How To Spot a Scam and Avoid Being Ripped Off_

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					This is a Free Report from The home of hundreds of money making ideas,
concepts and small businesses strategies that you may not know existed.

Warning: Sometimes “it” may not be what it seems.
Warn your friends. Send this Report to them!

                                                         How To
                                                       Spot a Scam
                                                        and Avoid
                                                       Ripped Off!
                                                       most con-artists will “not” look
                                                         like a crook . . . . beware!

This e-book is a FREE gift and you’re welcome to give
it away to your friends and those who need it - as long as it’s
given-away in it’s entirety. It can NOT be sold.

Ways to prevent and avoid being ripped off by the
CROOKS in our world.

Avoid being ripped off by a work-at-home scam.
· Make sure you control your income. Get paid in-advance!
· Always offer a respectable and beneficial product.
· Never depend on a company to send you an accurate commission check.
· Make sure the company will explain exactly how to succeed.
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· Make sure the product has a 100% Money Back Guarantee.
· Don‘t send money to blind P.O. boxes.
· Be sure the profit potential is realistic.

           Warning: Listed are a few familiar
         work-at-home business “Scams” to avoid.
· Envelope stuffing schemes: They are ―all‖ crooked and never pay what they
   promise. Not a single envelope stuffing scheme has been found to be legitimate.

· Pyramid schemes: Pyramid schemes often place more emphasis on the money you‘ll
   pocket than the product. Many pyramid schemes don‘t even have a product. They are
   illegal and often shut down by authorities and you will lose your money.

· Multi-Level Marketing: Most MLM companies start for only one reason. Their
   mission is to build a large fast down-line of distributors, selling lots of products, then
   steal a large portion of the commissions from the distributors. This is a bold
   statement, but it‘s true. You are at their mercy to send you an accurate check. Many
   times they create a marketing plan so complicated you couldn‘t possible know if you
   are getting paid an accurate amount for your efforts. Many MLM companies will
   ―milk‖ the efforts and MONEY from thousands of distributors then disappear! You
   waste all your time, money and effort! Your dreams vanish! The average commission
   check of a MLM distributor is less than $200 a month. If the MLM is legitimate, it
   will often take a distributor 3 to 5 years (working 8 hours a day) to build any
   substantial independent income. Hopefully, you will gain a long term profit before
   the MLM company disappears or has financial hardships.

· Chain letters: Are illegal. Never participate with chain letter scams. No matter what
   they say, it‘s prohibited by postal inspectors and they will shut you down quickly.
   Chain letters very seldom offer a beneficial product.

· Product Assembly: These companies request you to assemble products from home.
    Once you send the products to them for payment, they simply say your work was
    inferior and refuse to pay or they pay you very little. They get free labor. Plus they
    sell the product for full price! Plus they often steal your registration fee from you.

Beware of the following:
Nigerian Advance Fee Scheme
The gist of this worldwide scheme is that small to medium-size businesses receive a
letter from someone who purports to be an official of the Nigerian government or major
utility or similar who needs to transfer some huge amount of money out of the country.

The money typically is an overpayment by the government on a procurement contract.
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The object of the exercise is to get you to provide your bank account details (for the
purpose of wire transferring the money of course). Surprise surprise, there's a transfer
all right but not INTO your account!

The FTC "Dirty Dozen"
These are the top 12 scams that have been identified by the (U.S.) Federal Trade
Commission as the most likely to arrive via email:

1. Business Opportunities - often pyramid schemes (see below) thinly disguised as
legitimate opportunities to earn money. What to look for: high returns with little or no
effort or cash outlay required.

2. Bulk Email - offers of lists of thousands of email addresses all of whom, of course,
are just dying to receive your marketing message. What to look for: "Bulk Email Works!
10,000 addresses for $9.99."

3. Chain Letters - send $5 to the next name on the list then cross the bottom name off
the list, replace it with your own, then forward the letter to 500 of your nearest and
dearest. What to look for: A jail cell. This is a pyramid scheme and is illegal. The letter
goes to great pains to say that it is not illegal.

