The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has recently released a report that shows that over a quarter of all adults have been approached at some point by home working scammers.
These business scams essentially offer start-up advice or profitable business opportunities to individuals.
Regardless of the fact that these scams have been increasing in the past two decades it seems odd that the OFT are bringing this to public attention. However, with a large number of people currently unemployed it probably is not surprising that these con-artists are increasingly targeting people out of work.
According to the OFT the most common form of scam tends to be adverts placed in local papers, shop windows or lampposts, promising easy paid work that can be done from home.
If this is the case then it begs the question – what about email? Like many people I see at least a few work-from-home scam emails in my email inbox every morning. Could the OFT be wrong? Surely you would think that the more technologically savvy scammer would be utilising the benefits of email and the internet than more traditional marketing methods?!
The OFT’s consumer group senior director, Heather Clayton commented:
“We are seeing an increasing volume of work-from-home and business opportunities scams. People who are struggling financially may be particularly vulnerable to these types of scams.”
According to Clayton “genuine work-from-home” schemes tend to give exact details in writing on exactly what you would be expected to do. They also outline payment structure and how and when payment would take place.
The OFT have advised that if anyone is approached by a work-from-home scheme that asks for money upfront to walk away. They are also urging people to do some company research via the web and speak to current workers (if possible) to find out more about the scheme.
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