Besides pyramid schemes, many people receive messages offering them fabulous moneymaking opportunities that can be done at home. Here are some typical scams.
The most common work-at-home business scam claims that you can earn hundreds of dollars stuffing envelopes in your spare time.
First of all, who in their right mind would want to
Information about contacting mail-order companies and offering to stuff their envelopes for them. Unfortunately, the money you can make stuffing envelopes is so trivial, you'll soon find that stuffing envelopes pays less than making Third World
Another work-at-home business scam offers to sell you a kit (like a greeting card kit) at some
If you don't want to stuff envelopes or make custom greeting cards, why not pay to work as an independent contractor (once again, at a phenomenally inflated wage)? This scam typically claims that a company is willing to pay people thousands of dollars a month to help the company build something, like toy
What usually happens is that the work is so boring that most people give up before they even have a chance to sell one product. For those stubborn enough to actually manufacture the products, the company may claim that the workmanship is of poor quality and thus
People have been fooled into buying shoddy or nonexistent products for
Miracle health products have been around for centuries, claiming to cure everything from cancer and impotence to AIDS and indigestion. Of course, once you buy one of these products, your malady doesn't get any better—and may actually get
Investment swindles are nothing new either. The typical stock swindler dangles the promise of large profits and low risk, but only if you act right away (so the con artist can get your money sooner). Many stock swindlers are frequent
Like worthless miracle health products, investment scams may sell you stock certificates or
One of the oldest and more common investment scams is a variation on a pyramid scheme known as the Ponzi scheme , named after post—World War I financier Charles Ponzi, who simply took money from new investors and used it to pay off early investors. Because the early investors received tremendous returns on their investments, they quickly spread the news that Charles Ponzi was an investment genius.
Naturally, as this news quickly spread, new investors rushed forward with wads of cash, hoping to get rich too. At this point, Charles Ponzi took the new investors' money and disappeared.
Ponzi schemes can usually be spotted by the promise of unbelievably high returns on your investment within an extremely short period of time. If
Any time you receive a letter or email from a stranger who wishes to help you for no apparent reason, watch out. Many con
In this investment scam, a "broker" may contact you and offer you an investment prediction at no charge whatsoever. The purpose is simply to
Soon you may see another message from the same broker, offering still another prediction that a stock price or commodity is about to drop. Once again, the broker simply wants to convince you of his infallible forecasting
Finally you may receive a message offering a third prediction, but this time giving you a chance to invest. Because the broker's previous two
Out of these remaining 50 people, the broker repeats the process, telling 25 of these people that the price will go up and 25 people that the price will go down. Once more, at least 25 of these people will receive an accurate forecast.
So now the con artist has 25 people (out of the original 100) who believe that the broker can accurately predict the market. These remaining 25 people send the broker their money—and never hear from the broker again.