At some point in our lives, we’ve all come across an ad for an envelope stuffing job from home: in our mailboxes, email inboxes, and ads on our online search results.
It’s advertised as “envelope stuffing,” which supposedly can help you earn up to $1,200 per week, as long as you can meet the quota.
Sounds great, right?
Every single one is a scam.
In the past, companies really did pay people to stuff envelopes for them. But envelope stuffing as a job has retired once technological advancements paved the way for machines to complete the job 10 times faster than humans did.
So how do companies pull off envelope-stuffing scams?
3 Ways Envelope Stuffing Jobs Scam People
Stuffing envelopes sounds super easy to do.
You just have to fill an envelope, lick it closed, and move on to the next one. Anybody can do it, even if you don’t have special skills, a college degree, or past experience.
Unfortunately, this makes it a prime target for insane get-rich-quick schemes and has scammers placing ads left and right to trick people.
Here is how they get you:
1. Upfront Fees
The scammers will encourage you to pay a fee upfront to get a list of assignments or apply to companies looking for envelope stuffers.
When you hand over your hard-earned money (usually around $30), you’ll discover that there are no assignments to complete, and no companies looking to hire you.
And you also just gave your personal and banking information over to a scammer. Not good.
With this kind of scam, you’ll also be required to pay a fee for either a starter kit or job details.
Unfortunately, the guide you’ll receive doesn’t teach you how to stuff envelopes.
Instead, it shows you how to advertise these envelope stuffing jobs online and offline in exchange for a commission.
So you’ll be roping in other people to do the same using the exact same ad that pulled you in the first place.
Worse, the guide teaches you to recruit your friends and relatives to do the same.
In the end, none of you get to stuff envelopes and earn from that; you earn commissions for placing ads for an envelope stuffing job from home that doesn’t exist.
This vicious cycle goes on until the referrals try to get back their money.
3. Real Work, No Income
In some cases, some companies do provide envelopes to work on, but once you’ve sent it back, the job you do will never be up to their standards.
They’ll use their ridiculous standards to avoid paying you. If that doesn’t work, they’ll find other excuses to not pay you.
Envelope stuffing scams have been around for years and have evolved continuously, with no signs of stopping. Here are some of the signs that an envelope stuffing job is a scam.
You received the offer through an unsolicited email. When someone you don’t know emails you out of the blue about an “exciting business opportunity,” just hit Delete. There’s a 99% chance this is a scam.
Googling the company offering the envelope stuffing job turns up negative reviews. In case you chance upon an offer that seems interesting but you’re doubting it, search for the company online. If the results are mostly negative reviews from TrustPilot, or worse, the BBB website, it’s best to ignore the opportunity.
You make more money when you recruit more envelope stuffers. When the income of a business depends more on signing up more people than actually selling a product or service, it’s a pyramid scheme. Stay away.
There are fantastic claims of outrageous earnings. Any legitimate business would acknowledge the inherent risks of starting one. If someone claims that a business is guaranteed to produce unlimited income is at best too optimistic and at worst, lying through their teeth.
As you’ll see below, there are hundreds of legitimate work at home opportunities for you to try and there’s absolutely no reason for you to believe empty promises and get scammed out of your hard-earned money.
Legit Work-from-Home Alternatives to Envelope Stuffing
The good news is there are plenty of legitimate work-from-home opportunities to try instead of envelope stuffing.
Legit Work from Home Jobs
Before we get too deep down the rabbit hole, check out which of these legitimate work-from-home jobs match your skills, interests, and experience perfectly.
Nearly any job that you’ve performed in a traditional setting will have a virtual version available.
In the past, people thought about blogging as just a modern-day diary for bored teens.
Today, blogs are used as a way to disseminate information, endorse products, promote services, and many more.
The cool thing about blogging is that you are in total control of your business. You can earn from blogs directly by selling products or services, and passively by placing ads all over your blog, or affiliate links with your blog posts.
Turn Social Media into a Powerful Tool
If you’re on social media, you know how powerful these tools can be.
But did you know that you can incorporate these platforms as part of your money-making machine? If not, learn more about Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and how you could use them to earn money:
This list is in no way complete – these were just off the top of my head.
This entire blog is dedicated to giving you free resources for home-based jobs, so I recommend you stick around and check out more posts.
The Bottom Line
I’ve been telling you to stay away from envelope stuffing jobs from home since I founded this site back in 2007. It wasn’t a legitimate gig then, and it will never be legit. Ever.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be forced to do these scams in the hopes of landing a legitimate one. Many people have fallen hard for these scams (I’m one of them and this is actually the reason why I built IveTriedThat.com). But we’ve survived and shared the stories to warn others for years, so you wouldn’t have to be victimized as well.
I understand that working from home is a dream that many of us would like to turn into reality, but I recommend you be careful with the online jobs you plan to work on.
There are plenty of income-generating gigs online, both for those who just need side cash and those who prefer to leave their desk jobs for a more flexible home-based job. You don’t have to subject yourself to something as mind-numbing as envelope stuffing jobs from home.
The key to your online job hunting success is to do your due diligence: research, review, and if something seems too good to be true, steer clear because it probably is.
Anyone who has tried to find a job online has no doubt come across hundreds of work-at-home scams.
Does this crap look familiar?
You’ve probably seen similar headlines at some point in your search for work-from-home jobs.
Easy money, little pay, no experience, millions of dollars.
Sure, it sounds great. But it’s actually just an attempt to rob you of your cash.
Today, we explore work-at-home scams that are just waiting to trap you and we’ll give you some tips on how to spot a scam so you can avoid them.
How Do Work at Home Scam Artists Operate?
Here’s how the typical scam works.
Scammers either post a work-at-home job opportunity or cold contact people through emails or phone calls from illegally obtained contact lists to offer these job opportunities.
When you look at these job posts, they may seem like any other ordinary job post.
But when you answer these ads, take their cold call, or click a link in their unsolicited email, they’ll try to trick you into paying for something that’s free, making regular payments without getting anything in return, handing over your financial and personal details so they can drain your bank accounts and rack up charges on your credit card, or clicking a link that leads to a malicious site that steals your information for them to use or sell.
However they do it, the ultimate goal is to steal as much money from you as they possibly can.
How To Spot Work At Home Scams
Victims of scams should never be blamed for being scammed.
But we can avoid being victims ourselves by being more vigilant and scrutinizing opportunities instead of taking them at face value.
Here are some things to watch out for when you’re considering a work at home opportunity.
The job offer seems too good to be true.
Sometimes, your gut instinct will be enough to set off alarm bells.
If it feels like a scam, it probably is.
For instance, you may see ads for jobs that pay hundreds or thousands of dollars a month to do very little work, such as placing flyers inside envelopes.
No legitimate company will do that. It just doesn’t happen.
You have to pay to work.
Some legitimate job boards do charge membership fees for you to start applying to companies that have listings with them.
What I’m referring to is different, though.
When a company you’d be working for directly needs you to pay some amount upfront by giving them your credit card information before you can start working, that’s not a good sign.
Employers are supposed to pay you, not the other way around.
There’s little information about the company or it doesn’t seem to exist.
Legitimate companies nowadays have an online presence. Even small businesses know that you have to have at least a website to harness online marketing.
So if you do a simple Google search for the company who posted the job or who contacted you, and you can’t find a website or a social media page, that is a huge red flag.
If you do find a website, but it has very little information on what they do, who the employees are, or even where their headquarters are, it’s a pretty good sign that they’re running a work-at-home scam.
Negative reviews exist on the internet.
Other people who have experienced work at home scams from a company will probably post their experiences on the internet to warn others.
When you research the company, you’ll probably find these negative reviews. Read through them carefully to know if applying or taking the job is a waste of time.
The contact information doesn’t feel right.
You can actually look up the number you’re given to call or where you receive phone calls from on online services such as ShouldIAnswer and check whether they’re listed to the company.
If they say they’re based in California but you see that the number they’re calling from is a mobile number or it’s not a California phone number, that’s a big sign that they’re scamming you.
Similarly, if you receive emails from generic email addresses that end in gmail[dot]com, hotmail[dot]com, yahoo[dot]com, or aol[dot]com, it’s a likely scam.
Their communication skills are poor.
Emails from legitimate companies are generally well-composed, with a professional tone, very few (if any) typos, proper grammar, and correct punctuation.
If you receive emails that have plenty of misspelled words, weird grammar, punctuation not properly placed (for instance, spaces before periods and commas, semi-colons where they’re not supposed to be, etc.), it’s quite possible this is a scam.
11 Most Common Work at Home Scams Today
1. MLMs That Are Actually Pyramid Schemes
Multi-level marketing (MLM) businesses aren’t all scams.
Companies like Amway, Avon, and Herbalife are all legitimate MLM businesses.
