carpe diem

When "Carpe Diem" and "Caveat Emptor" Collide: Online and Work-From-Home Money Scams

The nation is in rough shape right now, with an infrastructure and economy suffering after eight years of neglect and abuse that initiated a period of record job losses. Even after a massive stimulus package, folks are still finding money tight, and jobs scarce. Conditions are forcing people to look toward new and different opportunities and within different venues to make a living; the conditions are also creating a perfect opportunity for scammers, who have been having a field day with the growing numbers of potential victims.

Many of those who have been forced to look for income opportunities outside of their normal areas of experience have turned to online and work-from-home opportunities, hoping to find something that would enable them to work on already strained schedules. Some see themselves as budding entrepreneurs, embarking on new voyages to endless vistas of self-employment with cries of Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! -- a battlecry oft associated with and used as encouragement for the new entrepreneur. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with any sort of cautionary note; it's an oversight that I think should be amended to include a standard disclaimer and reference to personal due diligence, which I'll define in this case to mean a "reasonable person's responsibility to follow up and follow through on reasonable research into any opportunity."

It's a disclaimer that could be simply stated and relatively benign, like "look before you leap" or somewhat more enigmatic such as Caveat Emptor, or "let the buyer beware."

One of the prevalent scams that I've recently become acquainted with is the Google Home Business Kit, which is known by several other names as well. I'm sure I'd seen it around and ignored it, but actually got an email from a skeptical-yet-hopeful friend asking me if I would check it out.

I did. It quickly registered on the b.s. meter, and a bit more Googling provided some links that appeared to confirm my suspicions.

Over the fold, I provide some links and excerpts from sites that have already taken it upon themselves to do the heavy lifting and expose this particular scam; please check 'em out and share 'em. By educating ourselves and sharing information, we can diminish the effective impact of these scammers and hopefully help save a few of our fellow citizens before they find themselves counted among the victims of these schemes.