U.S. Postal Inspectors report that the most common home business scam is stuffing envelopes. The advertisements promise you a huge income in exchange for stuffing envelopes at home. Some claim to pay as much as $4 per envelope. However, postal inspectors claim that none of these envelope stuffing opportunities deliver what they promise.
How many companies could profit if they paid people $4 to stuff an envelope? Why would a company pay somebody to stuff envelopes when there are machines that can quickly stuff thousands of envelopes in a short period of time?
How does a stuffing envelope scam work?
First, you respond to an advertisement saying that you will earn big money by stuffing envelopes. You have to send in your signup fee to get started. Having done this, the scammer just made a nice profit from you. If you sent in a $449 signup fee to the person placing the ad, you just lost $449. But there is more. This scam presents more ways for you to part with your money.
Secondly, after you send in your money, the scam artist will send you an information kit to get started at stuffing envelopes for money. This information kit will teach you how to send the same ad that you answered to other people or place similar ads in various newspapers or magazines. This can be very expensive. When you send out the information kit to somebody else, you have stuffed your envelope! You get paid a few dollars for stuffing an envelope if the victim who answered your ad sends the original scammer the $$449. This is a form of multi-level scamming.
Do you want to be a part of this deal?
Keep in mind that spending the money to advertise your little envelope stuffing scam is very costly and nets a very low response rate. This work-at-home business is a rip off. Walk away from it!
Warning signs of a stuffing envelope scam.
- You are stuffing envelopes. This is perhaps the oldest scam in the book yet there is a new victim who succumbs to it every day.
- You get an offer via e-mail. If somebody e-mails you about the newest and most exciting home business opportunity, you are better off putting the e-mail in the trash bin. If you get involved, you will not make any money. You will most likely get swindled out of some money if you do get involved.
- You earn your money by signing up other envelope stuffers (distributors). When a business opportunity involves signing up people who sign up people and there is no real product or service sold, this fits the definition of a pyramid scheme. This is illegal. This is a crime. This crime could put you in federal prison even if you were victimized by sending in your money to the scam artist.
- Promises of a high income. As with any business, there are no guarantees for success. If you are promised that a home business is foolproof and failure-proof, then avoid it. Promises are easier made than honored. There are plenty of home businesses that are legitimate and do not make empty promises.
There are lots of consumer fraud schemes out there. It is up to you, the consumer, to educate yourself to recognize what is and is not legitimate. By doing so, you can minimize becoming a victim to the crime of theft by deception.