However, MLM businesses that become pyramid schemes are one of the oldest work from home scams you can find online.
If the MLM company earns mostly from sold products or services, it can be a legit MLM company.
This doesn’t matter if the products being sold seem useless, are questionably priced, or if the company engages in deceptive sales practices.
MLM companies become a pyramid scam if the revenue stream comes from membership fees of new members/sellers.
Even legitimate MLM companies will give you a bonus when you recruit new members. However, if it seems like the company’s earnings are only coming from recruiting other people, you’re in trouble.
Pyramid schemes are those that push you to recruit more people into the company instead of emphasizing the benefits of their products and training you on how to sell them.
2. Link Posting Jobs
Link posting isn’t a real job, but scammers would like job seekers to believe that it is.
Link posting used to be part of a comprehensive internet marketing plan.
In the world of SEO and IM, backlinking used to help bring one website higher in the search engine results.
In theory, when multiple links of the same URL are posted across a wide range of sites, Google and other search engines would deem that website most relevant to a particular search term.
Another way scammers define link posting is as a tool for affiliate marketing.
With affiliate marketing, you post links to products in hopes of getting a commission whenever a buyer clicks on that link.
It’s a totally legitimate business model and the commissions are real.
However, the way link posting “companies” guarantee payment (when it is impossible to do so), or compute compensation (when you have no control of what links other people would click or not click) are bogus.
Worse, link posting “companies” charge unsuspecting job seekers for “training,” which almost always turns out to be outdated training in affiliate marketing or link building.
Some companies are relentless, though; once they get your email and phone number, they’ll spam you, hoping to get you to pay even more for higher-level training and squeezing even more money from you.
3. Fake Job Agencies
This one can have so many variations, such as agencies for government, military, or nursing jobs.
What they all have in common is that you’ll get contacted by an “agency” or a “recruiter” telling you you’re eligible for a job.
The “agency” then asks you to pay a fee supposedly for admin fees, registration fees, or a guarantee to actually land a position.
Moreover, they’ll ask you to fill out an agency form with all details a reputable agency might ask for, including your financial and personal information, even your social security number. They’ll also ask for a copy of your ID and qualifications.
Once they have that information, they can empty out your bank account, apply for loans and credit cards in your name, and sell your information when they’re done with you.
While looking for work from home jobs seem overwhelming (the web is a massive place), know that you can apply for an online job, get interviewed and hired without paying a cent.
Also, make sure you’re talking to a job agency or recruiter that is legitimate. When in doubt, ask to meet them in person.
Lastly, never respond to unsolicited calls or emails from a job agency you never applied to.
4. Check Cashing Scams
No legitimate company will ever ask you to accept payments on their behalf. End of story.
I bet you received a version of the Nigerian check-cashing scheme via e-mail in the last 10 years.
Or maybe you’ve heard of or received an offer for what turned out to be a car wrap scam.
If so, check-cashing jobs would be very familiar to you.
“Check-cashing scam” is a wide-ranging label and has a ton of variations, but they work the same way. In its oldest form, the scammer pays the victim a bad check.
This is how work from home scams through check-cashing actually work:
Jobseekers are sent the checks that will be used to pay for a product or service.
Victims are instructed to deposit the check into their own banks, keep a portion of the “money” and send back the change via wire transfer to the scammers. The check will bounce after it has been deposited because it’s fake.
Victims not only lose the money that they sent via wire transfer but also have to repay the bank once the check bounces.
Here’s another work from home scam that may actually make the job seekers who fall for them become convicted felons.
It has many names: package forwarding, reshipping, package processing, and postal forwarding. The scam is presented as a job offer and is usually done around the Christmas season as there are plenty of packages being sent during this time.
Those willing to do the “job” receive packages, which they will repackage and then send to another location (usually a foreign country).
Okay, doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Victims pay shipping charges out of their own pockets.
Scammers pay victims with a fake check with a huge amount as reimbursement for the shipping fee and compensation for a job well done.
Once the paycheck bounces, they must repay the bank (or face fraud charges).
On top of it all, the products have been bought and paid for using stolen credit cards.
Basically, you’ve accepted goods purchased with a stolen credit card and identity, and then you shipped them overseas to an anonymous scammer.
Victims of these work from home scams can be criminally liable, especially if they forwarded packages abroad and lied on U.S. Customs Service forms.
6. Social Media Job Scams
The premise of social media job scams is simple:
Anyone with a phone who could spend x amount of time posting, liking, or commenting on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform can make $300, $500, $900 per day online.
Here’s the catch: you have to sign up for a scam company’s “system” or “program” that comes with a monthly fee to be able to start earning.
7. Handicraft Work Scams
Handicraft work scams have been around for years but continue to victimize people from around the world. Here’s how it works:
Scammers advertise their need for workers to create crafts, assemble items, and produce other materials by hand.
Scammers promise to pay per piece, as long as the final product is of quality made from top-notch sewing machines or other equipment.
The catch: “workers” have to buy equipment and materials from the scammers. In most cases, the scammers close up shop after you’ve bought the materials and equipment, never to be heard from again.
In other similar schemes, the scammers continue to fool the victims by letting them work on the orders only to reject them for “low quality.”
Now, the self-publishing industry isn’t exclusive to Amazon. There are plenty of self-publishing services and indie publishing houses to choose from.
However, you might stumble upon fake “indie publishing houses” that target aspiring authors hoping to get published.
These scammers may charge unnecessary fees. For instance, they might charge reading fees, which aren’t charged by legitimate publishers.
Scam publishing houses may also hide their scams in the fine print in your contract.
For instance, require authors to sell a certain number of books within a certain time period, or else authors are then required to pay back the book production costs. This is not standard practice for publishing houses.
Or they may bury a statement or a clause in your contract that you sign away your rights to your own book.
Know that there are legitimate publishing houses that can help independent authors, and you should always do your research before signing up with a publishing house.
Check out AbsoluteWrite and find if a self-publishing company you’re looking at is a respectable company.
9. Data Entry Scams (and other Jobs with Easy Tasks for Huge Gains)
Data entry job scams are so appealing to job seekers because it involves very simple tasks in exchange for big paychecks.
The fact is: data entry is real, but the job doesn’t pay even half as much as what these scammers promise.
In some cases, scammers sell their victims a one-of-a-kind data entry software for thousands of dollars.
Job seekers who desperately want to work from home eventually take the bait, and find out there are no jobs after all.
Data entry job scams work very similarly to other work from home scams like mystery shopping, medical billing, e-mail forwarding, and so on.
The common element of these scams is the selling of a dream lifestyle. Most claim you can do the job anywhere (even on the beach) and earn either thousands of dollars or a passive income while doing so.
The saying, “if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is” holds true with these types of work-from-home scams.
10. Investment scams
Everyone knows there is money to be made online, but dealing with scrupulous people or groups will definitely shatter your dreams. Below are a few samples of work from home scams that involve some sort of investment:
Investors are duped into paying for a package that includes a website, hosting/domain, and maintenance for manning the online store.
The promise is a fully functional website with investors taking home a percentage of the transaction after every sale.
Unfortunately, no sales ever happen and the scammer never really did intend to maintain your ecommerce business.
There have been plenty of cryptocurrency scams cropping up because the terminologies used are not for the ordinary person.
You’d have to be well-versed not only in finance but also in technology just so you can understand what cryptocurrency is all about.
This work-at-home scam has been around for years, yet people still fall or it.
Scammers post ads for workers who are interested in stuffing envelopes and earning a living from it.
People who respond to the ad are asked to pay a small fee (around $15 to $40) for a start-up kit or simply as a processing fee or a “good faith” fee. You’ll also be asked to send in a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Once you send the payment, you’ll receive a starter kit that simply contains even more flyers for you to stuff into envelopes in. Chances are it’s the same flyer that alerted you to this job.
The starter kit often doesn’t even contain envelopes, in which case you’ll have to spring for the envelopes yourself.
Even if there’s a money-back guarantee offered, you’d have to fill an absurd number of envelopes before they even consider giving you your money back.
Don’t Fall For Work at Home Scams!
As long as people are looking for jobs where they can work from home, the will be scammers who will take advantage and will try to milk money from as many people as they can.
Hopefully, the information in this post will help you not to fall for these scams so you can find actual, legitimate work-from-home opportunities that are worth your time.
Or maybe you end up contacting them because you saw an ad to “get paid to drive,” “mystery shopper wanted,” or “virtual assistant wanted.”
Others tell you that you’ve won a sweepstakes, even though you don’t remember ever buying a ticket or entering a contest.
2. They send you a fake check.
Once the scammer is talking to you, they send you a genuine-looking check. These checks look genuine enough to fool you and bank tellers.
Car wrap scammers will send you a check for a greater amount than they agreed to pay you. They’ll then tell you to deposit the check and send the graphic designers or car wrap service the rest of the amount so they can come and wrap your car.
