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 it 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:
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?
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Holly Reisem Hanna is the publisher and founder of The Work at Home Woman, which has been helping individuals find remote careers and businesses that feed their souls since 2009. Through her unconventional career path of holding over 30 jobs and obtaining two college degrees, she’s been able to figure out how to find a career path that you’re truly passionate about. Holly’s had the pleasure of sharing her expertise on sites like CNN, MSN Money, Huffington Post, Woman’s Day Magazine, as well as being recognized by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career.” Holly resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and daughter and enjoys reading, traveling, and yoga.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author.
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