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Contents

Scam baiter: Why I risk death threats to expose online cons

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In the flesh, Wayne May (not his real name) is an affable gentleman in his late 40s, softly spoken with a lilting Welsh accent.

When we meet he’s casually dressed in jeans and a Batman T-shirt. He works full-time as a carer.

On the net, he’s a tireless defender of scam victims and a fearless scam baiter – a person who deliberately contacts scammers, engages with them and then publishes as much information about them as possible in order to warn others.

He regularly receives death threats, and his website, Scam Survivors, is often subjected to attempted DDoS attacks – where a site is maliciously hit with lots of web traffic to try to knock it offline.

But Mr May is determined to continue helping scamming victims in his spare time, and has a team of volunteers in the US, Canada and Europe doing the same.

Scam Survivors is not an official platform – in the UK victims are encouraged to contact Action Fraud – but the team has dealt with 20,000 cases in the past 12 years, he claims.

According to the Office for National Statistics there were 1.9 million reports of “cyber-related” fraud in the year ending March 2020 in England and Wales. But the report also says that many incidents go unreported.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website says nearly AUS$13m (£8m, $10m) has been lost this year to romance fraud alone.

Scamming may be an old trick but it’s still an effective one.

Mr May, who does not charge but invites donations on his website, says his website gets up to 10,000 hits a day and the group also receives up to two dozen messages a day from people who are victims of sextortion – when a person is blackmailed after being persuaded to carry out a sex act on webcam, which is then recorded.

“A lot of people, when they come to us are already so far deep into it, they have nowhere to turn,” he says.

“They’re not stupid, they’re just unaware of the scam.”

“It’s not obvious [that it’s a scam] if they’ve never experienced it before.”

He discovered he was “rather good” at baiting romance scammers and found relatives of victims were approaching him to help loved-ones.

“I started dealing more with the victims of the scams rather than the scammers themselves, so my priorities changed then from just having fun to actually helping people.”

Many scams are not a particularly sophisticated form of fraud.

“There are constantly new scams coming out, and we need to be aware of those,” says Mr May.

“But a lot of the scams aren’t high-tech, they simply write messages to people and that’s it.

“You might think, ‘I’m not going to fall for this scam’ but then you’ll fall for another one. The scammers will find a chink in your armour.”

The first thing Mr May has to explain to those who get in touch is that Scam Survivors cannot recover any money the victim has been persuaded to hand it over.

In his experience, the average victim will end up around £1,000 out of pocket, but some will go a lot further – one man who recently made contact with the support group had given more than £500,000 to a male Russian scammer he thought he was in a relationship with.

“We say upfront, we can’t get your money back. We can’t offer you emotional support. We’re not psychiatrists. We’re just people who know how scams work and how to deal with them,” he says.

Advice for victims

  • Drop all contact with the scammer.
  • Don’t try to track them down – remember, the scammer has your real details and possibly compromising information about you. It’s not worth the risk to continue talking to them, and especially not worth confronting them.
  • If you sent cash, there’s no realistic way to get it back – beware the “recovery scam” where the scammer then claims to be an agency able to get the money back, for a fee.
  • Contact the police.
  • Share as many details about the scam as you can to warn others.

To prevent being a victim, his advice is simple: “Google everything.”

Search the images you are sent, the messages you receive – often scammers use the same material and the more widely shared it is, the more likely it is to end up on a website dedicated to exposing scams.

If you fear blackmail, Mr May suggests setting up an alert so that you are notified if your name is mentioned online. If, in the case of sextortion, a video is published on the net, you will then know straight away and can report it, as you are likely to be tagged in it.

“Be aware and learn how to search everything,” he says.

“If someone sends you a picture or text, search it, try to find out as much as you can. If you’re unsure don’t send them money.”

Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting service, said all scams reported to it are passed on to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, which is part of City of London Police.

However, a spokeswoman told the BBC that only around 30% of all fraud cases had “viable lines of inquiry”.

“We know that at these levels it is difficult for law enforcement agencies to investigate all these crimes,” said a spokeswoman.

“We have to maximise our resources where there is the best chance of a successful investigative outcome.”

Professor Alan Woodward, cyber-security expert from Surrey University, said it was still important to keep reporting scams to the national body even if individual justice was not always possible.

“For those contacting Action Fraud UK to report a crime it may appear that little happens, but your information is vital in constructing an accurate picture of where, when and how online scams are occurring,” he said.

“It may be that the police are unable to solve your individual crime but by studying the big picture they are able to zero in on the scammers.

“Your report could be vital in completing the overall picture and enable law enforcement to prevent others suffering as you have.”

No sympathy

Some people argue that the scammers themselves are also in desperate situations – many of them operate in some of the poorest parts of the world, such as West Africa and the Philippines.

Wayne May has no sympathy.

“These people aren’t Robin Hood types,” he says.

“If you go online and scam people you have the money to go online, if you can’t afford food you can’t spend hours in an internet cafe.”

He is, however, haunted by one occasion when a woman from the Philippines he was scam-baiting offered to perform on webcam for him. When he declined she then asked if she should involve her sister.

