Error opening template: advertisement/zones/468x60_generic.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/728x90_leaderboard.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/728x90_bottom_ad.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/300x250_right_ros_up.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/300x250_right_ros_down.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/160x600_left_nav.tplError opening template: advertisement/zones/160x600_right_nav.tpl Scams: Craft and Assembly

Assemble 20 products - do not collect $200!

The ability to carefully assemble crafts is a natural talent for some and a hobby for others.  Some of us have a difficult time creating recognizable objects - making a living with it is even harder.  Still, many of us dream of making precious crafts from home, eliminating a nagging boss and those dreadful early morning commutes to the office.  While there is potential in this area, many scam artists are lurking, ready to prey on your dreams of independence. 

Frequent web surfers have probably noticed job offers that look something like this: "We are currently looking for honest, dedicated works to assemble high-quality products from home.  Earn substantial income making jewelry, kids magnets and adorable toys.  Act fast and take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity!" 

The craft scam scenario

This is another online opportunity that just sounds too good to be true.  This is because most of the craft assembly jobs you run across on the web are nothing more than treacherous scams.   Below is an example of how a particular service may operate:

A stay at home mom would like to earn some extra money to help out with the family's income.  She finds an interesting ad on the internet and decides to apply.  The job is perfect - a work-at-home opportunity that pays anywhere from $500 to $700 per week on a part-time basis.  After sending in the one-time registration fee, she shells out fifty more dollars to pay for a starter kit that contains flimsy materials and worthless tools.  Finally able to figure things out, she sends twenty of the assembled products out to the company along with an additional $50 inspection fee.  To her dismay, the company rejects the work, claiming that "it fails to meet quality standards".  This leaves the woman frustrated with no compensation for her efforts.  On top of that, she lost a $100 investment, the initial registration fee and is now stuck with hundreds of crafts that she'll never be able to sell.  

This scam victimizes thousands of men and women each year.  Just recently, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) launched major criminal and civil cases against numerous work-at-home business promoters.  In the end, these companies were found responsible for a staggering amount of more than $100 million in consumer losses. 

How to spot the assembly scams 

Identifying these type of scams can be extremely difficult.  Those cheating craft assemblers out of their money have become much more advanced and elusive.  These fraudulent companies carefully cover their tracks.  They portray themselves as friendly, caring individuals while offering untraceable references.     

Although there are legitimate services offering compensation for at-home craft assembly, these opportunities are very rare.  The best advice is to the thoroughly research the company in question.  From there, use your head and go with your gut.  When a particular service offers incredible earnings, has few to no references and asks for a deposit up front, you should then observe an army of red flags uprooting from their ad.   

If you suspect a scam similar to the one mentioned above, file a complaint against the business with the Federal Trade Commission: www.ftc.gov and the Better Business Bureau: www.bbb.com

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
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*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.