An online advertisement for an e-book on the subject of avoiding Internet work at home Report Scam started me wondering about just how dangerous working at home on the Internet might be. I stumbled across the advertisement by accident. I have to confess I was doing just what I warn everyone else not to do – allowing myself to get sidetracked in the middle of doing some work instead of making a bookmark and returning later!.
An advertisement saying something along the lines of “Secret tips to foil the scammers” caught my eye. Forgetting all about the fate of the nosey feline, I clicked the ad and started reading what turned out to be a long sales letter for a downloadable e-book on the subject of avoiding Internet work at home scams. That was a fatal mistake because there’s no stopping half way through for me: whether I want the product or not, I just have to read to the end.
The discovery that the author was asking just short of $25 for an e-book about Internet scams, made me wonder whether this could be a scam. You will see it all the time on the Internet: people offer to sell you e-books containing “secrets”, but when you download the book you find it is full of tips that should be obvious to anyone with half a brain cell and information that you could pick up online free of charge.
Would this turn out to be just another case of a promise to sell secrets that turn out to be no more than a collection of free information much of which is blindingly obvious? I’ll never know unless someone tells me because I have no intention of paying to download this e-book simply to satisfy a passing curiosity. If I can’t recognise most types Internet scam after being online for over two years… Actually, I wouldn’t still be here if I couldn’t recognise them by now.
How to avoid Internet scams is a lesson I learned without the benefit of an e-book telling me how to do it. Most of the lesson was easy and came free as one of the perks of being a compulsive reader: this involved reading tons of free articles. If you type “Internet scams” into a search engine, you will find hours of fascinating reading.
Another part of the lesson came through buying into a few scam programs (you know, the old too good to be true syndrome) and noticing the features to avoid when considering programs in the future. This part wasn’t free (ouch!) but these were early days’ mistakes and, although they seem foolish now, it is easy to understand how they happened.
I suppose the experience qualifies me to become the author of my own “how to avoid Internet work at home scams” e-book but does the world need another book on the subject of avoiding work at home scams? How big is the problem of work at home scams?
The figures I found were quite surprising: in 2005, fraud complaints received by the FTC were broken down as follows The figures do not distinguish between Internet work at home scams and offline work at home scams but it’s probably a safe bet that the majority of that 2% of complaints relates to Internet based work at home scams.
Seeing work at home scams put into perspective makes working on the Internet seem a lot less dangerous. Less dangerous that is apart from the fact that working at home on the Internet will inevitably lead us into situations where we could become the prey of identity thieves and they are the real pike in our pool.
Identity theft is a lot more frightening than Internet work at home scams. If you are scammed it will probably cost you very little unless you are very unlucky. Sometimes the loss won’t even be financial, it will involve wasted time. If, however, you become the victim of identity theft, you could find yourself penniless and in jail even though you are completely innocent of any crime.