The state Department of Consumer Protection is warning residents about what they are calling a work from home "scam" that promises $1,000 per week for stuffing envelopes at home. They said residents who have paid for the instructions never receive jobs, leads on jobs or payment.
Officials from the department said they received nearly 60 complaints in the early 2000s about work-from-home offers originating from a New Britain post office box.
This time around, the offer uses the same post office box and asks residents to pay $32 through the mail in exchange for information about how to make up to $1,000 per week stuffing envelopes at home.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters spoke with the man behind the mailer and he said he's been in business for two decades.
"I have an attorney who knows about my business," he said.
State officials have received some complaints in the past year about.
They said consumers reply to the ad and send money, then receive a handbook with details about how to stuff envelopes at home and advertise their own mail services.
Consumers also receive a flier that asks for more money in exchange for information about how to make money as a HUD tracer, but state officials warn that HUD tracers provide a service that a homeowner can do on their own without paying anyone.
The prospective workers who send in the cash, don’t receive job offers, job leads or any money, according to state officials and they are warning anyone who might apply that job seekers should never pay to apply for a job.
“Job seekers have a lot of work to do. Editing resumes, preparing application materials and practicing for interviews takes a lot of time, and that time is valuable,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris said in a statement. “The last thing hard-working job seekers need is to fall victim to a scam when they may already be working on a tight budget.”
When looking for a job, or extra work from home, consumers should consider the following guidelines:
Never pay money to apply for a job or for additional information regarding a job offer. Companies and individuals who need employees want to talk to you. They won’t charge you to provide information.
Don’t offer your credit card or bank information, especially over the phone. Sometimes, companies will conduct background checks after or during the interview process, but they should never ask for your financial information. If someone acquires your bank or credit card information, they can use it to take your money.
Be wary of ads for “previously undisclosed” federal jobs. Information regarding government jobs is free, and you should neither pay nor offer your personal information in exchange for a job posting.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Working from home often requires a serious amount of time and effort to be successful. Don’t fall for work from home offers that promise a lot of money upfront.
Consumers who wish to file a complaint may email DCP at firstname.lastname@example.org.