Nothing But A Scam?
SEVERAL readers have asked me how reliable the home-based jobs advertised in the newspapers are.
One of them related her experience: “I responded to an ad which offered a home-based data entry job with an attractive salary. I could earn RM300-RM500 per week! So I went for the interview and was ‘selected’.
“Later the company asked me for registration and documentation fees, which amounted to RM110. They promised to give me the assignment after a week.
“After the week passed, I called and was told the job was not available, and that I had to wait another week. I called every week after that, but they kept giving me the same reason. I knew I had been cheated.
“I went for another interview with a forex trading company for a data entry job at home. I sat for the ‘training’ to test my mathematical skills. They later tried to convince me to invest in forex trading through their company.
“When I asked about the job, they said I would be notified about it later. But nothing came after that interview. After a few more calls to them, I realised they were only interested in my ‘investment’ in the company. The data entry job did not exist.”
Another reader claimed that she had applied for several home-based jobs in the Internet, and paid for registration and manuals, but after one year, she still did not have a job.
“Is working at home a farce?” she asked in frustration.
I have heard and read of similar complaints over the years. There is a growing racket of scammers who prey on homemakers, the unemployed, young graduates and mothers of young children, who dream of working at home.
After being cheated, most people kept quiet because they thought they had lost only a few hundred ringgit. They did not realise that if 100 people lost RM200 a day, the company would get RM20,000, without doing anything, except doping homemakers.
Many have been duped by so-called international companies offering cushy home-based jobs, like typing and data entry. They did not earn the amount touted by the companies, as some of them were told they had not done the work properly.
Worse, the computers of those involved are now controlled by spammers, and are being used to spam others.
Last year, a retired teacher sent me an e-mail expressing her excitement about getting a home-based job. She was told to click onto a website, a job for which she would be paid. A month later, I received porn advertisements from her e-mail address. Luckily, I found her telephone number in the e-mail. At that time, she was still awaiting payment from the company.
Working-at-home scams seem to be everywhere. Recently, as I was walking though the street bazaar between the monorail station and KL Sentral in Kuala Lumpur, someone handed me a flyer that read: “Working at home – good pay and easy work”. I threw the flyer away but could not help noticing that many pedestrians had stopped to read the flyers.
The Chinese dailies, especially, have quite a few of such job ads weekly. Even my mother was thinking about applying for one that asked retired people to work at home. When I saw how much my mother was going to earn – RM1,000 a week – for doing very little, I stopped her.
Every day, I receive e-mail offers of lottery wins, business partnerships and all kinds of home-based job offers that would make me a millionaire without having to work hard. Just the other day I received an e-mail from an overseas company which was looking for people who want to earn more money in their free time.
The work involves using the Internet for administrative and clerical work. I can even tell them what I want to do and they will give me the work! They pay at least US$300 (RM1,440) per week for doing very little.
Another e-mail asked if I wanted to earn US$200 (RM700) every day for just 45 minutes’ work! The company claimed that it was not a get-rich-quick scheme, and they would return my deposit if I am not satisfied. Then they asked me to click onto a link and register my details.
If I had I done this, a spyware would have been embedded in my computer and all my e-mail addresses would be harvested for more spamming, and some key words from the contents in my computer would be incorporated into spam mail to be sent in my name!
Scammers are getting smarter. They even fake genuine e-mail addresses and use these to send offers to the e-mail addresses they manage to harvest.
There are several ways to determine if a scheme is a scam. Any job that requires any payment, for registration, and the buying of manuals and goods before one earns any money, is a scam. Any job that promises quick, easy, good money is also a scam.
Any e-mail sent by an unknown party that asks me to click onto a link to fill in my personal details, such as banking information and password to my online accounts will be deleted.
All I know is that earning an income from working at home requires earnest, diligent work.
By Chong Sheau Ching