Make Money Online = SCAMS = BEWARE!

It’s no secret a lot of us would love to have a side job or even a way to make some passive money online. We’re busy people with LOTS of responsibilities, and sadly our dollars don’t go quite as far as they used to. While scams have always been something to be aware of, I feel the scammers are really out there now in droves preying on those looking to earn money online. I would HATE for you to be legitimately looking for work, and then get conned out of money. Check out your local news, it’s safe to say every week people are telling their stories of how they’ve been scammed while looking for work, or even selling an unneeded or unwanted item on eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

With most job scams, you’ll see they all have one thing in common: separate you from your money. Don’t ever pay an application fee, accept any checks from unknown people, and don’t click strange links in emails. If you’re selling an item on Facebook marketplace or eBay and the buyer says they sent you money, log in to your PayPal or Venmo account directly (not from an email you receive) and verify funds. Pay attention to the hiring process. With scams there will be practically no job interview. A legit company will at least require to meet with you on the phone or Zoom. Even if you ask, a scammer will likely have some excuse as to why they cannot be reached by phone or video chat to conduct a real interview.

We’re going to now look at a few of the common job scams: what they are, how they’ll scam you out of money and lastly, a legitimate business model that scams hundreds of thousands of people out of money by selling a dream, the MLM.

Common Job Scams – The last thing I want is for you to think you’ve found a great job, and then to fall victim to a scam. Scammers are so clever and put seemingly new twists on old scams all the time. A few golden rules to remember to avoid falling for a job scam are:

Never Send Anyone Money. Period – No legit employer will charge you an “application” fee. Similarly, if the job offer is dependent on you paying for some certification that the “employer” requires you to have, and they direct you to the website you can obtain it. Surprise, they run the certification website too. They’ll take your money and there’s no job. Don’t even think of paying for a “credit check” the employer organizes. It’s just an excuse to get your personal information, which can lead to identity theft and a whole lot of headache.

Do Not Accept Any Money – No one will ever have a valid reason for sending you, a new “employee” they don’t know a check to pay for your work related equipment and tell you to wire back what you don’t spend on getting your home office set up. That check will be FAKE. You’ll deposit it, and due to banking laws, a bank makes money available to you long before they learn the check is FAKE. It gets returned and your account debited the entire amount. You will have to pay your bank back every penny. You could also get your bank account flagged and closed.

Moving Money Around in Your Bank Account Isn’t a Job – “money mule” scams have been around a long time, and there are new twists on old scams all the time. The basic premise of this one is they will call you a “transfer agent” or something of that sort, and send you fake checks. Say they send a check for $5000, and your “pay” is $500. They’ll tell you to wire that $4500 somewhere else. As I mentioned in the bullet point above, banks make funds available to you long before a check is actually verified on the bank it’s drawn off. THEN that $5000 check is returned as fake and you’re out the entire $5000. When I worked in banking I saw a man lose $25,000 in this type of scam. Truly heartbreaking.

Zelle/Paypal Fake Email Scam – It’s common for us to sell unwanted or unneeded things occasionally on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. It’s a nice way to clean up the clutter and make some extra cash! Someone else is getting a great deal too! It’s a win-win – or is it? While you may be eager to make a sale, you need to be aware of a common scam with higher ticket items. Someone will message you wanting the item. They’ll have a story about sending someone else to get it, they live too far away, or they’re deployed. They may even offer extra money if you mark it SOLD right now and remove the listing. (be aware, this will void any seller protection you have on eBay). Since they’re not able to pick up and pay cash in person they’ll want to send you money via Paypal, Venmo or Zelle and they’ll ask for your email. Here’s where it’s gonna get sticky. They’ll spoof an email looking like it’s coming from Paypal or Zelle. The message will claim you have a payment pending but since you’re not a “business” account or verified you have to pay to upgrade. You click the link in the email, pay to “upgrade” thinking you’ll then see your payment pop in. Nope. All that’s happened is you didn’t sell your item, and you sent money to a scammer with no recourse.

SCAM Alert: The Too Good To Be True MLM “Dream” – Chances are, you know someone or you have at one time been involved in an MLM. I 100% DO NOT RECOMMEND getting involved with one and stick with me and I’ll tell you why.

Multi Level Marketing (also known as social selling, direct selling, or network marketing) schemes prey on those who are needing or even DESPERATE for earning money from home. They promise flexibility and a HUGE income without much work. Haven’t you ever thought why are people so eager to recruit more people to sell the same products they are already selling?

The Difference between Affiliate Marketing and a Pyramid Scheme – Lots of influencers, bloggers and personal shoppers are affiliate marketers. They promote a product that’s a great deal or something they personally love. A customer buys it, and the marketer gets a small commission at no extra cost to the customer. That’s 100% legit. MLM’s however, suck in a sales force for NO HOURLY wage. They will only get paid if someone buys a product from them; which ok, that also sounds like affiliate marketing. But NO. MLM participants COUNT on recruiting MORE people beneath them to join. They make a bonus on recruiting more members, and in turn, make a percentage of their “downline’s” sales. Every MLM requires you to “buy in” to join (it can even be thousands of dollars to start) and you’re required to buy so much product a month to even be eligible to earn. Per the FTC, 99% of participants LOSE money, not make money in an MLM. That 1%? They got in a LONG LONG time ago, and to be frank, there aren’t enough people for you on earth to recruit to match that 1%’s success.

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  • MLM’s are Very Good at Creating the “Dream” – MLM’s train their sales participants to be very good at not so much selling a product, but rather selling a lifestyle. Most of what you’ll see these folks posting in hopes of recruiting you is a flat out lie. They are ENCOURAGED to spend money they do not have to make you want in on it too, so you can live that high life. We all wish we could have a job that required an hour a day of our time, we could be our own boss, earn free vacations and drive around in luxury cars paid for by our companies. While very few people do “earn” cars, what they’re not going to tell you is it’s a very pricey lease that’s in THEIR NAME, if they don’t keep up their sales goals, recruitment goals, AND their downlines’ sales goal up, they will be responsible for every penny of that car payment. The trips? While technically they earn a “free” spot for reaching certain sales targets, the airfare, hotel, meals and entertainment are on the sales consultant. And no, those expenses are not tax deductible. That’s a sure way to get audited when it’s tax time.
  • It’s a Never Ending Revolving Door – Bottom line is, you only make money if you recruit, recruit, recruit. When someone underneath you quits, it’s like blowing down a house of cards. You lose your rank and your earning potential. Doesn’t that sound like the opposite of what you’re trying to create for yourself – which is LESS stress, LESS money worries and steady income.

In conclusion, just be careful. If you ever get an inkling something isn’t right, don’t just cross your fingers and hope it works out. People all too often ignore the “too good to be true” red flags out of desperation for wanting to finally find the job they want and need. If you do get scammed, report it to the FTC and your state’s attorney general. Sometimes people don’t report because they are embarrassed but that just means MORE people will get scammed from a lack of awareness. Visit the r/Scams Reddit page if you get a message or job offer you aren’t sure about. If you’re ready to dive in and learn all about real work from home jobs, and need a step by step blueprint of where to look and how to snag that job, you need {My Ultimate Work From Home Kit}

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