“She called this girl over and she couldn’t have been more than nine or 10,” he recalls.

“That horrified me. I said, ‘Don’t do this, not for me, not for anybody. You shouldn’t do this’. I couldn’t talk to her again after that. I had to completely walk away.”

He says he has no idea what happened to her.

“I can’t let it affect me too much, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do what I do,” he said.

“I’ve been doing it for almost 12 years now, and if I let every case affect me I’d be a gibbering wreck in the corner.”

Common Scams

Romance – when a scammer builds an intense online relationship with someone, then asks for money

Sextortion – when a victim is persuaded to carry out a sex act on webcam which is then videoed and the scammer demands a ransom in return for not publishing the content on the net

Pets – a pet is advertised for sale, and then fees are demanded in order to get the pet to its new owner. The pet does not exist.

Hitman – Someone claims to be a hitman and says that they have been paid to kill you. They then say that if you are prepared to pay more, they will not carry out the threat.

419 – named after section 419 of the Nigerian criminal code – claiming money from another person under false pretence: such as needing assistance to release a large sum of fictional inheritance.

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Scam? – Doc Socks Reviews (1,000+ Reviewer Complaints about One Size Fits All Sock)

Curious about Doc Socks Reviews? Wonder if the Doc Socks Reviews are legit or fake? Do these heavily-advertised Compression Socks really work as advertised? Should I buy a pair of these socks? Five Pairs? Seven Pairs?

Too Long ; Didn’t Read

Summary
– Compression Socks work.
– One-Size does NOT fit all!
– Doc Socks company is running a scam (Don’t Believe Me. Read the article below…)
– Looking for high-quality Compression Socks? You can shop ComproGear Compression Socks on Amazon

Every now and then something comes along, and everyone starts talking about it. Whether it’s due to a great marketing plan, or the product is “just that good,” it often takes some time and research to figure out why something has gone “viral.”

(In this case, it’s due to a lot of doc socks reviews with affiliate links running the show. These “professional reviewers” would have you believe doc’s socks are the best thing since sliced bread. Anything to get you to buy something so they get a commission for their “Honest” Review. Ewww…)

If you’ve heard all the hype about Doc Socks and have been wondering if they’re right for you, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the “legwork” for you so that you can learn what you need to know to make an informed decision.

We poured through hundreds of reviewers’ comments to determine what’s real and what’s fiction.

We’ll talk to you through the reviewers’ comments step-by-step. Plus we’ll go over some basic information on compression socks, how they are beneficial and some details about this brand of products specifically. Ready to get started?! When it comes to feet and legs, you’ve only got one pair of those, so you want to take the best possible care of them!

And the good news is that compression socks can be a great way to do that. The not-so-good news is that a certain brand of compression socks isn’t all they’re cracked up to be. Because Doc Socks has become such a buzz word, we believe they deserve a well-researched, well-inspected review.

As part of our Doc Socks Reviews, we explore and test every claim and complaint. We then created our final verdict based on the results of real reviewer comments. Moreover, we also added a few technical details about what the product actually is, as well as the manufacturing and therapeutic techniques that were used to make these socks.

Looking to Buy a Pair of quality Compression Socks that are NOT a giant scam?

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Doc Socks Review – Part 1 – What Are Doc Socks?

Let’s review the overall market first. These are a special kind of sock made from using compression therapy techniques. Basically they’re stretchy socks known as “compression socks.” (In fact, we don’t just review this stuff. We manufacture and sell Compression Socks, so we know all about how they’re made.)

Doc Socks claims to use seven points of compression to increase the circulation of your blood. But the biggest differentiator between them and other brands is their one-size-fits-all philosophy. We looked at every reviewer comment. Review after review said this “one size fits all” doesn’t fit. Coupled with the excessive marketing and terrible return policy, some reviewer comments claim their product is a scam.

This effectively means that only one particular pair of socks can fit anyone. From child to a full-grown adult, irrespective of their foot size, leg length, or personal motivation to squeeze into clothes that are the wrong size, the theory is that these special socks are made for everyone. Despite this, the company claims that its compression technology still works. In fact, they claim claims that their technology works better than their competitors who offer multiple sizes and proper fitting instructions.

But we already know a lot about what the company says about their own product. The real question is: What Do Customer Review Comments Have to Say About Doc Socks? Well, let’s just say the reviewer comments aren’t pretty. But we’ll get back to that in a minute.

What Are Compression Socks?

Before we go any further into reviewer comments, let’s get some information on compression socks in general. Compression is a special hosiery technique used in elastic garments that are meant to be worn around the legs or arms.

Compression helps to prevent or relieve some common venous disorders, including phlebitis, edema, thrombosis, etc.

Well-made, properly fitted compression socks can actually help with leg disorders. It’s not a magic bullet, exactly, but compression technology is effective enough to be recommended by podiatrists and other specialist physicians.

Compression Sleeves work by compressing the limbs, and thus, increasing the blood circulation; these techniques can also help to prevent the formation of blood clots in the veins.

