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admin2 On March - 9 - 2011

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With today’s economy a lot of us are looking online for ways to make some extra cash. Some of us harbor hopes of finding an opportunity that allows us to work from home and rake in piles of money for very little effort.

While a few individuals may have been lucky enough to hit pay dirt, for the vast majority the dream of earning money online has not come true. For some individuals the dream has actually taken money out of their pockets rather than put money in.

If you Google “work from home” you get a staggering 2,090,000,000 results. You are not the only one out there interested, obviously.

Google search results will present you with thousands upon thousands of opportunities to work from home. These opportunities might be part-time data entry jobs, or completing surveys for money, or making crafts to sell.

Unhappily for those seeking to earn money online, only a teeny tiny number of the opportunities on offer are genuine. The rest are scams that are designed to part you from your money. The real trick is to figure out which are real opportunities and which are bogus.

There are the “get rich quick” schemes that claim you can make piles of money every day using their “secret formulas” that you ultimately have to pay for. Save your money. If there were really one formula that would bring us guaranteed riches, then the world would be populated by a whole lot more wealthy people.

What if they have testimonials from people who claim it worked for them? The simple truth is that scammers lie so please don’t believe everything you read. And please don’t send them your hard earned money. The only ones making money off of the secret formulas are the scammers.

Survey taking opportunities involve completing surveys online and getting paid for it. There are some that are legitimate, but many are just scams. Look for opportunities that don’t require you to pay. The whole idea is for you to get paid, right? So hang onto your money if you can’t fill out surveys without paying. If they promise you can make hundreds of dollars a day, or even a week, view them with great skepticism. Remember: if it’s too good to be true, it isn’t.

How about the making crafts from home and other such scams? These involve you having to buy the materials from them to assemble a product that they promise to buy from you. The end product never reaches their standards, so you never get paid. This scam could involve stuffing envelopes or making dolls or crosses. 

There are legitimate craft-making opportunities out there. The legitimate ones require you to buy a kit with the materials, instructions and a sample. You are then asked to mail ONE item back to them for approval, and only then are you to proceed to make the rest and get paid for it. The scammers want you to send ALL of the items at one time and then they reject your efforts and don’t pay you a cent.

The trouble is that you have already parted with your money before you can determine if the opportunity is legitimate. It’s a gamble.

There are also the Work-At-Home with Google and Work-At-Home with Twitter schemes. What these scams do is sell you basically useless information about Google and Twitter advertising programs.  If you really want to check out Adwords and Adsense programs, you can do it for free, online. Google and Twitter don’t make their advertising programs all mysterious and secretive. They really want people to learn about them and to use them, so you don’t need to pay someone for readily available information.

Another scheme that sells you worthless information is the rebate processor scam. The scammer convinces you that you can make great money just by filling in rebate forms. You send in money, usually around $200, and all you wind up with is useless affiliate marketing information. 

There are only a couple of companies in the States that do process rebates, and participants are required to live very close to them because they have to do pick-up and drop-off. 

The “mystery shopper” scheme involves either you paying a fee in advance, or receiving a cheque that ultimately turns out to be fake. You are usually told you will “mystery shop” a Western Union or MoneyGram outlet. They send you the bogus cheque which you are instructed to deposit into your bank account. You are then to withdraw a portion of it and wire it using Western Union or MoneyGram. The rest of the money is your “commission.”

Be very, very careful with any cheque you receive — if you deposit and cash a fake cheque, you are on the hook for it financially and legally. It is a crime to pass fake cheques.

Play it safe and do not accept cheques. Use PayPal, accept credit card payments or money orders, but do not accept cheques.  Even if the bank exists, even if the account exists, even if there is money in the account to cover the cheque, that does not mean the cheque is good. Anybody can create a cheque.

Another scheme that can get you into real trouble is the reshipping scam. This involves you receiving and forwarding packages as a “job.” That is the type of “job” that can land you in prison.

So what makes these scams successful? The sheer desperation of the target groups is a big reason. Disabled, sick and elderly people have trouble finding and keeping jobs in more traditional ways, so they often turn to the Internet to find a ready-made solution for their employment woes.

Single moms and stay-at-home moms have trouble working full-time out of the house. The costs of daycare and transportation are prohibitive. They need money to raise their children, so they look to the Internet to supplement or provide their income.

People without much education have problems finding good paying jobs, and without a decent income they need extra cash to keep afloat. 

Then there are the families where at least one spouse has lost a job. The bills are coming in, and money is desperately needed.

Yes, there are those people who want to get rich quick and are willing to take a gamble on these schemes. Primarily, though, the victims of these scams are those who can least afford to lose their money.

If you are considering responding to one or more of the work-at-home offers on the Internet, please use caution and good sense. Do all the research you can before you spend time and money on any money-making scheme.

If the opportunity promises big money for very little effort, it is not real. If it wants money up front or your bank account number, it is not real. If you need to sign up immediately or you’ll miss out, it is not real.

And as always, be very careful about downloading files from suspicious sites. You might wind up downloading a lot of trouble instead, including viruses and malware.

Protect your computer files by using offsite data backup. CollectionMine’s backup software allows you to save and store your more precious files onto a server in our own data centre. Easy to use and very inexpensive, CollectionMine’s data backup will keep your computer files safe from viruses, hackers, and any disasters.


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