Laws on Work from Home Scams Explained By NY Defense Lawyer
High demand for work-at-home jobs results in a significant number of fraudulent job postings and other online work from home scams. Jobs may be offered that involve applicants in illegal activities, like reshipping items purchased with stolen credit cards. Work-from-home scams may also serve as phishing scams that obtain personal information for use in identity theft schemes, or may involve defrauding consumers into paying money for job opportunities that do not exist.
No matter what form they take, work from home scams can be considered criminal fraud. If you are accused of involvement in such a scam, you could face federal charges for your role in the scheme. Bukh Law Firm, PLLC provides legal assistance to all individuals and organizations accused of any involvement with online work from home scams or other types of fraud in connection with career opportunities. Give us a call to learn about what your options are for fighting federal or state criminal charges.
What are Work from Home Scams?
When offering a work-at-home job, you must be honest about the job details and what it entails. If you require applicants to either pay for job opportunities or to sign a contract imposing any type of obligation on the applicant, you must comply with Business Opportunity Rule 16 CFR Part 437. This rule mandates a one page disclosure document outlining facts about the offered business opportunity and about whether anyone involved with offering the opportunity is facing pending legal actions. If the business advertisement or work-at-home job offer includes details about earning potential, additional documentation must be provided to supports the earnings claims.
Work at home scams occur when job postings or ads are misleading or fraudulent. Offering jobs that do not exist or making material misleading statements about job terms and conditions can both constitute work from home scams. Posting jobs that unknowingly involve applicants in criminal schemes is also illegal, and charging for job leads may be a form of fraud under certain circumstances.
Types of Work at Home Scams
There are many different kinds of online work from home scams, as well as scams advertised in newspapers, emails, or other solicitations. Some of the most common types of scams targeted those who want to work from their houses include:
- A work at home edu scam: These types of scams target consumers by promising training that will allow them to earn substantial amounts of money from stay-at-home jobs. The training may promise to provide insight on how to find job opportunities, or may promise to provide skills like medical billing or transcription that will lead to lucrative home job opportunities.
- Reshipping scams: Applicants are promised a payment for simply receiving and reshipping items. The items that are sent to the applicant are purchased with stolen credit card or bank information.
- Envelope stuffing or home assembly work scams: Applicants are told they will get money for stuffing envelopes or doing assembly work at home. Often, applicants are charged to get access to these jobs, which do not actually exist.
- Medical billing or claims processing jobs: Employees are told they’ll be paid for medical billing, coding, or processing insurance claims. Again, the jobs usually don’t exist but applicants are charged a fee before they find out that no jobs are available.
- Work-at-home phishing scams: Applicants are offered the opportunity to apply for jobs, or told they have been hired for jobs, that do not exist. The applicant’s personal and financial information is collected, including social security numbers, names, addresses, and other identifying details. The information is used to obtain credit or in other identity theft scams.
These are just a few examples of common work at home scams. It can be difficult to know the rules about what types of jobs can be advertised and when a job advertisement is in violation of the law. Any involvement with a work from home scam can, unfortunately, result in criminal charges that have a detrimental impact on your future freedom and financial security.
Penalties for Work at Home Scams
Penalties for work at home scams depend upon the type of fraudulent behavior you allegedly engaged in. Defendants who are accused of various scams have been convicted of federal and state crimes including wire and mail fraud under 18 U.S. Code Section 1341.and 18 U.S. Code Section 1343, as well as various Internet fraud crimes and identity theft crimes. Article 190 of the New York Penal Code also prohibits most types of work at home scams and defendants can be charged with various state-level offenses.
Penalties can include jail time, fines, a criminal record, and required restitution paid to fraud victims, among other consequences if convicted.
Accused of a Work at Home Scam? Get Help from a NY Defense Lawyer
When you are accused of a work at home scam, having the right attorney can make a big difference in how your case is handled. You need to get strategic legal advice from professionals familiar with state and federal charges who are ready to defend you in court or to negotiate on your behalf with prosecutors. Call today to schedule a consultation with Bukh Law Firm, PLLC to learn more about how our legal team has helped defendants charged with fraud crimes and about how our NY criminal defense lawyers can bring our legal knowledge to the table in your fraud case.