Beware: Deceptive Work at Home Opportunities on the Loose
By Holly Reisem Hanna
I was doing some online research, when I saw an ad that said, “I make $486 every day. Work from home and earn $13,745 a month”. Red warning flags immediately went off in my head, as this looked like many of the other deceptive work at home opportunities that have been promoted in the past.
Just like the Easy Google Profits promotion, when I clicked on the ad, I was directed to a site that looked like an online news publication, called the Online Career Journal. The article on the site, stated how Melissa Johnson of Austin, Texas (my hometown) made $8,000 a month just by using a work at home kit that cost less than $50.
Because I’m familiar with this type of deceptive advertising, I immediately went to the bottom of the page where it stated the following:
“As an advertorial, this page receives compensation for clicks on or purchase of products featured on this site. This program is not a job but an educational opportunity that can help individuals learn how to earn money through their entrepreneurial efforts. Anyone who decides to buy any program about making money will not necessarily make money simply by purchasing the program.”
So obviously, this was not true editorial content, but indeed an advertisement for a work at home kit called, Profit Web System.
But, what is Profit Web System?
When I clicked on the Profit Web System’s link, it brought me to a landing page with Angela Bussio’s image and name on it. Not being familiar with Angela Bussio, I decided to Google her. From what I could find, she appears to be a speaker, author and life coach, owning the following businesses: Attracting Joy, Design My Destiny, and Real Stress Solutions.
While I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary on her websites, I did find her Facebook Fan Page (Real Stress Solutions) of interest. Numerous individuals had left negative comments about one of her programs, Profit Master’s Academy.
I also performed a Google keyword search on “Angela Bussio + scams” and I got a lot of negative results. You can check out a few of the negative comments listed on the Ripoff Report. I decided to take my research one step further, by contacting Angela via email to see if she endorsed this program, and if she did, what exactly was it?
I never received a response back.
Basically, Profit Web Systems claims that individuals can make money by placing links for companies on various websites. They even claim, that you can make $15 per link placed. So, if you place 10 links an hour, you’ll make $150 an hour. To learn how to place these links, you need to purchase their program which is a hefty $97.
So would I ever recommend this program for individuals who want to work from home?
This type of scam has been circulating around since 2009 under various names like Easy Google Profit, Home Cash Kit, and Google Money Master. In fact it’s become so popular, that Snopes.com wrote a scam alert about it.
So what red warning flags should you watch out for when looking for 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 and advertising practices
- Boasting fake affiliations and partnerships
- Negative reviews
- Too good to be true offers
If you’d like to see what this deceptive work at home opportunity looks like, you can check it out at the links below. I have also seen this type of opportunity being promoted with Kelly Nelson as the subject, and the product being called the Internet Biz Kit.
Have you fallen prey to a work at home scam?
Looking for legit work at home jobs? Check out FlexJobs where every job is hand-screened and legitimate, guaranteed!
The views and opinions expressed on this article are solely those of the original author.
Update 03-03-2014 – I received this email from Angela Bussio:
Holly – I saw your article reviewing a product with my name on it and I want you to know that whomever is using my name is committing FRAUD. I am currently in conversations with FBI and Google legal to get many of these listing de-indexed and to stop using MY NAME for Adwords campaigns! Unbelievable! These are fraudulent reports and sites using my name – and it has been difficult if not impossible to track down whomever is doing this – but I think it is important that you are reporting a SCAM that is actually a SCAM!
I did a Promo video for a “friend” a couple of years ago, in exchange for them offering my newsletter “Real Stress Solutions” ( which is what I reaLLY DO) as a bonus when they signed up. They ended up Branding the product with my picture making it look like it was my product. I have been in legal entanglements with them since and just received a settlement to start to clean up my reputation – just as they were endicted by the FTC and had all their assets frozen.
Since then – other people have actually branded me on their products with my pictures and even made fake videos of another woman with my name on them! They have all been reported to the FTC and now many of the sites are gone. I would just like your help in getting the word out that these scams are actually scamming ME as well as the consumer.
If you would like to talk to me about this issue, I am happy to have that conversation. These are NOT MY PRODUCTS and you are advocating for people like me that get scammed. I would love to let your audience know what happened to me and how they need to be so careful who they partner up with – even if it is a “friend”. In fact I have even spoken to audiences to warn them about the unintended reputation consequences of bad partnerships.
I have never done anything to hurt anyone – in fact I personally have an “A” rating with the BBB – so this whole situation has been so upsetting to me. I am a therapist that just thought I could help more if I took my products and frame worked my therapies for consumption online. I have NEVER had any product that has anything to do with Home Based Business. I was very naive – now I am cleaning up a big mess.
Please call me if you need any more clarification and I would appreciate you clarifying to your audience the situation if you have the heart to do that. These are the links to my REAL business:
Thanks Holly – this is really important to me that the truth gets out there.
CEO/Founder Attracting Joy University
Editor/Publisher Real Stress Solutions