Consumer Protection
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How to Protect Yourself: Work-at-Home Schemes
Source: Florida Attorney General's Office

Magazines, newspapers and websites often advertise work-at-home jobs, promising hundreds of dollars each week for simple work. Many of these jobs are actually work-at-home schemes that require you to spend money to make money; typically, these jobs are too good to be true.

Watch out for common work-at-home-schemes
The most common work-at-home schemes include envelope stuffing, product assembly or craft work.

The envelope scheme will either send a notice explaining that the only way to earn money at home is by placing a similar ad to defraud other people with get-rich-quick dreams, or return nothing after you have paid the initial start-up fee.

The product assembly or craft work scheme will ask for extra supply cots, equipment, etc, and then reject the assembled finished product claiming it does not meet quality standards. Realistically, no product will meet the quality standards because the company does not intend to ever pay anyone.

Protect Yourself
A legitimate company will put all the terms in writing before you must pay a fee. The writing will list the work you must perform, how you will be paid, who will pay you, when payments will begin and the total costs for fees and supplies. Even if a company puts all of this into writing, examine it carefully. If it sounds suspicious, do not send money.

If you are defrauded
File a complaint with Consumer Protection Agency or the Attorney General's office in the state where the company is located. That office may be able to help you and the other victims of this scheme. You may also file complaints with your local Postmaster (the Postal Inspection Service investigates mail fraud claims).