BBB warns against Twitter money-making schemes: Read the fine print or risk getting burned with Twitter work-at-home offers
Through Tweets, e-mail and Web sites, job hunters are being told they can make lots of money from the comfort of home using Twitter. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Chicago and Northern Illinois warns the large print for such offers may promise big returns, but the fine print can cost them every month.
14.7 million Americans are out of work and looking for a way to bring home a paycheck, according to the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work-at-home schemes have often preyed on unsuspecting job hunters, and now, Twitter is being used as a way to convince cash-strapped individuals they can make quick and easy money.
“Twitter is the newest bright, shiny object online, and a perfect hook for yet another work-at-home scheme,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of the BBB serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “The pitch used to be about making money by sending e-mails or by placing ads on Google, but now cash-strapped job hunters need to be wary of shelling out money for a dubious scheme that revolves around Twitter.”
Unfortunately, such “Make Money With Twitter” schemes may sound risk-free but bear many red flags prompting BBB to advise job hunters to be extremely cautious.
One e-mail picked up by BBB stated: “Twitter Workers Needed ASAP, You’re Hired! Make Extra Cash with Twitter; As seen on USA Today, CNN, and ABC…Apply Now!”
The e-mail links to EasyTweetProfits.com, a company out of Surrey, England. EasyTweetProfits.com claims you can make $250-$873 a day working at home with Twitter. The Web site offers a seven-day free trial of their instructional CD-ROM for $1.95 to cover shipping. Buried in the lengthy terms and conditions are the details that the trial begins on the day the CD is ordered—not when it is received—and if the consumer doesn’t cancel within seven days of signing up, they’ll be charged $47 every month.
Similar to other work-from-home schemes, phony blogs by made-up individuals have been created as testimonials to the success of Twitter-money-making programs.
One blog links to TwitterProfitHouse.com, which, similar to EasyTweetProfits.com, claims you can make $250-$873 a day working at home, and offers a seven-day free trial of their instructional CD-ROM for $1.99 shipping. Again, however, reading the fine print shows the trial period starts once the CD has been ordered, and the consumer will be billed $99.99 every month if they don’t call the company to cancel.
BBB wants job hunters to be aware of the following red flags when searching for a work-at-home job online:
The “job” is actually a money-making scheme and doesn’t provide actual employment.
The work-at-home scheme claims you can make lots of money with little effort and no experience.
You have to pay money up front to be considered for the job or receive more information.
The exact same tweet touting the program is posted by many different Twitterers. The links in such tweets could lead you to scam sites or install malware onto your computer.
“These Web sites have not been up for very long, so if experience has taught us anything, we know that it’s only a matter of time before the complaints start coming in,” added Horton. “These offers are enticing and appear to be an easy way to make money, but it should always be remembered that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Better Business Bureau
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the BBB is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports about businesses and nonprofit organizations, and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.
from the July 22-28, 2009, issue
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