Dollar bills on keyboard
Friday, August 18, 2017 - 11:52am

The UI Information Security and Policy Office warns the campus to avoid “work-at-home” schemes—often targeting students—that appear in web searches and are advertised on legitimate sites.

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday obtained a temporary restraining order halting one such scheme. The defendants allegedly lured consumers into buying an online system, falsely promising that they would earn thousands of dollars in their spare time working from home.

According to the FTC news release, the scam operated under several names: Work At Home EDU, Work At Home Program, Work At Home Ecademy, Work At Home University, Work At Home Revenue and Work at Home Institute. They claimed people could earn “hundreds of dollars per hour from home, without any special skills or experience.”

The scam used online “native” advertising–promotional content that resembles non-advertising material beside it–to reach consumers researching work-at-home opportunities online. For instance, a Work At Home EDU link would appear next to an article on working from home on the website

“We urge students and others to beware of offers that are too good to be true,” says UI Chief Information Security Officer Jane Drews. “Never fall for an offer requiring you to invest money up front.”