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Thread: Work from home scams

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    Email problem Cat's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Work from home scams

    I have just come across this from the DTI and I found it useful when 'recruiting' - I have been an Annique consultant from many years and often come across people that are scared of MLM (multi-level marketing). I have found recently that many people have been “burnt” by work at home opportunities – this article helps cover these issues and explain how your MLM business is not a ‘work from home’ scam - provided it is a company that is resgitered with the DSA.


    Consumer Alert

    Work from home opportunities

    This communication alerts the media, business and the public about scams or unfair business practices, prohibited in terms of the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices), Act 71 of 1988. This Consumer Alert pertains to the prohibition of Work from Home Opportunities

    What are work from home opportunities?

    Work from Home Opportunities relate to the offer of opportunities to consumers such as typing, filling in and addressing envelopes, gathering of names and addresses and the compilation of data from a consumer's home in exchange for a monetary consideration.

    How it is done?

    Promoters of these scams target people seeking extra income. Instead of helping people make money, the scammers use various tricks to take the victims` money and leave them with nothing of value. Consumers are issued with information on how to make money instead of the actual employment.

    An advertisement would request consumers to start a business from home, upon responding to an advertisement, consumers are directed by promoters to deposit a sum of money into the promoter's account, instead of being offered a job. Some schemes sell information of no value. Some pretend to provide skills, which turn out to be unmarketable, and other schemes rely on recruiting or luring others into joining for the work, which they supposedly offer.

    It has been found that promoters of. "Work from Home Opportunities" do not truthfully identify themselves, their firms or their products in their advertisement.

    Advertising of "Work from home opportunities"

    Not every work from home opportunity is undesirable or an unfair business practice or against the public interest. In terms section 12 of the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Act) No 71 of 1988, the Minister declares as an unfair business practice and hence illegal, any advertisement in which work from home opportunities is offered in newspapers, magazines, other print and electronic media, and any other advertising method. Work from home opportunities include:

    * Typing work,
    * Addressing envelopes of any kind whatsoever and/or,
    * Addressing (typing or writing) labels of any kind whatsoever and/or,
    * Filling of envelopes of any kind whatsoever and/or,
    * Administrative opportunities,
    * Compiling data,
    * Direct sellers of consumer goods who do not truthfully identify themselves, the firm and their products in any advertisements.

    Work from home opportunities exclude:

    * Typing work requested by the purchaser of such a service, such as the typing of assignments required by the learners and students.
    * The direct selling of consumer goods in which a sales person either:
    1. Demonstrates the product or represents a product catalogue in homes, the workplace or in similar places away from shops,
    2. Collects an order,
    3. Subsequently delivers the goods personally or arranges delivery,
    4. Collects payment for goods or arranges for payment or credit transactions;
    5. Applies person to person selling party plan selling multilevel marketing and network marketing.

    Provided that direct sellers truthfully identify themselves the firm and their products in advertisements.

    What to look for?

    If the proposal

    *
    6. Claims you can make large amounts of money quickly and with little effort
    7. Ask you to work from home (often using your computer)
    8. Requires payment for registration or for more informational material.
    9. If the proposal offers you financial reward for recruiting people
    10. Offers goods and services of little or doubtful value that only serve to promote the scheme
    11. Has no goods or services for sale
    12. Requires you to purchase large quantities of goods

    How to protect yourself

    *
    13. Check whether there are special legal requirements such as licenses or other constraints on working from home
    14. Find out if there is a market for the work you plan to do
    15. Ask for reference of other people who have been doing the work
    16. Make your decision and seek professional advice first.

    Penalties and Fines

    Contravention of the Minister's order is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine not exceeding R200 000, or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or both a fine and imprisonment.

    Should you require any additional information or clarification you can contact the dti Customer Contact Centre at 0861 843 384 or write to:

    the dti
    Consumer and Corporate Regulation Division
    Private Bag X84
    Pretoria
    0001

    Other Services

    The Education and Compliance directorate issues this information as part of an education service to consumers. The directorate also offers the following services

    *
    17. Advisory opinions and clarifications
    18. Presentations
    19. Information materials

    Issued by:
    Education and Compliance directorate, Office of Consumer Protection

  2. Thank given for this post:

    Dave A (30-Mar-11), Vanash Naick (28-Feb-12), wynn (09-Mar-12)

  3. #2
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    Gumtree is filled with these work from home offers. I fell victim to one of them. R180. I was desperate at the time, and thought, "If it's a scam all I lose is R180".

    Tried it. Learned my lesson. Moved on.

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    Email problem Cat's Avatar
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    Perhaps I am old school but I like to see solid proof of a business before I engage with it. I read the fine print of everything and seek out real testimonials.... that said I have also been burnt in the past albeit a good lesson for business going forward.

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    i fell victim to one of these. lost R300.00, then I emailed the guy telling him exactly what i thought of his material that he sent me.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gordo View Post
    i fell victim to one of these. lost R300.00, then I emailed the guy telling him exactly what i thought of his material that he sent me.
    I don't think these people really care about insults. The R300 trumps any insults we mail them.

    Bastards.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    They probably use the abuse they get as their personal justification for ripping people off.

    "They're jerks anyway - that's why I screw them" sort of stuff.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem mother's Avatar
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    I've often wondered what these "work from home" ads were actually offering, but never tried it. So what exactly happened that you guys say it was a scam? Did you have to pay for information or products or what?

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Any scheme where you have to pay money up front to collect "lottery winnings" or any disbursements, job offersor money making schemes are just that: schemes.

    With all the fraud and corruption happening around us, why are people still so gullible to fall for these scams?
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    I think the more desperate people are the more likely they'll throw caution to the wind. These schemes are specifically engineered to be appealing to those who are down on their luck.
    _______________________________________________
    I am special and so is Vanash.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mother View Post
    So what exactly happened that you guys say it was a scam? Did you have to pay for information or products or what?
    Typically it's a "do as I do" type of deal.

    An example would be "make money out of addressing envelopes - send me Rx for all the information you need to get started."

    You pay.

    You get a letter telling you to post ads saying "make money out of addressing envelopes - send me Rx for all the information you need to get started" - and when you get a response, send them a copy of this letter.

    There are more sophisticated variants, but in almost all cases that's about as much value you're going to get out of the deal.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  12. Thanks given for this post:

    mother (24-Sep-11)

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