Online scam uses High Point pitch
The latest online pitch for making large amounts of money — but what consumer advocates warn is almost certainly a scam — comes with a pitch supposedly from High Point.
An outfit marketing itself as Online Income Access recently posted a testimonial that reportedly is from a single mother in High Point who allegedly made thousands of dollars a month working at home. The email solicitation, which has the appearance of a financial report composed by an online consumer writer, even features a picture of a beaming young woman holding her infant son.
The marketing pitch includes supposed testimonials and supportive reader responses to the work-at-home opportunity, messages set up similar to the way someone responds or replies on Facebook or other social media interactive sites.
But consumer advocates say to be wary — better yet, outright avoid — unsolicited work-at-home pitches that promise large returns for people coping with the fallout from the Great Recession.
“We would encourage people to be highly skeptical of this. Claims that you can make a good living while doing very little work just don’t turn out to be true,” said Noelle Talley, public information officer with the N.C. Attorney General’s Office in Raleigh.
The High Point Enterprise attempted to contact Online Income Access about its validity and verify the existence of the single mother used in the marketing. But there’s no phone number for Online Income Access on its website. When the Enterprise sent an inquiry to the email address on the website, it was returned as sent to a nonexistent email address.
People who receive a work-at-home solicitation, or some type of variation, should avoid providing credit card or banking account information. The Federal Trade Commission has investigated many of the outfits making these solicitations as possible cons, said Kevin Hinterberger, president of the Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, here are other red flags to look for with employment scams:
• You’re promised a high salary for little work
• You’re promised work as a mystery shopper, or asked to do work that involves cashing checks or transferring money
• You’re asked to pay money up front as part of a job or task
• You’re asked to provide personal information up front, such as your Social Security number or financial account numbers
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The Better Business Bureau of Central North Carolina serves as a clearinghouse for consumer information. In addition to providing background checks on local businesses, the BBB can pass along consumer complaints to state and federal monitoring agencies.
The BBB serves Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, Randolph and Rockingham counties and city of Thomasville in Davidson County. (Davidson County outside of Thomasville is served by the BBB of Northwest North Carolina based in Winston-Salem.) For more information, call the BBB of Central North Carolina office in Greensboro at 632-4976 or check the website www.greensboro.bbb.org.