4. Envelope Stuffing - think you're going to be paid for stuffing envelopes? Think
again. You get a kit that you can turn around to recruit others to an envelope stuffing
scam of your very own! Watch out for craft assembly work as well. You'll probably find
all of your hard work is not up to their exacting "quality standards" and therefore you
won't get paid for your work.

5. Health and Diet Scams - magic pills that eradicate the need to eat fewer calories
than you expend in order to lose weight. They don't work.

6. Effortless Income - no such thing. As the FTC says, if they worked, everyone would
be doing it.

7. Free Goods - you're told you'll get a free computer. You have to pay a fee to join a
club and then told you have to recruit other members. You get paid in computers.
They're nothing but pyramid schemes.

8. Investment Opportunities - look for outrageously high rates of return with no

9. Cable Descrambler Kits - they probably won't work and even if they do, you're
stealing a service from a cable company and committing a crime.

10. Guaranteed Loans or Credit - pay a fee and you're given a list of lenders, all of
whom turn you down. Credit cards never arrive.

11. Credit Repair – Beware of these companies. No matter how bad your credit, pay
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these people and they'll fix it. They generally just advise you how to lie on future credit
applications - how to commit fraud in other words.

12. Vacation Prize Promotions - your accommodations will be so bad you'll want to
pay for an upgrade. You'll probably have to pay to schedule a vacation at the time you
want as well.

Pyramid Schemes
Make money by recruiting members into the program without giving anything of equal
value in exchange for membership fees. Contrast MLM (multi-level marketing schemes).
These are not pyramid schemes because they involve the sale of products and services in return for

Medical Billing
Prepackaged businesses requiring an investment of $2,000 to $8,000. Few people who
purchase one of these "businesses" are able to find clients, start a business and generate
revenues. Competition in this area is fierce and concentrated around a few big, well-
entrenched firms.

Your In-box (computer)
Finally, go to your in-box now. You'll find no end of scams sitting right there. Here's one
that just arrived in mine ...

"Subject: How to make $1,000,000 in 20 weeks selling to Newcomers on the Net"

Where to go for more information on internet scams:

FTC Website

                                                             Watch Out
                                                           For This Guy!
                                                          He’s Everywhere!
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     When someone offers you a "once in a lifetime" business
   opportunity, it's easy to get your hopes up and let your guard
     down. Here are some tips for exposing scam businesses.

 For a publicly traded company, look at audited financial statements at Employ a trusted accountant, if necessary.

 Don't get excited by testimonials. Ask the company to provide proof of typical
 earnings. Walk away if there's no information in writing.

 Contact those invested in the business. The Federal Trade Commission requires most
 promoters to give you the names and numbers of participants.

 Check for complaints on Internet message boards and at consumer-protection

          The Top 10 Warning Signs of A Shady
           Franchise or Business Opportunity!
       If you're in the market to buy a business, protect yourself by being on the lookout
       for these 10 warning signs of a franchise or business opportunity scam:

       1. The Rented Rolls-Royce Syndrome. The overdressed, jewelry-laden sales
       representative works hard to impress you with an appearance of success. These
       people reek of money-and you hope, quite naturally, that it will rub off on you.
       (Motto: "Don't you want to be like me?") Antidote: Check the financial
       statements in the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular; they're required to be

       2. The Hustle. Giveaway sales pitches: "Territories are going fast!" "Act now or
       you'll be shut out!" "I'm leaving town on Monday afternoon, so make your
       decision now." They make you feel that you'd be a worthless, indecisive dreamer
       not to take immediate action. (Motto: "Wimps need not apply.") Antidote: Take
       your time, and recognize The Hustle for the crude closing technique that it is.

