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Deceptive Work at Home Opportunities Being Promoted on Popular Social Networks Like Pinterest

By Holly Reisem Hanna

Just the other day I was pinning away on Pinterest, when I saw this pin with the title, “love working from home”. Curious as to what is was, I clicked on it and immediately knew that something looked fishy.

A couple of years ago, there was a work at home scam called Easy Google Profits, where fake newspaper articles were placed, touting how a regular stay-at-home mom was making thousands of dollars a month with this easy marketing system. Over time Google caught wind that this fraudulent company was using their good name to promote their scam and later sued them, and with that the scam seemed to go away.

Again today articles are being placed on look alike sites, like CNBC and USA Times telling the story of how Patricia Feeney is making $7,000 a month using an easy Online Business System, working just a few hours a week. The article is made to look like an actual newspaper article, but in reality it is just an advertisement for this Online Business System. It even pulls your IP address so that it looks like Patricia Feeney is from your hometown, making her seem even more real.

Whenever you click over to the Online Business System, you come to a landing page asking for your name, email address, home address, and phone number. At the bottom of the page in fine print it says, “The earnings of the individuals are not necessarily representative of the income, if any, that you can or will earn through your participation in this method. The incomes depicted are representative of some of the most successful participants and the majority of individuals earn less. These figures should not be considered as guarantees or projections of your actual earnings or profits. Your success in this method results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, desire, diligence, leadership and personal talent”.

And at the very bottom of the page it says, “Copyright © 2012 Centurion Media Group. Business Method presented is an online method of operating an Herbalife International ® independent distributorship”. While Centurion Media Group is a lead generation agency who is apparently working with Herbalife (a direct sales company), I’m not exactly sure what this opportunity is for. I have read different accounts online, one saying that the opportunity is for Herbalife, and another saying that it’s basically a package to tell you how to sell others this same system (kind of like the envelope stuffing scam). What I do know, it that know that I don’t like being purposely deceived.

What red flags should you watch out for with work at home opportunities?

  • Vague job descriptions
  • Lack of contact information
  • High payouts with little or no work
  • Poor ratings on the Better Business Bureau website
  • Deceptive marketing practices
  • Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships

While I can’t say for sure what this opportunity is, I do find it suspicious that they used Patricia Feeney as their subject, as her name was used back in 2010 to promote the Easy Google Profit scam. In fact Jay over at Bizchoice Review wrote about it back in 2010 saying, “This is just the work of an unethical affiliate marketer who just wants to make some cash instead of genuinely helping people find solutions to their problems”.

Here are a few of the variations of the opportunity:

http://www.theustimestoday.org/

http://home-wealth-formula.blogspot.com/

http://cnbc.com-1.be/m/?Article27563&s=6u

One last note, I’ve seen this deceptive work at home opportunity being promoted on Pinterest a lot. I’ve even heard that individual’s accounts are being hacked and that these work at home images are a product of the hackings. I’m not sure if this is fact or rumor, but make sure you take extra precautions to ensure that your account is secure. Here is a great article to help you do so.

Have you seen this deceptive work at home opportunity being promoted on Pinterest? What are your thoughts?

The views and opinions expressed on this article are solely those of the original author. 

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63 Responses to “Deceptive Work at Home Opportunities Being Promoted on Popular Social Networks Like Pinterest”

  1. 1
    Nurse Frugal says:

    That’s terrible that people prey on others like that. It’s incredible how people can be so deceptive for their own selfish benefit.
    -Nurse Frugal

  2. 2
    Stephanie says:

    I haven’t seen it, but it doesn’t surprise me in the least. I’ve heard that affiliate marketers have discovered Pinterest in a big way. No surprise that some have poor ethics.

  3. 3
    Alb3rt1 says:

    Hi my twitter account was hacked, and someone posted a link from my account with that link to the CNBC clone website.
    Today I deleted that message that is clearly scam from my account! Now I am working to get secure in my twitter profile. I apologize if someone follow the linked posted from my account.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. 4
    Debbi says:

    I was almost sucked into this and thank you, because of your opinion I did a little more research and you are absolutely right… Stay At Home Moms Beware, it is a shame that they could scam a person just because she/he wants to spend time with her/his children and try to help pay the bills.

  5. 5
    Ellimay says:

    This popped up at the bottom of my computer screen and without thinking I clicked on it, and filled in the form, then it took me to a page saying I only had 15min to get a great offer and I realised that it wanted money. I tried to cancel my order, and even ‘chatted’ with something called Jenny and I realised it was a computer (virtual interface assistant is how it described itself) as it did not understand that I wanted the order cancelled. It kept telling me what a great offer it was and even gave me more specials if I signed up today. it was not keyed up to give out any email address to speak to a human, I think I will send anything back from them as not known at this address.

  6. 6
    Jobhunter says:

    I had the link to this article sent to me, I looked at it and found right away the discrepancy in how much it costs as a red flag. The “article” says it cost her less than $10 and that is just to cover postage, but the website first charges almost $150, then $80, and when you try to close the site they go down to $45! With these tough times some people need to dig deep to find their conscience and hearts and quit preying on people who are financially strapped!

