Lucrative work-from-home offer or just another scam?
February 7, 2009 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Lucrative work-from-home opportunity or obvious scam?

I applied for a job described only as "data entry clerks", and received a reply detailing the job description. Now I need your help determining whether or not this is genuine.

The company is named "virtual solutions", which as you can imagine, is a vague and indeterminate search term. I believe this is the company, as it fits the description. The brief says, "You will be required to input data into the necessary fields on the forms which is usually but not limited to the following information; name, address, title, description, heading, telephone etc, from these you will acquire orders which you will then need to process and once processed you will be credited."

They say that you will be paid via PPPay at a rate of £10 per order. But that you must first pony up £10.61 for an "information products package" which includes "processing fees and training costs" and allows them "to separate those who are honest, trustworthy and hard working from those who are not". They stress that they are legitimate and that you must reply within 48 hrs.

All this stinks of scam to me (their email address is, for Christsake) , but I'm sure there are others out there who have tried these things. There is still a possibility that it is genuine, albeit overstated. Anyway, if you've dealt with something similar in the past or know anyone who has, I'd like to hear about it.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Acey to Work & Money (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by patnok at 8:47 AM on February 7, 2009

Response by poster: I should mention this was all supposed to be conducted via email, which just adds to the sketchiness.
posted by Acey at 8:47 AM on February 7, 2009

A good rule of thumb to follow: every single lucrative work-from-home offer is a scam.
posted by nitsuj at 8:49 AM on February 7, 2009 [5 favorites]

Obvious scam. Jesus. Anyone who is making you pony up money for information about a job opportunity is promoting a scam.

You will not go wrong when you automatically equate "lucrative work-at-home job opportunity" with "scam" unless it's a business you have built yourself.
posted by jayder at 8:50 AM on February 7, 2009

if you found those guys through gumtree it's a scam. they have a forum on that site where scam jobs are frequently outed and discussed.

but the principle applying here is that of any garden-variety nigerian scammer. give me cash upfront in hopes of making more. all these scams are using your hope and greed.
posted by krautland at 8:52 AM on February 7, 2009

I have never been involved with such a "data entry" job, but friends of friends were. Scam, or at least gross misrepresentation. Assuming it resembles the others, there will be more money to front later, the work is maddening and will never actually pay off at anywhere near the levels they describe.
posted by el_lupino at 8:52 AM on February 7, 2009

How about contacting the company directly, (taken from their web-site) and ask them if they know anything about this.

Unless of course, you think that the site itself is fake...
posted by bitteroldman at 8:53 AM on February 7, 2009

Response by poster: bitteroldman: I might just do that. These things are everywhere, along with other scamettes or scamolas, and in my local paper. This particular one was on craigslist, I think. They really are on the edge of legality, if, indeed, they are legal at all. They prey on the desperate (i.e., me) and the stupid (i.e., hopefully not me, but then again...). It really drives me crazy. I had considered chasing them up & investigating them on my own time, and telling the paper exactly what they advertise, but then again, I seriously doubt they'd care. Sigh.
posted by Acey at 9:02 AM on February 7, 2009

you must first pony up £10.61

posted by grouse at 9:23 AM on February 7, 2009

Yep, it's a scam.
posted by eleyna at 9:34 AM on February 7, 2009

Try Googling the phrase "information products package". Pretty much every result is some sort of work from home scam.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2009

No legit job will make you pay money up front in order to apply.
posted by mrbill at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yog's Law (Money flows to the writer, not away from the writer) would seem to apply here as well.
posted by mynameisluka at 9:52 AM on February 7, 2009

Response by poster: Well, thanks everyone for confirming my suspicions. I've got a law of my own actually: the fastest (and often only) replies to job applications are those that will lose you more money than they will make.
posted by Acey at 9:56 AM on February 7, 2009

Scam, and here's how it works.
posted by lekvar at 9:56 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Any company that makes you pay to work for them is in the business of making money off people paying to work for them, not whatever they say is the work to be done. You're the customer in this scenario, the title 'data entry clerk' notwithstanding.
posted by fatbird at 10:23 AM on February 7, 2009

If you want to make money working at home, you could probably run a similar scam yourself.
posted by box at 10:32 AM on February 7, 2009

If it's described as a "lucrative work from home opportunity" then you don't even need to read the rest of the details; it's a scam.
posted by ook at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2009


There are genuine work-from-home data entry jobs out there, but they don't pay £10 per unit or anything like it.

Since it works out cheaper for the company to deliver in bulk, they pay you fractions of a penny per unit processed and expect you to process a shitload of them to earn a living wage.
posted by the latin mouse at 10:53 AM on February 7, 2009

I've read about similarly worded job opportunites (WORK FROM HOME! EARN BIG $$$ - JUST INVEST IN OUR TRAINING KIT!) where the catch is that they recruit you, and the "work" that you will be doing will be to advertise & recruit other people in the same manner. They then pay YOU for THEIR training kit. Fun, eh?
posted by goshling at 2:03 PM on February 7, 2009

Having to pay someone else slightly more than you're going to make on each order is a fairly large tip off that you will be selling exactly what you're paying for.
posted by itesser at 2:11 PM on February 7, 2009

I'd like to point out that there are legitimate work-from-home data entry jobs available, just not that one. Like others have said, if it requires you to pay it's a scam. Look through "work from home" forums and you'll find the real ones.
posted by Sufi at 2:28 PM on February 7, 2009

This thread had some good input and good articles about scam and legitimate telecommuting jobs. A couple of good tag searches for prior threads: telecommute, telecommuting and home + work. My experience (practical and research-based) is that there is legitimate home-based work out there but it's in demand by workers so there are usually catches (the work is weird, or unreliable, or demands specific, technical skills, or is relatively low-paid).
posted by nanojath at 3:05 PM on February 7, 2009

100% scam - any "job" opportunity that requires you to pay money up front is 100% of the time a scam.
posted by olddogeyes at 8:24 PM on February 7, 2009

Oh yeah, there ARE legit opportunities on which by the way is an company (you couldn't tell by the name)
posted by olddogeyes at 8:26 PM on February 7, 2009

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