Work-from-home scams

Far from dying out, work-from-home scams are more dangerous than ever.
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02.Top 5 scams

  1. Mystery shopper job Mystery Shopping Inc has been luring Australians through newspaper ads promising $300 per completed “assignment”. Applicants are asked to email their details to an overseas email address and receive traveller’s cheques. Their first assignment is to note security and customer service details while cashing them. Afterwards, they can deduct their fee before transferring the leftover money back to Mystery Shopping by untraceable wire transfer. These cheques are forged, and you commit a crime when you cash them. You can also be held responsible for repaying the money to the business who cashed the cheque.
  2. Online payment processing job An email job offer arrives from a company claiming to have found your resume on the Seek website. They offer you a position processing payments; only a little computer knowledge is required, and you’ll be paid daily with a minimum income of $4000 per month. Typically, you get another email saying there was a mistake and they had accidentally sent four times the amount of your paycheck. You’re told to wire the rest of the money to someone else when you receive the cheque. The money you receive may have been stolen from other people’s bank accounts.
  3. RAC job offer You receive an email directly addressed to you, offering a job with the reputable WA company RAC Finance and promising $3900 a month for only one or two hours work a day, four to five days a week. You’re asked for your bank account details to receive payments that you‘re instructed to transfer to an account in Europe. With some of these scams, the initial money transferred to you is recalled once you’ve transferred it overseas.
  4. Envelope stuffing/email processing scam In the old envelope-stuffing scam it was promised you would be sent up to 1000 stamped and addressed envelopes a week and that you would earn $1-$2 for every envelope stuffed. Once you pay the required fee, however, all you receive are flyer templates. You’re told to put up the flyers on noticeboards asking people to send you $2 in a pre-addressed, prepaid envelope, you’ll then send them a flyer. In a modern take on this, Project 21 placed online ads “Work from home processing emails. Earn up to $5000 pm p/t”. The catch is you’re charged $90 each for 12 manuals. The manual says to place ads like the one you responded to and sell copies of the manuals. The kit includes samples of the ads to adapt. If you follow this advice you’re advertising a job that doesn’t exist and breaking the law.
  5. Affiliate marketing (upfront-payment) scam Schemes such as GoogleCash claim to enable you to create a “click-through” portal that will supposedly generate a revenue stream for the buyer/job seeker. One unhappy customer reported to WA ScamNet that, after she paid for the starter kit, money was taken from her bank account another four times without her knowledge, and no kit arrived.


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