Benefits may include:

  • Less Pain
  • Reduced Swelling
  • Increased Health Benefits

ComproGear Compression Socks

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Compression Technology – Eliminate Pain with the Right Technology

Three main compression techniques comprise the use of compression socks and other compression clothing, including:

  1. Graduated Compression Technology (Includes most high-quality compression socks)
  2. Anti-Embolism Technology (“TED Socks”)
  3. Non-medical Support Hosiery (Basically just normal socks or very light compression garments)

Depending on the type of garments and the health-related complaints that they are capable of solving, the compression techniques used in the products may vary.

Different levels of compression in the garments are measured by the unit mmHg, also called “Millimeters of Mercury.” Tightness in compression socks typically ranges from 8 mmHg (very low) to as high as 50 mmHg. Think about mmHg in the same way as when you get your blood pressure taken at the doctor’s office and you look over at the Mercury pressure gauge moving up with each pump of that annoying bulb thingy squeezing your arm half to death, that’s what we’re talking about here…

A Brief History of Compression Therapy

Although some specific companies might make it seem as if compression therapy is a new-found magical technique, it’s absolutely not. Uses of materials with compression therapy techniques can be traced back to 7000 years ago, during the Neolithic period. Rather advanced for their time, don’t you think?

More prominently, around 400 BCE, the Greek physician, Hippocrates of Kos used this therapeutic technique in sock-like bandages to treat leg ulcers and other varicose diseases. Since then, compression technology branched out to be used in various other garments made of wool, cotton and linen (or Nylon and Spandex, as in our line of ComproGear Compression Socks).

Unlike other athletic socks and stockings, these types of garments use stronger elasticity to provide pressure on the legs, ankles, and feet. The techniques are fully proven, with socks and other compression garments often recommended by physicians to treat leg pains and other veinous diseases.

Who Should Wear Compression Socks?

Compression Garments can be worn by both men and women of all ages. However, these socks are particularly beneficial for people who put a lot of stress on their legs and feet – either from standing for very long periods of time or from significant amounts of movement.

Wearing a pair of compression socks not only promotes comfort but can also reduce stress and pain in the lower parts of the body.

It is important to be cautious about wearing compression socks as there is a complaint from some people who have had some negative effects on patients with arterial disease, oozing dermatitis, heart failure, and some other concerns. That’s why it is always important to check with a medical professional before use.

They’re not magic socks after all. Socks, no matter how compressive, can’t stop a heart attack! But they can certainly make life more comfortable and pain-free.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

What Other Products Are Available?

There is a great range of compression socks that use this kind of therapeutic technique, including sleeves, stockings, pantyhose, etc. In fact, a number of different types of compression socks are available on the market today. The scammer ones are more marketing than the product. But many other reputable companies have been providing this type of comfort and care for people’s legs and feet for many years.

Important Takeaway: You can get compression garments anywhere. Don’t limit yourself to just a specific brand because you saw it advertised.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

Reviewing Doc Socks – What Materials? What Price? What Size? Any Complaints?

Human minds often ask a lot of questions when they come across something new and revolutionary. This is especially true when related to the medical industry because people are deeply concerned about their health.

What do Doc Socks (aka “Dr Sock Soothers“)do?

Some sites claim they provide a small amount of pressure made to help you heal from an injury faster and experience less pain in your legs. The specialized design of these socks will limit the pressure provided to just the right amount. The pressure of Doc Socks is just perfect.

You should read the reviews of the compression sleeves to find out for yourself.

“Got feet? You need this product! These socks are the cure for all your woes. These socks cure cancer. These socks make you a better lover. These give you youthful vigor. These are pretty much the answer to every dream you’ve ever had. Buy these right now or suffer horribly until your feet fall off…”

When something with claims this radical comes along, it creates big news. (After all, magical foot garments that cure every disease, have nothing but glowing 5-star reviews, and offer 3-pairs for the price of 1 are pretty sweet.) But what you may not have heard is that this trend also came with plenty of scrutiny and complaints. (and loads of fake review allegations…)

Just read any customer reviews for Doc Socks. This company has gone through its fair share of scrutiny already, with many first-hand buyers sharing their experiences online. Mostly it’s a mixed review here and a mixed review there. Some review comments claim to greatly benefit from wearing them. Other review comments list various complaints.

As a result, we decided to look into the review comments further. Below, we discuss our findings for reviewer comments in detail.

The Pros of These Socks – Pain Relief, Breathability, and Durability

For our review, we have gone through a lot of research including the claims made by the Doc Socks manufacturers.

We have also read other sock reviews published by both professionals and customers.

(Keep in mind most of the “professional” reviews are junk. These reviews are almost all exceedingly positive. This misleading reviewer stance is driven by their affiliate links sending you to the doc socks scam website to buy a pair so they can get a commission from their review link.)

A thorough look at the review literature reveals a number of interesting claims regarding durability, breathability, fashion forwardness, the effect on pain relief and more. Many of which raise questions about their legitimacy. Before going into the details of those claims, let’s take a look at the pros of Doc Socks below.

