On the Internet your bound to see ads that read: earn thousands of dollars a week working from home. Click on one of them and you enter a world that has ensnared people in money-losing ventures.
Now to money and jobs. You’ve seen those ads. Make $2,000 a week working from home. They’re on telephone poles and classifieds and on the Internet. They scream, just click here. But what happens after you click can be a long, disappointing and expensive ordeal. As Audrey Quinn of our Planet Money team reports, the industry behind these ads takes in tens of millions of dollars each year.
The first thing you have to know is these ads are not for actual work-at-home jobs. One or two clicks in, these companies tell you that the real easy way to get rich is by starting your own online business. You can stay in your pajamas, sell stuff on the Internet, make easy money. But the only way that will work is if you buy their system. Their sales pitch comes over the phone, and there is a science to how good they are at getting your money. The Federal Trade Commission, the FTC, they’ve been tracking these calls. They gave me one.
Starts out innocent enough, but this is actually the first step in the pitch, build rapport. This call in particular came from a salesman named Blake Kantor at a company called the Tax Club. This woman’s name has been beeped out. We’re going to call her Doris. What we know is she’s in her mid-70s and does not own a working computer. But after a few minutes on the phone with Blake, he has her thinking, sure, starting an online business could be easy. I’d be into that.