Insane promises and the old envelope stuffing scam

One of the first rules in avoiding employment scams is to ignore every advertisement that makes insane promises when it comes to income, and nothing fits that description like the old Envelope Stuffing Scam.

I did a search on this topic on Google. The very first result was an advertisement for one of these very schemes. Here’s a screenshot:


Why does anyone even bother going to college when they could be putting paper into envelopes? And it even says, “No catch. No scheme.” I mean, if they say they’re not a scam, they must not be, right? I mean, you can believe everything you read on the Internet, right?

The $5,000 is an insane enough claim, but look at the text of the ad. $10 per envelope? That’s an awful lot of money for not much work.

Look at it this way:

Time it takes to put something into an envelope: 10 seconds.
What they claim to pay you: $10/envelope.
What you’d be earning per minute: $60.
What you’d be earning per hour: $3,600.
What you’d be earning per week (40 hours): $144,000.
What you’d be earning per year: $7,488,000.
Jonathan Toews’ 2010-2011 salary: $6,500,000.

You’re making more than an NHL star, just by stuffing envelopes, plus you don’t have to get the spit repeatedly knocked out of you by large, fast men on ice skates. What’s not to love?

This is about all the proof you need that this is a scam. So what’s really going on here?

Apparently, if you try to get into the envelope stuffing business, you won’t end up stuffing a thing (except perhaps your pride). You pay the company up front (always a bad sign) to send you a “kit” (a word that almost never leads to good things when it comes to job offers). With this kit, you’re supposed to rope other people into the envelope stuffing business. It sounds an awful lot like a pyramid scheme to me.

Never just jump into a job offer without checking it out first. Aside from paying money for a job that turns out to be a sham, these shady companies aren’t above selling your personal information to other entities.