Important Note: When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Content, pricing, offers and availability are subject to change at any time - more info.
Adverts for opportunities that promise the potential to earn extra cash from home are tempting. Many of us dream of working flexible hours and supplementing our income, and what could be better than getting paid to stuff envelopes? Before you get excited and hit the ‘respond’ key on an email you’ve received, there are some things you need to know.
Envelope stuffing is the most common work from home scam. Scammers make money by taking a deposit, or the actual job may be part of a pyramid scheme setup. It is not a legitimate home industry, and responding to an advertisement will almost certainly end up costing you time and money.
‘Work From Home Stuffing Envelopes – Make $1500 A Week!’ Sounds tempting, right? Who wouldn’t want to make an extra $6000 a month? Read on to find out the unpleasant details about this scheme, and you will soon see why you should give this one a hard miss or be prepared to part with your hard-earned money.
Table of Contents
- Are Envelope Stuffing Jobs A Scam Or Not?
- Final Takeaways About Envelope Stuffing Jobs
Are Envelope Stuffing Jobs A Scam Or Not?
When a fantastic opportunity that promises loads of money for minimal effort arrives in your mailbox, the best thing to do is immediately hit delete. If something sounds too good to be true from the start, it almost definitely is.
There are always loads of work from home scams doing the rounds, and the envelope stuffing job is one of the most common. This scam has been around for more than 100 years and originated during the desperate times of the Great Depression. Interestingly, the tactic of shamelessly playing on the vulnerabilities of desperate people is what has made this scam so enduring.
The scammers target people who desperately need to earn an income by luring them in with promises of large amounts in relation to the required task. Some of these opportunities promise to pay up to $4 per envelope, which would quickly add up to a considerable sum if it was legit. Students, the elderly, and new parents who need to stay close to home may be especially tempted to sign up.
Website and email advertisements for envelope stuffing are often elaborate and list plenty of benefits like ‘opportunity for growth’ and flexible shifts with no experience. Even better is the fact ads highlight that you could work from anywhere. This can also be very appealing to people in remote areas eager to generate an income without long commutes.
Perhaps it is because it has been around for so long that some people conclude that there must be something to it. How would it continue to hook new participants if it was a scam? Surely those behind it would have been stopped by now?
The truth is that those behind the envelope stuffing job scam have taken cover behind an intricate digital wall, so it is difficult for authorities to clamp down on any particular business owner. Also, this scam is rampant, with many networks operating simultaneously from no traceable business premises. So, any money lost is probably never going to be recovered, and you will just need to chalk it up as an expensive life lesson.
Because the envelope-stuffing scam has been around for so long, there is plenty of solid evidence that it isn’t real and doesn’t work. Remember that envelopes can be stuffed by machines that can do the work at an incredible pace without payment, and most businesses would never send out clients’ addresses to a 3rd party in the first place.
If you need more proof that envelope stuffing jobs aren’t a good idea, two reputable consumer watchdogs have alerts on their websites warning people about the envelope stuffing job scam.
- Federal Trade Commission – https://consumer.ftc.gov/articles/job-scams
- Better Business Bureau – https://www.bbb.org/phoenix/news-events/news-releases/2016/06/consumers-complain-of-getting-stiffed-stuffing-envelopes/
Receiving an offer for an income-generating opportunity that you can do from your own home is tempting, but do your homework and carefully sift information before acting on anything.
How Does The Envelope Stuffing Scam Work?
What could be easier than being paid to fold letters and put them in envelopes, right? Wrong, because there is no such job. This scam has been doing the round for years and continues to attract unsuspecting participants. So, how does it work, and why does it continue to operate if it has been flagged so often?
It sounds so simple. Just sign up, usually for a small fee, and then receive the names of companies looking for people to stuff envelopes and get paid. This can all sound legit, especially if you are excited and looking forward to starting a work-from-home business. Quite simply, the scam sounds too good to be true, and it appeals to anyone who is keen to make a bit of extra income – and who isn’t?
The envelope stuffing work from home scam has been around for so long that it has evolved and has two entirely different methods. Both ways will see you losing money, and the one may even drain your time and energy as you try to meet the requirements to earn an income.
Let’s take a look at the two ways this scam may unfold once you have responded to an email or advertisement:
- Sign up or registration fee: Many of these schemes promise or even ‘guarantee’ generous returns, but they will only be prepared to share their secret information about how it all works after you submit your one-time registration fee.
A $20 or $50 sign-up fee may not seem like a lot if the job promises $100 a day, but understand that it is money you are unlikely to get back. The scammers collect these once-off deposits of small amounts from hundreds or thousands of people each day to line their own pockets.
- Pyramid scheme earnings: In return for your sign-up fee, you will probably receive a letter about how to distribute the exact same advert you responded to. You might even be requested to place the ad on bulletin boards or publications which could cost you more money.
The envelope stuffing scam in its complete form could keep you tied in for quite some time. If one of the adverts you place gets any attention, or you manage to hook in a friend or relative who then pays their own deposit fee, you may receive a few dollars for ‘stuffing the envelope.’
