How the scam works:
These ads are everywhere - testimonials from a stay-at-home mom who earned alot of money by fairly menial online work. The ads may include references from reputable businesses: "As seen on CNN" or "Mom makes $$$$ by posting links on Google."
You click the link, thinking "What have I got to lose?" It takes you to another site with newspaper articles on the company featuring happy people showing off their checks.
The articles seem to be from reputable sources like USA Today and your local papers, but the writers must have left their journalistic ethics at the door - the articles are filled with testimonials and even end off with a call to action: "Join Now - 52 positions left!"
You decide to try it out, since, even if it is a scam, you'll only lose $12.99 for the startup package - or so you think. All that changes when you receive your next credit card statement showing a membership charge of $150!! You call the company and try to dispute it, but they say it's impossible to cancel due to the wording in the fine print. They may also advise you to buy additional software or training to "maximize your earning potential".
When you finally realize you're being taken advantage of and try to report them and denounce the company online, you'll already be too late. The company will simply change their name and start again, scamming whoever else wants to make a quick dollar.
How to avoid:
Avoid these types of offers. Sign up fees, membership costs and other charges aren't usually the first step to securing new employment. If you feel tempted, try googling the site online and look for an independent review. Always do your research and work only for legitimate employers. If you are really looking for a job and seek to make some money online until you find the next ideal job, there a couple of companies that are trustworthy and can offer you great opportunities:
Swagbucks.com is the world's largest free online rewards program. You get paid by doing things online which you might do anyway, such as searching the web, discover products, take surveys, watch videos, or play games. You can also get free iTunes and Amazon cards. The company has a A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.
If you are into paid surveys, this is the place. GlobalTestMarket is an industry leader in online research panels, where members are invited to participate in online surveys on numerous topics, and in return are eligible for cash or regular and frequent entry into sweepstakes. Highly recommended, as they also have A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You can register for free HERE.
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