Work-from-home scam netted staggering 65,000 victims

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Tens of thousands of people fell for a particular "work-from-home" scam, and many of them are stay-at-home moms. It was the promise of making big money while working at home that lured in a staggering 65,000 people.

"There was no way for you to make the amount of money they said you could make. Most (of the victims) were stay-at-home moms who were looking to make extra income. They read about the opportunity to work at home from a parenting magazine or other magazines catered toward homemakers," U.S. Postal Inspector Christopher Cizin said.

The website had the legitimate work at home opportunity highlighted.

"They were told to pay a fee of $29 or $39 or $49 depending on which opportunity they were interested in. They responded and got some materials in the mail," Cizin said.

Postcards aimed at recruiting more people were sent out. If someone responded to those mailings, the sender might make a couple bucks -- but otherwise, nothing.

"(Also on the website were) testimonials by people who said they made $600, $800 or $1,200 dollars a month," Cizin said.

These testimonials were just another part of the scheme.

"From our investigation, we determined none of the people in the testimonials were actual people. Based on the records by the company, there was no one who made that type of money," Cizin said.

After getting several complaints, Postal Inspectors went undercover -- posing as someone seeking a work-from-home job.

That led them to the con men running the scheme.

Postal Inspectors have some advice for anyone considering a work-from-home job opportunity.

"Be suspect. If you have to pay in, it might be a scam," Cizin said.

Postal Inspectors advise always checking the company out with the Federal Trade Commission, Better Business Bureau or state Attorney General.

Postal Inspectors also advise never giving out personal information to a person or company you do not know.