For stay at home mums looking to earn extra income, a work at home stuffing envelopes job can seem like the perfect solution.
But is it?
Today I'm taking a real look at this so-called work from home opportunity to find out if its a real income-boosting opportunity or just another work from home scam.
Why I hoped envelope stuffing wasn't a scam
My hopes were high going into this because, you see, when I was growing up my mum was a single parent with four young kids (me being the oldest).
My mum would earn extra income by collecting 6,000-8,000 tags at a time, take them home and we'd all help tie strings onto the tags.
I remember it didn't pay very well at all, maybe £20 ($25) for a box of 1,000, but at least it paid. I thought that maybe, just like the tags were, stuffing envelopes could be a good way to earn money from home.
It turns out envelope stuffing is one of the worst scams that's been around a long time. And I'm going to show you as clearly as I can why stuffing envelopes is not legitimate and expose is for the ugly scam it is.
Crazy envelope stuffing job ad claims
Just look at these claims made by two of the biggest ‘envelope stuffing companies'. One envelope stuffing site claimed you could earn up to $1,872 per week…
Another site promised you $1,200 a week or $5 per envelope stuffed…
Whether it's an online ad, a poster attached to a traffic light post or a card stuck under your car windscreen wiper, they all guarantee the same thing – a lot of easy money for easy work and no experience required.
These are classic tell-tale signs of a work from home scam and they should cause red lights to flash and sirens to sound in your head.
Ask yourself, do you think an envelope stuffer would earn more than a primary school teacher or an accountant? And if pays so well, why isn't everyone doing it?
Envelope stuffing was once a real work from home job (not anymore)
Just like my mum tying string to tags in the 90's, there was a time when envelope stuffing was a real thing.
Envelope stuffing was a popular choice for housewives looking to supplement their income in the aftermath of World War II and legitimate envelope stuffing job vacancies were advertised until the invention of envelope stuffing machines like this one…
The envelope stuffing machine that changed everything
So while it might have once been a good work from home job, now it's just used by scammers to ensnare their next victim.
Today anyone can buy an envelope packing machine capable of stuffing 5,400 envelopes an hour for less than the price of a photocopier.
Why the heck would someone pay you $5 for stuffing an envelope when machines can it a lot quicker and a lot cheaper? It just doesn't stack up.
How ‘stuffing envelopes' turns you from scam victim to scammer overnight
You send off start up fee which can typically range anywhere from $30-$70 along with a self-addressed envelope and then wait for your business starter pack to arrive.
Envelope stuffing scam victims from Kentucky, Arkansas, New Jersey and New York have filed a complaint against one envelope stuffing company with the Better Business Bureau who was changing anywhere from a $99 to $399 upfront fee!
Sometimes you never hear anything back, just your cheque cashed. If they do bother to send you your starter pack at all, it turns out to be just the flyer you responded to in the first place with instructions to make copies of the flyer (this time with your contact details) and find people to sign up.
How would you feel at this point? Pretty angry? I know I would. You've just wasted at least $30 (hopefully not $399!) for a printed flyer in an envelope you paid postage for.
So how do you recoup your fee costs? With some luck and persistence, you might be able to find a few willing victims to prey upon with the same scam you fell for so they can pay a fee a $30 fee and you get a measley $5 commission for.
And so the chain letter scam continues…
Wikipedia puts it this way:
“To apply for the job, the victim is required to send a self-addressed stamped envelope for information and a small processing fee.
In return, the victim is sent a template for the flyer they had originally seen; the envelopes they stuff are from other people who answer the flyer, and the payment is the processing fee.”
If you've already fallen for this work from home scam, I'm sorry, but please, don't be tempted to cause other people to stumble the same way you did. Simply accept the loss, learn from the mistake and move on.
The work from home stuffing envelope scam has been around since we used dial up models to connect to the internet, so why are people still falling for it?
3 big reasons people still fall for this classic work from home scam
1. It sounds simple and straight-forward
It sounds straight forward right? You pay the fee and expect a box with envelopes and brochures to insert to arrive a few days later. No minimum qualifications or previous experience required – everyone qualifies.
On the surface it can look like a legitimate work form home job oportunity, perfect for students who can make easy money stuffing envelopes whilst watching their favourite netflix series and eating warmed-up pizza.
2. They're dazzled by promises of potential profit
While promises of $1,000's a week for an entry level job might be a clear sign of a scam for some, for people desperate to believe it, this can seem like the answer to all their problems. Work from scams are successful because they only need 1% of people reading the ad to pay the starter fee.
3. They don't do their homework
Instead of jumping up to grab our cheque books at the mere mention of envelope stuffing or any other work from home opportunity, we should stop for a second, breathe in and take the time to read reviews and research the experiences others have had.
If you apply for a so-called work from home stuffing envelopes job vacancy then you're actually getting involved in a scam. It's an ugly pyramid scheme- chain letter scam combo. Stay well clear.
Knowing the tell-tale signs ahead of time will help you to avoid work from home scams like this.
If you've been unfortunate enough to come across an envelope stuffing scam or any other kind of scam, here's how to report it.
There are so many real ways to work from home, here are 7 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs (With No Start Up Fees).
Have you ever come across a work from home stuffing envelope scam? Please drop a comment below sharing your experience and help others fall for this classic work from home scam.