Mystery shopping scammers will assign you to evaluate the services of a money transfer service or money order retailers, and sometimes gift card retailers. They’ll then send you a check to deposit it in your personal account and then wire the money to someone else or buy gift cards in that amount and send the codes to them.
Virtual or personal assistant scammers send you a check and then instruct you to buy gift cards for supplies for your clients and then send them the codes.
Sweepstakes scammers send you a huge check and then instruct you to wire them a certain percentage for taxes, handling fees, or processing fees.
3. You deposit the fake check.
When you make a check deposit, banks are legally required to make the funds available for you to withdraw immediately.
So you withdraw the funds and send the money to someone else or buy the gift cards, etc.
It all seems fuss-free and above board, right?
4. The check bounces.
It can take days or even weeks to uncover a fake check.
Once it’s uncovered, the check bounces and the bank takes back the money from your account.
But you’ve already sent thousands of your own dollars to the criminals!
And they’ve vanished by this time. No way to contact them, no way to get the gift card codes back.
So you’re on the hook for the money, and now you have to explain to your bank why you even deposited a fake check into your account in the first place. You’re out the overdraft fees as well if you don’t have enough to cover the money that the bank took back.
This post was originally published in 2013. This scam is STILL occurring today and it looks like it will continue well into the future.
In fact, car wrap scams are now even more dangerous as the people behind them are coming up with more convincing ways to trick people into losing their hard-earned money.
For instance, some of the brands they claim to work with include ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®, Monster Energy Drink, Aquafina, Pirelli Tyres, McCafe, Dunkin’ Donuts, Langers Juice Company, Dr. Pepper, Marlboro, Purell, and many other big names.
The very first question I get asked is: “Can’t I just take the fake check to one of those check cashing places and keep the money?”
The answer is a hard no.
Check cashing facilities do not hand out money anonymously. You need to provide them with your identity, proof of residence, proof of employment, phone number, address, and so on. Even if they do manage to cash the check for you, the check will bounce and now they know how to get in contact with you.
They will start off by calling you, then mailing a certified letter, then they will escalate it and get the authorities involved. If you do not respond to their attempts to contact you, you can expect a warrant to be placed for your arrest by the authorities.
How to Spot, Avoid, and Report a Car Wrap Scam
So, knowing all these, what can you do to protect yourself from being scammed?
Take note of the following information:
1. Know how legitimate car wrap companies operate.
The main thing is that normally drivers come to them, not the other way around. They typically evaluate drivers based on how many miles they drive, where they drive, and their driving record.
They typically cover the cost of the wrapping themselves, too.
So if you do receive an email asking if you’re interested in having your car wrapped and getting paid hundreds of dollars a week, and you know you haven’t contacted or applied to a car wrapping company, ignore it. That’s likely a car wrap scam.
Most importantly, the amount on the check they’ll send you is exactly for the agreed amount, if they even pay you by check. Carvertise, for instance, pays you via direct deposit.
2. Never deposit checks from people you don’t know.
Sometimes it can be that simple.
Got a check in the mail from a stranger? Put it down and report it (see how below).
3. Never use money from a check to buy gift cards, money orders, or wire money to third parties.
This applies even if you were written a check by someone you know.
If you buy gift cards and send the codes, or wire money, that’s like giving someone cash. You’re never going to get that money back.
4. If you receive a suspicious check, report it immediately.
Help yourself and other potential victims by reporting it to the following:
Here’s a shortlist of approved, legitimate ways of making some spare cash online:
Create accounts at all 3 to really maximize your earnings and if you’re interested in signing up for more programs that offer cash bonuses for creating an account, check out this shortlist of 5 companies that will pay you $106 to sign up.
So what should you do when a scammer wants you to cash a fake check?
Here’s my personal experience with these car wrap scammers:
The Car Wrap Scam
In mid-September, I received an email from “David Christian” that originated from the address firstname.lastname@example.org. The email simply said the following: Would You Wrap Your Car in an Ad for $300 Weekly? After I answered “yes,” I received the following email back:
Wrap advertising is the marketing practice of completely or partially covering (wrapping) a vehicle in an advertisement or livery, thus turning it into a mobile billboard. This can be achieved by simply painting the vehicle surface, but it is becoming more common today to use large vinyl sheets as decals. These can be removed with relative ease, making it much less expensive to change from one advertisement to another. Vehicles with large, flat surfaces, such as buses and light-rail carriages, are fairly easy to work with, though smaller cars with curved surfaces can also be wrapped in this manner. Wrap advertising is available to anybody irrespective of the vehicle you drive.
We are currently seeking to employ individuals in the United States of America. How would you like to make money by simply driving your car or banner wrapped for ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
How it works?
Here’s the basic premise of the “paid to drive” concept: ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® seek residents in the United States who are professional drivers to go about their normal routine as they usually do, only with a big advert for “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®” plastered on your car. The ads are typically vinyl decals, also known as “auto wraps,”that almost seem to be painted on the vehicle, and which will cover any portion of your car’s exterior surface.
Don’t Have a Car?
If you don’t have a car, you can also participate if you have a bike.
What does the company get out of this type of ad strategy?
Lots of exposure and awareness. The auto wraps tend to be colorful, eye-catching and attract lots of attention. Plus, it’s a form of advertising with a captive audience,meaning people who are stuck in traffic can’t avoid seeing the wrapped car alongside them. This program will last for 3 months and the minimum you can participate is a month.
What is the Contract Duration?
Once the wrap has been installed, minimum term is 4 weeks and maximum is 12 weeks.
Would the wrap/decal damage the paint of my car?
The decal doesn’t damage the paint of car and will be removed by our representative once the contract expire. We will be responsible for installation and removal of the wrap.
You will be compensated with $300.00 per week which is essentially a “rental”payment for letting our company use the space and no fee is required from you. ROCKSTAR Energy Drink® shall provide experts that would handle the advert placing on your car. You will receive an upfront payment of $300.00 in form of a check via courier service for accepting to carry this advert on your car.
It is very easy and simple no application fees required. Get back with the following details if you are interested in this offer.
Full Street Address(not PO BOX) :
Cell Phone Number:
Home Phone Number:
We shall be contacting you as soon as we receive this information.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
I provided my contact information, after which I received the following email:
Thank you for your swift response and your willingness to work with us. To this effect, you are advise to check your email regularly to get updates as to know when your upfront payment will arrive at your address.
1) You will receive a Check as a form of payment. As soon as you get the check, you will cash it for the decal wrapping on your car and deduct $300.00 as your up-front payment. The rest of the funds from that same check should be transferred to the Graphic artist that will wrap the decal on your vehicle. All you need is to confirm the acceptance and understanding of this email.
2) You will make a transfer of the remaining funds to the Graphic artist via wire transfer at an outlet in your area, the Info which you will make the transfer to will be emailed to you soon.
3) We’ll like you to confirm Information about your vehicle as below:
i) Type of Car and Color :
ii) Model/Year :
iii) Present Condition and the Mileage:
Note: Please, confirm that you did receive this message so that we can process funds that would be sent to you for the car advert.
All other instructions will be sent out to you asap.
I…………..Confirm to have received this email and understand the content.
ROCKSTAR Energy Drink®
The Fake Check Arrives
I confirmed my willingness to work with “ROCKSTAR Energy Drink.” About a week later, I started receiving text messages on my phone from David Christian regarding my upcoming “check”.
Sure enough, when I went home and opened my mailbox, I found a check made out to me in the amount of $2,350. Woo hoo!
Interestingly, the check was made to look like it was coming from BOP, LLC, a legitimate clothing store business here in Madison, Wisconsin. The envelope, however, had a copy of a USPS Priority Mail 2-Day slip on it in which Rudy Grado, at 27405 Sutherland Drive, Warren, MI 48088-6078, was noted as the sender. I took pictures of both the fake check and the envelope it came in and have provided these pictures below. The pink stickies were affixed by me to hide my home address.
I called BOP, LLC and told them that I had received a check from them for the amount of $2,350. The business immediately asked me if my check was blue. I said no; it was actually a green color. The store immediately informed me that the check was fake and I should talk with law enforcement.
Meanwhile, I had David Christian texting me at least twice that day and asking me if I’d received my instructions on what to do with the check. I texted “him” back that I had yet to receive any emailed instructions. Naturally, when I later checked my email I found the following message:
Kindly proceed and deposit the check into your bank account and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after it has been deposited. I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited.
As soon as the cash is out you are to deduct $300.00 which is your upfront payment and forward the balance ($2,050.00) to the graphic artist that will be wrapping the decal on your vehicle via Money Gram and they will also be responsible for removing the decal when the program is completed. Please visit www.moneygram.com to check agent location close to you and make transfer through them.
