Work at home booklet promises $2500 weekly; staples people for $99

By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
Richfield ID

Looking down Main Street in Richfield, Idaho.

The booklet is “Get Credit Now.” The company, Preston Lord Enterprises, of New Jersey, is looking for assemblers and is willing to pay people throughout the USA to work at home and staple booklets. The pay: $2,500 weekly.

“It sounds like a great opportunity,” says Richfield resident Connie Nice. “There’s no work in town. We have to travel everywhere for everything.”

Located two-and-a-half hours east of Boise, there are 480-plus residents in this Lincoln County town, according to the US Census. The median income for a family is $12,750 annually, and men make three times the money women in the town make.

“It would help make ends meet,” she says. “But, I’m low-income and cannot afford the $99 refundable deposit required to start. I cannot afford this.”

That’s when she called BBB for help. Work-at-home schemes have been around for a long time. Traditional schemes such as envelope-stuffing are still around. Nice forwarded to BBB a pay up-front offer from Preston Lord Enterprises aka Maxwell Gates Enterprises.

BBB received more than 1,800 complaints about work-at-home businesses in 2012. A majority of complaints alleges companies need them to pay up-front for work-at-home opportunities, and was promised income that never materialized.

The company was sued in 2011 by the New Jersey Attorney General. The lawsuit was part of “Operation Empty Promises,” a nationwide crackdown against work-at-home scams. According to the state’s lawsuit against David Brookman and his company, people who signed up for the work-at-home program had to pay a registration fee. After paying the fee, they found the terms and conditions substantially changed, often including the need to make further payments.

New Jersey’s five-count lawsuit, filed by the Division of Law in State Superior Court in Essex County and transferred to Morris County, alleged that Brookman and his company, Capital Enterprises, Inc., violated the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by engaging in unconscionable commercial practices, deception, false promises, and misrepresentations, as well as bait-and-switch tactics, in their advertisement and sale of work-at-home programs. Brookman also conducted business under the names Maxwell Scott Enterprises, Maxwell Scott, David Gates Enterprises, Warner Daniel, and Preston Lord Enterprises.

Before signing up for any work-at-home opportunity, BBB advises job hunters to:

  • Start with trust. Check out any company at bbb.org to view their BBB Business Review free of charge. There you will find the company’s history of complaints and contact information. For a list of accredited businesses, go to bbb.org.
  • Be skeptical. Beware of any offer that guarantees a lot of money for little effort and no experience. Thoroughly read the website’s terms and conditions, keeping in mind that a free trial could cost you in the end.
  • Don’t be fooled by affiliation claims. Be wary of work-at-home offers that use logos from Google, Twitter or other popular online sites. Just because Google is in the name doesn’t mean the business is affiliated with Google.
  • Check the domain. Research the website with Whois.net or a similar site for determining domain name ownership. Be cautious if the site is anonymous or individually registered.
  • Beware of unexpected offers. If you receive a job offer without filling out an application, meeting with the business or being interviewed, it is probably a scam.
  • Don’t pay up front. Being asked to pay to get on the ground floor of a big opportunity is a red flag, especially if it is a large payment or the company doesn’t provide much information about the deal. Handing your Social Security number or other personal information to suspicious sources could lead to identity theft.
  • Don’t wire money. Being asked to wire money is a red flag. Scam artists often ask you to wire payments because they know you won’t be able to get the money back.
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1 Comment

Filed under News You Can Trust

One response to “Work at home booklet promises $2500 weekly; staples people for $99

  1. Mark Burrows

    As I have stated often, and is mentioned here, is all about the red flags. The key to understanding red flags is again learning more about how things are done by way of modern technology and convenience, then follow the logic through.
    I can go to Costco and have full color glossy booklets made and stapled for the fraction of the price of what these companies are offering to pay per week. As it is, the $99,00 fee would get me a handsome batch of booklets made at Costco. So, it might lead me to wonder if they are getting you to pay to produce the booklets. Still it is unlikely you would see any kind of such $2500 weekly pay check.
    As it is, when you are in a position for an opportunity, do not fear to seek assistance from government agencies. If you are genuinely unemployed and genuinely seeking employment there are all sorts of programs created by municipal, country, state, and federal governments to assist you.
    Yes, they are difficult to find, and equally difficult as they give you the run around and make you jump through hoops and then simply deny you, but what they want you to do is keep trying, if you just poke at it and give up, they will see you as someone who is looking for a free ride and will deem you unworthy. So, the more work you put into your effort in requesting help will determine if they will provide it or not. The other plus side of this, is if the opportunity for your application for assistance involves a scam of which you are being lured into, such agencies will investigate how legitimate the opportunity is. If it is false, they will take legal action and could possibly name you a victim in a class action suit. The criminals are arrested, tried, and convicted. Their assets seized, if there are records of other victims, which criminals generally don’t keep, but at times do in attempt to look legit, but what is left over is paid out to any one named in the suit. You get your share, and the government gets its share, and of course, they will bite into your share by assessing taxes against your bounty.
    Of course some of these tips do come in from other reliable sources that receive a pattern of complaints. We will leave that as it is.
    My point is learn to read red flags and how better to protect yourself. Use logic and fore thought before getting excited about any opportunity. Always challenge and question everything and research backgrounds and company history.
    Think of it the other way around, When you go apply for a job, they grill you, ask for a resume, ask for letters of reference, ask for your level of education, ask for your experience and work history. Even still you are not guaranteed the job or even any consideration in the company. They always politely say they will keep your resume on file, yes, the out file that ends up in the shredder at the end of the day. So, if you hang your hopes that they may call, then you are just as gullible as the opportunity seekers who open emails. You must learn to keep going until some one smiles and tells you they like what they see and welcomes you aboard. Sealing the deal with a handshake.

    Mark Burrows

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