       3. The Cash-Only Transaction. An obvious clue that companies are running
       their programs on the fly: They want cash so there's no way to trace them and so
       you can't stop payment if things crash and burn. (Motto: "In God we trust; all
       others pay cash.") Antidote: Insist on writing a check-made out to the company,
       not to an individual. Better yet, walk away.
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       4. The Boast. "Our dealers are pulling in six figures. We're not interested in
       small thinkers. If you think big, you can join the ranks of the really big money
       earners in our system. The sky's the limit." And this was in answer to your
       straightforward question about the names of purchasers in your area. (Motto:
       "We never met an exaggeration we didn't like.") Antidote: Write your own
       business plan and make it realistic. Don't try to be a big thinker-just a smart one.

       5. The Big-Money Claim. Most state authorities point to exaggerated profit
       claims as the biggest problem in business opportunity and franchise sales. "Earn
       $10,000 a month in your spare time" sounds great, doesn't it? (Motto: "We can
       sling the zeros with the best of 'em.") If it's a franchise, any statement about
       earnings (regarding others in the system or your potential earnings) must appear
       in the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular. Antidote: Read the UFOC and find
       five franchise owners who have attained the earnings claimed.

       6. The Couch Potato's Dream. "Make money in your spare time . . . This
       business can be operated on the phone while you're at the beach . . . Two hours a
       week earns $10,000 a month." (Motto: "Why not be lazy and rich?") Understand
       this and understand it now: The only easy money in a deal like this one will be
       made by the seller. Antidote: Get off the couch, and roll up your sleeves for some
       honest and rewarding work.

       7. Location, Location, Location. Buyers are frequently disappointed by
       promises of services from third-party location hunters. "We'll place these
       pistachio dispensers in prime locations in your town." (Motto: "I've got 10 sweet
       locations that are going to make you rich.") Turns out all the best locations are
       taken and the bar owners will not insure the machines against damage by their
       inebriated patrons. Next thing you know, your dining room table is loaded with
       pistachio dispensers-and your kids don't even like pistachios. Antidote: Get in the
       car, and check for available locations.

       8. The Disclosure Dance. "Disclosure? Well, we're, uh, exempt from
       disclosure because we're, uh, not a public corporation. Yeah, that's it." (Motto:
       "Trust me, kid.") No business-format franchisor, with very rare exception, is
       exempt from delivering a disclosure document at your first serious sales meeting
       or at least 10 business days before the sales takes place. Antidote: "Disclosure:
       Don't let your money leave your pocket without it."

       9. The Registration Ruse. You check out the franchisor with state authorities,
       and they respond, "Who?" (Motto: "Registration? We don't need no stinking
       registration!") Franchisors are required to register in 15 states; in Florida,
       Nebraska and Texas, franchisors may file for exemption. Antidote: If you are in a
       franchise registration state and the company is not registered, find out why.
       (Some companies are legitimately exempt.)

       10. The Thinly Capitalized Franchisor. This franchisor dances lightly
       around the issue of its available capital. (Motto: "Don't you worry about all that
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       bean-counter hocus-pocus. We don't.") Antidote: Take the UFOC to your
       accountant and learn what resources the franchisor has to back up its contractual
       obligations. If its capitalization is too thin or it has a negative net worth, it's not
       necessarily a scam, but the investment is riskier.

Spotting Scams
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Any offer that promises to make you rich
overnight with a business that works while you sleep is a rip-off. Watch out if a company
promises large profits for little or no work, or claims no experience is necessary.
If anyone can do it, why should you pay to learn about it?

For that reason, multilevel marketing (MLM) has gotten a bad rap. Granted, there may
be some legitimate money-making programs out there, but there are also a large
number of overhyped, overpromising, under-delivering scams too.

Avoiding Scams
1. Research the company and always check them out with the Better Business Bureau.
Review the BBB's Work-at-Home Schemes information.

2. Ask for at least three references of people they have worked with. Call each person
and ask about their experiences with the company.

3. Don't be fooled by ads claiming you can make large amounts of quickly. And be
cautious of companies that require you to sign up immediately or it won‘t be available
again. Usually if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is.