Below is the name of the receiver. Please note that the transfer charges should be deducted from the remaining $2,050. You are to get back to me with the transfer details (Reference Number and the exact amount sent).
Below is the Graphic Artist Money Gram details to send the Money to
Kindly get back with the information below once the transfer has been completed.
Reference Number & Total Amount Sent
FAQ: Why am I sending money to Florida? The head office of the graphic artist is in FL.
As soon as payment is acknowledged by them, a local artist in your area will be sent to your address to install the decal wrap on your car. Let me know as soon as the check is deposited today.
If you require additional information, do not hesitate to email or call me.
What do you think I should do?
At this point in time, I’m debating about taking several different courses of action. I could do the following:
1. Contact local law enforcement and tell them that Patricia Barrington, Sandra Fagan and Rudy Grado are writing fake checks in a legitimate Madison business’ name.
2. Contact the FBI about the same issue since it spans several states (i.e., Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Florida).
3. Tell the scammers that I’ve deposited the check and am waiting for it to clear. This puts the car wrap scammers in a holding pattern because checks typically take 1-2 weeks to clear.
4. Tell the scammers that their “employment” check has been forwarded to the IRS for cashing because I owe back taxes and all my earnings must first be garnished (That should put them into a panic!).
5. New development! I might have a second car wrap scam check coming to my house very soon. This one is from George Jennings of NOS Energy Drink. Should I tell the ROCKSTAR scam folks that I’ve instead decided to work with the NOS scam folks- or vice versa?
I’ve Tried That readers, what would you do in this situation?
Update as of October 7, 2013:
First off all, thank you everyone for your feedback! I was feeling a little confrontational this morning, so I decided to first text David Christian and say that I’d deposited the check last Friday at my bank. Within seconds, I received a text message back from him, asking if I’d received my email instructions.
Deciding to not play text tag any longer, I called Mr. David Christian at the phone number (702) 605-0985. A guy with a slight English accent picked up the line and actually identified himself as David Christian. I told him that I’d deposited the check I’d been sent last Friday, but the bank had put a hold on it for some reason. He asked me how long the hold was. I answered that the bank wanted to hold it for two weeks.
David didn’t seem too concerned about the hold and said that I could just wait until the check cleared, then write out my own check to the graphic artist.
I then asked David about the Madison business that had been listed on the check (BOP, LLC). I said I was confused about why this business was being listed on the check. David answered that this business was the sponsor.
I then told David that I had contacted this business and they had no idea what I was talking about. BOP had also told me that the check was the wrong color (their checks have a blue background).
At that point, David and I lost connection. I tried calling him back at least two times. No answer. I wonder what happened. I hope he’s OK…
Information reaching me this morning has it that you will be receiving the check today. The check of $2,330.00 has been sent to you via USPS with tracking number (9405501699320009816575) and it will be delivered to you this morning. Kindly proceed and deposit the check into your bank account and funds will be available for withdrawal 24hrs after it has been deposited.
I will be waiting for a confirmation message immediately the check is deposited. As soon as the cash is out you are to deduct $300.00 which is your upfront payment and forward the balance ($2,030.00) to the graphic artist that will be wrapping the decal on your car via Money Gram.
They also will be responsible in removing the decal when the program is completed.
Below is the name of the receiver. You are to get back to me with the transfer information (8 digits Money Gram Reference) Number and the exact amount sent). You are to deduct the transfer charges ($180.00) from the $2,030.00 you have with you.
Below is the Graphic Artist Money Gram Details to send the Money to in Minutes
Name: Constance H Lawson
City: Saint Johnsbury
Zip code: 05819
Kindly get back with the information below once the transfer has been completed.
Money Gram Reference Number# & Total Amount Sent
FAQ: Why am I sending money to Vermont? The head office the graphic artist is VT, As soon as payment is acknowledge by them, a local artist will come to your house and install the decal wrap on your car. Let me know as soon as the check is deposited.
If you require additional information, do not hesitate to email me or call me.
And here’s the fake check:
I’m seeing at least one common theme between the NOS and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink scammers. First of all, the car wrap “sponsors” are both clothing shops, BOP (of Madison, WI) and Madison et Cie (of Los Angeles, CA). What a clothing shop has to do with an energy drink, I haven’t a clue.
I also think that the NOS scam artists are far more sloppy than the ROCKSTAR Energy Drink scam artists; why would an LA-based shop sponsor a car in Madison? Unless that shop was picked only because it has the name “Madison” in it- did the scammers think I wouldn’t notice the location of this “Madison”-based shop?
Update as of October 15, 2013:
So, apparently, I don’t have to be scammed for $1,850 ($2,030 – $180 for wire transfer charges). I can also be scammed for just…get ready for it…$1,000!
You are receiving this email because you applied for car wrap job. We are please to inform you that your application has been processed. Payment has been sent and delivered which include your 1st week payment and funds for the graphic artist. We will like to have an update from you if you have been able to forward fund to your matched graphic artist head office. If yes, provide the transfer info and If you are yet to receive payment from us, please let us know so we can process your application immediately. We look forward to your swift response.
My reply (including all broken grammar and misspellings): Thank you for email. My bank deposited the check but tell me I will receive back only one thousand dollars from thsi check. I don’t understand why.
George Jennings: Why is that? What did the bank say?
My reply: The bank is saying that the IRS is going to garnish my check as wages. I’m supposed to send them a W-9 from NOS too. Can you send a W-9 for these wages?
George Jennings: All the necessary document will be presented to you before the installation. Kindly proceed to send the $1000 via Western union to Constance to enable us book the installation appointment and the graphic artist will bring the W-9 with him. I will be expecting the Western union details.
Update as of October 18, 2013:
My saga with George Jennings continues:
Me: What about the $200 wire transfer charge?
GJ: The transfer charges should be deducted from the $1000. Kindly try and get this done today so the appointment can be booked.
Me: I sent a check this afternoon to the graphic artist. Thanks!
GJ: To who? You are to make a western union transfer to the details that was sent to you. Not send a check besides no address was provided to you.
Me: To Constance H. Lawson. She lives on Railroad St. in Saint Johnsburg, VT. It was much cheaper for me to just send a check.
GJ: Call it back.
Me: I already sent the check to her, but I can call her phone number and let her know not to cash the check. Or, should I send payment to the following address: PO Box 4125 Saint Johnsbury, VT 05819-4125
At this point, George stopped answering my emails. Too bad…
The Bottom Line: Avoid Car Wrap Job Offers
At best, responding to these scammers will waste your time. At worst, it could cost you thousands of dollars, financial ruin, and get you in trouble with the authorities.
Avoid any offered car wrap jobs, ignore the people behind them, and always do your research.
However, since you’re here reading this, you’re no doubt interested in finding new ways to make some extra money.
Archive.org takes snapshots of every single page on the Internet. They have approximately 461,880 pages saved from Poetry.com over the past 21 years.
I suggest picking a date near the mid 2017 as they were the most likely to load for me and see if you can find your public profile.
You WILL NOT be able to log in to your old account. Remember, this is just a snapshot of what the website looked like at a certain point in time. It is NOT a functioning website. The search feature will NOT WORK either.
The rest of the article is the original article published here in 2009.
The most successful scams are the ones that appeal to your emotions.
They assure you that you can be better off than you currently are. Success, fame and fortune is just a click away.
Odds are you will be clicking away some of your money while receiving nothing in return.
Poetry.com is no different.
The Scam Behind Poetry.com
Poetry.com allows you to submit your own poetic material for consideration in their international poetry competition.
In order to enter the contest, you have to also include your name and address.
Within days of submitting your poem, you will receive a letter in the mail praising you and your poetic ability.
Now to an unpublished author or someone looking to get started in this line of work, receiving a response is quite an accomplishment in itself, but to receive a response not only praising you for your work but naming you one of the best authors to ever submit a poem is extremely flattering.
The letter will also inform you that you have been chosen by a select panel of judges to be published in the next volume of poems put out by Poetry.com.
This is where the upsell begins as it all goes downhill.
In order for your work to be published, you have to purchase the book.
This isn’t stated, but it is indeed true.
Naturally, if you’re an aspiring writer, you’ll want to purchase a copy of your first published work.
Hell, you might end up buying a copy for your parents, significant other, friends, etc. The only thing is, the book costs anywhere between $50 and $75 or more if you want your poem on a single page.
After some time you will be given the option to buy a CD that includes your poem in a reading and you’ll even be invited to a convention where you’ll be awarded with some cheesy trophy or plaque.
Again, this is all at your expense.
This probably doesn’t sound all that bad right?
Poetry.com only sells these books to the people who submit the poems for their inclusion.
Previously, 20/20 did a news report where they had a class full of second graders write poems for the site.
Every single poem was accepted by their judges.
