Data entry jobs: Stay Away from

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Another one bites the dust. I keep hoping for a legitimate data entry job, but this one is not it. cannot possibly fulfill its promises. It’s heavily promoted by, which should be ashamed of itself. It won’t, of course, because such people have no shame.

The long review: What are the claims? and its promoters claim it leads you to legitimate data entry jobs. All you have to do is pay the $49.00 “membership fee,” and you’ll get access to the “Members’ Area” containing all the secrets you need to rake in $200 per day or more for 45 minutes of daily work. Data entry jobs like this, and specifically either directly claim or imply the following:

  • Companies pay you for filling out forms; this outfit even lists specific numbers:

    If you complete 2 forms a day = $448 per week! (thats $1792/Month and $21,503 a Year!)
    If you complete 4 forms a day = $896 per week! (thats $3584/Month and $43,008 a Year!)
    If you complete 8 forms a day = $1792 per week! (thats $7168/Month and $86,016 a Year!)

  • You do the work in some sort of proprietary system, which you gain access to by paying your membership fee
  • “We provide an online catalog of companies, organised into relevant categories (health, money, employment etc).

What is the truth?
Don’t be fooled by the hype, the testimonials, the pictures of cash, or the yellow highlighter. Here is the truth about those claims:

  • This is a lie. Companies don’t pay you to fill out forms (at least not in this scenario.) They pay you IF someone clicks an ad you create AND THEN buys the product your ad is selling. Whether the clicker buys or not, YOU PAY a fee to Google for the click, if the ad is based in Google Adwords.
  • You are not using a system that the company has hooked you up with. You’re using Google’s Adwords system and choosing companies from Clickbank, both of which everyone has access to for free.
  • This is another lie. They don’t provide you anything except for instructions on how to set yourself up with clickbank and Adwords accounts—information freely available if you know where to look.

Here’s what’s really going on: You are filling out Google Adwords forms or affiliate links for businesses listed in Clickbank. There’s a lot the program promoters don’t tell you:

  • If it’s based in Google Adwords, you’ll have to PAY for each form you fill out because you’re creating an ad to go in Google’s database. You pay Google to list your ad on sites like this one, in search results (that’s what “sponsored links” are), in Gmail screens, and elsewhere.
  • You pay a per-click fee every time someone clicks on your ad.
  • You only get paid if someone makes a purchase after clicking on your ad.

How many times have you clicked on an ad and not made a purchase? Yeah, me too. So now you can see how this “data entry job” is going to suck money from your wallet faster than you can say, “I want my money back.”

“But Joe, look at all the news outlets that have done stories on them. It must be legitimate if MSNBC is reporting on it.” See, the promoters are hoping you’ll see those news logos and think that. They think you’re as dumb as a box of rocks. I did detailed searches at 4/5 of the news organizations listed, NONE OF THEM did stories on this outfit. More about that later.

Numbers don’t prove anything
The part of this page that really gets my goat is the image claiming to show “how much you can earn completing forms.” Fill out 2 forms per day and make $448 per week? The world just doesn’t work that way. Maybe you could make that much with two forms, IF a given number of people clicked on it each day that week AND purchased whatever that ad is selling. And even then, it depends on you choosing the right company to create ads for. Make ads for strawberry-scented butt-rash cream and you might be stuck with a 10-cent commission per sale. How many tubes of cream do you have to sell to make $448 per week at that rate?

I’m so disgusted by these guys that I felt I had to take action. I wrote to the legal departments of,, Wired News, and the New York Times online and gave them a heads-up that someone is using their logos as endorsements. It felt really good, too.

You know what felt even better? Finding the dirt on them at the Better Business Bureau. Read the whole report; I can’t do it justice here:

Complainants allege false or deceptive advertising practices, dissatisfaction with the offer which resulted in refund requests, or failure to honor their money back guarantee. Some buyers complain the company misrepresents the income potential, or fails to disclose that there are additional costs after the membership is purchased. All complainants claim they experience difficulty contacting the company in regards to their refunds.

Were you considering and read this review as part of your research? Have I saved you from flushing $50 down the loo? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments. Come to think of it, we’d love to hear from you in the comments, anyway.

Looking for a real way to make money online?
Then purchase our book. We break down the steps you need to take to find a real, paying job that you can do from the comfort of your home. Best of all, you set the price you can afford to pay. Stop dealing with scams and find the best way to legitimately work from home. Click here to learn more about our book.

What YOU can do
Scams like this one thrive on ignorance and emotional appeal. You can help put these guys out of business by spreading the word about this post and the dirty tricks of scammers that want to kick you when you’re down. Help us get the word out:

  1. Share this post by clicking on the “Share This” link below
  2. Learn more about this and other online scams by reading the Related Posts below
  3. Report fraudulent activity at Scam Victims United and to your local police

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (Update 2)

Financial Peace University’s promotional website claims that its participants have on average saved $2700 and paid off $5300 in debt by the end of the 3-month course. Having nothing to lose (except money, and I lose that all the time), I paid my $90 to enroll in Financial Peace University and will tell you all about it here at I’ve Tried That. To read prior posts and updates in the Financial Peace University review, click here.