4. Before you invest in a business opportunity, get specific information (in writing) from
the company such as how long they have been in business, where they are located (not
just a P.O. Box), how many customers they have, what their refund policy is (read it
thoroughly), how long it takes to get paid and if there are any restrictions on payments,

5. Try to use your credit card instead of cash if you invest in a business opportunity.
That way if you do want a refund, it may be easier to dispute the charges with your
credit card company rather than trying to get your money back from the fraudulent

6. Be cautious of any employment opportunity that asks for money (such as money for
"job" instructions, to test your printer, to see if you are qualified or for an application).

7. Research current scams on web sites such as ScamBusters. scamfreezone
Contact the National Fraud Information Center or (800) 876-7060 for information.

The Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission offer more information
about avoiding rip-offs like Internet business opportunity scams, plus ways to verify
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offers and file complaints. Your state attorney general's office might also have specific or
general information about Internet business opportunity scams and offer an avenue to
file complaints.

Another way to avoid the scams is to strike out on your own. If you don't know how, the
Small Business Administration provides genuine facts and resources for starting up a
home-based business from scratch in the U.S. These agencies won't charge you a penny.
You're already paying for some of it in your taxes, so why not take advantage of it before
a dot-con takes advantage of you?

How to Avoid Sweepstake Scams!
The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips for consumers to keep in mind before
responding to an "It's Your Lucky Day" call or letter:

   1. Legitimate sweepstakes don‘t require you to pay or buy something to enter or
      improve your chances of winning or to pay ―taxes‖ or ―shipping and handling
      charges‖ in advance to get your prize.

   2. Sponsors of legitimate contests identify themselves and are completely
      transparient. Fraudlent promoters are more likely not to or avoid their identities.
      Legitimate promoters also provide you with an address or toll free number so you
      can ask that your name be removed from their mailing or calling list.

   3. It‘s highly unlikely that you‘ve won a ―big‖ prize if your notification was mailed by
      bulk rate. (You can easily see the bulk mail stamp on your envelope) Check the
      postmark on the envelope or postcard. Also be suspicious of telemarketers who
      say you‘ve won a contest THAT you don‘t remember entering.

The FTC brochure, "Prize Offers: You Don't Have to Pay to Play," is available on the FTC's
Website at:

Read more:

The IRS wants you to avoid these Tax scams.

                   Tax Scams - How to Recognize and Avoid Them

To help the public recognize and avoid abusive tax schemes, the IRS offers an
abundance of educational materials. Participating in an illegal scheme to avoid
paying taxes can result in imprisonment and fines, as well as the repayment of taxes
owed with penalties and interest. Education is the best way to avoid the pitfalls of
these ―too good to be true‖ tax scams.
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Common Scheme Types

        Anti-Tax Law Schemes
        Abusive Home-Based Business Schemes
        Abusive Trust Schemes
        Misuse of the Disabled Access Credit
        Abusive Offshore Schemes
        Employee Plans Abusive Tax Transactions
        Exempt Organization Abusive Tax Avoidance Transactions

More Information

        IRS Fact Sheet 2005-15, IRS Obtains More Than 100 Injunctions Against Tax
        Scheme Promoters
        IRS News Release 2005-19, IRS Announces the 2005 Dirty Dozen
        IRS News Release 2004-48
        IRS, Justice Department Note Increase in Tax Enforcement: Civil and
        Criminal Enforcement Against Tax Cheats on the Rise
        IRS News Release 2004-47
        IRS Warns Businesses, Individuals to Watch for Questionable Employment
        Tax Practices
        IRS News Release 2004-42
        IRS Warns of ―Corporation Sole‖ Tax Scam
        IRS News Release 2004-26
        IRS Updates the ‗Dirty Dozen‘ for 2004: Agency Warns of New Scams
        IRS News Release 2004-19
        IRS, States Move Forward in Fight Against Abusive Tax Avoidance
        IRS News Release 2003-111
        IRS and States Announce Partnership to Target Abusive Tax Avoidance
        Listed Abusive Tax Shelters and Transactions
        Tax Fraud Alerts
        Information from the IRS Criminal Investigation Division
        Department of Justice and IRS Civil and Criminal Actions

Reporting Tax Scams

To report information on abusive tax shelters, schemes or unscrupulous tax
preparers, the IRS offers several options.