Poetry.com is making between 50-60 of these books per year with about 6,000 poems in each.
Given that the book costs about $75, they are making over $22,000,000 per year on book sales alone!
They give away one annual prize of $10,000 per year or about 0.0004% of their annual book sales. These guys are disgustingly cruel.
Fun with Poetry.com
Just to prove my point, I submitted this lovely piece entitled ‘Bird.’ It is a Steve original and I fully expect to win the $10,000 contest prize.
A bird sits on a windowsill.
Howl goes the wolf.
The bird flies away.
A pie replaces the bird.
The wolf steals the pie.
Pie wolf and bird meet in the woods.
Pie is had. All is good. The world is happy.
Immediately upon submitting my poem I was hit with an upsell. I could have my lovely poem engraved on a beautiful plaque for just $39 plus shipping!
What a steal.
I didn’t want to jump the gun and get this bad boy engraved right off the bat. I want to wait until it wins the $10,000 prize.
Since I chose not to purchase the plaque, the only other available option was to view “Special Offers” that were personally chosen for me.
Of course, this was all garbage as they were trying to collect my personal information to sell to companies.
Continuing past the special offers leads you back to the main page. There is no substance behind Poetry.com.
The site exists to gather as much of your personal information as possible in order to try and sell you garbage.
I’m anxiously awaiting my acceptance letter. I’ll be sure to post it as soon as I receive it.
Binary options scammers make up all kinds of stories to hook you in. Some scammers pretend to be oiligarchs. Other scammers spin tales about affairs and death threats. The list goes on and on.
And speaking of which, here’s the next story line to hit the binary options circuit: Flip My Binary Account.
What is Flip My Binary Account?
Ronald Green has a proven method for making tons of cash using binary options accounts. In sum, Ronald’s method involves flipping already established binary options accounts to willing buyers. Using this system, Ronald has earned over $737,700.71 in just the last two months. And now, you can too.
How does Flip My Binary Account work?
Ronald, the CEO of Flip My Binary Account, explains that he will “teach you a strategy how to create a binary options account and then flip it…to another person for huge profits.” Ronald adds that, at this moment, there are thousands of wealthy individuals who are eager to purchase your binary options account “via a little known bidding site just like eBay.” These buyers are looking for an account that shows consistent growth, much like any other business.
In other words, your binary options account is just like a business that you can buy and sell- and thus profit from.
But why would buyers be looking to buy an already established account when they could just as easily open a new account?
“Because they simply don’t know where to start. They don’t know what to do. So, you’re basically giving these people a piggyback.”
Ronald adds that he has created a members’ forum where like-minded binary account flippers will help you get started and give you tips and strategies of maximizing your earnings. However, in almost the same breath, Ronald also tells you that you can operate your business on auto-pilot. Your account “produces money for you every single month regardless of whether you’re at work or on vacation or even asleep at your bed.”
We’ve heard about these auto-pilot income producers before. And we’ve also learned that “make money while you sleep” systems are almost always pure scams.
Why am I skeptical of Flip My Binary Account?
Reason #1: The testimonials are generated by actors.
Ronald shows multiple customer testimonials as proof that his system works and makes money. Here are a few examples of his satisfied customers:
The problem with every one of these testimonials is that they are generated by paid actors- specifically, actors that can be hired at $5/pop on Fiverr.
Reason #2: Ronald Green doesn’t exist.
I looked up Ronald on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google. I tried several different business listings, including Dun & Bradstreet. Ronald either doesn’t exist, or his name is too common to pick up when searched with Flip My Binary Domain.
Reason #3: Flip My Binary Account is listed on Clicksure.
Clicksure is an affiliate network well known for hosting many scam products that don’t make it to more reputable places like Clickbank. Flip My Binary Account is listed on Clicksure.
As a result, most, if not all, of the positive reviews of this product contain affiliate links. And who wouldn’t sing the praises of this product when the reward is a $250 commission?
Reason #4: You need to open and fund a binary options account.
The main objective of any binary options scam is to have you sign up for a new trading account so that the scammer makes a commission from the brokerage. In my case, I needed to create a new trading account with Bee Options.
There was no mention of trading strategy or a members’ forum when I went to Bee Options. There was only the deposit page of the brokerage. Incidentally, the minimum investment amount to open an account was not $250, or even $500, but a whopping $600.
Reason #5: The strategy doesn’t seem realistic.
I don’t know about you, but it seems unrealistic to me that wealthy people would not know how to open a binary options account, and that they would rely on you to take this critical first step. Opening a new account is just not that difficult.
Also, because a binary options trading account is linked to a bank account or credit card, it just can’t be transferred like a website or some item on eBay. In fact, legitimate trading platforms like eTrade go to great lengths to confirm your identity and ensure that you’re not using someone else’s bank account or financial information. Most trading platforms will also ask if you are subject to IRS withholding and require your social security number.
Thus, transferring an account to someone else would be difficult if not impossible.
Finally, how would a person make money from your binary options account anyway? You need an active trader to make money through binary options trading. An account will not just automatically make money.
Summary: Flip My Binary Domain is a scam.
The fake testimonials, lack of concrete proof of a members’ forum, as well as the listing of this product on Clicksure all point to Flip My Binary Account being a scam.
We just couldn’t do it, y’all. Even though we promised here to review home typing jobs, the top search results are so blatantly misleading that we couldn’t bring ourselves to sign up. Not only are we certain that home typing jobs sites are are lying, but we also don’t want to give personal information and credit card numbers to dishonest people.
So we can’t claim to have tried what we’re about to trash. It’s just our collective opinion. Take that for what it’s worth. However, we are writing from lots of experience with sites that are long on hype and short on delivery.
Typistjobs.net is like all the others we’ve seen before. This post is an analysis of the red flags that are all over the site, not an insider’s review of the program.
Can You Make Money with Typistjobs.net?
No. Well, a very few will. In fact, if you choose to pursue the program that you bought, you’ll end up spending money, not earning it. That’s because you won’t be doing “typing jobs” at all. You’ll be doing affiliate marketing.
There are tons of sites offering to sell you the secrets of getting rich by typing at home. The link above includes a list of the top search results for “home typiing jobs,” each of them pretty much the same. Why settle on Typistjobs.net? It’s very simple: because of the gorgeous babe at the top of the page. Oh, be still, my heart! If I’m going to spend a lot of time looking at a site to dissect it, I might as well look at her instead of the cheesy stock photos and ugly snapshots at typingwealth.com.
What You Mean by “Typist Jobs”
When you go to Google looking for “home typing jobs,” here’s what you imagine: You think you’ll get hooked up with some company that needs you to type up paper documents to digitize them. Or maybe a law firm that needs you to transcribe audio files. You think you’ll do, you know, typing. You also believe that, in return for your work, you’ll get a paycheck. That’s what “job” means, after all.
Sites like typistjobs.net know this is what you’re looking for, and they use that knowledge to take your money. They know you’ll ask yourself, “Is this legitimate? Is it really possible?” They also know most people won’t think to ask, “Will I really be doing typing work? Will I get paid by the hour or based on my volume?”
What They Mean by “Typist Jobs”
You see, they let you think that their definition of “typist jobs” is the same as yours. That assumption is what gets people to take out their credit cards. But when you complain that they lied to you, they’ll say you misunderstood. To them, “typist jobs” means: “Creating affiliate ads and then sending them all over the Net.” To them, “getting paid” means: “Commissions you get if someone clicks on your ad and then buys what it offers.”
If that’s what you want to do, go for it. Lots of people make money online with affiliate ads, and if you’re going to get into it, you might as well start by buying from the page with the beautiful woman.
But if that’s not what you had in mind when you searched for typing jobs, run fast, run far. Typistjobs.net is chock full of red flags that shout, YOU ARE BEING MISLED. Here are some of them:
It claims you can make “$200, $500,or even $1,000 – EVERY single day, working
just 15-30 minutes a day! It should go without saying, but it doesn’t: life doesn’t work that way, folks. You’re not going to get rich with no effort. Unless you’re Paris Hilton or a smoking-hot 22-year-old female friend of Eliot Spitzer, that’s true all the time.
The words, “…doing data entry.” In our experience, this phrase is a dead giveaway. It’s a virtual guarantee that you won’t be doing “data entry” in the way you think of it. I once worked at the IRS. Now THAT’s data entry. Those people type so fast it makes you dizzy. And they made about $9 an hour. (See list of approved data entry jobs here.)
The words, “…99% of them are total scams!.” But this one isn’t. Really! We promise! They pretend to be your friend by acknowledging what you already suspect: that you’re being scammed. This is a “good-cop” strategy meant to tear down your defenses.
The “proof” of earnings. Every site that tries to sell you a money-making program includes a picture like the one on the page as if that proves anything. But typistjobs.net was less careful than most sites. They left the word “Clickbank” on the graph, which shows that we are in fact dealing with affiliate marketing, not typing. Those may very well be real earnings, but they’re not from filling out forms. They probably come from selling the “home typing” program to desperate people.