The second class last night covered cash flow planning. It’s budgeting, but Ramsey calls it “cash flow planning” to give the process a business flavor so that people will take it more seriously. For people like me, that slight change in mindset makes a big difference. Dave Ramsey puts it bluntly:

If you were in charge of managing the finances for the Corporation of You, and you managed money for the Corporation of You like you do for you, would you fire you?

I have to say that I would fire me. It’s the same idea Sabrinasmoneymatters was getting at when she said, “You are the CFO of your Household Corporation.” So, yeah, little shifts.

Last night’s lesson included something that is as close as I ever expect to get to a magic elixir for those with chronic diarrhea of the wallet: a practical system for tracking and controlling money. A way to actually make the budget work, and maybe even to get me to stick to it (the jury’s still out on that one). It’s not a new plan, and it may be a no-brainer for folks who already discipline their money (rather than it disciplining them). The super secret anti-diarrhea system? Envelopes.

It’s simple, really. At the beginning of every month, you plan out when money comes in and give every dollar a name by deciding beforehand where it will go. Straightforward budgeting stuff so far, right? But here’s the magic part: when the money comes in, you take the cash out of the bank and put it in envelopes labeled with your budget categories. The FPU kit included a booklet with envelopes, and my household budget has enough categories that we needed to use some regular ones from our closet. The effect is, for me, magical because it takes the budget out of the realm of the abstract and theoretical and puts it in the realm of the real and practical: I have envelopes and cash in my hands. I can smell it and touch it and watch it as it flows out of the envelopes in the directions we have designated. We no longer wonder where the money went; we now tell it where to go. And that’s a powerful difference. I’m optimistic about the prospects. If we can get this system to work for us, that alone will have been worth the $90. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

Update 1 | Update 2 | Final update

InboxDollars Review: A Scam? Can you get paid to read emails?

Before I start this InboxDollars review, let’s put the facts on the table:

  • We all read emails.
  • We all love money.
  • It would be really awesome to get paid to read emails.

InboxDollars promises just that and they even go as far as to make the claim that ‘Money really does grow on trees.’ But just how accurate are these claims? Can you really get paid to just read emails? We wouldn’t call ourselves professional product and program testers if we didn’t give you an answer to these questions.

You can make money, but that doesn’t mean you necessarily will make money.

Each email that you read will net you anywhere between 1 to 10 cents. But these aren’t emails you would normally want to read. They’re advertisements for various programs or products that would result in InboxDollars making hefty revenue if you followed through and signed up for the program. Aside from emails, you can also “get paid” to play games, sign up for surveys, sign up for programs, shop, and search the internet.

What you aren’t told is that you will need to start spending money first and you’ll receive a measly percentage back on your spendings. This is the hidden truth behind their “get paid to” claims.

InboxDollars Scam

Take for example, this “Deal” offered for LifeLock. You get paid $20 if you spend anywhere from $120 to $324 for a LifeLock membership.

Okay, sure, this might be a deal if you are actually interested in their service and would like some money back, but for 99% of users this “deal” is completely meaningless.

My Results

I’ve been a member for about two weeks now and I have received 14 emails for a total of $0.40 cents. That’s a little less than 3 cents per email. If we take into account the $5.00 sign up bonus and the $1.00 introduction survey, I will need to read approximately 857 more emails.

At the current rate of 1 email per day, I’m looking at over 2 years of reading email just to receive my first $30 check. I don’t know about you, but I have better things to do than click on an advertisement once a day for the next 2 years just to receive $30.

You make a lot of progress really fast early on, but according to our readers in the comments below and some of the reviews we’ve seen around the web, emails start to slow when you approach the cash out mark.

Even worse, there are reports of accounts getting closed right when they are ready to cash out. We can’t confirm these reports and InboxDollars does reserve the right to cancel your account if you violate their code of conduct.

The Real Source of Funds

At this point, you’re probably asking yourself how could they possibly make money by sending out emails. I decided to look into a few of the programs that are heavily promoted throughout the site. Take for example, eBay. InboxDollars will pay you $6.00 to sign up at eBay and place a bid. Not bad right? Wrong. They’re making anywhere between $25-$35 every time a new user signs up at eBay and places a bid. is also heavily promoted at a $10 bonus just for signing up for their free trial. However, in the event you forget to cancel the free trial after a couple of weeks, you will be billed $15.99 per month and InboxDollars makes $50.

Stay far away from any free trial offers. That is where you will most likely lose a lot of money.

It sounds like users are getting the short end of the stick while InboxDollars laughs all the way to the bank.

