Sizing Up Work-At-Home Offers

In a bad economy, you may be tempted to try and make extra money at home. But be wary. The Federal Trade Commission has gone after hundreds of work-at-home schemes in recent years.

Consumer Reports looked at several current offers and can tell you what kinds to avoid.

Countless work-at-home Web sites claim you can earn thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For instance, maybe you're handy and would like to assemble flies for fly-fishing or other products at home.

Gone Fish'n Tackle Company promises to pay 50 cents per fly.

But Consumer Reports' Greg Daugherty says here's the catch.

"After you pay for the materials from Gone Fish'n, you'd have to tie more than 30 flies an hour just to make minimum wage," said Daugherty.

Longtime fisherman Charles George says even with his experience, he couldn't tie that many good flies in an hour...and certainly not all day.

Another to teach you how to make as much as $350,000 a year stuffing envelopes and mailing company circulars.

"We paid $67 for access to a Web site that tells you how to place ads and ensnare other people in get-rich-quick schemes," said Daugherty.

Then, there's Google Money Tree...which is NOT affiliated with the Google search engine. It claims its free CD will tell you an amazing secret of selling on the Internet.

"The information isn't very helpful and if you don't cancel within a week, the company will charge your credit card $72 a month for access to its web site," said Daugherty.

Consumer Reports says before you sign up for any offer, check with the Better Business Bureau.

It gave all three of these companies a big "F."

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