read the contract, and IF I liked it, keep the materials and do the deal. If I didn't sign the contract, I could get my $350 back.

What happened is the company withdrew approximately $4,000 (max amount package option) from my credit union account about the same day the material/contract arrived from the company. I was flippin pissed.

I read over the company material and realized they were scammers: what was stated in the contract was NOT spelled out sufficiently nor truthfully compared to what I had agreed to verbally.

Fortunately for me, I had a super positive relationship with my credit union since 1989 and had been smart enough to put the money on my CU credit card. My CU reversed all charges, ha ha ha.

My wife is interested in a work from home job that she interviewed for through google hangouts. At the end of the interview she was requested to give her account information, which was fine as we opened an account specifically for that purpose. They then requested her username and password so that they can monitor the deposit to the account to see that the money they deposit goes into the account. I know we have both googled the company and the company itself definitely seems legit, found them on multiple work at home sites. I think the company itself sounds pretty decent and legit but think that maybe the recruiter, or at least some of the site was spoofed and that's why they are asking for that information. Has anyone else heard of anything like this before? Any legit companies need that info?

J Woo, anytime anyone asks you for your banking or SS#, NEVER give that out. If they tell you they will send a check to you, DON'T deposit it! You'll be sorry. These scammers are smart, but we can be smarter! Thunk about it, when you ever applied for a job, did the company ever ask you to pay them first to get materials? No! Work at home, secret shoppers are all BS! I almost felt for it, sounded real good. I received a check, look legit, i took it to the bank as requested, but i had a co-worker check it out and found out the check was a fraud, business was a fraud but there are legit secret shoppers out there. You just have to be careful, do your homework! If IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRconsequences UE, THEN IT'S NOT! THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT IS FREE! Your freedom, speech etc, but there's also consequences that come with it! Good luck, DON'T GIVE ANYONE YOUR BANKING, ADDRESS OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO ANYONE!Your banks will NEVER send you an email with a "Dear customer!" That's a true RED FLAG!

Has anyone ever heard about Conduent work from home.

My sister is in limbo for a work from home position they promised her. What was your experience like

I was contacted last month about a work from Home opportunity. I had to skype a person from their HR team for the interview process. A couple days later they offered me the job. He emailed me the new hire paperwork along with direct deposit form to fill out. Which I did, but flags started going up. Then he said he would be sending me a check to purchase office supplies. Which I received. When I got the check I called the issuing financial institution and their automated system told me funds were available so I went ahead and deposited the check. I talked to my bank to let them know my suspicions. I am supposed to video conference with the trainer once the check clears so that he can help me purchase the supplies through their dealer. I have researched the company and have others researched too. Nothing comes up on a basic search. The company is Labortories Servier. I am just feeling like this is a lot of work for just a simple check fraud scam.

Hello - have you heard of a company called Kay Consulting in Illinois ? They asked for a copy of my drivers license and asked me to set up a separate checking account into which they will deposit my pay ($30 an hour to work from home). Does this sound legit?

Beware of Marcos Bryan and his associate Grace Cox. He contacts you through your local Job Service Center with a request for an interview. He says he is a HR Supervisor from Inmarsat out of UK.He uses Google Hangout for interviews. Most recent email is marcosbryan1988@ . I have contacted Inmarsat, local authorities and reported him on line to various agencies.

Had someone named William Wesley and said he received my resume from workforce connections unemployment office and offered a work from home dispatcher position and interviewed by Google Hangouts messaging askibg personal information and past work experience and said I was hired at$34 an hour and to send money Gram to purchase materials needed to work said to send to vendor named Elizabeth Olsen in Howell MI. No info was given no money was sent they keep messaging saying employer needs to get in touch with me to rely updated information. Do not share any information with anyone like this it's a scam

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I have recently been scammed by 2 different ones for 3 days. They sell you a package that is supposed to make you money at home and when you see it after you pay for it you get hit up for hundreds to thousands more for instruction on how to use it. Then ask for a refund in the given amount of days and they leave ya hangin! And when I asked for a refund from one another email comes that says their friend said you didnt understand their system so try mine and they sounded so real and tell me if I buy this for $497 that I will have $1000 in my bank tommorow, and I believed it! Then try to get even more from me by selling me that for more money their friends that were celebritys would pitch for me and make me more. When I finally thought I was to the instructions I got set up with questions to see if I could take surveys! I lost it crying so hard I couldnt really see what was on my screen after that.

You can help law enforcement by reporting this to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

How do I file a scam claim? I too paid the $97.00 but cannot get the $97.00 back when I decided to cancel it.

You can report your experience to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

That doesn't mean you are filing a claim to get money back. That is a report to tell the FTC what the company promised and what you received. You can give your name and contact information if you choose. The FTC and law enforcement agencies use information people report for investigations.

