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As the Coronavirus continues to spread, you may be looking for ways to make money without ever stepping foot outside your door. Maybe you saw an ad online for a business coaching program you can do from your living room. Or maybe you got a call about getting paid to stuff envelopes from your dining room table. While these might look like easy ways to earn quick money and stay safe at home – most of these jobs are scams.

Watch this video to learn how you can be on the lookout for work-at-home scams.

Work at Home Scams Video

Check out Working From Home to learn more about protecting yourself from work-at-home scams. In the market for a job? Visit the Jobs and Making Money for tips on avoiding job scams.

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27 Comments


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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Ladybug
July 03, 2020
How about an article on what to do if you already fell for it? What is the right way to handle things after the fact? Super Bummed! Thousands, is their anything that can be done?
FTC Staff
July 06, 2020

In reply to by Ladybug

The Work-at-Home Businesses article tells what you can do if you spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now think it isn't legitimate. Please report to the FTC at www.FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give to the FTC goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

Denise
July 10, 2020

In reply to by Ladybug

I lost $5,000 after falling for a Mystery Shopper Scam. It happened last year. Be Careful, Denise
Dawnascammed
July 06, 2020
I was scammed with an at home work program. I have made a report and tried to notify you several times. I was scammed for 1400 and it has taken a toll. Is there any way of getting this money back???? I'm desperate
FTC Staff
July 06, 2020

In reply to by Dawnascammed

Thank you for reporting to the FTC. The information you report to the FTC goes into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. You can also report to your state attorney general, and the attorney general in the state where the business is based. This page lists all state attorneys general. If you found the business online, you could notify the website moderators.

fallyall
July 12, 2020
I just signed up for a re-ship work from home job that says they will pay 30 days after first package is sent. It sounds like the Elqus scam. I put in the wrong social on their W4 form and they said nothing and sent the contract. How do I protect myself?
Loyaljr
July 14, 2020

In reply to by fallyall

I just signed up for a company just like that, was the name of this company Quick Logistics by any chance ?????
Stephanie
July 14, 2020

In reply to by fallyall

Don't do anything else!!! My husband fell for the Elquis scam last year, lucky we weren't out anything but I still fear he may be in trouble for just being involved, even though he was a victim too. We saved all their communications, emails, pictures, receipts, anything and everything to show the blame fell on Elquis not him, and he reported them to the FTC, the AG, the FBI and anyone else we could, got a police report and put a security alert on our credit files. I'd recommend all those to you also. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Good luck! P.s. Elquis dissapeared after the 30 days also so my guess is yours has or will also.
TY
July 14, 2020
I have received the text message from 1 281-840-1874, the text message read: "Hello, We are offering part-time flexible job which you can do from home and earn 600-1200 USD weekly. You only do survey and give feed back. Read more and register for free at premierconsumerinsights com" I am not sure this is fake or not but doesn't sound real.
Stephanie
July 14, 2020

In reply to by TY

Some of the survey ones are legit but most only pay cents not hundreds so probably a scam. Same with those Virtual or Personal Assistant jobs. I still get these from when I was on the many job hunting sites, legit ones like Monster.com, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc. which they use to mine your data, sounding legit but aren't. Again if it sounds too good to be true it usually is. Especially if they want to 'interview ' you via Google Hangouts, total tip off they're fake.
Dawn68
July 13, 2020
I recieved a check, Priority Mail, for $1900.00. I did sign up for the job, but in this letter, they are asking me to buy Visa gift cards. Well ofcourse that just jump up as a huge flag to me. I went online and every thing I can find out checks out. In the end, I would make $400.00. They give me a list and time limit of what I have to. Like pics of bathrooms at both Walmarts and actions of employees, how clean the store, etc. What do you think?
Stephanie
July 14, 2020

In reply to by Dawn68

Don't do it, anything that asks you to buy something in return for a job is a scam. Period. Let me guess, no real interview, all online or via email, text or messaging apps? Its a money laundering scam. Its very easy to fake legitimate online, Elquis had an A+ BBB rating for heavens sake! They looked legit too. Total scam and all faked reviews too. Easy to do online these days, better safe than sorry.
Sam
February 10, 2021

In reply to by Dawn68

It’s a scam. My son got something similar to that. Instead they ask him to buy art works. To make it clear, not everyone know, any check (water mark, cashier check, business check or personal check) takes 7 business days to clear. Even cashier check bounce. I told my son that. He was not patient enough to wait and sure enough, before the 7th day. The cashier check he got in the mail (came in priority mail) bounced. He was out about $1,000. Because he had purchased the items and send it to them.
HelloKitty
July 29, 2020
I think I have been scammed on a work at home job. The company sent me a check for $1950.00 to buy office equipment and other stuff. The company is called Transolutionpr and they need to be stopped.
Niki
October 20, 2020

