MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Would you pay money to make money? One woman called Contact 6 when she got a work-at-home offer that promised big payments for very little effort. But she did one thing that may have saved her a lot of money!
It was delivered one day in the mail - a simple application form giving Joan Uitz the chance to make money working from home.
"You would send them a particular amount of money for a certain amount of envelopes to stuff," Uitz explains.
For a fee, a company called Preston Lord Enterprises sends envelopes, letters and mailing labels to paying participants - like Joan. She would then get paid for doing what's known as "envelope stuffing", then sending them out through the mail.
According to the mailer she received, payment options show fees between $99 and $299 promising returns of as much as $5,000!
They also told Joan to look up a promotional video online, as proof that the company pays its employees.
So while Joan was online, she did a little more digging.
"I had checked them out on the internet and found that most of it was not a good review," she says, "and probably they should be investigated by the New Jersey Attorney General's office!"
Funny that Joan would suggest that.
In 2011, the New Jersey Attorney General filed suit against "Capital Enterprises, Inc." - which, according to the Better Business Bureau, also uses the name "Preston Lord Enterprises."
According to the complaint, the company promises to pay consumers a set amount per envelope stuffed but would later require further payments - then, fail to live up to those promised payments. The suit goes on to say the company uses "unconscionable commercial practices, deception, false promises or misrepresentations" of the offer to stuff envelopes for cash.
"It's a total scam in our opinion," says Wisconsin Better Business Bureau's Ran Hoth.
He says the company has an F-rating with more than 100 complaints against it - typical of companies that make you pay for promises of a big pay-day.
"Work at home schemes," Hoth explains, "high pay, short hours, no skills? Beware."
Contact 6 just learned the lawsuit against Capital Enterprises, Inc. has been settled. Among the company's admissions - fewer than 1% of all participants made any money from this envelope stuffing offer, and the most made by a single person? $520.00 over a 10 month period.
Stuffing envelopes for cash? That's a business plan that's paper-thin.