I’ve tried that and I don’t like it.

If you have nothing better to do than to read emails (read: view advertisements) for the next few years, then by all means sign up and get started. I do feel that doing anything at InboxDollars aside from reading emails is a recipe for disaster.

In an extreme case, suppose you sign up for the free trial and forget about your account. In a month you will be billed and in the event that you refuse to pay you can have your account forwarded to collections which could have a disastrous effect on your credit score.

This result could yield hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damages all for a measly $10.

Personally, I’m closing my account.

How Does Inbox Dollars Compare?

If you’re looking for a decent alternative, I would highly suggest looking into SwagBucks. I’ve reviewed them a few months back and I’ve actually made money and was able to cash it out. and give some tips on how to quickly start making some money with them.

SwagBucks does pay you to do a number of things, watch videos, play games, answer surveys, but my favorite is that they pay you just to search the web. SwagBucks gets paid by sending you Google’s sponsored results and, as a thank you, sends some of their earnings back to you.

I’ve switched my main search engine to SwagBucks. They are using Google’s results, so you are still seeing the same exact page you’d see if you searched Google directly. But by going through them first, you can earn some extra money.

I highly suggest that you create an account today. You’ll quickly see why I recommend SwagBucks over InboxDollars. Plus, you get a free $5 bonus just for signing up.

SwagBucks Pays: Here’s Proof

I can’t make a recommendation without offering a little bit of proof that it actually works.

Here’s a look at my total earnings so far: SwagBucks Proof

1 SwagBuck roughly equals 1 penny. So I’ve made approximately $928.78 since joining!

And here’s a peek at my personal cash outs.

SwagBucks Cash Out

You can redeem your SwagBucks for a number of things, but I’ve found it’s best to go for gift cards at places you normally shop. That seems to get you the most value for your “SwagBuck” and if you are as addicted to Amazon as I am, it’s a great way to lower your credit card bill.

That’s right. I’ve been able to make over $900 and it didn’t take over 2 years of clicking links in emails.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve gotten this far, by now you should realize I’m not a fan of InboxDollars.

There are better alternatives out there that have proven track records.

I’d suggest you stick with something else.

Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (Update 1)

Click here to read my first post in the Financial Peace University review.

The first class was last week and I’ve had time to let my impressions gel.
As you can see from the materials shown here, the fee (mine was $90, but prices
vary) is not for materials alone. The paper inside the fancy box is worth maybe
$25. There’s an overpriced, cheaply bound book, a mind-numbing fill-in-the-blank
“workbook,” an envelope binder for keeping the recommended envelope
system organized, some CDs to supplement the weekly class, and some materials
with which you can order lots more from Ramsey’s website.FPU1

The rest of the value comes from the class, by which I mean the video presentation. I met in a room with about 40 other people and watched a DVD of Dave Ramsey teaching the first week’s lesson. It’s a little bit slick for my taste. Too glossy, too much of a performance and a production. Ramsey is quite the performer—the presentation is interesting and entertaining to watch—but it’s spoon-fed education. There’s no exploration of ideas, no exchange. And maybe there doesn’t have to be. It’s not philosophy, after all. People who take the course paid the money because they want to know what Dave has to say, not because they want to engage in discussion. Still, it goes against every educational bone in my body. All four of them.

All that said, I am actually enjoying Financial Peace University, to my surprise. It occurs to me that I didn’t pay to get my money’s worth out of the box, or even in classroom experience. I was willing to pay $90 for the chance that Ramsey would motivate me to do what I already know needs to be done: budget, save, pay off debt, invest. As Sabrina at SabrinasMoneyMatters might say, I’m paying to create some accountability. Good information and an easy-to-use system are just icing on the cake.

I’ve Tried That | Update 2 | Final Update

Review of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University

Dave Ramsey claims to teach people how to manage finances, get out of debt, save money, and make good investments. He is the author of a number of books on personal finances and has a syndicated prime-time radio show in which callers describe their financial situations and get free advice. The first website linked above is the home page of what is surely becoming an empire. I’ve tried just one little fiefdom in the Dave Ramsey financial advice empire: Financial Peace University (FPU).

It’s a 13-week course, complete with textbooks, homework, and class sessions. The class meets one night a week for two hours and teaches the basics of money management. FPU’s main claim is regarding the past success of its 300,000+ students:

On average these families have paid off over $5,300 in debt and saved $2,700 during this 91-day program!

I was skeptical. But my money management skills are those of a 12-yr-old (ooh, something shiny! Me buy now!) and I have the debt and saving rate to prove it. In short, I had little to lose. So if I could just meet the advertised averages of savings and debt reduction, that would help a lot. And I just might learn something. So I paid my $90 and enrolled in what is certainly the cheesiest-sounding university I have ever attended. The first class was last night (check back later for pictures of the materials and my first impressions). I’ll keep you posted.

Update 1 | Update 2