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Better Business Bureau warns of scams lurking among work-at-home jobs

CHICAGO (WLS) — Many people are currently looking for a side gig or part-time work from home, but the Better Business Bureau warns that some of these opportunities really are too good to be true.

Some listings say you can earn money by reviewing video games, completing surveys, or sharing your social media contacts with other businesses. But the BBB says beware.

Martin Lewis said he signed up for SocialDM, a platform that says it will pay people to test apps and games. They also promise extra money for signing up friends and even a $40 bonus for joining them. Lewis said he believed he had completed the tasks, which he said included completing surveys and providing his personal information.

“They asked for things like your social security number. Sometimes your driver’s license numbers. Sometimes they ask for your previous mailing address in the last five years, personal information like that,” he said. . “And that was basically stored on each of the surveys. But you had to reach a certain level in the surveys to get paid.”

Lewis shared a screenshot with the I-Team, showing he has a balance of $1,320, money to complete his “work”. But Lewis said that when he tried to withdraw money, another screen told him that he had not completed the tasks of inviting others to the platform.

Lewis said he hadn’t been able to convince people to agree, and the website didn’t clearly outline the requirement.

“You should expect nothing, expect nothing,” he said.

The BBB spoke generally about job offers on these types of online platforms.

“Whenever these deals seem like you know they promise great returns, or they promise you loads of gift cards or gift certificates, you know high amounts for doing little or no work. is what we call tipping for scamming,” said Steve Bernas, president of the Chicago-area Better Business Bureau.

The BBB says you should avoid any online offers that make such promises, especially when they also ask for personal information. The SocialDM website says it encrypts all your data so no one can see it, not even SocialDM.

“So consumers don’t think they’re harmed by giving them this information freely, even sometimes when they don’t get the money they’ve been promised. But the concern of the Better Business Bureau is always to provide information personal to other people because you never know where it’s going to end,” Bernas said.

The I-Team found two email contacts for SocialDM and inquired about Lewis’s claims. We haven’t heard from anyone yet.

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