Health Benefits: Prevention and Relief

The health benefits found in compression socks always seem to point towards two specific directions – prevention and relief. For our review, we deemed the following benefits to be fit for the purpose.

  • Enhance Blood Circulation: Wearing compression stockings on a regular basis can help with the blood pressure, and thus circulation in the lower limbs and veins. In return, it provides comfort by relieving stress. Reviewers frequently cited this as a core benefit. And it’s true. Compression Socks primarily enhance blood circulation.
  • Prevent and Relieve Swelling of Feet: They can also benefit in preventing or relieving leg swelling, similar to other compression products and garments. As reviewers frequently state, swelling goes down with proper ankle compression garments.
  • Prevents and Relieves Pain: Doc Socks are also particularly good in preventing pain in the legs, calves, ankles, etc., including plantar fasciitis. Some reviewer comments say ankle compression socks can also relieve back pain caused by standing for a long time.
  • Prevent Circulatory Diseases: Diseases like varicose veins can be prevented by wearing Doc Socks to work (or while doing any other activities that cause stress to the lower parts of the body.)
  • Help with Diabetes: As diabetes is a condition associated with blood sugar level, one Doc Socks review claims to help with these conditions by maintaining an enhanced sugar circulation in blood.

Fashion Benefits: Convenience and Comfort

  • One-Size-Fits-All: This is the claim by the makers of DocSock that pushed it to the forefront of our discussion. While testing for our review, we found a complaint after complaint about these garments not fitting properly. (We will discuss not only this complaint but also everything else in detail later in our review.)
  • Wear Anywhere, Everywhere: Like any ordinary socks, these socks come in many fashion friendly designs, making them pretty good to wear in any place you would normally wear a pair of socks. (Reviewers say they’re great for this. But which of these are fake reviews and which are real reviews?)
  • Show Them Off or Hide Them: With good breathability, you can either show them off by wearing them with a high cut trouser or you can just use them as an inner with your normal socks.
  • Wear All-Day: Comfortable and slightly fluffy, you can wear Doc Socks all-day for maximum comfort. At least, that’s what is claimed by many socks reviews.

Keep in mind something important: All compression socks have the above benefits. These are not monopolized by any particular brand.

Reviewers Speak Out – The Cons of Doc Socks

While Doc Socks market themselves as having a lot of unique benefits, many of them can be found in other compression garments. However, the principal criteria as a product that doesn’t require to be fit according to your foot/ shoe sizes are what makes them so debatable. Customers at socksoothers.com have made a lot of complaints about not being able to fit these socks properly on their feet.

Other complaint types revolve around the criteria of authenticity and the effectiveness in pain relief. We discuss each of the complaints in detail below.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

One Size Socks Don’t Fit All

The principal doc socks review complaint is the size.

All it takes is just a glance around a room full of people to realize that there is no such thing as One-Size-Fits-All. People come in all shapes and sizes, and compression socks should too! To help with our socks reviews 2020, we asked both our in-house experts and other professionals for their opinion– they all agree that this claim is based on nothing.

Reviewers have spoken…

Sadly, the “One-Size-Fits-All” predicament is a common one. Fashion has often been guilty of these kinds of fake reviews and claims. Unfortunately, you can find everything from socks to undergarments to jeans from companies just trying to make a quick buck.

Doc Socks

  • Not a good compression sock

TheSockDoc

  • Not an actual doctor

Worst of all – Rumors of…

  • Unauthorized Credit Card charges
    and
  • Impossible to Get a Refund
    (bet they didn’t tell you about that on their sales page!)

No Legitimate Approval of Doctors & Experts

Another major complaint in these customer reviews is the lack of legitimate recommendations from medical experts to use them for pain relief or other health benefits.

While writing our review, we have left no stone unturned to find a licensed practitioner recommending this product.

In one particular review, there is a claim that Doc Socks are designed by a podiatrist.However, that review (nor the reviewer) couldn’t prove authenticity as there were no names or reference details given. The design is a generic ankle sock with some compression.

So, it’s fair to say that this complaint about the legitimacy of Doc Socks is true. It’s not actually recommended by physicians.

Questionable Business Practices

The websites selling Doc Socks are filled with what appear to be scammy (fake) reviews from “customers”. While reading them, we found each of the reviews to be very generic.

For Example, take a look at this comment:

As reviews can be bought online easily, we suspect that’s what these manufacturers have been doing. Some are so fake that you can even find the associated pictures of the “review poster” randomly on the internet.

By seeing the number of complaints overloading the customer review pages on the internet, we can safely say that this business used all the tricks in the books to get customers buying their products, but they don’t actually provide the benefits that they claim.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

Lack of Authorized Listings

We found it very hard to find a pair of this revolutionary garment in any popular e-commerce space like Amazon. Knowing that Amazon has some safety and regulatory practices in place, the lack of availability of such listings makes us believe that these products are simply not reputable.

Due to the lack of product availability on popular e-commerce websites, we also couldn’t track any customer reviews from authentic buyers.