  7. 7
    koos says:

    All those scammers out there ……….. JOU MA SE POES

  8. 8
    KG says:

    A link was actually sent to me by someone who rented a cottage from us. I kept thinking, there must be a catch. I was very uncomfortable when asked for money. Thank goodness I decided to look a little deeper. It is a shame, especially when something like this is sent to you from someone you know.

  9. 9
    rk says:

    My address book was hijacked and this crap was sent out to all my contacts on it….this must be criminal.

  10. 10
    Erika says:

    Good Morning,

    I was just emailed this from a friends email (Whom I called and said he never sent that.) Anyways… The indescrepencies are remarkable if you read EVERY word. When these “too good to be true” scams come through CLICK everything. Having been sent these sorts of offers before (not from CNBC) I always check the site. It’s easy. On the “CNBC” page that is sent in the link (or any other website being sent with an offer) Click around the page. If you click under “blog” or “entertainment news”..etc…The page with the offer comes up you have a fake site. I clicked 3 or 4 different place on the CNBC site and was brought back to the “Great opportunity” EVERY single time. Do your research people; protect yourself these offers just want your money.

  11. 11
    Erika says:

    P/S once the links are clicked you should make a serious attempt to remove from your computer’s history. If unsure how to do so simply call your internet provider or company to which you’ve purchased your computer. Sometimes links can be embedded and take personal info from your accounts…Just an FYI.

  12. 12
    Ericka Bireley says:

    I guess I got scam I though it was real I know it was not under Patricia teensy but it came from the same people so I just thank you for all the info here.

  13. 13
    Brande says:

    I got an email about this “opportunity” this morning! Unsubscribed immediately!

  14. 14
    Fi says:

    Hey I just got an email too.

  15. 15
    Gopal Iyer says:

    Thanks for the report. I made a mistake by filling out this form. I got so many calls from a guy in Minnesota. I got several emails also. Then I got suspicious. I wanted to check out. Now I know that it is a scam. Now, I need to tell this guy not to call me again

  16. 16
    Scott says:

    Here’s a real birds eye view. I have been in the online marketing industry since i first got burnt from it about 10 years ago. I entered a program, i cannot recall what it was but it was very cheap and by the time i signed up i already had 200.00 into it. If they would have told me it was going to be 200.00 i never would have signed up. That seems to be the case with all things. I have put legit stuff out there and was very straight forward with the people. I included it will cost this much, it will take hard work and dedication. Guess what! No takers. You know why because it never works that way. People want something for nothing. That’s how it works I’m afraid. People would rather be conned out of the money rather than work hard to earn it. Sad but true. The world is getting lazy. By the way. Most of these methods do work. You have to work hard to get what is coming to you. Most fall short of that, they don’t want to work they want it handed to them. There is a small percentage of these that are out there just to take your money, i cant say that there isn’t. But most will work with hard work.

  17. 17
    Thomas says:

    After looking at the article about Patricia feeney I see that there is a lot of similaritys between the email I got which mentions her and what you said in your article I wanted to add another charteristic about her emails and that is she used at least with the one I received another persons email address that I normally receive emails from as it is my wife’s email account which really seems like it should be considererd fraudulent and against the law to use other peoples email addresses to contact others in this fashion as its like stealing someone’s state issued ID and perpetrating as them

  18. 18
    fran says:

    I just found a “Centurion Media Group” posted the Healthcare Job website for potential job opportunities. I did not go to the CMG site but wonder if it will have info on me since I am registered with Healthcare. Times are bad enough without having to worry about these fraudulent sites. I need a job not more stress while looking for it. How do these job sites allow this scam “job opportunity” to post? Would it do any good to contact Healthcare or just delete my acct from them? Thanks for any guidance.

  19. 19
    JoeMoe says:

    Good catch! These scams been around for years and people can easily avoid them if they their research. Thank you for putting the word out there.

  20. 20
    Lana says:

    Got an email link this morning sending me to a fake CNBC article touting this money making opportunity that was sent using my friend’s email as the sender. Was suspicious when the email is not exactly how his email address is listed, was sent 4am and there are no such articles listed on legit news websites that supposedly featured the story. Mad used my friend’s email as sender, feel this is identity theft. Wish there were ramifications to these people who send deceptive stuff. Love to sue and make money off them!

  21. 21
    Bonnie from Joplin, MO says:

    I’ve been out of work since May and as of yesterday the government shut down the extension program of which I still had 2 more quarter to receive benefits while looking for work. I called a friend of mine from California to talk to her and she emailed me a link for “Work at home digital”. I googled the BBB and it could not be found. I googled Patricia Feeney (who’s name was reported of making $7000.00 monthly in Springfield, MO) and wasn’t able to find her there. I emailed the link to a friend of mine in Wisconsin and instead of postions now available in Springfield it came up to her as positions in West Allis, WI. She also found a link “Deceptive Work at Home jobs” when she typed in Patricia Feeneys name. It clearly states FRAUD!! I’m so thankful I didn’t spend my last penny on this scam and can at least put another meal on the dinner table.