How to Spot Software Scams
Some of the warning signs that a vendor is not operating legitimately are:
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  If the price is NOT at all what it should be or much lower or much higher than offered
  by reputable, authorized resellers such as your local computer store or well-known
  online retailers such as

  If the merchant has a page on their site or in their FAQ explaining how they are legal,
  they probably are NOT.

  If the merchant's "terms of sales and service" page has a statement that you give up
  the right to initiate a chargeback through your credit card company, be very
  concerned. (Some will even claim the right to counter-sue you for fraud if you initiate
  a charge-back!)

  If you are required to use a special number or procedure for activating your software
  before you can use it, you are likely getting a hacked version that by passes the
  manufacturer's embedded product activation.

  If the offer was received by unsolicited email (spam) or posted on an Internet message

  If the product is advertised as an OEM, NFR, or academic version. OEM Software is
  only to be sold with hardware such as new computer systems. NFR stands for not for
  resale and is generally distributed for evaluation purposes and beta testing. Academic
  versions can only be purchased by students, teachers, and education faculty.)

  If the packaging is inconsistent with the same products offered through reputable

  If the product is advertised a "full version" but states that you will receive only CDs.

  If the product is advertised as a "backup copy" with serial number.

  If the seller states that the software can't be registered.

  If the Web site has not been online very long. (You can check this by doing a whois
  search on the domain name and looking at the creation date.)

  If the Web site address does not use a proper domain name, but a series of numbers
  instead (i.e.

  If the company does not provide a full business name, street address, or phone

  If the company offers no warranty or refund policy.

Here are some additional pointers for spotting piracy, directly from Adobe:
If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check a reputable retailer site to
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look up the market price for the software. If there is more than a 20% discount on the
MSRP without Adobe rebates, then there is a significant risk that the seller is:

  Trying to resell OEM bundle copies without the required hardware,
  Trying to resell products unbundled from an Adobe Collection or Suite,
  Trying to pass off an educational version of software as a full retail version,
  Trying to sell a counterfeit or illegal product (usually provided on CD-R) with a
  cracked or bogus serial number,
  Trying to provide an upgrade version with a counterfeit previous version as a "full"
  version of the current software, or
  Trying to resell a product stolen from a reseller or retailer.

Don't let OFFICAL looking logs on these sites fool you, either. These unscrupulous
merchants are always devising new ways to dupe the public. And if you buy software
from these unscrupulous sellers, there are several risks you take.

Reporting Suspected Software Scam Pirates

If you have encountered one of these offers, you can help other unsuspecting victims by
reporting the seller to the software publisher or The Software and Information Industry
Association (SIIA). The major software companies all have information on how to report
piracy on their web site.

       We need to verify important information on your account.
       You've won $1,000,000!
       You've been preapproved for a loan.

       Do any of these phrases sound familiar? They are all designed to get your
       attention to steal your money or identity. Learn how to spot scams in advertising
       so you can protect yourself and your money.

Phishing is a scam in which Internet scammers send you e-mail or pop-up messages
claiming to be an authorized agent to get personal information from you.

Example e-mail that may get you to send information:

During our system update of accounts, we couldn't verify your information. Please
click on the link below to update and verify your information.
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How to Prevent Phishing                 –
       Legitimate companies don't ask for personal or financial information via e-mail,
       so don't click on any links.

       Don't call phone numbers that you can't verify. If you receive an e-mail and are
       concerned about your account:

           o   Go to the company's Web site to find a customer service phone number
               that you know to be real, OR
           o   If the e-mail claims to be your credit card company, turn to the back of
               your credit card and call that number to verify information.

       Be careful when downloading or opening any attachments as they can contain
       viruses or other programs to weaken your computer's security.

