The percentage of work-from-home employees increased from 39% in 2012 to 43% in 2016. Many of these jobs are connected to some type of freelance work, such as writing, copywriting, graphic design, mobile app development, photography, teaching, and tutoring.
Most Vulnerable Workers
Unfortunately, these workers are some of the most vulnerable to fraud, especially those who work online. There are several websites that offer decent one-time payments for freelance work. While the pay may be decent, the odds of becoming defrauded in the process is extremely high. BlackHatWorld, Fiverr, and Freelancer are all high-risk scam websites.
Like the employees, consumers are also at risk. One example, Effen Ads, also known as iCloudWorx, scammed at least 2,931 consumers. Effen Ads was a registered LLC located at 3315 Hwy 50, Silver Springs, Nevada.
Effen Ads hooked up with W4, an affiliate marketing network, to sell work-from-home services to consumers. The scheme utilized fake news and celebrity endorsements to entice consumers to pay $97 for work-from-home services.
The 50,000 plus victims caught up in this scam received nothing for their payments. But, they unknowingly had their personal information sold to third-parties.
Ordered To Pay Millions
Effen Ads’ owners, Brandon Harshbarger and Jason Brailow, along with W4’s CEO Jason Walker, have been ordered by the FTC to pay nearly $1.5 million to settle these allegations.
The victims will receive a refund of $97 each, according to the FTC complaint.