Friday, July 31, 2009

Better Business Bureau Warns Against Twitter Money-Making Schemes and Work-at-Home Offers

Read the fine print or risk getting burned with Twitter work-at-home offers

Through Tweets, e-mail and Web sites, job hunters are being told that they can make lots of money from the comfort of home using Twitter. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois warns that the large print for such offers may promise big returns, but the fine print can cost them every month.

Currently 14.7 million Americans are out of work and looking for a way to bring home a paycheck according to the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work-at-home schemes have often preyed on unsuspecting job hunters and now Twitter is being used as a way to convince cash-strapped individuals that they can make quick and easy money.

"Twitter is the newest bright shiny object online and a perfect hook for yet another work-at-home scheme," said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. "The pitch used to be about making money by sending e-mails or by placing ads on Google, but now cash-strapped job hunters need to be wary of shelling out money for dubious schemes by scammers misusing Twitter."

Unfortunately, such "Make Money With Twitter" schemes may sound risk-free but bear many red flags prompting BBB to advise job hunters to be extremely cautious.

One e-mail picked up by BBB stated: "Twitter Workers Needed ASAP, You're Hired! Make Extra Cash with Twitter; As seen on USA Today, CNN, and ABC… Apply Now!"

The e-mail links to, a company out of Surrey, England. claims you can make $250-$873 a day working at home with Twitter. The Web site offers a seven-day free trial of their instructional CD-ROM for $1.95 to cover shipping. Buried in the lengthy terms and conditions are the details that the trial begins on the day the CD is ordered--not when it is received--and if the consumer doesn't cancel within seven days of signing up, they'll be charged $47 every month.

Similar to other work-from-home schemes, phony blogs by made-up individuals have been created as testimonials to the success of Twitter-money-making programs.

One blog links to which, similar to, claims you can make $250-$873 a day working at home and offers a seven-day free trial of their instructional CD-ROM, for $1.99 shipping. Again, however, reading the fine print shows that the trial period starts once the CD has been ordered and the consumer will be billed $99.99 every month if they don't call the company to cancel.

BBB wants job hunters to be aware of the following red flags when searching for a work-at-home job online:

* The "job" is actually a money-making scheme and doesn't provide actual employment.

* The work-at-home scheme claims that you can make lots of money with little effort and no experience.

* You have to pay money upfront in order to be considered for the job or receive more information.

* The exact same tweet touting the program is posted by many different Twitterers. The links in such tweets could lead you to scam sites or install malware onto your computer.

"These Web sites and Twitter Accounts have not been up for very long so, if experience has taught us anything, we know that it's only a matter of time before the scam complaints start coming in," added Bernas. "These offers are enticing and appear to be an easy way to make money but it should always be remembered that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."