      Watch Out For
       The Foreign
      E-mail Scam

How it works:

       Scam artists claim to be government agents, business officials or family members
       of rich big shots in a foreign country whose money is somehow tied up. They ask
       for your help to transfer a lot of money into your bank account. However, before
       they send any money, they ask you to pay for fees to help with the "transfer" and
       personal information about your bank account. In the end, you lose not only
       money but possibly even your identity.How it works:

How to avoid it.
       If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to need your help getting money
       out of a foreign country, DON'T respond.
       Do not respond to bulk-e-mails. Many of these e-mail scams are sent to a long list
       of people in hopes of getting some to respond. Remember: If they don't know
       you, why should you trust them with your personal information?
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       Forward e-mail scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at

Debt Rescue Scams
Many companies send offers promising to help you solve all of your debt problems
quickly for a low fee. Unfortunately, if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is.
The companies are typically scam artists.

Work at Home Scam
These scams feature flashy advertisements that offer you a large income for working in
the comfort of your own home. However, many may ask you to pay a small "sign up"
cost. Then, when the "work" comes, which usually involves envelope stuffing, you have
to pay hidden costs to advertise, make photocopies, buy supplies or software to do the
job. In the end, you're likely to find that you won't get paid because they'll say your work
was not up to their "quality standards."

Credit Repair Scams
There are many companies that claim they can get you a high credit score or repair your
credit report quickly for a fee. Unfortunately, many of these companies are scam artists
trying to steal your money.

How to Spot a Health Scam
When Medicare introduced Part D coverage to pay for prescription drugs in 2006, it
gave seniors a golden opportunity to save money -- and crooks a golden opportunity to
steal it.

The law offers Medicare beneficiaries a bewildering array of new health-insurance
options. They can now choose from dozens of Part D prescription-drug plans to
supplement Medicare, or they can opt out of traditional Medicare and enroll in a
Medicare Advantage plan to get both medical and drug coverage from a private insurer.
All of the new choices have resulted in "an immense amount of confusion," says Micah
Roderick, of the Illinois attorney general's office. They've also led to an epidemic of
fraudulent sales practices, ranging from sales abuses to criminal activity:

       To reap big commissions, some insurance agents sell seniors Medicare Advantage
       plans without explaining the limitations, and even sign people up without their
       Posing as Medicare representatives, unscrupulous agents use Part D to get a foot
       in the door -- or even into a whole senior high-rise building. Then they tout a slew
       of high-priced insurance policies, including annuities, life insurance life, gap
       coverage for Medicare Advantage and other products that people may not need.
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       Once they have personal information about their victims, some of these renegade
       agents steal their identities.

In other cases, regulators have uncovered fraud rings selling fake drug-discount cards
and bogus coverage for home health care. It's a huge racket, says Paul Greenwood, head
of the elder-abuse prosecution unit for the San Diego district attorney's office. "These
crooks realize there's money to be taken from elderly victims looking for a way to save
on health-care costs."

                                                     The Medicare
                                                     rip-off SCAM!

Hundreds of seniors are being ripped off!

Medicare Advantage plans can be an attractive solution for many seniors. But such plans
are also ripe for fraud because the government gives private insurers generous subsidies
to sign people up.

To grab a piece of the action, insurers pay agents hefty commissions. Typically, agents
earn $60 to $80 for each person they enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription-drug
plan. But they get a whopping $400 to $500 for enrolling someone in a Medicare
Advantage plan, according to a report by the Medicare Rights Center and California
Health Advocates.

"It's a quick one-time sale, and it's a lot of money," says Oklahoma insurance
commissioner Kim Holland, who has been cracking down on Medicare Advantage sales
abuses. The result may be a hard sell, with agents pushing Medicare Advantage rather
than Part D. At worst, those commissions may be an incentive to commit fraud.

Barbara Jean Davis, 72, and her husband, Esty, 75, who live in Wilmington, N.C., had
been covered by Medicare and retiree health benefits through Barbara's former
employer, DuPont. Their premiums and co-payments were reasonable, and without the
coverage, Esty, who suffers from a number of ailments, would have had to pay hundreds
of dollars a month for his medications.

