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From: BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
Time: 11:12:53 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Twist on an Old Scam: BBB Urges Caution
Arlington, VA, April 19, 1999 The Better Business Bureau, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, reports that in the past two weeks it has received over 60 inquiries from across the country about a company called Corporate Personnel. The company advertises employment opportunities in various newspapers across the United States.
The ads typically offer general office work. When consumers call a local phone number given in the newspaper, they are given another number which is supposedly for the company's personnel department. A representative tells the consumer that all the office positions have been filled, but they are offered another option: to work from their homes if they have a personal computer. Callers are told they will be able to do medical billing for doctors and dentists if they purchase $150 worth of software.
The $150 is taken from the consumer's checking account after he or she supplies their banking information and checking account numbers. While some consumers have received the software, they also report they are unable to get further support from the company who sold them the product. Consumers are left with no way to process any type of work and end up spending money rather than earning any. Some callers report that the company is based in Pittsburgh, but their address, which includes a 15202 zip code, does not exist. A copy of the reliability report on Corporate Personnel can be accessed by visiting the BBB of Western Pennsylvania's web site at http://www.pittsburgh.bbb.org.
The Better Business Bureau warns consumers that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The ever increasing popularity of computers creates a new opportunity for work at home schemes, but these schemes still deliver the same false promises. The latest twists generally do not offer employment. Instead, they sell computer equipment which, in fact, may cost consumers thousands of dollars. Work at home advertisers may urge consumers to buy software and computers at exorbitant prices while claiming there are potential employment opportunities doing such things as processing medical insurance claims. The methods of sale vary: consumers may be told their work will be coordinated with insurance companies by a central computer which does not actually exist. The promoter may delay the processing of the consumer's work, or they may claim the work contains numerous mistakes, or that the consumer has done the work incorrectly. Thus, the consumer may have no way to earn the promised sums of money, while possibly incurring thousands of dollars in bills and expenses.
Advertisers may also promote other computer related work such as word processing or data entry. They may require you to purchase a worthless disk that supposedly serves as a guide to get work, but turns out to be little more than a list which only provides government web sites and additional business opportunities.
The BBB suggests requesting detailed information about the offer before you purchase anything for work at home promotions. Contact your local BBB for a reliability report or to file a complaint.