A reader: I’m thinking about an offer that I received in the mail. I got this letter telling me I can make as much as $3,500 per week. All I have to do is stuff envelopes. The company will provide the envelopes and the postage. All I have to do is prepare the mailing. Is this a solid offer?
Action Line: The money sounds great! IT may be tempting, but … Consumers see these offers regularly and the offers can come from anywhere. You may receive a letter. You could see an ad in the newspaper. You might see a pop up ad while you are on the internet. The message is always the same…. They promise that you can make lots of money in a short period of time; $3,500 per week sounds pretty good to me.
Be wary. If it was so easy and so lucrative, we would all be doing it. Even though the letter sounds great and it would be so nice to work from home, don’t be so quick to become involved. Here’s the scenario we usually hear about on these type of work at home offers. You send your money. Then you receive another letter telling you to get other people to buy the same opportunity you did. Your payment will come only if you received checks from people you have solicited to get involved in the same “envelope stuffing opportunity.”
If you are truly interested in getting involved, the Federal Trade Commission suggests that you ask these questions from the solicitor before you become involved:
▪ Who will pay me?
▪ Where is your business located?
▪ How long have you been in business?
▪ How and when will I get my first paycheck?
▪ Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on commission?
▪ What will I have to do?
▪ What is the total cost of the envelope-stuffing program?
▪ What will I get for my money?
▪ Will I have to pay for supplies, ads or postage?
With work-at-home companies, it is often hard to get good information about the background of the company. If they are unscrupulous, they often move or change their names to avoid getting caught. If you still think you want to get involved, check with bbb.org first. You can also reach out to your Attorney General and the FTC to see if there are complaints on file. Don’t forget bbb.org/scamtracker. This is not just a place to report scams but to find out what is happening in your area as well. Remember to use the internet. There are so many places to post reviews and blogs. If you see negative comments over and over, you can bet that there is a pattern of a problem.
Always do your homework before you invest any money with someone you haven’t done business with before.
Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.