Assembling pens or how not to look for work at home

Assembling pens, selling candy, filling envelopes, etc. – you’ve probably encountered similar job offers before. It seems like a simple work from home job that also pays well. Doesn’t that sound too good? In this article, we’ll take a look at what’s behind such job offers and give you tips on how not to fall for them.

7 minutes of reading

Chapters of the article

Pay first, sell later

If you’re looking for manual work-at-home jobs, you’ve probably come across offers for pen assembly, envelope stuffing, toy assembly or something similar. You may come across such ads on social media, job portals or directly on the employer’s website.

At first glance, the advert seems solid and straightforward. A Czech company is looking for people interested in a simple job for which they can receive an above-average salary. The work is simple – you don’t need any experience or special skills. The company will send you the material and you will do some manual work in the comfort of your home, such as assembling pens, which you will then send back ready-made.

If it worked like that, it would be a really great job. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality. This kind of work is nowadays taken care of by machine production, which is much faster and cheaper. So it doesn’t make sense for people to do this kind of work and have it sent directly to their homes. The whole principle behind these offers is something completely different.

Before you get the job, you have to pay an entry fee, which is supposed to serve as a kind of deposit for the materials. This fee ranges from a few hundred to several thousand This may seem fair enough. But after you pay the fee, you still don’t get the job. All you get is an initial package containing the materials and instructions. So not only will you have to assemble the products, but you will also have to sell them yourself, at your own expense and effort.

You are not signing a contract of employment, but a contract of sale. You are therefore acting as an entrepreneur when you sell, for which you need a trade licence. You therefore have no guarantee that you will actually earn any money. You will most likely end up paying a lot of money, wasting a lot of time and gaining nothing.

The court also dealt with one similar offer. It concerned Denis Vincek, acting under the company Truxa Group. He offered people simple work from home. However, he demanded payment of CZK 660 in advance for sending documents for the job. However, no work was done. Vinček earned around CZK 6 million and defrauded almost 20,000 people.

How not to fall for

  • Read the terms and conditions: ask for the terms and conditions and read them carefully before you pay. You can already tell the true nature of the work being offered.
  • Ask others: Try to find reviews or even ask other people about a particular company. For example, you can use Facebook groups for work-from-home jobs. Here you will probably find someone who has already had personal experience with the company.
  • Don’t pay anything: It’s not common to pay anything upfront for a job, and this is true for work-at-home jobs as well. You should also be suspicious that there is no contract being signed and that, the company is constantly hiring new employees. Offers for manual work-at-home jobs are plentiful, so be wary of them.

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Pyramid schemes

Another similar type of work from home that you should watch out for is so-called pyramid schemes. A pyramid scheme is a special business model that is illegal in many countries because in most cases it leads to financial losses. This business model consists of recruiting as many people as possible for a particular job. The catch is that in order to start working, they must first invest a significant amount of money. The main purpose of their work is then to continue to recruit as many people as possible who continue to invest. So the system clearly resembles the shape of a pyramid – the first person stands at the top and recruits those below with them. They then recruit more and more and the pyramid continues to expand.

Participants are promised a high return on their investment, but these returns are usually funded by the investments of the newly recruited people rather than the profits generated from any legitimate business activity. As the scheme grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to recruit new members and those at the bottom of the pyramid often lose their investments.

Such offers are most often encountered on social media. In particular, Facebook groups for women on maternity leave are full of them. You will often see offers to sell drugstores, sweets, vitamins or various diet products. Usually, these advertisements are addressed directly to ‘mums on maternity leave’ and contain only basic information. However, they often promise several thousand dollars a month for a few hours of work.

Tip: Pyramid schemes are illegal in our country. If you have been a victim of it, you can defend your rights by filing a criminal complaint. If you choose an Accessible Lawyer, an attorney with more than 10 years of experience in criminal law will evaluate your situation and then prepare a criminal complaint.

How not to fall for

  • Do your research: do your research on the company or person offering the job. Find reviews, discussions on the subject, etc. In most cases, you’ll find enough information and personal testimonials to help you make a decision.
  • If someone promises you high earnings for minimal effort and risk, it’s probably not just that.
  • Recruiting first: If the job offer emphasizes recruiting more members, it will most likely be a pyramid scheme.
  • Requirement for initial investment: also beware if you are asked to make an investment to start with. This is not normal for standard job offers and indicates that it is likely to be a pyramid scheme or other unfair practice to get money out of you.

Tip: In addition to suspicious job offers, beware of fraudulent shipments. In our article, you will learn how such mailings work and how to deal with scammers.

Phishing

Another phenomenon to watch out for when looking for work from home is phishing. This is a type of cyber attack in which attackers try to obtain your sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and so on. This is what they often choose to do with tempting work-from-home offers.

Tip: Everyone has countless internet accounts these days. Whether it’s email, social networking accounts or gaming accounts. As the number of these accounts grows, so does the number of misuse of someone else’s identity. In our article you will learn how to beware of internet account theft.

Phishing attacks are commonly carried out through fraudulent emails, messages or websites that look trustworthy at first glance. Attackers pose as legitimate employers or employment agencies to lure job seekers into providing personal information, financial details or even payments for fake work-related expenses.

In addition, attackers often mimic real employers or agencies and their websites or emails are often almost indistinguishable from the original. It is therefore no wonder that phishing is becoming an increasing problem. This is compounded by the development of artificial intelligence, which makes this type of fraud even easier.

How not to fall for it

  • Beware of spoofs: Phishing that tries to imitate real employers or employment agencies can be detected simply by checking the URL of the website or the address of the sender of the email. If it doesn’t match the real thing, you’re in the clear.
  • Note the peculiarities: if it is a “genuine” company, however, then you need to involve your inner detective. Does the language the email or site uses seem odd to you? It is probably an automatic translation, which is typical for phishing. Urgency and limited offerings are also often present. If an email or page seems suspicious, don’t open anything and especially don’t fill in anything.

Tip: Phishing is a criminal offence. If you have experienced it, do not hesitate to contact the police. An available attorney can represent you in criminal proceedings. We will prepare the necessary documents and outline a strategy for possible representation.If you use our services, then you have a free drafting. We will set about resolving it and the fee paid for this service will simply be refunded to you.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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