Fake-Looking Website

Not only is the Doc Socks website filled with fake-looking customer reviews, but many other characteristics of these sellers’ pages also look to be using some common scamming techniques.

These include using claims that have no proof, fancy designs that seriously lack substances, shady payment systems, auto re-bills, forcing consumers to buy in bulk, etc. hey also don’t seem to actually reply to their live chat messages….so what’s the point of live chat?!

Doc Socks Reviews – Do Doc Socks Really Help?

Pros and Cons of these socks.

First, they’re a compression ankle sock. Compression socks do actually work. But that’s pretty much it for the pros. Now about the cons.

  • Angry Customers,
  • Less-Than-Honest Business Practices,
  • Compression Technology The Same As Other Brands,
  • Complaints of Unauthorized Credit Card Billing,
  • Fake Reviews,
  • One Size Fits All,
  • Unscientific Claims to Cure Every Disease from Plantar Fasciitis to Blood Circulation,
  • Unfounded Recommendations from a Fake “Podiatrist”,
  • Big Money for Low-Quality Products

And don’t get me started on the sales page. It pushes you to buy a bunch of pairs of socks. And while you’re picking between one pair, five pairs, or seven pairs, there’s this countdown timer pretending like the “limited time offer” is going away.

There’s no guarantee. You can get better socks for cheaper elsewhere. Trying to return the socks feels like getting your eyelids peeled off in a horror movie.

There’s no scientific basis for their specific brand. Compress your feet, sure. That has scientific support. But only if you use the right size of a well-constructed pair of compression stockings. So if you do buy that specific brand, good luck getting that company to provide after-sale support.

Think your feet hurt now? Try having your feet hurt with an improper fitting “one size fits all no one” garment. (Plus it won’t just be your feet that hurt. It will be your wallet too.)

If, against all better judgment, you do decide to buy, just make sure to use a credit card that has a good chargeback department. We’ve listed out our opinions for the “getdocsocks” craze everyone seems to be into.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

Final Doc Socks Review: Should I Buy Socks Named Doc?

Review Complete – The Doc Socks Verdict?

After completing our in-depth doc socks review, we are sure about one thing…

Doc Socks are not worth your time or money.

Combine the basic philosophy that compression socks should not be one-size-fits-all, with the scammy business practices? We’re running as fast as we can in the other direction. However, you don’t have to trust our review.

Check it out for yourself. The Doc’s Company now has a whopping 12 Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints.

(12 BBB Complaints may not seem like a lot, but most businesses have 0 unresolved complaints. The worst businesses I’ve seen usually only have 2 or 3 unresolved BBB complaints. The Doc Socks company has TWELVE…)

There are plenty of other complaint forms online that also reveal complaints from the direct victims of this massive fraud. However, if you still want to test a pair of docortho or bootdoc socks yourself, we would recommend being extra careful while buying them to review.

As we couldn’t confirm the validity of some of the payment systems in place, you could potentially be a victim of significant fraud and incur a significant financial loss. Any company that has an auto-rebill business model should be under your highest scrutiny. And with this many complaints, you should be ready for a lot of problems if you give Doc’s your credit card number.

Final Verdicts

Our final verdict is that Doc Socks (or any pair of socks that claims one-size-fits-all) are not a good buy.

On a business level, any company with this many complaints should be out of business. And it looks like this might be the case very soon! It’s hard to figure out which website is the official website any more. Now it’s mostly companies riding the coattails of their excessive marketing campaign by creating look-a-like websites.

ComproGear Compression Socks

Order HERE!

What’s our Recommendation?

Should you buy compression socks? Absolutely! But buy them from reputable manufacturers. Right here, at ComproGear, we sell a number of comfortable compression socks in a variety of sizes and designs.

All of our socks come with 20-30 mmHg compression levels and are made with high-quality, breathable compression materials manufactured using state-of-the-art equipment. We sell multiple sizes because human bodies come in multiple sizes! If the size you choose doesn’t fit? We’ll send you a new pair free of charge! We also offer 100% refunds to anyone for any reason.

Unlike some other companies, we sell high-quality compression socks (in a variety of colors and sizes) at reasonable prices.

Plus we have a simple, kick-butt refund policy:
Unhappy Customer = Immediate refund.

We care about customer satisfaction more than profit. That’s how we stay in business for the long term.

Looking to Buy a Pair of Quality Compression Socks?

Doc Socks – Final Words

Whatever you do, be careful before buying from Doc Socks.

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Updated Mar 24, 2020

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” Patrick Bet-David is hands down the best teacher on Entrepreneurship ” (in 11 reviews)

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” there is absolutely no pyramid or scam here ” (in 15 reviews)

” go into supporting the companies high up creating a pyramid scheme ” (in 13 reviews)

Reviews about “scam”

“Will pay off you put in the effort, DON’T EXPECT TO GET RICH QUICK, your pay reflects the effort you put in!”