About a year ago, Barbara was contacted by an insurance agent offering a Humana
Medicare Advantage policy, subsidized by the government, with a zero-dollar premium.
Suspicious but curious, Barbara invited the agent to her home. In the middle of his
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pitch, Barbara and Esty received a phone call and found out that one of their best
friends had suffered a heart attack.

Distracted, Barbara tried to get rid of the salesman. But he persuaded her and Esty to
sign papers that would give them a "head start" should they decide to buy the Humana
policy later. "He made it sound like we hadn't signed up for anything yet," says Barbara.

But the next time she ordered Esty's prescription, the pharmacist told her the DuPont
insurance was no longer in effect. The agent "had canceled my insurance and signed me
up with Humana without my say-so," says Barbara.

She didn't pursue action against the agent, focusing instead on getting her previous
coverage back. Barbara canceled the Humana plan and sought help from Pat Pane, a
specialist in medical-claims assistance. It still took four months for the Davises'
Medicare and DuPont coverage to be reinstated.

Egregious as it sounds, the Davises' experience isn't uncommon. In Georgia, for
example, "several individuals are facing criminal prosecution, a number of others are
under investigation, and a special task force is dealing with this issue," says state
insurance commissioner John Oxendine.

            More about Work-At-Home Scams
What are work-at-home scams?

Advertisements from work-from-home schemes like Crazy like a ???? and other scams
are bombarding TV, radio and the internet. The general public has the naive belief that
these must be true because "there are laws against false advertising" and "the
government wouldn't let them say it on TV, if it weren't true."

Those beliefs are simply not true. There are many scams and outright lies being
advertised on television (see Kinoki foot pads for an example!). The government has to
become aware of the scam and see it as serious enough to take action, and as slow as
government is, that could take years. Scammers know this and feel safe in spreading
their scams on major television networks!

It is up to you to protect yourself! Be wary of ‗work from home‘ schemes where people
are offered the possibility of working from home with the potential of earning thousands
of dollars. An employment opportunity to work from your own home earning a great
wage which may be no more than stuffing envelopes, but to get the material to stuff the
envelopes you have to send money away, often to nothing more than a PO Box address.

In return you receive the information that you have to photocopy at your own expense
and then stuff the envelopes. Recently reported work from home schemes offer you the
opportunity to earn thousands processing emails.
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Work from home schemes may also be promoted through newspaper advertisements,
direct mail drops or through unsolicited emails asking you to visit a website for more

Types of home-based business schemes

Common work-from-home schemes are:

       stuffing envelopes
       medical transcription
       buy and selling real estate, "with no money down!"
       Investment schemes
       data entry,
       processing applications
       selling or reselling the schemes themselves

Other work from home type schemes require you to:

       make gift items from home or
       grow flowers for the export market,
       . . . but then require you to also sell these products yourself.

One characteristic common to these schemes is that you are required to
invest or send away money before you can start work.

As good as the "wages" sound, the promoters don't give the full story. The schemes
are often no more than phony get-rich quick schemes - where you're not the
one getting rich – They are! In fact, an investigation for almost ALL work-from-
home schemes, "passive residual income", make-money-in-your-spare-time and other
get-rich schemes are pyramid schemes, scams or simply worthless.

How to check out a work from home scam

       Contact the Better Business Bureau to determine the legitimacy of the company.
       Be suspicious when money is required up front for instructions or products.
       Don‘t provide personal information when first interacting with your prospective
       Do your own research into legitimate work-at-home opportunities, using the
       ―Work-at-Home Sourcebook‖ and other resources that may be available at your
       local library.
       Ask lots of questions of potential employers—legitimate companies will have
       answers for you! Ask for a street address, not just a PO Box, and find out as
       much as you can about the company and its operations.
       Ask to talk to other employees - and to ensure they are for real, visit them to see
       what type of work is involved and how they are organized.
       Ask to see examples of the final product and the work required.
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        Ask what materials are supplied, or not supplied.
        Ask how you will be paid - and in what currency.
        Ask where the business is incorporated and where it's business license is filed.
        Research the product - is it a viable money-maker, and are the proposed returns
        Do the math - ask yourself whether the time required to do the job, in
        conjunction with the start up or material costs, match the returns to be expected.

