work-at-home scheme is a get-rich-quick scam in which a victim is lured by an offer to be employed at home, very often doing some simple task in a minimal amount of time with a large amount of income that far exceeds the market rate for the type of work. The true purpose of such an offer is for the perpetrator to extort money from the victim, either by charging a fee to join the scheme or requiring the victim to invest in products whose resale value is misrepresented.

Work-at-home schemes have been around for decades, with the classic “envelope stuffing” scam originating in the Indianhome. In this scam, the worker is offered entry to a scheme where they can earn Rs. 2500 for every envelope they fill. After paying a small Rs. 950 a fee to join the scheme, the victim is sent a flyer template for the self-same work-from-home scheme, and instructed to post these advertisements around their local area – the victim is simply “stuffing envelopes” with flyer templates that perpetuate the scheme. Originally found as printed adverts in newspapers and magazines, variants of this scam have expanded into more modern media, such as television and radio adverts, and forum posts on the Internet.