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How to Spot the Email Processing Work at Home Scam

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If you've been searching for an opportunity to make some money from home, you might have seen posts on the Internet advertising for people to process emails. For a small fee, they promise to show you how to make hundreds of dollars a week on the web with relatively little work. You can determine if the operation’s a scam by identifying several telltale clues.

Overly Generous Payout

The posts for email processors all promise a significant payment, perhaps $20 or $25 or more for each email you process. This is the first giveaway -- the outlandish payout for what appears to be a minimal amount of work. If it were really that easy, doesn’t it make sense that the poster would be hiring people on an hourly basis and pocketing the difference?

No Vetting of Applicants

Another giveaway is the fact that the poster doesn’t vet applicants at all. If you apply for this “job,” you’ll be accepted. The poster usually doesn’t even ask you for a resume or to complete a job application - just send him the application fee, and you’re in.

Application Fee

The poster requires that you send a “small fee” as a sign of good faith and to get you started in the job. It sounds very logical - after all, how else can you show someone you’re serious about wanting a job but by sending them some money? The idea is that this compensates them for the time and effort they put into sending you the startup materials and instructions. Otherwise, everyone could apply and the poster would spend all his time sending out the materials and instructions without getting anything at all in return. This all sounds very logical until you stop and consider that hundreds of thousands of people successfully apply for real jobs all the time, including on the Internet, without paying a fee.

There’s No Tangible Product or Service to Sell

Once you pay your fee, you get the materials and instructions. It turns out that the bulk of your “work” is crafting “job postings” that are essentially identical to the one you answered, and posting them on newsgroups, web forums, bulletin boards, and sites like Craig’s List. In some variations, you might also create and send out thousands of similar emails. The people who respond to these postings and emails are supposed to send their responses -- and their payments -- directly to you. You'll then "process" their responses by sending them the same package you got when you bought into the scam. This is how you're supposed to earn all of that money -- by getting others to buy into the same scheme you bought into.

No Employer

The fact that all your compensation comes from your “clients,” rather than the original poster, means that there’s no real employer or company you’re working for -- another giveaway that the email processing work from home opportunity is a scam. Sure, there are plenty of legitimate jobs whose compensation is directly related to your performance, such as selling cars, insurance or stocks. In those jobs, though, the client pays the company you work for, which delivers a product or service of value to the client and pays you a commission.

Unbelievable Testimonials

If you research the email processing work at home offer, you’ll likely find plenty of Internet sites discussing them. On some of those sites you’ll also find comments from self-described “successful operators” of the business who claim to be earning several hundreds of dollars per week processing emails. These testimonials are fabricated to try to instill some doubt in your mind, to get you to think “Hey, perhaps this one’s for real.” It isn’t.

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About the Author

Dale Marshall began writing for Internet clients in 2009. He specializes in topics related to the areas in which he worked for more than three decades, including finance, insurance, labor relations and human resources. Marshall earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Connecticut.

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