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“We will pay $3 for every envelope stuffed!”
“Earn $1,500 per week stuffing envelopes!”
“Spend 4 hours per day stuffing envelopes from the comfort of your own home and earn $5,000 per month!”
Sound familiar? Chances are most of us have come across advertisements of this nature at some point or another. Envelope stuffing jobs are by no means a new concept. They’ve been advertised for decades and attract a lot of interest, given the enticing nature of the ads.
Many of us like the idea of flexible work and the ability to earn money from the comfort of our own homes. Whether you’re a student looking for some extra cash alongside your studying, a busy parent hoping to make some income while caring for your family, or you’re simply looking for a new career path or side hustle idea to bring in some extra cash, working from home might be an increasingly attractive prospect.
These envelope stuffing companies are very well aware of this fact and are capitalizing on people’s desires or circumstances through their targeted ads and claims of easy money-making opportunities. Offering excellent rates of pay for work that requires minimal effort and can be completed wherever and whenever you choose. Sounds great!
Are Envelope Stuffing Jobs Legit?
So, are these envelope stuffing jobs legitimate ways of earning substantial amounts of money, as the ads claim? And if so, why isn’t everyone cashing in on this excellent opportunity?
The short answer is NO, almost 100% of the time these envelope stuffing jobs are not legit.
More often than not, you will see absolutely no financial gain from an envelope stuffing job. Upon consideration, it’s clear that no company is going to pay high rates to have envelopes stuffed by hand when purpose-built machines can carry out the same task quicker, cheaper, and with higher levels of consistency and accuracy.
But it is incredibly easy to fall into these traps, particularly if you are in a hurry to make some extra cash.
These adverts are unethical and misleading. It’s important to be aware of the red flags so that you are not targeted by these scams. So let’s have a look at how these scams work, and things to look out for when searching for online or work from home jobs.
Envelope Stuffing Scams
Scammer companies list their ‘envelope-stuffing jobs’ in local newspapers or magazines, instructing interested parties to send a joining fee to a listed address. The joining fee is apparently to prove your level of interest and avoid dealing with time-wasters. Applicants are assured that they are guaranteed to quickly earn this fee back once they begin work.
Of course, the joining fee is not a joining fee at all. Upon submitting your fee, instead of receiving job details or an employment contract, you will instead receive a brochure or pamphlet uncovering the scam, and instructing you to replicate it in order to earn money by scamming others.
The response might read something along the lines of: “Now place the same ad you replied to in local newspapers and magazines, and earn quick money when people respond to the ad!” Essentially, earn your money back by recruiting further scam victims and instructing them to send you a ‘joining fee’. Not the legitimate employment opportunity they claimed to offer.
It’s thought that these scams originated in the 1920s or 30s, so who knows how many unsuspecting people have fallen victim to these schemes. Some of these scams request joining fees of up to $100, so there could be a significant amount of money on the line.
The main advice when it comes to envelope stuffing schemes is to steer well clear. Err on the side of caution and don’t risk your money. You’d be hard pressed to find an envelope stuffing job that pays well and is not a scam, so it’s really not worth the risk.
Here are some basic tips for spotting a scam.
Ways to Spot a Scam
- Extremely high rates of pay. Many of these scams boast rates of $2+ per envelope and thousands of dollars per month for just a few hours of work a day. The basic rule of thumb is: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask yourself, if it’s possible to earn thousands of dollars for a few hours stuffing envelopes at home each day, why would anyone choose to work a regular 9-5 job? Because it simply is not possible.
- Joining Fees. Any legitimate job will not ask for a joining fee before basic information is shared. It’s unethical and leaves applicants in a vulnerable position. Be wary of any job posting which requires a fee to learn more about the position.
- Lack of communication or customer service. In this day and age, any ad posting without a legitimate website or telephone number listed should invoke suspicion. If there’s no one to contact prior to sending off your ‘joining fee’, it’s probably a scam. Never send money to a company without being able to contact them directly and ask any questions you may have.
- Do some research. The chances are, you’re not the first to see this ad posting, and unfortunately, many people have probably fallen victim to the scam already. A quick internet search should provide you with reviews and warnings from people with previous experiences which should be enough to enable you to make an informed decision as to how to proceed.
What to Do if You’ve Been Scammed
If you or a family member have fallen victim to one of these scams, there are several things you can do.
The first is to get in touch with the company, request a refund, and assure them that you will not hesitate to take legal action should they refuse.
Beyond this, report the company by filing a complaint with the Federal Trades Commission or your local Better Business Bureau. Also, alert the publication in which you saw the ad to encourage them to cease relations with the company. All of these things help to prevent these companies from scamming more people in the future.
Alternative Legit Work from Home Jobs
While envelope stuffing schemes are not considered a legitimate source of income or work-from-home opportunity, that’s not to say that you can’t earn money with the flexibility and freedom that comes with remote working. There are many legitimate remote working opportunities that will enable you to earn money by ethical and lawful means.
Here are five legit work from home jobs:
Transcription jobs involve typing audio files into written format. Many companies use transcription specialists to decipher audio from meetings, conference calls, interviews, or legal proceedings. It’s a skilled job which can be carried out remotely.
Many online sites offer free transcription training courses and networking opportunities to connect transcription specialists with potential clients.
Learn how to get started as a transcriptionist with this free 7-lesson course from Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere.
- Learn the two keys to success as a transcriptionist
- Use your existing typing skills
- Work part-time or full-time
- Work from home or anywhere with an internet connection
2. Virtual Assistant
With more companies turning to remote workers when outsourcing aspects of their business, virtual assistants are in higher demand than ever before. As a virtual assistant, you are likely to offer administrative services, financial assistance, customer service duties, as well as a plethora of other roles depending on your skills and experience.
Virtual Assistant jobs are well paid and offer high levels of flexibility.
If you're interested in making money from home, be sure to check out this free workshop from Kayla Sloan. She shows how to use the skills you already have to start making money as a VA.
3. Customer Service
Remote customer service jobs are on the rise. To save on costs associated with hiring office space, many companies choose to use remote workers for customer service based roles. This might involve responding to customer queries via email, telephone, or direct messaging services.
Often these jobs are open to entry-level candidates and require no prior experience, so this is a great entryway into remote working.
4. Data Entry
Data entry specialists or clerks are responsible for inputting data into the company’s software systems. It could be numerical data, symbolic data, or alphabetical data. These jobs are often entry-level.
Because the majority of this work is completed online, the job lends itself well to remote working.
Microtasks are quick, simple online tasks to be completed independently. Generally, Microtasks don’t pay especially high rates, but because of the nature of the jobs, it’s possible to complete many tasks in quick succession to boost earnings.
Many sites specialize in advertising microtask jobs and connecting contractors with prospective clients.
Falling victim to envelope stuffing scams can cause stress, anger, and even shame. But it is important to recognize that you are not the first and unfortunately you probably won’t be the last.
These companies make their profits by misleading and misinforming their victims, their practice is unethical and unjust, but unfortunately, many people are unaware of the red flags that these type of scams raise.
By staying away from envelope stuffing schemes, looking out for the points of concern listed in this article, and following the advice of the FTC and BBB, you should be able to better protect yourself from these types of scams and help to reduce their opportunities to scam people in the future.