Help Me Hank: Work-at-home Scheme
Abel knows no matter how cute baby Max is, it’s tough to be a stay at home dad while your wife is at work. So when he and Genevieve saw a flyer promising big salaries working at home, they wondered, could it be?
Abel Vilcapoma, Work at Home Victim
"I'm like, ‘Sweetheart, should we do it, should we do it?’"
It wasn’t cheap, but the ad did promise results and had a money back guarantee.
"It kept saying salary, you know, guaranteed money."
They actually pawned their computer to get the money for the program, sent in the money and waited.
"Crossing our fingers, hoping it would work out."
Three weeks later this box arrived. Inside -- not a return on an investment, but just something they wanted to return.
"So, is this what you thought it would be?"
Hank Phillippi Ryan, Investigative Reporter
"No, not at all."
Look, the "program" is just a pile of work at home fliers, same as they one they'd responded to, some mailing labels and lots of envelopes. The couple was supposed to buy stamps and send them out.
"What do you think seeing this now?"
"It’s frustrating, it is makes me sick."
Worse -- when they tried to return the package, the company told them sorry, no full refund.
"How did you two feel at that time?"
Bottom line, stuck with a box of paper and out $150, Abel and Gen made one more phone call.
"Maybe ‘Help Me Hank’ could do something, you know, they have more connections than I do."
So we connected with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission where officials told us work at home schemes like this are usually beyond bogus.
"Do these ever work?"
"No, they don't. They're just deceptive schemes where the promoter is taking the consumers money and taking them on a ride."
Michael Mora, Federal Trade Commission
Then we called the company, saying, "Hey, send back the money." And soon after this refund money order arrived.
"Oh, we were very happy."
And now as they show baby Max how to handle the world, they have one more lesson they can teach him.
"Well don’t fall for these fast money schemes at home, you know. Because it’s not right."
According to the feds, consumers lose millions of dollars a year to these work-at-home schemes. They do sound tempting, but they're in the top ten of consumer frauds!
If you're fighting a consumer battle, maybe I can help.