"Make money at home" ploys make someone rich, all right

Have you ever been tempted by one of those "too good to be true" want ads in the newspaper? You know the ones..."Earn $1000's in your own home!"

Occasionally, I've been asked what I though about them and if they were legitimate and worth responding to. Frankly, I wasn't sure. I was skeptical and suspicious, since in my own experience, every time I thought I had found an easy way to make money, I had been sorely disappointed. But to satisfy my curiosity, I recently responded to a few of them from several newspapers. I just had to see for myself if there was anything to this. Here's what I found:

$1000's Possible Typing!
Part time at home. Call this toll free number for listings.

My call was answered by what sounded like a telemarketer. There were many people on phones in the background and he wanted to know what extension number was mentioned in the ad before he could tell me any information. He then launched into a scripted presentation about how I could earn between $25 and $45 dollars per hour typing at home for medical facilities and law offices. Eventually it became clear that what he was really selling me was a $49.95 catalogue listing of companies who were interested in hiring people who could type at home.

I asked if he could give me a sample of the companies in my area that were in the catalogue. He wasn't able to provide that, he explained. But I would be sure to get my $49.95 refunded if I wasn't satisfied. After more questions, it was clear to me that what I would be buying is a mailing list. Nothing more. In my opinion, I could do just as well by using the local phone book.

FT/PT PEOPLE needed to be Mystery Shoppers for local stores.
Great pay, free products. Call now (a long distance number).

An enthusiastic recorded message explained that I could get paid to watch TV in my home and watch movies in local theaters. The message went on to say that they were a marketing research firm (no name was given) and all I had to do was fill out some surveys when I visited some local theaters to rate them on environment, cleanliness, etc. I didn't need to pay any fees. The pay for these jobs was between $8.75 and $15.00 an hour.

And then it got really interesting. They insisted that I call an international number, and implied that only people who "don't follow through" or "didn't follow instructions" never find the path to easy money. Hmmm. This was getting good!

Once I called the international number to heaven knows where, I began to listen to the longest, most vague description of god knows what. I pieced together that they were going to give me names of employers and tell me how to write letters. And they warned me that people who didn't know how to "use a dictionary" to spell their letters correctly, might have less favorable results. Eventually, they said I needed to get a "lot of paper" because they were going to give me a lot of valuable instructions. And, of course, I already knew what happened to people who didn't know how to follow instructions....

When it was casually mentioned that this was connected to a phone company and I was being charged by the minute, I hung up. I can't wait to see my phone bill.

Freelance Readers Needed!
$35,000 income potential

A cheerful voice message (which coincidentally sounded a lot like the last cheerful voice) informed me that I could earn $100 per book title or movie manuscript. He explained, "As you might guess, movie producers and book publishers would never invest all that money in a movie before they were sure it was going to be successful. They used to have "readers" on staff but now with downsizing they are going to you--the average person--to help them."

All I had to do was write a brief review of the book or film and collect my money. And oh, by the way, leave your name and address and we'll send you the $29.95 list of companies you will need to contact and a manual on how to do it.

Well, after my brief walk down the path toward easy money I felt more convinced than ever that nothing comes easy and what seems too good to be true, usually is. The only way to "get rich quick" is usually the hard way. 

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
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