Government Jobs - Several online ads claim Government jobs are available, but when job seekers contact the listed phone number they are asked to buy a book that lists all the available government jobs one can apply for. These scams also charge for people to access to tests and generic information about the jobs. They don't tell job seekers that all this information can be obtained for free by contacting the government agencies. If people need a list of all the government jobs, they can visit USAjobs.com.
Fake Jobs - Nearly everyone who has used Monster.com or Careerbuilder.com has gotten an email from some unknown company that wants to hire him or her for something fishy. The business usually says they have been in business for five or six years, but job seekers can find zero information on the company. On rare occasions, they pretend to be real businesses with stellar reputations. They say that you can work remotely/telecommute (work-at-home). However, they need all of the job seeker's information including social security number. Sometimes these fake businesses even manage to make up a reason to ask for credit card numbers or money wire transfers. Watch out for generic email addresses. Most large businesses won't use them.
Pyramid Selling Scams - This is the only job scam that involves a sales pitch from a live person. They mostly begin with help wanted ads with outlandish earnings claims. Job seekers are asked to meet at some public place, like a diner, because the business does not have a physical location. The sales person makes a very appealing sales pitch, explaining the wonders of money-making with their program. All the new employees have to do is sign up new people for the program and then give some of the money to the people who brought him or her into the program. Often, however, there is no product. The whole program revolves around getting new people to sign up for the program and then those new people getting new people, constantly funneling money upward. Anyone who makes money with the program does not do anything, does not sell anything or offer any service.
Work-at-Home Jobs - This category is the most infamous of all job scams because it is what everyone wants to do. The Better Business Bureau has fought their claims for nearly ninety years. These opportunities almost always ask for money up front, calling it an "investment." Well, investments are supposed to promise likely returns. Work-at-home up front fees aren't investments. They're lost causes. It is not a "risk" to spend money on them. Risk implies the possibility of beneficial returns. With work-at-home jobs guarantee a loss of money.
There are several sub-categories under the work-at-home banner.
-Data Entry - They claim that if you purchase their software, you will be able to process medical insurance documents. This is an absurd. Due to HIPAA regulations, companies cannot go forwarding people's private medical insurance information all over the place. Anyway, think about it like this, they hire an unreliable person and forward off a bunch of documents to someone several hundred miles away and he or she does not do the work. Then the company has to forward the documents to another person who may also be unreliable and several hundred miles away. The work never gets done, insurance problems arise, patients are not getting the money they are supposed to, hospitals begin getting sued, the data entry business goes under because no one will hire them. See what I mean? Data entry from home is never a viable business, it is inefficient and undisciplined. And when a job seeker must PAY to get software from the company? What utter nonsense.
-Envelope Stuffing - Every single one of these is a scam. No exceptions. Whether they say that you can make money mailing fliers, documents, envelopes or anything similar, they are lying. Even if the envelope stuffing firm says an employee only makes fifty cents per envelope, there are real mail services that charge considerably less to mail considerably more. One of my previous blogs explains the false claims of envelope stuffing and data entry.
-Craft Assembly - These business say that they will mail out parts to be assembled and pay people to assemble them. Like paying to stuff envelopes this is horribly inefficient, so there must be a catch. The business sells starter kits for around $30-$40. Once the scam victims assemble the product and mail it back, it invariably "does not meet quality standards." They make money off the starter kits and pay nothing to the assemblers.
-Big Earnings With No Explanation!!! - Have you ever seen those webpages or mailers that talk about how much money you can earn by entering their program? The business's literature seems to go on and on and on about how great the program is, how much money you can make, but never once explains what the program involves. After reading through ten thousand words of ego-stroking nonsense, they ask for your credit card number. If by the end of all your reading, you still have no idea what the program is, don't use it. These types of scams usually involve "helping" people to start their own home-based business or become an internet marketer