Get rich quick with data entry?
September 14, 2008 8:14 PM   Subscribe

What are those Craigslist "get rich quick" ads really all about? You know the ones; they promise $250-1000 a day just for "filling out forms" and then prompt you to purchase a $39.99-99.00 "kit" with all of the instructions on how to become financially independent overnight.

In looking for (legit) part-time work I keep coming across all of these ads for data entry that sound like this:
Data Entry Workers Needed! All you need to do is fill in online forms and submit them daily.

Make $30 - $50 Per Form!
Easily $200+ Per Day!

Fill Out Simple Web Forms at Home Instead of Going to Work."
So what's the deal, really? Is the entire scam wrapped up in getting people to buy the getting-started "kit" or is there more to it? Have any part of the MeFi hive mind ever purchased or otherwise acquired such a kit?

Don't get me wrong, I know that ads aren't promising legitimate work; I'm curious as to what they are offering.

Googling for an answer lead me to thousands of sites promising the same deal but nothing with real information.
posted by mezzanayne to Work & Money (7 answers total)
So what's the deal, really? Is the entire scam wrapped up in getting people to buy the getting-started "kit" or is there more to it?

That's pretty much it.

See this recent AskMe for more discussion.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:20 PM on September 14, 2008

I think that's pretty much it.

But it could also be a pyramid scheme-- once you realize you've been duped, they might offer you the chance to sell the kit to other suckers. So in that way you could actually get some money quick, if not legally.
posted by drjimmy11 at 8:26 PM on September 14, 2008

Correct. The point of the sale is learning to make a sale that only has the benefit of telling people that they too can sell people on the idea of selling other people on the idea of selling other people...once you get their money. Sort of recursive once you think about it.
posted by Phyltre at 9:02 PM on September 14, 2008

I'm sure it follow the same logic of spam, if you get 1% return you're gunna make money.

I was curious about it a while ago and emailed a bunch of the ads, most varied from horribly misspelled vague emails to actual websites where you fill out a questionnaire to "evaluate your potential" and then ask you for $39 for an application fee.

There's plenty of people who are new to the internet and easily duped into this.
posted by axltea at 10:04 PM on September 14, 2008

General rule of thumb: don't pay to get a job.

There are some legit work-at-home-online jobs, and they don't ask for money.
posted by daboo at 10:07 PM on September 14, 2008

The people getting rich are the ones selling the kits. Don't do it!
posted by docmccoy at 10:49 PM on September 14, 2008

Okay, I'm going to have to step in and clear up some of the bias here.

Just because you know it's scam doesn't give you the right to spread misinformation.

Here's the rub:

Essentially, you're paying for a list of "data entry" offers. The "data" you enter is typically going to be your name, address, telephone number, best hours to contact you, etc. If you haven't figured it out yet, they're paying you to sell your information about yourself as leads to companies who want to contact you about various offers. Typically heavy on insurance, home loans, auto loans, smoking surveys, etc. If you google "get paid to take surveys" you'll get a lot of the same type of sites.

Bottom line: can you get paid? Yes. The side-effect is you'll get lots of marketing phone calls and junk mail in your mailbox. Is it worth your time? Probably not, unless you're really going to need an extra couple hundred bucks next month because you're leaving the country and all your personal information is about to become invalid.

Also note: some of these may be selling something else, but these are the ones I'm familiar with, having had several as clients in the past.

And yeah: never pay for what you can have for free. (You should be able to find this sort of offer for free as well.)
posted by MaxK at 5:04 AM on September 15, 2008

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