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Is Rebate Processing a Scam?

Apr 13, 2008
In the search for a work at home job, you may have come across sites telling you that you can earn big money as a rebate processor. All you have to do is send in your money and they'll tell you how.

Right from the start, one of the classic hallmarks of a scam. Pay us and we'll tell you all about our glorious opportunity that is sure to make big bucks for you!

Now not every product that tells you that you can make good money is a scam. But the more hype that is used, the better the chances. And any quality product will be upfront enough to tell you that not everyone makes big money working from home, no matter the business. All they can do is give you some tips to help you get things going.

There are a couple of rebate processing scams out there. The older one used to be called HUD or FHA refund tracing. They've since changed it to rebate processing as people became too aware of that scam. The basic idea is that you help people get their HUD refunds. Not a bad service, but if someone knows they have money coming to them from HUD it's not too hard to claim it.

And to make things more difficult, FHA and HUD deal only with the person due the refund. They don't deal with you. Makes getting paid a bit risky.

A fairly popular variant is one in which they're really going to tell you about affiliate marketing. The idea is that you sell products as an affiliate, and the customer contacts you for a rebate. The company they most often promote for this is Clickbank, which sells electronic products.

There's one very simple problem with that, and it lies in Clickbank's terms: "You agree to make no such promotions promising customers rebates, coupons, tickets, or vouchers in connection with their ClickBank purchase." You can read all the terms at Clickbank's site.

That's right. Offering a rebate on a customer's Clickbank purchase is against the rules. They'll cancel your account if they catch you at it.

Other companies have similar terms. You can only offer rebates with special permission, and that may have to be granted by the company whose products you are selling.

Add in the complications of being certain that the sale went correctly through your links, worrying about customer refunds after you've given them their rebate, paying out money before your affiliate commissions come in, and so forth. Earning money this way is not so neat and clean as the people promoting these opportunities would like you to think.

As with many a work at home scam, it comes down to something very simple: If it were that easy, a lot more people would be doing it. Instead there are just a few companies, generally offering points for affiliate purchases rather than flat out rebates, and it takes a whole lot of them for the customer to get any cash out of the deal. Just give that some thought.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/ about being a work at home mom. She offers more tips on spotting work at home scams at her site.
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