I have been working at PHP Agency for less than a year

Great compensation, great incentives and bonuses, high energy and positive atmosphere. Really on of the most supportive companies out there. The education and training they offer is the best. Everyone is a team player in our office and always edifying each other and lending a hand if needed. Truly blessed to have found discovered this opportunity when I did.

people outside of the company always trying to say its a scam. It’s not, if you put in the effort you will make amazing money. They are just mad they didn’t get rich quick and it was actual work, but guess what? Life is hard. You can’t be upset you didn’t get hat you were told you would if you never put in the work or made excuses as to why you failed. The system didn’t fail you, you failed the system.

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“A scam 100%”

I worked at PHP Agency part-time for more than a year

There is income potential when working for this company and it is not a complete scam because they do offer a real product to sale; however, its does function as a pyramid scheme in the background.

upon joining the company you have to pay 220$, 20$ go to getting your licensing and the other 200$ go into supporting the companies high up creating a pyramid scheme. I lost money being apart of this company as did many other people I know. The workers move into low income communities and offer all these false promises scamming people who are already struggling out of more money and they should be ashamed.

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“100% Legit – Industry Disruptor – “Taking over the Life Insurance industry like Uber took over the Taxi industry””

I have been working at PHP Agency full-time for more than a year

Uncapped Income Potential, Equity Ownership Available (Own part of the company!), Bonuses and Trips, Meet new awesome people, Positive Environment, No BOSS or punching a clock, Make your own schedule, No Quotas, Be your own boss!

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Work From Home Scams – How to Avoid These Fake Job Opportunities

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The number of full-time remote workers is growing rapidly, according to data compiled by FlexJobs. About 4.7 million Americans worked remotely on a full-time basis in early 2020, up from 3.9 million in 2020.

Millions more Americans work from home on a part-time basis, often as part of a work-from-home arrangement negotiated with their employers. Others work part- or full-time from home as self-employed solopreneurs or small-business owners with all-remote employee and contractor teams.

Because work-from-home arrangements vary so widely, the relative pros and cons of working from home vary as well. Those of us who work full time out of a home office employ well-worn strategies to improve productivity while working from home. These strategies are even more essential for those parents working from home.

Another vital work-from-home strategy that doesn’t get as much attention — but should — is avoiding work-from-home scams.

The temptation to increase earnings with active and passive income streams is great, especially in tough economic times and for those not presently working full time. Enterprising scammers prey on our natural inclination to maximize the economic value of our work. When they succeed, they leave us worse off — financially and psychologically — than before.

Unfortunately, there are many common work-from-home scams. But there are also plenty of tips for spotting and avoiding them. Keep these tips close at hand as you seek out legitimate ways to earn income from home.

Common Work-From-Home Scams

While individual work-from-home scams often crop up and disappear faster than the authorities can track them, many take on familiar, easy-to-recognize forms. Common work-from-home scams include “middleman” opportunities, such as forwarding packages or cashing checks for a third party, in-home manufacturing and assembly, pyramid schemes, ill-defined “business opportunities,” and gray-area pursuits that can be legitimate but often aren’t — such as mystery shopping and medical billing.

Starting Your Own Internet Business

This scam sounds like a dream come true: a plug-and-play business (often advertised as a “proven system” or “business-in-a-box”) you can run and scale without ever leaving the house, earning thousands of dollars per month in short order.

There’s just one catch: Before you get started, you need to pay for expert “coaching” and other vague services that (the offer claims) are essential to your success. These services can cost thousands when all is said and done. If they’re even delivered — and the worst of these scammers simply pocket victims’ money without providing anything in return — they’re not at all useful. Often, these “services” merely consist of information you can find on your own through open-source research.

High-pressure sales is a defining feature of the Internet business scam. Scammers advertise offers as being available for a limited time only and relentlessly pressure those who express any interest to act before it’s too late. According to a detailed fact sheet on Internet business scams produced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these pressure tactics often convince victims to purchase before doing basic research that would reveal the scam for what it is.

Rather than invest in an ambiguous coaching or business-in-a-box opportunity, the FTC recommends using legitimate Small Business Administration (SBA) resources for Internet entrepreneurs. Among the other lessons from the SBA: There aren’t any shortcuts to building a successful online business.

Stuffing Envelopes

Envelope stuffing is one of the oldest and simplest work-from-home scams around.

The typical envelope-stuffing scam asks victims to pay a relatively small amount to learn how to make money stuffing and sending envelopes at home. In return, they become part of a rudimentary pyramid scheme: mailing solicitations for the same envelope-stuffing scam to others.

Envelope-stuffing victims usually receive payment only when one of their recipients responds to the offer, which rarely happens. Any revenue generated is unlikely to cover the initial startup fee, let alone postage and mailing costs. The “employer” offering the opportunity doesn’t get a cut, but that’s OK. They’ve already pocketed the startup fee, and they continue to advertise through low-cost online channels like Craigslist or spam email.

A popular variant on this scam does deal the employer in by co-opting victims to promote their products or services. In such cases, the content of the envelope is just an ad for whatever the employer is selling.

Forwarding Emails

This scam is a digital version of the old-school envelope-stuffing scam.

