Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Jill Atwood ReportingThey promise big bucks all from the comfort of your home, but don't be taken in by work from home schemes that do nothing but take money from you. In today's Smart Woman, Jill Atwood from our sister station FM 100, has a warning for women hoping to cash in on something that really is too good to be true.
They're in the newspaper, posted on the side of the road and all over the internet, work from home opportunities. Be your own boss, and make big money.
Francine Giani, Consumer Protection Agency: "We live in an area where a lot of women want to work from home. We have a lot of seniors that want to make a little extra."
Unfortunately, many of companies are banking on your eagerness for easy money. Heather Probst and her husband fell for a secret shopping scam. They paid money up front and then never received any information.
Heather Probst, Scam Victim: "Oh, you owe more money and to get to the next step you owe more money. To get the password you owe $32, and it just got to be a huge mess and we were like, this is a scam."
We found all kinds of websites for mystery shoppers asking for money up front long before you ever get paid, if you ever get paid. Now you have to be smart about this, ask lots of questions up front and look for red flags.
- Who will pay me?
- How will I get paid?
- When will I get my first paycheck?
- Where are you located? Make sure the company has an actual physical address.
- And finally, why am I paying you?
Francine Giani: "That's really a signal that you have a scam on your hands, if you're going to work for a company in your house you should not have to pay to do their work."
Meantime, Heather and her husband are out $130.
Heather Probst: "It took a long time to find everything like email address to say hey we want our money back and we don't want a part of this anymore. It's a big frustration and we learned our lesson."
Another important step in checking out these companies is to call the Better Business Bureau in the state where the company is to make sure it is on the up and up.