Hi I am wondering if there is any info on the Abundant Crypto Crowdfunding? I have seen it everywhere and it seems to good to be true. Just looking for any helpful tips. Thank you

I signed up for some secret shopper companies and was nearly tricked into getting cash from my bank account to wire over seas but when I found out they would "reimburse"me later knew it was a scam. I do not believe there are any secret shopper companies that are real any longer.

I keep receiving work from home emails. The best way to find out if it's fraudulent is click Reply-All. In the email itself, below the blank space where you'd respond, it'll list the original email address that this email was sent TO. It was NOT anywhere near my email address. Also, it'll show the from email address, which has typically been Gmail.

What legitimate company with the alleged ability to pay you thousands per month, has just a free Gmail account?
Answer: NONE

The best thing to remember when trying to avoid a work at home scam is this...
If it costs YOU money to go to work for them, or requires you to deposit a check or money order into your personal account that is not money you earned from working for them, then until proven otherwise, consider it is a scam. A legitimate company would have the ability to send you a debit card with funds on it for either payments or required purchases. You don't buy your employment through real companies, you send resumes and have a job interview. I know I wouldn't want just anyone representing my company.

I have been contacted by someone Named Oliva Facy who says she works for Accru+ Chartered Accountants.

They offered me a position as an User Experience Researcher. They offered to pay me through either PayPal or Western Union, however I have to sign a disclosure agreement not to reveal any employee of the company. I thought this was unusual. The phone number on their website is also a non-working number. Have you heard of Accru+ Chartered Accountants?

No legitimate company is going to contact you from a Gmail account nor will they interview you through Google Hangouts.
I receive work-from-home spam quite often. If I hit Reply-All and look under the section:"-------- Original message --------" down in the body of the email, it'll show the sender's email address as being completely different than what it was in the initial email to me. Also, in the To: field, where my email address should be, it has a name and email address that are not mine.

That's how I check to see if it's not legit. So far, they've been scammers 100% of the time. I usually forward these emails to the sender's email carriers to report them. You can Google the email carriers name (Gmail, Outlook, etc) and "report spam" to find out where to report and send them.

Another type of scam these work-at-home companies will often do is sell your information to other companies so that those companies will also make money off of you. It sometimes does not matter if you sign a contract that says that they won't pass your information to another company, they will break that term among others. New Beginnings Education, LLC may have a high BBB rating and positive reviews (for god knows why), but they were the ones that sold my information to Reliable Business Consultants, who were later sued along with Top Shelf Marketing Inc. by the FTC. Please be aware and be careful.

Have anybody heard of a company called quick present handling? It’s a gift wrapping service website Quickprehnds. com I wonder if it’s a scam?

I got a solicitation or job offer from www. partrail. com. Anybody else has had any experience with these guys? Same thing! WOrk from home shipping merchandise to other places. 5 to 40 packages a week to start. Full benefits and everything. Sounds too good to be true. Comments?

I was scammed on a mail out fraud I was promised a salary of 3000.00 a month and when it came to payday time the culprit said that they didn't have the money to pay me yet, but if I would hang on I would be paid double with a 500.00 bonus and then they bailed. It all seemed legit I simply uploaded labels when I received packages and mailed them by FedEx, now I believe it was a money laundering scheme, I have received five other offers that offer about the same pay from companies said to be in Europe, but now I know they are all scams

I just got one from someone saying her name was Kimberly Taylor claiming to be with Trainor construction. Work from home position at 18 an hour. Contacted me through Google Hangouts wants to email a check for me to buy the software I need. No phone conversation so I have no # to trace to verify it's really Trainor construction, everything done through email and Google Hangouts. So disheartening

Has anyone heard of Tehnaki? A supposed Japanese metals company.

They contacted us on Linkedin and offered a job as a representative. It was very vague with details about the job, but it turned out to be debt collecting.

A man named Jimon even called us from a real japanese number.

We were put in contact with someone who apparently owed a debt. The invoice of their debt was blurred out and we could barely read it.

The man, who belongs to a legitimate business selling BMWs (the site it real, the locations across Canada and America are all real) eventually sent us a check after correspondence.

We were told to deposit it in our bank, take a 5% commission, and then transfer them the money, scan and send the deposit receipt for their records.

The check looks 100% legitimate, the names on the check match real people who work for the company.

We put in a call to the woman who signed the check, and she is getting back to us on Monday since it's the weekend and the person who answered informed us she doesn't work weekends.

It feels too good to be true, which raises the red flags. 100% feels like a scam, but there's that tiny part of us that wants to believe it may just be real.

Was hoping for some outside opinions to help clear our judgement before making a devastating decision.

Also, we still have the check, and aren't touching it until we hear from that woman and have the bank determine its legitimacy.

If it's fake, do we contact the police?

This could be a scam.

In one type of scam, criminals use people to help them transfer stolen money. They find people online, offer a job and persuade the "employee" to use their bank account to receive and transfer stolen money.

