Millions of dollars lost in work-at-home scam
Experts warn the problem with many work-at-home job offers you see advertised is that a large number of them are scams that will cost you more than you will ever make.
In one scam, job seekers were told that for just $6,000 and a one-day course, they could learn to do medical billing, working from home, and earn big bucks.
"They would be told there would be no need to market the services the demand was so great for medical billing that they wouldn't even need to knock on doctors' doors - doctors would be seek them out," explained US Postal Inspector Terrence Sullivan.
Inspectors say the company, EDI, lured in victims by telling them they could earn $1,200 a month and that EDI would help them find clients.
"EDI would provide them with a couple of firms or doctors' offices or chiropractors or medical laboratories that would be in their area," explained Sullivan.
But again, the whole thing was a scam.
"In this particular case it was always a fraud, there was no demand for the medical billing service they were offering," said Sullivan.
Victims lost the $6,000 fee they paid for the program as well as money spent flying to a one day training session in Detroit. In all, there were 3,500 victims with more than $17 million dollars in losses.
Postal inspectors say the majority of people who signed up for the course never found a single client, never processed a single claim and never made a dime.
Inspectors say be wary of work-at-home opportunities.
"No one is going to pay you big money and not ask you to put out a lot of effort. They really take advantage of people in a desperate situation," said Sullivan.
The Federal Trade Commission also alleged that EDI failed to provide consumers with information required by the franchise rule. Courts granted the FTC's request for a temporary restraining order and asset freeze.
Soon after, the defendants agreed to a preliminary injunction that bars EDI from selling further business opportunities.
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