Another scam to watch out for: Envelope-stuffing scheme
by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office
September 5, 2014
A scam that dates back nearly 90 years is circulating locally, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office warned today (Friday, Sept. 5).
Sheriff Rich Haskell said his office has received several reports from county residents victimized by the "envelope stuffing scheme."
Haskell said prospective victims receive a letter via conventional mail or email offering potential earnings thousands of dollars weekly "from the comfort of your home" for stuffing envelopes at the rate of $5.00 to $10.00 per envelope.
The sting strikes when the victim is asked to send the company money - in the latest version of the scam, $299 - for a "one-time computer processing and materials processing fee," which will be "returned later" but never is.
The organization sending out the latest letters, which calls itself Mason Grace Enterprises of New York City, has been the subject of Internet warning notices from the Better Business Bureau and the Consumer Business Alliance.
Haskell said the envelope stuffing scam dates back to the early days of the Great Depression, when people would receive offers of envelope-stuffing, at-home employment after a fee of $2.00 or so was sent to the scammers. "People were desperate then and often jumped at the chance, so the con was frequently successful. $2.00 went a lot farther then than it does now; the only difference is that inflation has multiplied many times what the scammers ask for."
Officials recommend that people exercise extreme caution when considering any work-at-home offer or communication, regardless of how they receive it.