Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Something for Nothing? Don't Think So!

With the economy being what it is, this blogger has seen her fair share of heartache and debt. I feel like I keep playing an LP with a scratch in it ( like my Michael Jackson Off the Wall where it was scratched on Don't stop Til you Get Enough after he said Wooo!...Wooo!, Wooo!, Wooo!.) by continuing to blog about this stuff, but someone has to keep drawing attention to it or the powers that be will continue to ignore us.

Again, with the economy being so bad everyone is looking for ways to make extra income. With that being said, Con artists are taking advantage of our desire to get ahead and make life comfortable for our families. I'm not talking about those stupid emails you get promising you exorbitant amounts of money if you give them your bank acct number and help them cash these supposed checks that their country can't cash. Anyone who falls for that is very stupid. Well, maybe not stupid, but more so desperately desperate and at the end of their rope. Well, wait a minute...that's 6o% of Americans. Unemployment is on the rise, Gas is astronomical, Food prices are ridiculous and salary raises are stagnant. So I guess, its easy for us to become targets of buffoonery.

Every time we check our faxes or open our emails our in boxes are full of emails advertising...Work for home, Make thousands a week, get into the real estate game, Live the life you want, Hollywood wants you to be in their next movie, claim your free Dell computer, we got your resume, Visit Orlando, Daytona and Mexico for $99/ per person etc. How is all this possible? Its not. Let's pick these examples apart...

1. Work From Home: I admit, yes me, the wise one has been burned by this one on more than one occasion. First, it was stuff envelopes and we'll pay you so much a week for how many envelopes you stuff. So my mom and I sent the money order in for the kit. What came in the mail was a list of companies we could work for and a tutorial on how to place an ad in the paper and get other fools to do the same thing we just did and get paid for it. Meaning, the person that sent us our kit got paid to mail our kit to us. Get it...stuffing envelopes. Never mind that they portrayed themselves in a manner that led us to believe they would mail us a thousand pieces of mail and a thousand envelopes and it would be our job to assemble and stuff and mail. What happened? Nothing, the bank wouldn't stop the money order because a police report was needed, the company had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau with hundreds of complaints from others they had scammed out of their monies.

On another occasion, I got an email to work from home, making calls for an insurance company. They had a website, with so-called testimonies from satisfied users and copies of supposed checks. Problem... F rating with Better Business Bureau, unsatisfied users and no customer service number available to call. Needless to say I ran far, far away and deleted all correspondence.

2. Live the Life you Want: Again, these people try to get people to sign up to get the "secret" to wealth and how they are all so happy. Problem, only the company is getting rich because the consumers are paying for the "secret" and the "secret" is a big "Gotcha!" The consumer can't get their money back in most cases and the website owners are laughing all the way to the bank. Come to think of it, those photos and testimonies probably are real, they are the website/companies owners bragging on how they have scammed thousands of people out of their hard earned dollars. Bustas

3. Hollywood wants You: Well, well, well, yours truly got burned by this one too. Being that my friend is an actor and has worked on several movies as an extra in his day, I felt this one was safe. However, I didn't think about the fact that he has an agent that sends him on these jobs. I got an email saying I could have a Hollywood website where agents would see me and I would get notifications about movies being filmed in my area and could go be an extra. I took the bait cause in my day I've worked on a movie or two ( through the film commission mind you) and made $150/day or more. So, I knew it was possible. So I signed up for the special offer of $1.95 to get started and get your site. What they failed to tell me was that my credit card would continuously be charged month after month for $49.95 and they would not send not one listing. When I tried to cancel the membership, I was told that those were the terms and I should have paid more attention. However, there were no terms, you had to sign up and pay first and get correspondence later to read 2 days later. Why was I so stupid to fall for it? Because I wanted extra income to help cover mounting, never ending, household bills that my job nor my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees aren't paying. I wanted to work in the field I went to school for, get paid and network so I could stay in the field. I was totally taken advantage of because of my desperate desire to succeed. Again F rating on the BBB! Happy Ending though, my credit card company did shut it down. Amen!

