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Work-from-home business fraud

People are offered opportunities to start their businesses by working from home. Some bogus websites selling such schemes seek payments in advance to provide you with the training kit and educational material. They seek payment for the material and want you to visit websites and complete surveys. 

Once you do all the work and seek payment, they ask you to buy worthless products or get registrations from recruits to get payment. Many fake firms spoof reputable institutions and steal people's identities or contact victims through emails, social media or SMS. 

How Does It Happen?

You see new adverts that offer "new job opportunities," "work from home," or "run your business from home." Such adverts may appear on social media sites where you are offered the deal to earn a huge amount of money by investing in your business. 

The bogus firms ask the victim to call a mobile number, which may begin with a unique number like "06", and they ask you to respond to a web-based email like @gmail or @yahoo. 

It would be best to avoid such ads because reliable firms advertise on their domains, often adopt conventional marketing methods, and sell credible deals. 

The victim gets a letter from such sites that appear lucrative – once in a lifetime. It offers you to work from home to make easy money, or they want the target to register to a site to get a tool kit to set up their business. The option appears flexible and easy to work with. 

It allows choosing the duration and the working hours. Also, it can fit your existing life engagements; however, you will be asked to pay a small fee to start the business. 

The work involves filling envelopes, selling goods or services or assembling products through a website. The scammers may explain your faults in the work you submit to avoid paying you or ask you to buy worthless products and recruit a new member to get a small payment. 

Many such schemes are part of the pyramid schemes. They collect the payment details from the victims to sell it to others or to empty your bank accounts, so you should be alert.

How To Spot It?

  • Suppose you see an advert that tells you to sit back and earn through a business from home. They offer above-average rates and promise upfront payment or a very high bonus. 

  • If the employer wants you to pay money in advance. 

  • The advertisement and messages sent by the bogus firm have multiple grammatical errors, like there may be a misspelling in the company name. Such mistakes are made to avoid filters. In addition, the website address may end in unique alphabets like .ru. 

  • It can be a scam if asked to open links or attachments in the email. Many such links contain viruses or malware, which are designed to steal the details of the user's machine/ device. 

  • Before clicking on the links or attachments in the mail sent by fake firms, check the website and domain offering the job. If it is not familiar, do not click on the link. 

  • Do not believe the job description, application or payment transfer request message where you are asked to download from unverified sources. 

  • Although Gmail is considered trusted, do not be inclined to believe all the emails coming through gmails. Often, people working with reputed firms have email addresses from a specific company.

  • You should raise concerns against such deals and report them to the authorities.

Date Published: Sep 09, 2023

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Cybercrimes can be of two types. First, it can be cyber dependent, where the fraudsters use online devices to convince the victim to accept their offers.

Advance fee fraud

If you are trying to get a loan for a house or a car, they ask to meet the provider to get the financing arrangement and pay the finder's fee in advance.

Corporate fraud

Corporate frauds can be complicated, committed either by the firm or an individual. Nevertheless, it mostly involves cheating where the employee or the firm.

Individual fraud

There are many types of individual frauds related to advance fees, investments, insurance brokers, bogus tradespeople, Ponzi schemes, pension liberation.

Online fraud

Hence the number of cases of online fraud is increasing each year, and most such cases include – account takeover, direct frauds, or scams related domain names.

Identity fraud and identity theft

The criminal uses the stolen identity of another person living or deceased to conduct unlawful activities like obtaining goods or services in another's name.

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