In reply to by HelloKitty

Please give more details, what happened next? I am in the same situation. They sent me a check and asked me to send Zelle to a vendor for half of the amount....
Sniktaw11
August 13, 2020
My daughter was scammed a few days ago. She was looking for data entry jobs. This lady claimed to work for Kelly Staffing Services. (There is a site on line by that name) looked legit, so she did interview ,took some kind test questions. They then hired her were supposed to send her a laptop and she was to get internet set up etc. they sent her her tax form to fill out got a copy of her dl# and ss#. My daughter felt so humiliated in the end and stupid , defeated. She was too upset to fully explain but it ended with for some reason her purchasing gift cards to the tune of 1000$ to give to them. She didn’t give them the info off those cards until she checked her bank to see if the reimbursement check from them was in her bank. She could see it was pending so went ahead and gave them to them. Next morning the bank said the check didn’t look like it was legit so it was on hold. It was no good. She filed a police report and a report to the feds. Today I got a call from a social security officer said his name was Norman Walker . He said there is a possible problem with my ss# so it has been blocked, but no worries they are on it . Asked me to verify my last four# on ss card, before I caught myself I did say those . I didn’t give him any card numbers , he didn’t ask for them. He said my bank accounts could be in jeopardy and what banks were those ? What is my balance , etc I told him I am afraid of scammers now and that he could be one for all I know. He ended up frustrated , gave me a PIN number and said his supervisor is working on it and will call back. When I ask for his number he hung up. And no one called me back of course. I wonder if they ( scammers) lay awake at night and contemplate how many people they murdered that day. Possibly a young Single mother with no family help , that thru COVID managed to pull herself up that day no matter what and find another job to feed her child- came into contact with them and in desperation NOT STUPIDITY thought I have no choice I will give it a chance . Yes that mother that then when realizing she was had , deep in depression , could take no more. Except her life . I hope they are reading this.
Emily2519
February 03, 2021

In reply to by Sniktaw11

Oh my gosh! I feel so stupid! I have been working with them for over a month! I am talking to the police ASAP!!!
JLL
February 08, 2021

In reply to by Emily2519

Emily, was yours a scam as well? I started an interview today with them and they want my cc info AND my cc login information, and to send a code to change my password... Way too fishy!
Eddie from Tampa
August 28, 2020
Talk about SCAMMED, I fell for that one ! A company out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL hired me to deliver packages from my home to Fedex, USPS, UPS ETC. For $50.00 per package delivered after internet training and delivering 28 packages to those entities I was dropped like a bad habit ! They owed me $2,900.00 bucks. Talk about being SCAMMED !!
Jo from orange park
July 11, 2021

In reply to by Eddie from Tampa

I too was just scammed im pretty sure , i worked for 30 days reshipping and am owed $2900 and $20 per package bonus and no check . I had alot of stuff dropped off that i basically relabeled and reshipped now i dont have my rent money and no job
TOMAS WARD
September 03, 2020
WORKING FROM HOME IS GOOD .... BUT THEY HAVE TO FULLY ENSURE THAT THE WORK DAY ENDS AND THEY PAY YOU IMMEDIATELY THAT SAME DAY ... THE SCAMMERS COUNT THAT YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED AND WHEN YOU WORK TWO WEEKS, A WEEK. OR PER MONTH ... BECAUSE THAT PAYMENT IS NO LONGER EXISTING DAILY ... DAY WORKED ... DAY PAID AND COLLECTED
Curioustoknow
October 20, 2020
I recently got a job offer from a company called clear source translation, all the interviews have been over skype and ive been trained to be an interpreter,working from home but i saw red flags and i need help, the pay is monthly, the address on the website does not match up and the phone number does not match up either,i asked the coo of the company and he assured me they are legitimate but im very wary, dont wanna end up being scammed or working in vain , please help, the company is supposedly based out of hamilton OH
Gb1979
March 19, 2021
I recently took a job (so I thought) for a work from home for a company called eze software. They sent me a check for office equipment. Flags went up and I had my bank run it through fraud. It came back ok and I still questioned it and asked my bank over and over that it was legit. They assured me I was ok so I sent the shipping company for the office equipment. A week later the check came back as fraud. I'm out $5200!!! What can I do about this???
Mini Horseshoes
March 19, 2021
I was a victim today from a fraudulent job. They called themselves job corp and got $450 out of me and tried to give me $2000 in debt after they did a background check and promised me paid training. I find it wild that there are scammers on Indeed and Simply Hired posting jobs. When will it end? And what is it to expect for the future of job searching? The pandemic has been rough on me but one thing that wasn't needed was someone stealing from the already vulnerable.
Common Sense
July 14, 2021
I was contacted by a guy claiming to be from WOLTERS KLUWER for a WFH position. The 'interview' was done all through chat. I got a job offer letter the next day, offering a better-than-expected salary for the position. I got a bad feeling about it. Way too easy. After receiving the job offer, the guy tells me over chat that I will need to spend $1,400 in equipment FIRST, because the computer I have now is not to be trusted. I told him I found this suspicious and he's now saying I will be receiving a check from them first in order for me to buy such equipment. I have a bad gut feeling about this and I think I'm going to hit the brake. I did some online research and didn't find anything specific about a scam with this particular company, but still.
pat
July 20, 2021

In reply to by Common Sense

My son just had this exact experience. The whole thing felt somehow off. Look at the email, the domain name in the email address was slightly misspelled, wolterkluwers instead of wolterskluwer. It was a sad introduction to adulthood for him, but hopefully a powerful lesson learned.
Remotely curious
August 05, 2021
I got a text message with a person's name stating that my application for the CS remote position with a pay of...... and then it states that I'm required to set up and contact the HR on Telegram. She gave the name of the HR person and states that they will brief me on the job and the interview process... What sent a red flag was the company name was never shared, just two names that mean nothing to me. Something doesn't ring well with me...