Data Entry Scams Exposed

by Mike on February 3, 2009
in Scams

I got into an argument the other day with a buddy of mine who is looking for a way to make some extra money. He had been looking around the internet in search of a reliable way to make a few extra bucks each month. After spending a few late nights searching he stumbled onto an idea he liked. It was a data entry service that claimed it would pay him to type simple information into a couple of fields. He could do this right from the comfort of his own home and he’d get paid every two weeks.

This immediately set off the alarms in my head. I’ve seen people fall for data entry scams before and I didn’t want to see it happen to my friend. As I tried to explain it to him he got very upset. He claimed I was trying to put down his idea because he hadn’t consulted me first. I strongly suspected he was making a mistake but to keep the peace I kept my mouth shut and wished him luck.

This morning he called to apologize. He told me he had been had and that he should have listened to me. I managed to fight the temptation to say “I told you so” and asked if I could write a short article about his experience. If you’ve never heard of data entry scams then let me explain how they work so you can avoid getting burned by them.

Most advertisements for data entry jobs lead you to believe you’ll be helping one or more companies enter data into a database or other computer system. When you see these ads you probably think its a form of outsourcing like a medical transcriptionist. All you have to do to start earning a steady income is send away for their information package (and pay a small fee).

But when you get the package you realize you’ve been misled. You actually signed up to be an affiliate of the data entry service itself. Your information packet instructs you to sign up for Google AdWords and place ads for their service (this is where the “data entry” comes in). When someone clicks on your link and signs up you get a commission.

Now this in itself is not wrong. There’s nothing wrong with affiliate marketing and you can make a lot of money doing it. But the scam is that this isn’t what you signed up for. Its blatant false advertising because they never told you:

1. You could have signed up to be their affiliate for free.

2. You’re not doing data entry at all. You’re purchasing advertisements.

3. You have to pay for those advertisements.

4. There’s no guarantee you’ll ever receive a single paycheck.

In my opinion these data entry scams are nothing more than a way to take advantage of people who are looking to make a few extra bucks in their spare time.  A year or two ago these services were banned from Clickbank but I’ve seen them popping up with other payment processors here and there.  

Buyer beware.