4. Claim Your Free Dell Computer: We've all fallen for this one. We get an email claiming we've won something spectacular. Something we probably can't afford to just buy outright. So we click on it and see what it says. Well, guess what? You have to answer 50 different surveys and join offers and advertisements so people can start telemarketing you and you never make it to the damn prize, but what has happened? About 20 different companies now have your name, address and phone number and they start calling you 30 mins after you get tired and close out the email. This really started happening after we all called the "Do Not Call" number and deleted our numbers from the telemarketing database. This was a slick way for companies to get us back because hey...we signed up for it right? I don't know a sole that actually got any product advertised. What we have gotten is Brad calling from xyz insurance with great quotes or Kevin from See and Do Orlando who has a great vacation package for us to pay for.
5. We Got Your Resume: Just today I got an email from a company that I sent a resume to off Career Builder. Me thinking that this is a reputable employment website and the companies represented were reputable I applied for a job. I got an impressive email stating they received my resume and they were very impressed. So much so that they had forwarded it to upper management and were seriously considering me for an interview next week. Sounds great right? Wrong. In order for them to finish "processing" my resume within their company I had to sign up for and receive information about higher education, universities. "Because the company values the desire to further education within their employees and compensate for this and provide tuition reimbursement". So, I signed up against my better judgement and started the surveys. It was page after page of universities not offering the degree I wanted, so I got annoyed and stopped. What happened? I got a call about an hour ago from Kevin in the higher education department wanting to speak with me. Any word from the supposed job? Heck no.

Since I applied for quite a few jobs, I got another email from a jewelry company( that I never applied to) saying they viewed my resume on Career Builder and wanted to hire me. Impressive. Well, its a jewelry manufacturer in Europe and they pay $85,000 base. Base? That means commission job or something. The email ended me back if you want more info on the job and don't reply to this one but to this email instead. Also, there was no phone number to call or a company address or nothing. Why do people keep playing with my emotions?

6. Visit Orlando/ Daytona etc.: Boy do I really feel foolish after writing this. I've learned just how gullible or naive I really am. I got a fax at work about a wonderful vacation package to Disney for 7 days and with it came 3 other vacations to Daytona, Vegas and Jamaica. Since my friend and I had just come from Jamaica and definitely wanted to go back, I jumped on the offer. It cost me $354.00. Needless to say, we never got to use the package, because when I called to use it, I couldn't reach anyone, blackout dates etc. The package expired, although if I had paid an additional $75 I could have extended the package for another year. I didn't. But what I did do is like a fool, is accept another package and agree to pay another $125 for a year and got a whole slew of new vacations. Problem...they charged my acct when they were not supposed to and I had to fight to get them to give me my money back and I cancelled the package. The lady that sold me the package called me and told me how she lied to me when she sold the package and told me that she and her daughter had gone and loved it. She lied about how easy it would be to use it and how many satisfied customers she had. I actually was her third call of the day and all of her customers were very unsatisfied and wanted their money back. Realizing that she was representing a fraudulent company she vowed she was leaving before the Feds shut down the company and hauled her off the jail with the management. Laughable. She was a sista from NC. Why are these companies able to get away with this stuff? Because the Feds don't care cause we, the consumers, don't speak up. I'm actually looking at an offer fresh off the fax this morning...

11 Day Magical Vacation... 5 days and 4 nights in Orlando plus 3 days and 2 nights in Daytona Beach and F. Lauderdale, plus 3 days and 2 nights Bahamas Cruise with a Bonus: 5 days Cancun or 7 days Puerto Vallarta..All this for $99 per person. Sounds Too Good to be true right? It is!

The only people getting rich are these bustas scamming the rest of the hard working public. I'm beginning to think that there are not any more legitimate jobs available other than the dead end, no paying ones we are currently working. Everyone wants to be able to call their own shots and be their own bosses cause the ones we work for are crazy and credit stealing, but is this really possible?

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