Truth About Stuffing Envelopes and Home
SCAMS: SPECIAL INVESTIGATION SERIES
By Dean Phillips
Monday, November 22, 2004; 7:40pm EST
Two of the oldest scams around appear to be as popular as ever. I'm
referring to stuffing envelopes and home assembly programs. Let's
talk about stuffing envelopes first.
Ads for envelope stuffing "opportunities" seem to be
everywhere--from your mailbox to your newspaper to your e-mail box.
Promoters usually advertise that, for a "small" fee, they will set
you up to earn big money by stuffing envelopes at home. And they
claim that they will pay you a dollar or more for each envelope
stuffed, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars for you each
Now I want you to think about something very carefully. Why would
any legitimate company, pay you a dollar or more for each envelope
you stuff, when they can use high-tech mailing equipment that can
stuff thousands of envelopes at a time for only pennies apiece?
The answer is, THEY DON'T PAY YOU! Here's how the scam works: After
you send in your money, you will receive a letter telling you to
place the same "envelope-stuffing ad that you originally responded
to, in newspapers or magazines, or to send the ad to friends and
relatives. The only way you'll ever earn any money is if other
people fall for the scam like you did, respond to your ad and pay
Home assembly scams work pretty much the same way as envelope
stuffing scams. This scam requires you to invest money in
instructions and materials and many hours of your time to produce
items such as baby booties, toy clowns, and plastic signs for a
company that has promised to buy them.
Once you have purchased the supplies and have done the work, the
company often decides not to pay you because your work does not meet
certain "standards." You are then left with merchandise that is
difficult or impossible to sell.
If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now
believe the program may not be legitimate, contact the company and
ask for a refund. Let company representatives know that you plan to
notify officials about your experience. If you can't resolve the
dispute with the company, file a complaint with the following
The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraud
and deception. Call 1-877-FTC-HELP
(1-877-382-4357) or log on to:
* Your state's Attorney General's Office.
* Your local consumer protection offices.
* Your local Better Business Bureau.
* Your local postmaster. The U.S. Postal Service investigates
fraudulent mail practices.
* The advertising manager of the publication that ran the ad. The
manager may be interested to learn about the problems you've had
with the company.
About the Author
Dean Phillips is an Internet marketing expert, writer,
publisher and entrepreneur. Questions? Comments? Dean can be
reached at mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
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