Work-at-home job scams on a rapid rise

By Brandon Richards - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – The number of work-at-home job scams is on the rise, as unemployed Americans look for simple and easy ways to make money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, complaints from consumers about work-at-home job scams have doubled in just the last four years. In 2006, there were 4,004 complaints filed. In 2009, that number jumped to 7,955.

"You contact the number and they'll tell you you're going to make all of this money, but of course they need an investment up front," said Carmen Million with the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Louisiana. "You have to think about the economic situation. People are desperately trying to find different way to make money."

Million said the most common work-at-home scams are mystery-shoppers, where participants must first send fake companies money before starting. Other common scams include envelope stuffing, assembly or craft work, rebate processing, online searches and medical billing.

"If a company actually paid these workers the amount of money they advertised, they wouldn't need to advertise," said Million. "They can get more workers than they need by word of mouth."

The BBB said if the company is legitimate, it should have no problem answering any of your questions in writing on how they do business.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is," said Million.

For more information about what to beware of when you are looking for a job at home, call the Southwest Louisiana Better Business Bureau at (337) 478-6253 or click here

You can find additional information at the Federal Trade Commission's website.

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