Despite how useful the internet is for finding information instantly, it can also be a dangerous tool for criminals. Unsuspecting people are taken in by online scams every single day. Most of these scams are set up to lure in people who are financially desperate and ready to believe in anything that might solve all their money problems. This is why it is important to watch out for work at home and “easy money” opportunities. Here are three of the most common online scams:
Fake Envelope Stuffing Jobs
Envelope stuffing jobs do not actually exist, but they still appear almost every week under the job listings for various newspapers, both online and off. The ads usually claim that a person can make thousands of dollars per week by doing nothing more than stuffing envelopes from home. To find out more information and get started, the person interested will be asked to pay a fee. After the fee is paid, the person who just got scammed will receive information on how to scam others — by placing a similar ad in the newspaper for a fake envelope stuffing job and requesting money in exchange for information from interested parties.
The Package Shipping Scam
The package shipping scam is extremely serious, and it could land the person scammed in jail. The scam usually begins with an ad in the paper for a job doing easy work shipping packages. The person who falls for the scam will answer the ad and agree to receive packages at his or her home. After the packages are received, they must be reshipped to a specific address (usually this will be a P.O. Box). The victim doesn’t realize that they are aiding in criminal activity by shipping stolen goods, or goods purchased with stolen credit card numbers. When the police come knocking, they go to the address the goods were shipped to first — the victim. And the unsuspecting victim of the scam is the one who will get jail time rather than the criminals who are actually responsible.
The Check Cashing Scam
The check cashing scam is another scam that comes with possible jail time for the victim. People who fall for this scam usually answer ads for fake work at home jobs. The victim will believe he is getting paid up front before he begins “work” and will receive a check in the mail. The victim is instructed to cash the check, keep part of the money and wire the rest to another account (usually an account outside the country). What the victim does not realize is that the check is no good. When it bounces, the victim is the one who gets in trouble for cashing fraudulent checks. The criminals will be long gone.
People can avoid falling prey to scams like these by being suspicious of everything posted anonymously online. If something sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Even though there are legitimate work at home jobs in existence, many of them are scams in disguise.
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Tina Jackson is currently employed as an undercover security guard to prevent shoplifting. She has contributed to the Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs for people who desire the flexibility of online schooling, but still want to earn a quality education.