Have You Been Scammed Before? I have!
Updated on: by Miranda Grimm
Have you ever been scammed when trying to find some way to make money online and work from home?
Whether you have or you have not, one thing is for sure, you need to keep your suspicions high when looking into any work online job. Online scams are constant and the scammers are always looking for new ways to deceive and trick desperate work at home seekers. You think only fools fall for their sneaky traps? You may be right, but I will be included in that list of fools! Let me tell you how I have been cheated out of money by falling for an online scam.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
About a year and a half ago I was working from home for Liveops as a phone based customer service/sales representative. My husband was training for his new job that would basically eliminate the idea of me being able to continue my phone job. (He watched our kids while I worked) I began desperately searching for any type of job I could do to make even just a few hundred extra dollars a month.
May I emphasize the word DESPERATE. This is where my problem began. I was so desperate that even the most obvious scams were appealing and I was hopeful that just maybe it was true.
At that point in time I had heard about a company called Intellichek (very legit company by the way) and I knew they were sort of like mystery shopping; only you call the company instead of visiting their store. I applied but never heard back and began wondering if there were other companies that hired agents to mystery shop in non-conventional ways.
This curiosity led me to finding companies like “Online Mystery Shopping”. The idea here was that you request information from companies online. The company would call you and you then decide to change your mind and you no longer are considering their company.
As an example: you fill out a request for a quote to have new hardwood floors installed by a local professional. You would then receive a phone call asking for more details and to give you a price quote. Then, you simply tell them you want to look into other options or you changed your mind and kindly end the call. After doing a series of these you may be offered a payment of $30 or so and another list of companies to register with. So on and so on.
Seems like a good idea, you really are not sharing anything more than your phone number and it seems like a legitimate service. Problem here: too trusting. I saw the validity in the reason for the business and ran with it. I SHOULD have dug further. A simple Google search of the company including the word SCAM would have quickly pointed me to other victims of this online scheme.
I will admit the website did not immediately send out any red flags, I did check to see if they listed a contact phone number and address (they did) and in fact, they even gave you their Yahoo! Instant Messenger ID in case you had any problems. They were not promising to rain gold dollars down on you and did not promote with images of Lamborghinis or an ocean-front view. But many scammers are becoming smart and keen to what is sending red flags to already experience work at home job seekers.
So, how did I get scammed you wonder? Let us first begin with being told I would receive pay for each referral. I told all my friends all about it. (I have learned my lesson)
Then, I openly gave out my phone number to all of these companies and received dozens of phone calls in response. You think you are requesting information from ONE company? I was naive for thinking that way! In fact, the request was then sent to dozens of companies and each of the requests I filled out resulted in several phone calls. Remember I told you this was a year and a half ago? Well, I am STILL receiving phone calls from people who think I have a major tax debt!
Also, I was never paid! Other people, who also participated (my friends), were paid after hassling and hassling with the company, but I chose not to. I chose to cut my losses, learn my lesson and move on. I never received pay for my referrals either and I had to return to my friends with my tail between my legs and apologize for raving on about something I did not know enough about.
I cannot express enough the importance of researching a company before sharing any kind of personal information.
We all share one of the best internet tools available to us work at home job reviewers! This tool is free and simple to use and it is called Google! Yes! Anything you want to know can be found by using Google. Try searching the companies name, their address, phone number or a name from their website and see what you can find. Some companies are active under a name for a short period, long enough to start receiving bad feedback online and then switch to another company name. They do this over and over again and continue to scam new people for years. You can check how long a site has been active at places like DomainAge.us. If a company is only a few months old, consider it a red flag.
When looking for work from home jobs you must wear your investigator hat!
Have you ever been scammed when looking for ways to make money online?
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Click here to post a comment...
April 24, 2011 at 8:50 pm
Wow scary! That is not fun at all. Readbud is the only scam I have dealt with before. Stay away from them
April 25, 2011 at 9:19 am
The possibility of being scammed in a work at home situation is great but that should not overshadow all the awesome opportunities that exist. I am always telling people of the amazing earning potential of some of the jobs. I also advise them on the importance of researching every opportunity. Great post and sorry to hear that you were scammed.
April 25, 2011 at 10:11 am
It is frustrating and embarrasing when we thought we had something great to share with others. I find that is one of the great strengths of our online communities. We can discuss our experiences and learn. We also remind ourselves that the scammers are learning and sadly growing in their skills, too. Your blog reminds us we need to remain awake and aware.
April 25, 2011 at 11:07 am
This is one of the reasons I am so thankful I was a member of wah forums far before I started working for home or trying to earn any extra money. I may have been a total sucker. Scammers stink!
April 25, 2011 at 1:24 pm
I am pretty thankful for the wah forums, too. It is sad that I had to read about others misfortunes, but at least someone was honest to share their experience. I did go through the whole RedBud thing, but I was not one who got close to payout and then it suddenly became a pop up ad content site or full of virus problem. I also got stuck on the Tone A Day thing, which had great potential until everyone with internet access signed up and ruined it for everyone. Other than those two things I have been keeping one eye open and asking questions. I think I have enough eggs in my basket now. 🙂
April 25, 2011 at 5:07 pm
I haven't been scammed per se, but like your other commenters I've been a member of several work at home forums for many years. I have had companies or clients not pay, or work that was advertised as averaging X pay, but there was really no way a human could perform at the rate necessary to earn said average.