Safe Families

Nov 25, 2013 1:14 PM by PRESS RELEASE

BBB advises caution when dealing with work-at-home businesses

The ability to work from home is an attractive proposition for many in Acadiana, especially when a company promises high income for little effort. But Better Business Bureau advises consumers to be careful about accepting these offers.

BBB also warns that involvement in work-at-home schemes can make a consumer vulnerable to identity theft or unknowing involvement in criminal activity.

BBB received over 1,800 complaints about work-at-home businesses in 2012. The majority of consumers complain that companies required them to pay up front for work-at-home opportunities and were promised income that never materialized.

Work-at-home schemes have been around for a long time and are now commonly reported by consumers who respond to offers found on the Web or receive offers after signing up on job-hunting sites.

One such work at home company that has attracted BBB attention is Preston Lord Enterprises aka Maxwell Gates Enterprises, which 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 schemes and scams. This company has an F rating with the BBB.

Factors that lowered the rating for Maxwell Gates Enterprises include BBB concerns with the industry in which this business operates, 124 complaints filed against business, failure to respond to 54 complaints filed against business, 9 complaints filed against business that were not resolved, an overall complaint history with BBB, the length of time the business has taken to resolve complaints and government actions against business.

The full BBB Business Review can be found at: http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/business-reviews/work-at-home-companies/maxwell-gates-enterprises-in-mendham-nj-90102557 .

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.

• 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.

• 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 make an advance payment to get on the ground floor of a big opportunity is a red flag.

• 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.

Better Business Bureau works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. For more than 100 years, BBB has helped consumers make smarter buying decisions and is evolving to meet fast-changing marketplace needs.

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