Real typing jobs have speed requirements. If you’ve ever applied for a real typing or data entry job, you know that the employer wants to see proof of how fast you can type. If you’re slower than 70 words a minute, you won’t even get a second look from a potential employer. That’s the nature of real typing jobs. Sites like this one and many others insist that you don’t need any special skills. That’s like a company setting out to hire a computer programmer and saying, “No programming skills necessary.”
Further Proof of Affiliate Marketing
We sometimes take a lot of heat for reviewing a program that we haven’t actually tried. However, when it comes to websites like these, we know what we’re dealing with because we’ve already seen it all. To emphasize my point, take for example a screen shot of a “sample” entry form for your “home typing” job. (It’s found at the bottom of the FAQ page) The site leads you to believe that all you have to do is fill in this form and get paid. What they fail to tell you is that after you fill in the form, you’ll have to spend quite a few dollars in order to get an advertisement up and running through Google Adwords.
Notice the similarities? The screen shots aren’t matching exactly because the sample form used by TypistJobs.net is a few years old. You could say that it’s pretty convenient that they “forgot” to add in the Google Adwords logo, but I say it’s a deceptive ploy to scam you out of money.
The Bottom Line
You likely won’t make any money as a home typist or a home data entry clerk. It’s not you. You’re more than qualified. It’s that the work is often outsourced or you have tens of thousands of qualified people fighting over 1 spot that likely doesn’t pay over minimum wage.
Online scam sites come in a wide variety of flavors, with one of the most popular right now being online job searches.
I recently came across one of these potentially scammy sites and thought it best to warn you about it: My Home Job Search.
Beware of “Advetorial” Feeder Sites
Before I get to the meat of this review I want to tell you about the way I discovered My Home Job Search.
You see, this site has a variety of “feeder” sites linking to the main site itself. These do a variety of jobs but the main one is to warm you up to the main event, a kind of pre-sales.
In fact it was this feeder site that made me suspicious in the first place as it is a fake news site.
This “article” by Amanda Winston talks about a fictitious Melissa Johnson from New Jersey and how she made tons of money online.
How do I know she’s fictitious?
Well aside from having seen this scammy sales page a hundred times before, there’s a disclaimer at the bottom of the site which in normal English states that the entire feeder site is an advertorial and the details are fake.
It insinuates that the data behind the information provided is real, but how can you trust something that uses stock photography, fake names, fake social likes and fake comments?
The bottom line is you can’t and you shouldn’t!
Dealing with My Home Job Search
Clicking any links on the feeder site will take you to the main sales page for My Home Job Search.
The page on first glance looks really professional and modern and really not scam like at all. That is until you scratch the surface.
The Social Signals are Faked
According to the sales page 485,529 people have liked this page on Facebook. With this number of likes you’d think they’d be shouting it from the rooftops and happy to see that number increase.
Why then is this figure shown as an image rather than a live embed from Facebook? Is it perhaps because the Facebook page for this system actually only has a single like?
Time to Do a Job Search
At the top of the site is a search field where you can add in your ZIP code and find work.
After adding in your ZIP code you’re taken through a few steps where you’re asked questions that supposedly filter the jobs for you, such as how much you want to earn a week, how many hours and whether you have basic typing skills.
It really doesn’t matter what you select here, you end up at the same page that asks for more information such as your email and phone number.
This is nominally so that potential employers can contact you but really it’s so your personal information can be harvested.
After watching a video ,you’ll be asked if you want to save $60 and upgrade your account. Please don’t!
If you ignore this and gain access to the members’ area you’ll see that this program isn’t all it’s made out to be.
First, you’ll be offered to join some survey sites, which while they can make you money they often only make you a small amount and sporadically.
My Home Job Search shows you these as they make money from the survey company if you sign up.
The job listings for the site are not tailored to any of the questions you answered previously and cover all the options. In fact, these job listing are not even provided by My Home Job Search. Instead they have listed jobs from a free service called Zip Recruiter.
The rest of the freely accessible parts of the site provide links to other services as well such as things like SwagBucks and CashCrate.
These services are genuine but overall do not provide a regular income.
The Stock Photography Members
This slideshow area showcases some existing members of the services all of which say how great it is.
It’s a shame then that all of the photos are from stock photo sites.
This in turn puts doubt on the reality of these being real testimonials, especially when you consider the fabrication of information already mentioned.
That “News” Video
This video is added to the site is a legitimate news report that has been hijacked and used on numerous scam sites in the past and is likely to be seen in the future.
It really doesn’t have anything to do with My Home Job Search; its sole job is to try to add some legitimacy to the site.
The News Networks
Below the video is another trick used by unethical marketers: a list of legitimate news network logos. Again the sole purpose of these is to add a sense of legitimacy to an otherwise dodgy looking system.
The juxtaposition of the news logos makes it seem like they endorse the website, or have even mentioned it at some point.
We both know they haven’t.
It’s always nice to know who you’re dealing with and it this age of identity theft, it’s really important to know who you’re giving your information to.
Sadly, My Home Job Search gives you very little information. There’s an email and a phone number but there’s no information on what company is behind this site, an address or anything.
You could be dealing with someone in Kentucky or Kandahar, who knows!
With a lack of details you’ll not only be handing over your data to persons unknown but you’ll also have nowhere to go should you run into problems.
The Bottom Line
The question that needs answering is whether My Home Job Search is a scam or not. The answer is a yes and no.
The system lists genuine companies that can provide work in one form or another such as Zip Recruiter, so in that way it’s not a scam.
However, the way My Home Job Search goes about it is dubious at best, a scam at worst.
Blatant lies and falsehoods, not actually providing a service of their own but wanting to charge you for it, and not providing any information about the people or person behind it has all the hallmarks of a scam system.
While I cannot say that this is an outright scam, there are enough warning signs to say that this is a system to avoid. Don’t give them your information and definitely don’t give them your money!
You can access legitimate job sites without the need to hand over money.
How would you like to make thousands of dollars in seconds by doing little to no work!? Home Income Profit System sounds great, right! Well EVERYONE IN THE WORLD is jumping on this opportunity and you too can make ridiculous amounts of money by doing next to nothing. Just send me $2.97 and I’ll tell you how!
Now, excuse me while I go vomit.
The Home Income Profit System Scam
The landing page doesn’t say much. There are a few bullet points that tell you there are a ton of people using this system to make money from home and to get started all you have to do is give up your personal information for a free packet of information. You do have to pay $2.97 for shipping and handling, of course.
Awesome! You don’t have to know anything, or even do anything, and you’ll be making money in less than five minutes!
The next page has even LESS information, if that’s even possible to believe. There’s no mention at all regarding the work you’ll be doing, how you’ll get paid, what you’ll need to learn, or anything at all for that matter. There’s only a box for you to fill out your credit card information.
At the bottom of the page is this lovely block of text…
You will be receiving your road map to success in the mail.
By placing my order I agree to the Terms of Offer, which explain this order includes the above for just $2.97 shipping and handling. If you enjoy the trial and continue your path to making money, you will be billed a one-time fee of $139.95 and a monthly $4.95 maintenance fee. You may cancel anytime by calling: (877) 863-3088.
The conditions are and I quote “If you enjoy the trial and continue your path to making money, you will be billed a one-time fee of $139.95 and a monthly $4.95 maintenance fee.” What the hell does that mean? If I enjoy the trial. What if I don’t enjoy it? Will they still take the money? Of course they will.
If you dig through the terms and conditions, it says that you have three days to cancel before they start billing you. You won’t even SEE the package for two weeks, but your free trial ends after three days. The whole point of the Home Income Profit System is to hook you into a negative offer option and milk your bank account for as much money as possible.
Stay far away.
You won’t be receiving proper training on how to build a business. You’re basically paying money to get charged more money in the future.
Real training provides you with the resources and support to get started. Real training doesn’t make fake promises of thousand of dollars for no work.
How Does Home Income Profit System Compare?
I’ve Tried That has been reviewing products since 2007. In that time, there’s one program that stands above the rest. It’s free to get started, has no ridiculous hidden charges, and will help you build a sustainable income from home.
Easy Cash Code is another one of those systems that promise you the earth with their slick video and marketing, but in essence it is yet another cash maker for the owners and a waste of money for the buyers.
Undeniable Garbage at EasyCashCode.com
The promotional video starts with plenty of genuine looking testimonials, all spouting their love for the system and how they rake in thousands per day.
Antonio, the promoter of on the video, states he will provide undeniable proof that the system works. No proof is supplied of course; just the usual generic earnings reports that could be from anyone, anywhere, that could be selling something completely different. Just as likely it will be the system maker’s profits from the last rip off product they sold.
