Illinois Bankruptcy Lawyers Caution Against Work From Home Scams

Become a mystery shopper and earn $7,000 a month! Work from home doing data entry for $10,000 a month! If you believed everything you read in the classifieds, you'd think that our economy has more jobs that it can fill. Not only that, but we'd all be stinkin' rich because everything pays so well.

Unfortunately, what sounds too good to be true usually is. Most work-from-home advertisements are actually scams set to take advantage of a workforce already reeling from furloughs and layoffs, lost retirement funds, rising prices and decreasing home values. These tricksters know you're looking for ways to make ends meet and they're betting that your desperation will outweigh your good judgment.

So how can you tell the legit offers from the fishy ones? Watch out for any job that requires money or personal information upfront.

For instance, sometimes you'll be expected to buy a DVD, e-book or start-up package that describes how to make money writing blogs or selling products online (realistically, you won't make big bucks doing either of these things - and can find information about them for free with the Internet) or how to take advantage of government grants (which don't really exist).

Other times you'll get an upfront check for say, a mystery shopper job, and be asked to wire some back to your employer because, whoops, they accidentally sent too much. But it will turn out that the first check was phony - and you ended up paying a scam artist.

And then sometimes the job will turn out to be a pyramid scheme - a sales job that only pays you commission when you cajole family and friends to sign up, too.

Some work-from-home ventures do pay, but the money isn't always worth it. Yes, there are some companies out there that will provide a paycheck for taking surveys online, but it's often in just pennies - or coupons. And most of the time, you'll have to sign up for so much junk mail in the process that it will actually cost you money in time and effort.

When in doubt, check the Better Business Bureau or search for reviews of these companies online. If you're really in need of cash, you don't have time to waste on scams and other strategies that won't work. The best money-making methods are tried and true. Like the Give Yourself a Raise flyer in our free Financial Toolkit. It's full of realistic tips and tricks that can you could save upwards of $20,000 - the amount you'd earn at a well-paying part-time job. Or bankruptcy - if you're in credit card debt, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by eliminating interest you're paying out to creditors (not to mention you could halt foreclosure on your home). To find out more, just sign up for our free one-on-one debt analysis. You won't find any upfront payments here - just financial independence.

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