If you do this for a scammer, your name is on the bank account and on the money transfer forms. If you get involved with one of these schemes, you could lose money and personal information, and you could get into legal trouble.

Or, the check could be fake. If you deposit the check and transfer funds before the check is fully cleared, you could end up owing money to the bank.

By law, banks must make some funds from a check you deposit available within days, but it can take weeks to uncover a fake check. At first, it may seem that the check has cleared and that money has posted to the account, but when the check turns out to be a fake, the person who deposited the check and transfered money will be responsible for repaying the bank.

I recieved a message about an opportunity with them and was doing further research on the organization, any update on this issue.

I also have received contact from this company regarding Canadian opportunities with their company.
Red flags for me were: 1. Debt collecting for offshore company. 2. Monthly salary of $5000 US dollars ($80K CDN). (that much does not just get handed out) 3. I can do this while still having another full time job. I've worked in a manufacturing company in canada that had multiple clients in other countries and establishing payment options or retrieving payments was never a problem. Wire transfers were a viable option for most instances. Lastly, like any true business if your client isn't paying you... stop sending them product! I'm going to dig deeper into this as well, but my radar says this is not legit and i will not be supplying any personal info to them.

Hi Cureious, Has this been working out for you with Tehnaki ? I received the same kind of job offer from them, and I'm considering it.

Well what ended up happening with Tehnaki? Was it a real check or scam?

Hi everyone!
Thanks so much for posting your doubts about Tehnaki. I was just contacted by them today. The found me on Linked In and wanted me to work for them as an "independent contractor". Due to your posts, I know it's not worth it to pursue this. Thanks so much!

I am wondering what happened with your experience with Tehnaki as they had recently contacted me to work for them, sent contract etc. Is this legit??

What ended up happening?? Did it work out for you? Or is it a scam?

My son is a college student and submitted applications through Indeed.com, etc. looking for work during the summer. Company contacted him about being a project manager from home for company called Educational Center Let's Study. They supposedly help international students and parents research colleges, etc. There was a 4 week probationary period and then my son would be paid. This is a scam. Email address, telephone number and website are no longer valid or active. My son did provide license # and bank information. Contact person was Samantha Tino. Email was samanthatino@ ecenter0letsstudy.com. Website is ecenter- letsstudy.com. She also used the Telegram app. to communicate with him.

Kindly Advise. I have recently received a remote job offer from a company called Conformis Inc.Prior to this I was invited to an interview on google hangout.So far, I have Checked the information of my “interview manager” and “HR manager” on Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and they match(Names, Position and Company) Also I have received offer letter and an expense reimbursement agreement on the company website-To be signed and returned to them.Also, they asked for my ppic for company ID.I checked their website and the logo on the letter head is the same.Also, going through the company employees on their web page, I saw the name of my “hr manager”.There was also an advert of the vacancy they wanted me to fill.
Here is my worry though
1.I did NOT apply for this job in the first place.However, I have in the past landed a job which I never applied for(not a remote job) and came to learn that some staffing agencies share the applicant’s information with companies that are looking to hire.
2.I am being asked to pay for software programs(The programs are well listed on my contract) which will be reimbursed withinn 2working days, according to the reimbursement agreement signed.I am also to pay for the shipment of office equipment which will be bought by the company.
The total cost I have to incur is USD 162.This is to be paid in bitcoins to their “certified vendor” for software installation and shipment through fedEX.I am also required to order the purchase of these software programs myself “ so that they can see how best I can work on my own without supervision”
???Part of the deal sounds good but there’s a part that sounds a bit unrealistic.

Please advise. Is there anyone who’s been offered a remote job that required such? Or is anyone familiar with this company?

You have identified several warning signs of a scam:

  • you did not apply for a job with the company
  • the "company" wants you to pay THEM before you begin work
  • the company wants you to pay with currency that can't be traced.

Has anyone ever received an inquiry from Viktoria Ader with Global-Trade Export, LLC? I was scammed out of close to $65,000 through my credit cards. They paid off my balances so I could make the purchases. After a few purchasing "assignments" they rescinded the payments. I've filed complaints with the FTC, FBI and my local / state AG offices. What I'm finding out is most, if not all, private legal practices, will not assist in cases like this. It seems like consumers are left to their own devices.

Mine contacted me after a zip recruiter resume, they got my phone number and contacted me from there by text, then had the whole interview off of google hangouts. They sent me a check for 3450 dollars but my bank said that there was not enough money in that account at the other bank to cover the check. They said they would pay 25 dollars a hour after training.
Conduent hiring for san diego. When I finally looked up the company it looks like they aren't hiring for san diego, so real company used in a scam. They also used the Conduent logo in an offer letter.

same situation happened to me . after the check is not cleared do u need to pay for check bounce charges. what did the bank do to your account because my account has been restricted

You are responsible for the checks you deposit in your account. If a check bounces, you are responsible for the fees.

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