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Work at Home Trap

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection/February 19, 2002

Work at Home
$1,200-$5,800 per mo
Own a computer?
Put it to work
$25-$75/hr

Be careful. You could lose money by calling the telephone numbers and getting involved in a multilevel marketing plan. Or you could be distracted by these illegal signs and get into an accident.

"They really don't have a job for you as implied in the ads," says Fran Tryon, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. "They aren't going to pay you $25 to $75 an hour or $5,800 per month. You will be asked to pay them money-at least $195 and up to $4,500 to get started as a distributor."

Wisconsin job hunters are being misled by these ads promising wealth and freedom. The work is not available unless an investment is made-a direct violation of Wisconsin's consumer protection law, since there's no disclosure of the investment required. And there's another misrepresentation because the ads describe inflated income opportunities.

Tryon says that only after new recruits pay money do they learn the company is Herbalife which sells nutritional supplements. "In addition to complaints from consumers who say they have been misled," says Tryon, "we have received calls from consumers, and from city, state, and county officials, complaining these illegal signs pose a safety hazard on our streets and highways." Police, city and county highway departments and the Department of Transportation must spend valuable time tearing down these signs.

Tryon says her staff also has a large collection of them. "Every time we remove a sign we may be saving people from being misled or being involved in a traffic accident," says Tryon.

In addition to removing signs and educating consumers about them, Consumer Protection has an extensive investigation of Herbalife and its distributors who may be prosecuted.

For a free fact sheet on multilevel marketing schemes and work-at-home offers, call the toll free hotline of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: 1-800-422-7128. Or E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .