BBB Warns of Three Tucson Work-from-Home Companiesby Nick LaFleur on Nov. 15, 2010, under alert, Life, phishing, scam, Tips
As Tucson’s unemployment rate hovers around 8.5 percent, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning consumers of three Tucson-based work-from-home companies that are soliciting consumers with questionable offers for employment.
BBB received a complaint against one company, Sweet Success Publications, in which a Maryland consumer, Mary Norris, said that she sent the company $30 for a list of residences she would be paid to mail letters too, but never received a product list, and was not able to get a refund.
“They sent a letter griping at me for contacting the BBB, and told me they had a no-refund policy,” Norris said. “I don’t see how a company can tell you they have a no-refund policy if you never even receive a product to return.”
Sweet Success Publications lists a Tucson P.O. Box numbered 35083, but BBB is not aware of a phone number or a physical address for the company.
Another company, Radall Co. located at 6336 N. Oracle Rd, claims consumers can earn up to $500 per-week in their “spare time” by painting toys at home, and a third company, Home Employment Agency, claims consumers can be paid for selecting products off a list and posting them on eBay.
“A lot of people are desperate for work and this creates a great opportunity for scammers,” said Kim States, BBB President. “It’s important for consumers to thoroughly research any potential work-at-home job opportunity, especially before sending money or handing over personal information.”
BBB recommends looking out for the following red flags when searching for a job:
Red Flag: The employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home
While many legitimate businesses allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and others looking to make money conveniently from home. Job hunters should use extreme caution when considering a work-at-home offer and always research the company with their BBB first www.tucson.bbb.org.
Red Flag: The employer asks for money upfront
It is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job. BBB often hears from job hunters who paid a phony employer for background checks, training for jobs that don’t exist, or for “kits” that are required to perform the work. Always research the job thoroughly before opening up your wallet. Also be wary of job placement companies that ask for large upfront fees to find you a job.
Red Flag: The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true
Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little work and no experience necessary in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam.
Red Flag: The employer requires a check of your credit report
After posting their resumes online or responding to online job listings, many job hunters received what they thought was good news: an e-mail from an interested employer. In order to be considered for the job, the applicant has to provide private information for a credit check; this is often an attempt to get the job hunter to divulge Information that can be used for identity theft.
Red Flag: The employer is quick to ask for personal information such as Social Security or bank account numbers
Some job seekers have been surprised to learn they’ve gotten a job without having to do a single interview. However, when the employer then asked for personal information in order to fill out the necessary paperwork, suspicions were raised – and rightly so. Regardless of the reason, a job applicant should never give out his or her Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or email and only after they’ve confirmed the job is legitimate.
Red Flag: The job requires you to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or receive and forward suspicious goods
Many phony jobs require the employee to cash a check sent by the company through the mail and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity. Reasons given for this requirement vary from scam to scam. Whatever the reason though, the check might clear the employee’s bank account but will eventually turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers. BBB also warns against receiving and mailing suspicious goods—such as electronics or luxury items—overseas.