FTC Lists Common Scams
These scams are promoted via mail and email.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has identified several common "scams" that are promoted through both mail and email. They include:

(1) Offers of incredible business opportunities (e.g., "up to $1,000 a day using your own computer—no experience required"). Many of these offers are illegal pyramid schemes.

(2) "Chain letter" schemes in which people are asked to send a sum of money (usually $5 to $20) to each of four or five names on a list, replace one of the names with their own, and then forward the revised list using bulk email. In many cases, the letter claims that the scheme is legal, and may even refer to legal citations. Don't believe it. Chain letters are almost always illegal, and nearly everyone who participates in them lose their money.

(3) Envelope-stuffing solicitations promising steady income for minimal labor. For example, "you'll earn $2 each time you fold a brochure and seal it in an envelope." The scam—victims receive instructions on how to send the same envelope-stuffing ad to others. A few may actually earn something, but at the expense of others who fall for the scheme.

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Posted: September 3, 2001
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