        Use common-sense: if you have never heard of the product, or their products
        are very expensive or there is a fee to sign up as a "distributor" or "consultant",
        those are tips that it is a multi-level-marketing scam.

More Questions to Ask
Legitimate work-at-home program sponsors should tell you - in writing - what's
involved in the program they are selling. Here are some questions you might ask a

   1.   What tasks will I have to perform? (Ask the program sponsor to list every step of
        the job.)
   2.   Will I be paid a salary or will my pay be based on commission?
   3.   Who will pay me?
   4.   Will I be expected to send money via Western Union?
   5.   When will I get my first paycheck?
   6.   What is the total cost of the work-at-home program, including supplies,
        equipment and membership fees? What will I get for my money?

The answers to these questions may help you determine whether a work-at-home
program is appropriate for your circumstances, and whether it is legitimate or simply a

You also might want to check out the company with your local consumer protection
agency, state Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau, not only where the
company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether
they have received complaints about the work-at-home program that interests you. But
be wary: the absence of complaints doesn't necessarily mean the company is legitimate.
Unscrupulous companies may settle complaints, change their names or move to avoid

The most common work-at-home scams.

        Advanced FEE Funds: They claim that starting a home-based business is easy!
        Just invest a few hundred dollars in inventory, set-up, and training materials,
        they say. Of course, if and when the materials do come, they are totally
        worthless…and you‘re stuck with the bill.
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       Counterfeit Check -facilitated "Mystery Shopper": You‘re sent a hefty
       check and asked to deposit it into your bank account, then withdraw funds to
       shop and check out the service of local stores and wire transfer companies. You
       keep a small amount of the money for your ―work,‖ but then, as instructed, mail
       or wire the rest to your ―employer.‖ Sound good? One problem: the initial
       check was phony, and by the time your bank notifies you, your money
       is long gone and you’re on the hook for the counterfeit check.

       Pyramid Schemes: You‘re hired as a ―distributor‖ and shell out big bucks for
       promotional materials and product inventories with little value (like get-rich
       quick pamphlets). You‘re promised money for recruiting more distributors, so
       you talk friends and family into participating. The scheme grows exponentially
       but then falls apart—the only ones who make a profit are the criminals who
       started it.

       Unknowing involvement in criminal activity: Criminals—often located
       overseas—sometimes use unwitting victims to advance their operations, steal and
       launder money, and maintain anonymity. For example, they may ―hire" you as a
       U.S.-based agent to receive and re-ship checks, merchandise, and solicitations to
       other potential victims…without you realizing it‘s all a ruse that leaves no trail
       back to the crooks.

Add identity theft to the mix

As if these schemes aren‘t bad enough, many also lead to identity theft. During the
application process, you‘re often asked to provide personal information that can be used
to steal from your bank account or establish new credit cards in your name.

Where to Complain

If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now believe the
program may not be legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. Let company
representatives know that you plan to notify officials about your experience. If you can't
resolve the dispute with the company, file a complaint with these organizations:

       If you think you‘ve been the victim of a work-at-home scam, file a complaint with
       the Federal Trade Commission‘s Consumer Sentinel or the Internet Crime
       Complaint Center. Or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
       The Attorney General‘s office Attorney General's office in your state or the state
       where the company is located. The office will be able to tell you whether you're
       protected by any state law that may regulate work-at-home programs.

       Your local consumer protection offices. Your local Better Business Bureau .
       Your local postmaster. The U.S. Postal Service investigates fraudulent mail practices.

       The advertising manager of the publication that ran the ad. The manager may be interested to
       learn about the problems you've had with the company.
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It was a pleasure bringing you this valuable report. Hopefully this report
provided you with more protection knowledge and also gives you more
peace of mind.

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