Often delivered by email, the initial pitch advertises easy money through a vaguely defined opportunity involving email marketing. To get started, the victim must pay upfront for educational materials or software that the scammer claims are essential to the job.

In some cases, the scammer simply pockets victims’ money and disappears. In others, they send useless material, often little more than an expanded version of the initial pitch with instructions to forward it to everyone in your address book. If any software is involved, it could be worse than useless. These scams are sometimes vectors for malicious spyware or adware that can impact your computer’s performance or facilitate identity theft.

Forwarding Packages

This scam seems simple enough. All the participant must do is respond to the offer with their address, wait for a package to arrive from Amazon or some other online retailer, and forward the package to a third address (covering shipping costs, of course).

The scam itself is simple. It could also put participants in legal jeopardy. That’s because package-forwarding victims often act as fronts for identity thieves attempting to conceal their true identities and location. The scammer uses stolen credit card or bank account information to purchase the packages, then sends them to unsuspecting victims’ addresses to throw law enforcement off their trail. Unless the scammer is really foolish, they use a public address, such as a UPS Store, to pick up their packages — leaving victims in legal hot water.

Cashing Checks & Wiring Money

Check-cashing scams are also simple and can have potentially devastating consequences for victims.

One of the most common variations is the international payment processing scam, which asks the victim to open a bank account, cash fake checks on behalf of international clients, and wire most of the payment (less a processing fee for the victim) to a third party. When the bank discovers the check is a fake, the victim is left holding the bag legally and financially.

Not all check-cashing scams involve work-from-home opportunities. Check scammers also prey on:

  • People seeking roommates by sending fake checks to cover the security deposit or first month’s rent and asking the victim to wire funds for “moving expenses”
  • Lottery or sweepstakes scams with fake checks for lump-sum prize payments and requests to wire payment for fees and taxes
  • People selling things on sites like eBay and Craigslist by sending a phony check worth more than the total selling price and asking the victim to wire the difference

In-Home Manufacturing & Assembly

So-called craft scams seem like an enticing proposition for people who enjoy working with their hands.

They’re not. They’re a waste of time, money, or both.

Craft scammers ask victims to pay hundreds of dollars (and sometimes more) for specialized assembly equipment, such as top-of-the-line sewing machines or printing contraptions, and the “high-quality” supplies needed to produce the advertised crafts. In exchange, they promise handsome pay for each completed piece.

Some craft scammers simply pocket victims’ payments and move on, never bothering to send equipment and supplies that don’t actually exist. Others do make good on the initial promise, though the actual cost of whatever they send is liable to be much lower than the victim’s upfront payment. Moving forward, they reject completed crafts on the grounds they don’t meet exacting quality standards, wasting hours of the victim’s valuable time before the victim finally gets wise.

Medical Billing

Some people really do have stable careers as work-from-home medical billing professionals, but competition for work in this field is fierce, and scams outnumber legitimate jobs. No matter how enticing the opportunity sounds, tread cautiously.

Illegitimate medical billing opportunities typically ask victims to pay upfront for pricey software, training materials, or lead lists they claim are essential. But the material’s collective value is vastly overinflated. The software itself might not even work as advertised, and the lead lists might be publicly available rosters of hospitals and clinics rather than targeted lists of medical practitioners who’ve expressed interest in billing services, among other common problems.

Data Entry

Data entry is another sometimes-legitimate work-from-home job that’s often fraudulent (or misleading, at minimum).

Illegitimate data entry opportunities often resemble fraudulent medical billing opportunities, with pricey software that doesn’t work and training materials that don’t say anything new. Real data entry jobs don’t require upfront payment — the company provides the software for free — and typically involve company-provided rather than self-directed training.

Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping can sometimes produce a net profit for participants. That said, even truly legitimate mystery shopping opportunities demand exceptional organizational skills and extreme diligence. Few pay well. Most require participants to leave their homes and visit brick-and-mortar retailers, restaurants, and professional offices.

And many are just scams — they serve as fronts for fake check scammers. The scammer sends a check upfront to cover the victim’s shopping costs on the condition that they return the merchandise and wire back the remaining balance (less the victim’s shopping fee). In other cases, shady mystery shopping companies ask new shoppers to pay upfront for worthless training materials and promise work that never materializes.

Multilevel Marketing Schemes

Like mystery shopping and medical billing, multilevel marketing schemes (MLMs) can be profitable. But they’re often misleading and exploitative, putting later arrivals (those on the lowest levels of the scheme) at a considerable disadvantage. And the line between legitimate (if potentially exploitative) MLMs and outright pyramid schemes can be subtle. It’s wise to avoid any MLM that emphasizes recruiting new “subs” — people lower on the ladder — over selling actual products.

Red Flags of Work-From-Home Scams

Use these tips to assess every work-from-home offer that crosses your desk. While there are many variations on work-from-home scams, they often have several potential red flags in common.

You Must Make an Upfront Investment or Provide Payment Information

Work-from-home opportunities that require participants to pay upfront for anything — supplies, equipment, software, training materials, or anything else — are almost always illegitimate. Legitimate MLMs are a qualified exception, provided the opportunity’s sponsor can clearly and in detail demonstrate how the endeavor generates income.