That person, in turn, will need to sign up more people, and the elaborate scheme will continue. This is certainly not the job you imagined at the start, where you could neatly fold letters and seal them at your kitchen table while your baby takes a nap.
You will spend your days frantically trying to sign up more and more people to a business that doesn’t exist. The truth of the subject is that some of the envelope stuffing work from home jobs are elaborate pyramid or Ponzi schemes as any hope of any income is entirely dependent on how many people you will be able to persuade to sign up and register.
When you finally realize that nothing will come of the business you had pinned so much hope on, it can leave you feeling pretty disillusioned and cheated.
If a company truly needs additional workers to stuff envelopes, as is sometimes the case with printing companies, they hire temporary staff directly and pay them for the work done. There is no up-front fee or middleman who will ‘sell’ you the required information for a sign-up fee.
For legitimate envelope stuffing positions, approach large companies directly and inquire at places that print newsletters or brochures to see if they need help.
What To Do If You Are A Victim Of The Envelope Stuffing Scam
If you are someone who has had the feeling of excitement about starting a home business replaced with complete disillusionment and anger, don’t feel alone. The envelope stuffing job scam has been around for years, and many have fallen victim to its promises.
While you probably won’t be successful, the first thing you should try to do when you realize that this work-from-home opportunity has only cost you money is to contact the company and ask for a refund. Let them know that you plan to notify relevant consumer protection agencies about your experience if you don’t get your money back.
Your next steps will still not get your money back, but your actions in reporting the scam may save another hopeful applicant from following the same path. There are several organizations that you can advise about your experience:
- The local Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org.
- The Federal Trade Commission [FTC]. Visit https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/ to report a fraudulent company or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
- If you initially saw the ad you responded to in a publication, contact the advertising manager and tell them about your experience.
- The US Postal Inspection Service should be informed of scams that include fraudulent or irregular mail practices. https://www.uspis.gov/.
- Inform the attorney general’s office in your state. There may even be a state law protecting you from unregulated work-at-home schemes. Find the relevant office at: https://www.naag.org/.
Warning Signs That Envelope Stuffing Jobs May Not Be Legit
If you have received an email about an opportunity that promises to pay generously for stuffing envelopes, the best idea is to delete it immediately. However, if you are tempted to open it and read more details, put your radar on full alert as you proceed.
We have made a list of reasons that you should be highly suspicious of envelope stuffing job offers:
- Most offers are received via email. Let’s face it, the chances that you would have been specifically selected to be a part of an ‘exciting business opportunity’ that could net you thousands of dollars each month with no skills, training, or experience is pretty unlikely. It smacks strongly of the ever-popular Nigerian prince email scam.
If such an opportunity did exist, surely the emailers would reserve it for members of their own family and immediate friends, rather than casting the offer out far and wide across the internet?
- Why would anyone need envelope stuffers? Not only are there machines that neatly stuff envelopes at an astounding speed, but most businesses also would never share their client’s personal information with a third party. It would be unethical and have significant security implications.
- Guaranteed high income? Most envelope stuffing jobs from home make bold claims and promises about the astounding amounts of potential income. Remember that promises are easy to make and difficult to keep.
This scam has been around for 100 years, and the words on the advertisements have been carefully honed and devised. They are intended to make you dream big and eager to get started.
- Where is the company based? Envelope stuffing work from home job offers are pretty sketchy about the location of their headquarters. Essentially, they want you to send money to an address that is often just a PO Box, and it will be impossible to trace them later when you want a refund.
Any company offering high potential income should have business premises with a few permanent employees. Do some investigating, take a look on Google maps, and check out where the company headquarters is.
- Requests to sign up more members. Few things will make you less popular with friends and family than being a part of a pyramid scheme. If a business needs you to sign up more members to earn an income, the work is not about envelope stuffing. It is simply an elaborate pyramid scheme with no actual product.
- The sign-up fee. Think about it. What job that promises to pay you high dividends would need you to pay upfront to be a part of it? Surely if there is so much money to be made, they would set it up so that they would earn commission from yoursuccessful home business.
Instead, they promise to supply you with information about companies that need envelope stuffing services. Worst of all, what you are most likely to receive is a couple of copies of the exact advertisement you responded to with instructions to distribute them.
- How will you actually get paid? Be very cautious about sharing personal information like banking details with online companies making big promises. The huge earning potential offer may just be a clever way to get you to share personal information that can be used in some other way.
- Check for reviews online. The web has made sharing information a lot easier. Red flags should start waving the moment you see a company’s name crop up on negative reviews. Don’t assume it was just a few bitter, lazy former envelope stuffers giving poor reviews. Where there is smoke, there is more than likely a fire, and you should avoid it at all costs.
Final Takeaways About Envelope Stuffing Jobs
Despite it being flagged as a scam by consumer protection agencies like FTC and BBB, the marketing is so tempting and convincing that people continue to fall for it in the hopes of earning a lucrative income.
Envelope stuffing jobs are a well-known scam that just keeps going. Don’t fall for it, and hang on to your hard-earned money! Part of the operation’s success is that it seems impossible for it to have lasted so long. You, therefore, assume that there must be some element of truth to it. There is not.