Fraudsters resort to promises of working from home to cheat innocent victims
Lihle Z Mtshali
Lihle Z Mtshali
Clever moms and dads work from home. Earn up to R30000 a month surfing the Internet part-time. These are just some of the words fraudsters use in newspaper classified adverts, luring innocent people into scams that promise to pay out thousands of rand for working a few hours a day from home.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has received so many complaints from disgruntled people who have responded to these ads that it has undertaken to ban work-from-home adverts. This follows new regulations passed by trade and industry department, which declared that some work-from-home adverts were illegal.
Leon Grobler, manager for dispute resolutions at ASA, said that typically complaints were received about scams where advertisers would take respondents' money but the respondent would never receive the promised product or they would do the work, such as typing, and never get paid for it.
"People generally lose hundreds of rand from responding to these adverts, which mislead them into believing they will make that much money," said Grobler.
Lois Moodley was hoping for a financial break when she replied to an ad that guaranteed to take her financial blues away forever, but she got a rude awakening when she was told to pay R500 for a start-up kit.
"The advert said I would make R30000 a month by becoming an Internet salesperson, but they later told me that I had to pay R500 upfront and they would then give me a package of training material and a start-up kit," said Moodley.
When she asked for guarantees, other than their word, that investing this R500 would make her that profit, the advertisers could not give a guarantee and became annoyed.
"The regulation has been effective from the end of April and if we see any of these ads in the paper, the ASA will investigate and have them removed," said Grobler.