Otherwise, work-from-home jobs that require upfront investments are at best conduits for fraudsters to sell vastly overinflated products or knowledge. At worst, they’re fronts for criminals looking for credit card numbers to steal.

The Offer Makes Wild Claims About Passive Income Potential

Be skeptical of any offer that’s heavy on promises of outsize passive income with minimal work and short on specifics about what’s needed to achieve that result. Dreamy stock photos of “employees” relaxing on a Tahitian beach or crushing Swiss powder tell you nothing about the job at hand, the reality of which is infinitely less glamorous — if it exists at all.

The Company Is Based Overseas

Legitimate job opportunities don’t stop at the water’s edge. Some of the world’s most employee-friendly companies are based overseas. Some lack any American presence at all.

But legitimate international employers generally follow the same hiring practices as legitimate employers in the United States. Coupled with any other red flags, an international mailing address or phone number is a signal to tread cautiously. U.S. law enforcement authorities are even less likely to hold small-time fraudsters based overseas accountable for their actions than domestic crooks — many of whom take advantage of others for years without facing justice.

The Company Won’t Answer Basic Questions About the Job or Compensation

Legitimate job descriptions can be vague too. The difference is that legitimate employers are willing and able to provide detailed answers to basic questions about the organization’s structure, the scope of work, how employees or participants earn money, the likely amount of any compensation, the length and terms of any probationary period, and any other details candidates want to know before accepting a job offer.

When asking for more information about a job, be especially stubborn about the onboarding process and any costs you must bear. Again, any requirement of upfront out-of-pocket payment is a giant red flag, but excessive paycheck deductions for supplies or company expenses also warrant scrutiny.

The Only Interview Occurs by Email or Social Media Chat

Be wary of employers resistant to showing their faces (or voices) to job candidates. By itself, an employer’s refusal to conduct video or phone interviews isn’t definitive proof of a scam, but it strongly suggests that the employer prefers to remain anonymous. The person hiding behind a random email address or social media chat handle could be anyone.

Qualifying Opportunities Fail to Follow the FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule

Under FTC regulations, the sponsor of any qualifying business opportunity advertised to prospects in the United States must do two things upon request:

  • Issue a disclosure that identifies the sponsor, discloses any lawsuits or legal actions against the sponsor, spells out the cancellation or refund policy (if any), provides references, and discloses whether the sponsor makes any specific earnings claims about the opportunity.
  • Issue a separate earnings claim statement if the opportunity makes any specific earnings claim. This statement must spell out the time frame during which the claimed earnings occurred and the percentage of participants achieving those results, among other details.

The FTC’s Bogus Business Opportunities guide provides more detail on sponsors’ obligations and recourse for prospects who believe they’ve been scammed.

Research Using Trusted Sources Turns Up Little Information (Or Negative Information) About the Company

Never agree to participate in a work-from-home opportunity without using trusted sources to research its sponsor. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • The Better Business Bureau, which compiles information (including customer complaints) about registered businesses and provides letter-grade ratings based on past complaint patterns
  • The Federal Trade Commission, which maintains the Consumer Sentinel Network
  • State consumer regulators and attorneys general offices, which often publish information about enforcement actions against fraudsters with local victims
  • Local and national media reports accessed through Google News and similar tools
  • Complaints on consumer websites like Yelp, keeping in mind that not all complaints are accurate and plenty of folks have an ax to grind online

An absence of consumer complaints or adverse actions against a work-from-home opportunity sponsor doesn’t necessarily mean it’s on the up and up. It could simply be a new fly-by-night opportunity that hasn’t been around long enough to attract scrutiny.

The Job Doesn’t Appear on Legitimate Job Boards

A work-from-home opportunity’s appearance on legitimate job boards like Flexjobs, Indeed and Monster is not a guarantee the opportunity itself is legitimate. Clever scammers willing to pay for placement can advertise anywhere they want. That said, jobs that have other red flags and appear only on more freewheeling sites like Reddit or Craigslist — or through low-cost channels like spam email and paid search ads — are significantly more likely to be scams.

Final Word

This list of common work-from-home scams includes several opportunities that are almost always fraudulent, such as check forwarding and in-home assembly.

It also includes opportunities that occupy a broad gray area between truly legitimate and fully fraudulent. Some mystery shopping and medical billing jobs are profitable. Those at the higher rungs of multilevel marketing schemes often do quite well for themselves.

Other opportunities not mentioned here hold out supplemental earning potential for workers confined to their homes, such as completing online surveys through Survey Junkie and participating in digital focus groups or product testing panels. Since many of these opportunities are legitimate, it’s not fair to color them as scams. But anyone thinking about pursuing them must understand they can’t get rich doing so.

In fact, that’s good advice for anyone considering any opportunity to earn extra income. The fact that you can supplement your income doing something doesn’t make it worth your time.

Have you run across any of these work-from-home scams? How did you spot them?

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