However, the testimonials are fake; it clearly says so at the bottom that they are actors. That just proves to me to be wary of this product.
I love that the video says it will be removed soon, a generic emotional fear tactic to heighten your anxiety. It’s been up at least 6 months and won’t ever get pulled down unless there are enough complaints about it.
This is perhaps a sideways way of looking at things, but I always think to myself, if they can afford an expensive mansion and an expensive super-fast car, why can’t they afford decent video production that will stop the wind blowing into the microphone? My answer is that it is probably because the house and car are rented. Fake it till you make it guys!
From Broke to Millionaire in Days
The blatant lies and half-truths keep coming with this system sales pitch. The fake French lady who Antonio helped out of the gutter, who went from “broke to millionaire in days” is just appalling in how blatant a lie it is.
The “evidence” that the guy pushes in your face, “cannot be faked” according to him, but it looks very easily faked to me.
What’s the Cost?
The Easy Cash Code system, no matter the repeated usage of the word free, costs $49 bucks.
I’ll let you in on a little secret about how can find out a lot about a system and whether it is likely to be one that could be genuine and worthwhile or one that is there to try and suck money out of you.
At the bottom of a page if there is a link that says affiliate, click it and have a read.
Affiliate systems are great, you can genuinely make money from them, I do. However, when you get push button money making systems like this, the affiliate scheme often shows the truth behind them.
This is from Easy Cash Code’s affiliate page.
What do you make of that? Does it make sense? Just in case let me explain. This system is designed to squeeze as much money out of you as possible, between $396.00 and $686.00 in fact. Once you have made that initial purchase it will try to upsell more products to you which as you can see are a lot more expensive than the initial product.
Often products like these are not event necessary, pretty much like the initial product…
The makers of these systems, offer a high affiliate commission, 60% here, because to them its free money, so it doesn’t matter that they give 60% away, so long as they get visitors who equal potential buyers.
It is that information alone which make me very wary of the Easy Cash Code system.
Well apart from the big upsells, the actual system is a few guides on how to set up a WordPress website and install the plugin software that you get from Easy Cash Code.
The plugin isn’t too bad but it doesn’t deserve the hype of the sales pitch, it is just a plugin to create squeeze pages, which are sales letters on the internet designed to do a sole act (get someone’s email address, credit card details, etc). The thing is with squeeze pages is that you really need to know how to word them and what to actually do with them. A squeeze page alone will not rake in money, there has to be something behind it, whether it be a product or to build a list to promote products to.
The training isn’t so much training as 3 pdf files from other systems, which have been around for some time. Yes you could learn some stuff from them, but there will be upsells and recommendations to buy other products.
The 6 week coaching is 6 webinars, now recorded which go through the basics and upsell some more.
The Bottom Line: Is Easy Cash Code a Scam?
Is Easy Cash Code a scam? No, I cannot say it is a scam, it does offer something in return for your money. There have even been reports that money has been made with the system, though nowhere near the hyped up figures in the sales video, at most a few hundred a week.
I would advise you to be careful with this though, ideally avoid it if you can as it is certainly a borderline scam.
As a product it seems to be put together haphazardly, with poor quality and very basic information that can be found pretty much anywhere online for free.
If you do decide to put your cash on the line, make sure you don’t end up following the “funnel” or in other words being suckered into buying the additional products.
How Does Easy Cash Code Compare?
I’ve Tried That has been reviewing products since 2007. In that time, there’s one program that stands above the rest. It’s free to get started, has no ridiculous hidden charges, and will help you build a sustainable income from home.
There are many ways to make money online, but can I tell you a secret? There are no shortcuts!
Just like in the “real world”, making money on the internet takes time, perseverance and a little luck.
That’s why at I’ve Tried That we review as many systems as possible that claim to be able to make you money online easily. You see, more often than not, they turn out the be scams, or at the least not very good.
Today, we have Internet Careers Online by Kelly Scott, and boy is this one misleading.
Internet Careers Online by Kelly Scott
For such a specific product name you may be surprised to learn that Internet Careers Online actually has nothing to do with careers.
Instead it is focusing on a very specific way to make money, something they call “link posting” which I’ll explain shortly.
There are also a number of red flags raised on the sales page for this product which concern me greatly and should concern you too!
First off let me explain the concept of link posting.
The idea is that you place links or adverts online in places like Facebook or Craigslist and when someone clicks it you earn money – or at least that’s what all the link posting scams tell you.
The reality is there is no immediate payment to you when someone clicks the link; instead they need to complete an action after clicking the link, usually in the form of buying something.
When they do buy something you get a commission from the sale. This is called affiliate marketing and is a legitimate way to make money online.
Kelly Scott is dressing up affiliate marketing as something it’s not. She is lying about the opportunity, process, earnings, and amount of work required to get started.
“Link posting” tarnishes the tried and true method of affiliate marketing.
Companies Don’t Want This
According to the sales page for Internet Careers Online big name companies like Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Best Buy will pay you to post links on the internet.
They claim that the companies will pay you to do it as it’s cheaper than hiring staff.
This is all utter nonsense!
First off, these companies aren’t “hiring” people to place links anywhere. What you can do is sign up through their affiliate platforms and link to their website from your own. They will then pay you a commission if you send someone to their site who then buys.
These companies aren’t hiring anyone. You aren’t staff. If anything, you’re an independent contractor who gets paid if, and only if, you refer a sale.
The claims made by Internet Careers Online are, at best, misleading.
Ever Heard of Spamming?
The problem I have with link posting scams is that they all tell you to take the pre-created links and post them on Facebook, Craigslist, in forms and other social media outlets.
The thing is you will be one of many people posting the same links on the same sites and you’ll all be doing it without context.
What this means is that you’ll be effectively spamming. It will likely result in you being blocked, banned and labelled as a spammer depending on how vigorous you are at it.
Affiliate marketing works because you create a site or a brand on social media that interests’ people and who people can trust and you promote products to them that they may find interesting.
When was the last time you clicked a random link on the internet, especially in the age of malware and viruses?
On the flip side, when was the last time you listened to someone you know (even virtually) who recommended a product to you?
See the difference?
Internet Careers Online isn’t interested in whether you succeed or not they just want your money!
Paying to Work?!
On the subject of handing over money, the product offered by Internet Careers Online costs $97.
The mantra “never pay for a job” holds true here. In this case, it looks like if you pay to sign up, you’ll be given a position where you can post links and get paid to do so.
There is no guarantee that you will ever make money here. You will be paying for information.
The Guarantee Doesn’t Hold Water
You might be thinking that I’m crazy and it doesn’t matter if you pay out the $97 because there is an iron clad 60-day guarantee.
Well, I hate to break it to you but the terms suggest otherwise.
The terms state that “All we ask is that you examine everything and put forth an honest effort for the first 30-days”.
This is a very vague statement to make and effectively creates a loophole in the guarantee – you ask for a refund, they ask what you did to put in “honest effort” and they say it wasn’t enough so there’s no refund.
I obviously can’t guarantee that this will be the case, but the loophole exists and that should make you nervous.
The Company is Dormant
The company supposedly behind Internet Careers Online, one Internet Careers Online, LTD (I know, inventive right?), is a real UK company.
It’s also listed as a Non-Trading company, meaning it’s dormant and inactive, and only registered back in February 2017.
As it’s non trading, it should not be taking your money!
The Bottom Line
Link posting scams are numerous and I should know as I’ve now reviewed dozens of them.
They all follow the same patterns and none of them are legitimate.
Essentially, they are selling you affiliate marketing training. Affiliate marketing is a real and legitimate business, but it is not as easy as Kelly Scott would have you believe.
In the end, this one will cost you $97 and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth and no clue on how to make money online.
That’s right. It’s just BigSpot with an even worse logo.
I wasn’t a fan of BigSpot back when I first reviewed it in 2011 and it doesn’t look like much has changed since then.
SurveySay isn’t hiring, despite the jobs ads.
Odds are, you saw a job posting on Snagajob (another site I recommend you steer clear of) advertising either a part-time, or full-time, ‘Online Survey Taker’ job opening.
There isn’t much more to the job posting than that. However, the ad is currently airing in pretty much every town across America.
While I write this article, there are currently 2,489 active job postings on Snagajob alone.
These guys are busy to say the least.
The job posting is just as shallow as their website. The title and ‘apply’ button both take you directly to the signup form where you can “Start getting paid for your opinions!” just after you hand over some of your personal information…
Is SurveySay a Scam?
Well, yes and no, but mostly no.
Yes, in the sense that they aren’t actually hiring online survey takers.
Instead they are merely collecting your personal information and then showing you a list of survey companies that are currently accepting members.
I filled out the application form with a temporary email just to take a look inside…
As you can see, they are simply listing affiliate opportunities and nothing more.
