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Make Money Stuffing Virtual Envelopes! (Google Don’t Think So)

January 7, 2010

When I was a young, largely unsuccessful entrepreneurial kid looking to make my own buck, I always eyed those classified ads saying:  “Make $x a week stuffing envelopes at home!  Our kit shows you how!”   Never sent them the $20 because I suspected they’d send me a booklet that said to run classified ads saying “Make $x a week …” blah blah blah.

At 20ish, my girlfriend did not heed my concerns, which turned out to be correct — except it wasn’t even a booklet but just a single gazillionth-generation photocopy with instructions to make a copy of it, place classified ads, and send it to paying suckers like my girlfriend.

Enter the decas. Now it’s spam that says you can work for Google at home. The “kit” this time is usually set up as a rebilling scam (i.e., buyers subscribe for like $80 a month, and find it difficult to get out), and the product is generally useless publicly-available info, or malware-laden junk, etc.  A sucker is indeed born every minute, and the good scams adapt to the times.

So Google sued a bunch of these scammer folks. I don’t know where the case is at right now, but I do know that my spam folder is suddenly bereft of the “Work for Google” scamspam, and has returned to a comfortable Viagracentric norm.

The really short blurb that got my attention is at LawyersandSettlements.com.   Here’s ABC’s lengthy take on the scams, and of course Snopes, my favorite post-cynical resource, gives a fun history of the scam.

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