Considering the state of societal affairs following the effects of the virus, it goes without saying that there are a number of individuals out there hurting for money. After a while of living between jobs, or barely getting by from paycheck to paycheck, any opportunity that promises extra money not only sounds good but it almost seems like a godsend. These opportunities promise extra money in the bank with minimal effort on your side, which would sound appealing to just about anyone. Don’t be fooled—a number of these “opportunities” are designed to cheat you out of your money and leave you not only in the same place you were before, but worse off if you were required to pay a startup fee. If you’ve fallen for these common business opportunity scams, don’t feel bad or beat yourself up. These things happen, and these predators know how to target those who are desperate for money just to get by.
Different Scams You Want To Look Out For
Scammers, whether they’re operating under one business name or fifteen, are not only slick, but they are thorough. If they feel one of their “businesses” is no longer functioning as they desire, they will drop it and move on to the next. All the while, they’re advertising on job sites and other forums, making it appear they’re running a legitimate business when, really, they’re just trying to reach into your pocket for whatever money you have left. Here are a few examples of different scams to look out for:
This one is where scammers buy goods online from any site, typically with stolen credit cards, and have them sent to other individuals. These other individuals, or “reshippers” take the package and send them to a PO Box in another state or country. In the end, guess who gets in trouble when the police track down where these packages went to on these stolen credit cards.
This is a very popular scam, as individuals are asked to cash counterfeit checks, then wire that money to a different location, and the bank will not realize the error until days later. Once again, guess who catches the heat for a fraudulent transaction like this.
- Data Entry
This isn’t to say all work from home data entry positions are scams, but there are the number of them out there that are. Basically, this is an “outsourced” position, where you are entering “data” to fulfill a designated ad campaign. In order to work one of these jobs, as far as the scam goes, you’re required to pay an upfront startup or membership fee. Yet, when you get the “job,” there’s little to no work to be done, and any “payment” you receive is either nonexistent or based around free merchandise or gift cards, not real money.
Beware of GPT Sites
These get-paid-to (GPT) sites are not only dangerous as they will gather your information and sell it to other companies, but in general they leave you in a worse position than you were in before. That’s another way these “businesses” make their money, based on the information you provide them on yourself, be it your full name, date of birth, or even your credit card or social security number. The company will take this information and sell it to others. This pattern will repeat from business to business—they will continuously resell your information, making it more and more difficult to figure out who has your info and who doesn’t.
Some of these scams are so well-thought-out and detailed that it can be difficult to tell whether it is a scam or not. The appeal is definitely there, though, when you have spent hours applying to job openings one after the next, and you come across one that says you can make thousands working from home. Who wouldn’t like that? You don’t have to worry about a commute, you don’t have to worry about dealing with co-workers in person, you can even stay in your pajamas all day if you so choose. Anyone would like that, and that’s what these scammers are banking on—they want the job to sound so good you can’t resist.
When it comes to these home-business opportunities, until you’re absolutely sure it’s a legitimate job opportunity, it’s best to keep your information out of the equation, and never agree to an upfront payment, because you don’t know where your information will end up at that point. It’s natural to be stressed during this time. Everything is uncertain, and there is no telling where we will end up in the coming months before we greet 2021, but it’s important to give yourself grace and allow yourself the time to find the right job for you. Don’t rush, or you might find yourself falling for one of these scams.