  22. 22
    Whitney says:

    There are legitimate work at home jobs, no they aren’t glamorous it’s work that I truly enjoy. I’m gonna find a couple of other things. Basically, if it sounds too good, it’s a scam. Now gotta go make sure my Pinterest account is ok.

    • 22.1
      Lori says:

      Which ones are truly legitimate? I would like something extra. Thank you!

      • Try looking at our WAH Job Page: http://www.theworkathomewoman.com/wah-jobs/

        The only times you should have to fork out money, is if one, you’re paying for a course that going to teach to something, or two, if you’re joining a direct sales company or purchasing a franchise. Which in these cases you’re running your own business and they are providing the tools to get started. They are a few other opportunities that will make you pay for a criminal background check, but all in all, you shouldn’t be forking over money for a job.

  23. 23
    Lori says:

    I wasn’t the smart one. I got scammed so now I’m out $97. I’ll try to get it back, but doubtful. I should know better.

  24. 24
    Tara says:

    I got this spam email from my Grandfather that passed away two summers ago. Seeing his name in my inbox not only brought tears to my eyes but clicking on the link and it showing a story from where I live was not how I planned on starting my morning.

    If someone is hacking into a deceased person’s account and sending out emails in which other family members were copied on is just down right inhumane.

  25. 25
    Peter Vossepoel says:

    I am a citizen of the Netherlands, and I live in the city of Dordrecht. This morning I received a spam email supposedly from my Canadian niece about this “CNBC article” of how this Patricia Feeney “from Dordrecht” is earning hundreds of dollars a week.
    It didn’t make any sense from beginning to end. It’s a matter of fact that Feeney is NOT a Dutch name, and there is nobody with that familyname living in Dordrecht. You don’t need rocket science knowledge to figure out that this is a complete scam.
    Worst of all, it is spreading out, it’s global!

  26. 26
    tracey says:

    is this really a scam?? i have been caught out, can you go to bank and cancel your credit card?? it hasnt been charged yet?

  27. 27
    Bee says:

    This scam turned up in my emails as a link :( you can tell its rubbish straight away

  28. 28
    Kim Boryca says:

    They found a new way to get to people. I got a text message on my phone at 2:30 this morning which said” John, here is the site I was telling you about last night. nbcnewson8.com/work. I’ve already made $340 so far today. See you Friday, man.” I’m pretty sure they knew I wasn’t John, just another way to try to suck people in. No thanks.

  29. 29
    Peter MacProf of Geelong says:

    No Patricia Feeney that I can find in Geelong, Australia. I guess they just insert your home town in somehow, so you think it is legitimate.

    Holly, ‘soley’, meaning ‘only or ‘exclusively’, is spelt ‘solely’. Cheerio.

  30. 30
    M.Sue says:

    You may be interested to know that Herbalife now forbids its distributors to work with CMG.

    Just like there are dishonest bankers, there are dishonest network marketers. The difference is that in our business, they frequently get booted. In banking, they get six and seven figure bonuses.

  31. 31
    Destiny says:

    I just got a text from some random # using saying”Destiny..OMG” and giving me link I thought it was a friend of mine that I just gave my # 2 and thought she was texting me so I click on the link and it brings to the article on CNBC….anyway my point is its sick to knowing scamers

  32. 32
    Soheila says:

    I got 2 emails from my friend and my daughter that sent me an email about this business when i talked to my girl she said never sent any email about the home based business. it seems they are sending emails from your friends and family to suck you in.

  33. 33
    Amy says:

    I know Patricia Feeney from Peterborough and this certainly isn’t her! She’s getting calls at home and such from people asking about it! If only it was true we’d all be retired!

  34. 34
    Carole Moritz says:

    I actually fell for this and ended up buying into one of the online health product sales workforce. It takes money to start that one as you have to buy products to start so that you can at least try them. But no matter what I tried, such as sending messages to my friends and family about the products, no one was interested. In order to make a go, I would have to advertise daily on FB, Linked-in, or some such sites, and buy a list of names of interested people for $150. So if what they are advertising about “Patricia Feeney” is similar, they are definitely preying on people.

  35. 35
    justice says:

    I’ve also had a lot of these emails lately and I think they are all scams. Please be ware so that you don’t fall a prey to any of it

  36. 36
    Debbie Mullican says:

    I got laid off a year ago March and have been looking for a job. I too saw Centurion on a career website email. I did not reply thank goodness. Are there any legitamate work at home jobs out there? If so I would sure like to find one. I am going to start drawing my SS and would like to supplement it because it is not enough to live on. If anyone knows of anything I would appreciate an email. Thanks

  37. 37
    Selena says:

    I got a text message today saying to go to this web address from a unknown number and when i went to it it was a cnbc website talking about this. How did they get my phone number. it is so rude.

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