The ridiculous Craigslist furniture scam

Dear WAHFAQ, I’ve been selling items online, and keep getting emails like this one. What is the deal with these people? They can’t actually think that I’m going to fall for this? Hello,   I was just drafting this.Thank you for getting in touch with me,i’m fine with your price as listed and looking to buy your furniture but the only way I can is through a Check which I will mail to you through UPS I am willing to wait for the check to clear before the pickup is done. I will be responsible for the pickup and it Read More…

Is this a real job offer or scam? (Mystery Shopping WalMart)

Dear WAHFAQ, I got this email the other day, and I was wondering…is it a real job or a scam?  I know you like Mystery Shopping, and I just wanted to get your professional opinion~ Thanks! One of  America’s largest, discount departmental outlet is re-branding. The Retail Industry is a competitive world, with each retailer vying for the attention of consumers in an increasingly clustered market. We do not want to rely on proprietary data collection processes and technology alone, we need appraisers to collect specific data about their experience and opinions when they visit this any of our outlets, Read More…

The three most evil work at home scams ever

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles

Dear WAHFAQ,

There are so many scams out there. Are there any ones that are more evil than others?

Granted, I consider most scams to be some kind of “evil” but there are a few in particular that have their own special brand of sinister wretchedness. That is because in these scams, you will actually be paid, but unbeknownst to you, you’re scamming someone else! Keep in mind that these are pretty sophisticated scams, so you may only be one part of the larger puzzle:

Version One: The Payment Processing Clerk

As a “payment processing clerk”, you may be asked to set up a bank account at a specific bank to receive direct deposits or to handle expenses. The company who “hired” you will put money in the bank account, and then you’re supposed to wire that money through Western Union to other employees, vendors, or companies.

In reality, you’re just wiring it to the scammers. When a company requires you to have a specific bank for your direct deposit, keep in mind that the scammers may have hacked into that bank and electronically transferred stolen money into your account. In this scam, you will be paid to perform your duties for as long as the scammers can get away with it. After all, they need you to keep the scam going. However, once the bank realizes what has happened, you will be liable to repay those funds.

If you’re required to use a specific bank for any potential job you have been offered, contact that bank before you do anything, and let the bank know that you suspect the account may have been hacked.

Version Two: The Payroll Clerk

As a “payroll clerk” you may be asked to process checks at home. You’ll be required to purchase checks and a software system, (easily obtained through any office supply store) and the company will mail you the names, addresses, and the amount of money to send to these “employees.”

The amount of money on these checks is fairly significant, usually around $1,000 and up. That is because, unbeknownst to you, the scammers are running a whole different con to the person on the receiving end of the check.

That person, (who receives the check that you send,) may have been hired as a mystery shopper to evaluate a Western Union. They receive your check, cash it, keep $500 for themselves, and wire back $500 to a company overseas, thinking it’s all part of the assignment. What neither of you realize is that the checks are fake, drawn off of a non-existent account (or a hacked account as mentioned in the first scam) and that the money is just going back to the scammers overseas.

The “Mystery Shopper” isn’t aware of this until the check bounces, and you aren’t aware of this until the police come knocking at your door…because, since you’re getting paid, so you think it’s legitimate!

Version Three: The Money Transfer Agent

Scammers post job ads for “Money Transfer Agents,” stating that they need someone in the US to help them receive payments for their company. This scam is actually pretty straightforward: You pick up money at one Western Union (perhaps wired there from a Mystery Shopper) and wire it someone else (either to a hacked bank account, or to the scammers overseas.) In this case, you’re just a mule–and again, you still get paid, because they need you to do their dirty work!

Hopefully, you can see a theme here: companies who are overseas and require the use of Western Union or other wire transfer services. The scammers would never send you a bank-drawn check or use credit card information, because it’s too easy to track. If ever you come across a situation where an overseas company is trying to get a state-side agent: RUN. When the scam is exposed, (and it will be) you could be liable and responsible for the money you have transferred and mailed. After all, technically, you’re the one committing the fraud…the folks overseas just asked you to do it but you’re the one who completed the task.

 

Is CashCrate a Scam?

Dear WAHFAQ, Have you heard of Cashcrate.com?  Do you think it’s a scam?  I’ve been thinking about joining, but I’m not sure if it’s real or not.  Can you help me out? Ah, yes…Cashcrate.  They’re one of the more popular “get paid to try” companies out there. In short answer: No, they’re not a scam.  However, the method in which you earn income is a bit tricky, and frankly, for what you’re getting paid, I wouldn’t recommend them. Basically, you’re playing the rebate game.  You sign up to try out an offer for free for 30 days. As an incentive Read More…

Can I make money assembling products at home?

Dear WAHFAQ, The other day, I was at the doctor’s office and reading one of their magazines, when I saw an ad for assembling products from home. Is this something I could really do? How does that work?   Oh dear. This one is still around, eh? I know you’ve seen the ads. Somewhere in the depths of the “Classified” section, there it is, calling out to you,”Assemble Products at home. No experience necessary. Make $200-$2000 a week! You get giddy. Perhaps you’re a stay at home mom, or maybe you have a disability or something else that prevents you from Read More…

Is stuffing envelopes a legit way to earn money?

Dear WAHFAQ, I heard that a long time ago, you could make money while stuffing envelopes at home. Does this job still exist? How can I get started?   Wow. This question is a blast from the past! Ok, I’ll admit it. When I was in college, I sent away $19.95 so that I could become a millionaire…stuffing envelopes at home. Surprisingly it didn’t work out the way I thought. (Note the sarcasm.) I did actually receive something for my money: a one page piece of paper that had been xeroxed a million times. It said that all I had to Read More…

Is Bethany Mooradian a Scam?

As my books and website becomes more popular and my name gets a little bit more recognition, the inevitable Google search phrase will start to pop up, as it has for so many others before me: “Is Bethany Mooradian a scam?” I know that this will be more of a rant than anything else, but figured I might as well address this question head on, so that people can hear it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. (Insert feigned neighing here.) Um, no. I’m not a scam. This site is not a scam. We are not going to try Read More…