Stay-at-home moms fall victim to scam

'Work-at-home opportunity' in magazines catered toward homemakers

Author: Jodi Mohrmann, Managing editor of special projects, jmohrmann@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 11 2013 10:34:56 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 12 2013 07:40:00 AM EST

Tens of thousands of people fell for scam that cost them all.

“There was no way for you to make the amount of money they said you could make,” said US Postal Inspector Christopher Cizin.

But it was the promise of making big money working from home that lured in a staggering 65,000 people.  Their total losses: $1 million.

“Most were stay-at-home moms who were looking to make extra income," said Cizin. "They read about the opportunity to work at home from a parenting magazine or other magazines catered toward homemakers.”

The victims thought it was a legitimate, no risk, work-at-home opportunity.

"They were told to pay a fee of $29 or $39 or $49 depending on which opportunity they were interested in," explained Cizin. "They responded and got some materials in the mail."

They also received postcards aimed at recruiting more people.  If someone responded to those mailings, the sender might make a couple of bucks.

The website also included testimonials by people who said they made $600, $800 or $,1200 a month, but those testimonials were just another part of the scheme.

"From our investigation, we determined none of the people in the testimonials were actual people," said Cizin. "Based on the records by the company, there was no one who made that type of money."

After getting several complaints,  postal inspectors went undercover posing as someone seeking a work-at-home job.  That led them to the conmen running the scheme.

Postal inspectors have some advice for anyone considering a work-at-home job opportunity.

"Be suspect, if you have to pay in, it may be a scam," warned Cizin.

Also, always check the company with the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau or State Attorney General

And finally, inspectors say never give out personal information to a person or company you don't know.