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You may have seen ads like these online or in the paper. “Single Mum Makes $1045 Stuffing Envelopes from Home!” “Legitimate Envelope Stuffing Jobs — Earn $20 Per Hour Without Leaving the House!”

These advertisements conjure up a simple part-time job that’s perfect for WAHMs. After all, companies need to send out letters all the time, don’t they? Someone must stuff all those envelopes. Obviously, the promised income is marketing hyperbole — but surely it’s not unreasonable to imagine making an extra ten or twenty a week.

Sadly, you won’t even make that. This work-from-home scam is older than the Internet. The scammer posts an ad offering envelope stuffing work; for more information, respondents must send a stamped addressed envelope. The information always concerns an expensive “starter kit” or “business plan”.

Once they have your money, you’ll discover that the “business plan” is as follows: post a similar ad to the one that you answered, using the stamped addressed envelopes people send you to try and swindle them in the same way you’ve been swindled. Technically, you’re stuffing envelopes. It’s as simple as it is cruel.

In fact, companies almost never use outworkers for this kind of task. Letters are typically placed in envelopes by machines. Companies sometimes hire temps to help with very large volumes of mail, but these people work on-site and are recruited through conventional channels.

There’s one rare exception. Hand-addressed envelopes are more likely to be opened than printed envelopes; some marketing companies use these to send out promotional materials. It’s just conceivable that homeworkers might be engaged to hand-address these letters. This would be unusual, however — and the homeworkers certainly wouldn’t have to pay a fee.

Don’t be a fool and get sucked in

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