There is no “job” here.
SurveySay and whoever is behind the mysterious VarsityPlaza, LLC gets a few bucks from each of those companies if you were to fill out an application.
The “no” in the not a scam, is that these companies are free to join. Plus, they are reputable survey companies.
The real problem I have with SurveySay is that you need to hand over some of your personal information just to view a list of companies.
SurveySay was created by VarsityPlaza, LLC and they operate BigSpot as well.
While reassuring, they are still requesting your personal information when they have no need for it.
SurveySay and Snagajob
I found it interesting that SurveySay has over 2,000 active job postings on Snagajob when Snagajob only allows employers to post a max of 3 job postings for $249/month.
At those prices, SurveySay would be paying Snagajob over $200,000 per month to keep their listings up.
We both know that’s not happening.
I couldn’t find any links to the two programs being related, but Snagajob appears to be allowing them to advertise through some sort of partnership.
Snagajob is filled with other affiliate programs masquerading as jobs. For instance, there are nearly twice as many Uber job postings. Uber is free to join and you do not have to apply through a job board to work there. However, if you refer a new driver to Uber, you can get paid up to $2,250.
While not particularly noteworthy, it does raise some questions about the validity of their offerings.
Can you get rich taking surveys?
Online surveys have been plagued with the falsehoods that you can make a full-time income just answering questions in your spare time.
In reality, you will spend weeks, or even months, answering questions to even see if you qualify to take a survey. In the off chance that you are invited to fill out an actually survey, you will usually be compensated anywhere from $1 to $10 for 15-20 minutes of your time.
I like finding a random five dollar bill as much as the next guy, but I’m not going to spend a month of my time searching for one.
Treat surveys as found money. Don’t go seeking it out, but if you get an invite to participate in one, and don’t have anything better to do, by all means, fill it out.
But, for the love of God, do not ever pay money to take a survey and do not trust anyone telling you that you are going to get rich overnight filling out surveys.
That’s never going to happen.
Alternates to Surveysay
If you still want to take surveys, I do have an approved list of survey companies I recommend. Better yet, I won’t charge you an email address just to gain access.
Why trust me over SurveySay or BigSpot? Because these are programs that I have used for years, cashed out hundreds of dollars from each, and can verify they are legit.
Here are my top 3 survey companies:
Swagbucks – Surveys are just one part of the Swagbucks experience. You can watch videos, play games, participate in polls, and they all pull in cash. If there’s only one program you join today, pick this one as I’ve personally cashed out over $900 just by using them in my spare time.
SurveySavvy – Here’s your more traditional survey site. They send out surveys regularly and invite you to take part in longer studies as well. I’ve had a few $50+ survey invites.
PaidViewpoint – PaidViewpoint is all about market research. They connect you with surveys that you absolutely qualify for and do not kick you out just before the final question. It’s fun, easy, and well worth checking out.
Those three should keep you busy enough.
The Bottom Line
While SurveySay isn’t technically a scam, it’s still a colossal waste of time.
They are unnecessarily collecting your email and personal information to showcase a list of companies for which they make money if you sign up and join.
I still don’t like that they are advertising on job boards seeking work at home applicants to become online survey takers. It’s misleading to say the least.
Online surveys are just about my least favorite ways to make money online. There are just a million better ways to spend your time, especially if you are looking to start pulling in some real money.
You can also check out my top recommendation here if you are interested in learning how to make serious money online.
It’s tax season again, which means one thing: scammers who are posing as IRS agents are out to get you.
The scam might occur as a voicemail left on your system, where you are warned that legal action is about to taken against you unless you call back and/or pay your taxes immediately.
The scam might also occur through text message, where you are told where to send payment after clicking on a provided link or opening an enclosed attachment.
Don’t do it.
New in 2018: The Erroneous Refund
There is a new tax scam going around this year. It seems that thieves are hacking into the office’s of tax professionals, stealing your personal information, and then filing a fraudulent return in your name.
To the IRS, it looks as if you have personally filed your taxes, so the issue a refund, even though it’s fraudulent.
Now, the scammer has your personal information and will contact you directly, claiming to be from the IRS. They will demand that you return the money.
However, the scammer will have you return the money to them and not the IRS. Leaving you with a fraudulent return filed in your name and in-debt to the IRS for a few thousand dollars.
How to protect yourself
Let’s start with the basics: don’t cash any checks that show up unexpectedly.
If the return was directly deposited into your account, head to the bank and ask to speak with a manager.
For the love of God, do NOT, under any circumstances, mail a money order off to an unknown source.
Finally, and most importantly, call the IRS directly at 1-800-829-1040 (if you are an individual) or 1-800-829-4933 (if you are a business) and tell them you have been a victim of a fraudulent tax return.
On the IRS website, you can learn just how the IRS reaches out to delinquent taxpayers. This occurs through a formalized process that never involves unsolicited phone calls or threats of legal action. In fact, the IRS acknowledges that taxpayers have rights, including the rights to privacy and to appeal.
How does the IRS correspond with delinquent taxpayers?
The IRS does not call you.
The IRS sends a formal letter stating how much money is owed per each tax year. In most cases, separate letters are sent for each year of delinquency, going back up to seven years in time.
Each delinquency is assigned a notice (CP) or letter (LTR) number at its top or the bottom right-hand corner. These numbers can be searched by going to the IRS home page.
Taxpayers are notified that they can appeal the amount of money they have been assessed. Taxpayers are encouraged to pay as much as they can, but they are never told they must pay the entire amount immediately, or that non-payment will result in their arrest or a lawsuit.
Should a taxpayer agree to make payment, the IRS provides a payment page with more information. On this secure page, taxpayers can pay via their bank account or credit/debit card. There are other options listed as well, including paying with cash.
More importantly, for taxpayers who have encountered dire financial circumstances, there are several partial payment and delayed payment options available. Those options include making monthly installments, submitting an offer-in-compromise, and even delaying payment altogether.
Such alternatives can be a lifesaver if you’ve recently lost your business, for example, and simply don’t have the needed profits to make payment on your taxes. Similarly, if you’re a freelancer who has gotten behind on your quarterlies, paying your taxes in monthly installments can stop interest and/or penalties from accumulating.
The IRS Phone Call Scam
The IRS scam tax delinquency “process”
In contrast to the IRS, scammers rely on fear and misinformation to coerce taxpayers into paying their taxes right away, and without knowing the full extent of their rights or appeal options. Scammers also use different means to trick taxpayers into paying the full amount they owe, including the following:
Phone calls: IRS scammers will often robocall recipients, telling them that they must respond immediately or face a lawsuit. One such robocall call might go as follows:
This a final notice from IRS, Internal Revenue Service, which is filing a lawsuit against you. For more information, please call immediately to XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thank you.
When would-be victims return calls made by these robocallers, they’re often connected with individuals with very thick foreign accents. Sometimes, the scammers try to have their victims purchase gift vouchers and provide the ID numbers of those vouchers over the phone. Recently, a bunch of these scammers were discovered and found to be working at an Indian call center.
Emails/letters: IRS scammers may also send out emails or letters, supposedly from the IRS, that even contain case and/or letter numbers and threaten the recipient with legal or criminal prosecution if payment is not made immediately. The fraudulent letters are usually superimposed onto legitimate letters from the IRS that were collected from office trash receptacles or other refuse (one more reason to shred/burn your sensitive documents).
When the victim clicks on a link provided in the email, oftentimes a phishing page boots up and steals the victim’s sensitive information such as Social Security number, credit card number, etc. The IRS warns about identity theft via phishing on its website. Alternately, a malware program infects the victim’s computer.
Texts: Some individuals have even reported receiving bogus texts from the IRS. The messages state that legal and/or court action will be taken against the recipient unless he pays the owed money immediately.
Requests for money: IRS scammers next ask that recipients of their calls, emails, letters and texts send money. However, the money is to be sent by wire transfer or through the purchase of MoneyPak or Green Dot prepaid cards. In some cases, scammers have requested that their hapless victims purchase gift cards and just read off the back codes to them.
The government is never going to accept gift cards over cash, and this is noted on the IRS payments page as well. Likewise, the IRS will offer installment payment plans if the taxpayer cannot pay the entire sum by a given date.
What should you do if you are a victim of an IRS scam?
Unfortunately, many individuals are conned every year and end up losing thousands of dollars to IRS scammers. What should you do if you suspect that you’re a victim of fraud?
When working with the IRS on owed taxes, use the IRS.gov site exclusively. Also, make sure that you are not dealing with an IRS subdomain (irs.scammerssite.gov) by checking if your pages all end in irs.gov.
If you have any doubts about your case, call the IRS directly. Their agents work with people directly on the phone. Agents are more than willing to help you sort through your tax questions, and can even provide you with lots of money-saving advice.