COLUMN: Outrageous claims of easy money

Work-from-home offers promise ridiculously high pay for unskilled work

The money-making offers are too good to be true.

“Start making every month online more than $20k just by doing this very easy job online,” one offer reads.

“Last month I have got paid $18726 by doing very easy and simple home based online job just in my part time,” another promises.

These offers show up, often in the comments sections of news stories on many sites, each claiming the promise of plenty of money for just a little effort.

We get them on our website on a regular basis, and we delete them as soon as we are able.

The claims have the promise of huge paycheques.

Ridiculously huge.

One recent offer spoke of earning $22,859 in a month, working just two hours a day.

If the person worked two hours every day of the month — a total of 62 hours in January — the hourly wage would be $368.69 per hour.

That’s a lot of money for an easy, part-time job.

If this is supposed to be an average month’s pay, the job would be worth more than $274,000 a year.

Very few positions pay as well as the claims made in these offers.

There are only a few careers in Canada with median salaries topping $100,000 a year. These fields, according to Canadian Business, include pharmacists, petroleum engineers and some senior-level administrative and management positions.

Each of these roles involves specialized training and some involve years of work at lower levels before reaching the senior roles.

Some chief executive officers of major Canadian companies receive salaries, bonuses and other compensation worth millions of dollars each year, but again these are elite, senior roles, not entry-level positions.

For the rest of us, wages are much more modest.

According to information from Statistics Canada’s 2016 census, the average median household income in 2015 was $70,336 a year. That’s household income, not individual income.

How is it possible to have an easy part-time job, requiring no specialized skills and paying four times the amount of a typical Canadian family’s total income?

Does this work-from-home offer involve running a crystal methamphetamine lab, dealing in fentanyl or trafficking cocaine?

Not quite, but these work-from-home offers are considered scams.

These jobs often require a payment from the job seeker before beginning work. Then, the work either does not pay at all or pays far less than the amount promised.

These offers have been around for almost a century. Earlier, the message was circulated through small classified ads. Today, the claims are posted in online comments.

And some people will contact the scammers in hopes of getting an easy, high-paying job.

It would be easy to assume those falling for these scams are greedy, but it is more likely that desperation is the motivating factor.

A recent news story stated that according to a poll, 46 per cent of Canadians are $200 or less away from financial insolvency at the end of the month, and 45 per cent said they will need to go further into debt to pay their living expenses.

Recent information from Statistics Canada shows that on average Canadians owed almost $1.78 for every dollar of household disposable income.

A quick check into the claims of a work-from-home scheme should raise questions and warning signs for potential applicants. If the job promises unrealistic pay for minimal effort, it’s something to avoid.

But the offers can still look tempting, especially to someone struggling under a huge debt load.

And that’s why the work-from-home offers, with the promise of quick money, are not going to go away any time soon.

John Arendt is the editor of the Summerland Review.

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