Envelope stuffing or home mailing schemes have apparently been around since the Great Depression.
I would have thought and hoped that with the wide use of internet and technological advances that by now this scam would be more or less dead. But unfortunately, no, there are still sites and classified ads promoting this as a way of earning money from home.
At one time this was a legitimate way of earning some extra cash with companies sending out a lot of mail, but it was always very badly paid.
Today, if a company needs to send out lots of mailshots or fliers there are machines that will fold and insert the fliers into the envelopes. This makes it completely unviable for companies to employ people to carry out this task.
I can understand people falling for these home mailing jobs, it’s easy work and the pay sounds good. However, the reality is if you try this envelope stuffing work you will be involved in a scam.
Envelope Stuffing Jobs
Can you believe these ads are for real?
Here’re just a few of the advertisements I found online.
This one’s from a site called Hazel Peppergood. You have to pay $68.95 for a report giving you the names of supposedly legitimate envelope stuffing companies.
Another from 1200weekly.com, this one costs you $29.95 and they say you are paid $5 for every envelope you stuff.
An advert from a company called processingenvelopes.biz again costs $29.95 and you receive $5 per envelope filled. Nice work if you can get it!
Do people really believe they can make this sort of money from envelope stuffing? The only money that is going to be earned from these schemes is when you pay your registration fee and it won’t be you receiving the money!
Some sites that offer envelope stuffing work also promote other job offers such as:
- completing surveys which may not be a complete scam but, in my opinion, is largely a waste of time
- assembling products – another scam. You pay a fee and you are sent the materials. When you send the assembled goods back to the supplier the quality is never good enough for them to pay you.
How Do the Envelope Stuffing Scams Work?
Most of the companies that market these schemes suggest that they will send you envelopes, you will stuff them and then send them out. You earn anything up to $5 for every envelope you stuff.
It seems an ideal way to make money online. The drawback is that you have to pay before you find out exactly what’s involved.
The companies that run these schemes say it’s to protect themselves from people who aren’t serious. This may be true as they are sending out some materials for you to get started. However, it’s only when you receive the starter kit that you learn exactly what you will be doing.
The starter kit
Once you have paid your money, you are meant to receive the starter kit. Actually, you will either receive nothing or you’ll receive instructions on how to start your own envelope stuffing “business”. And it won’t be what you thought you were getting into.
You will be told to place advertisements or create fliers to entice new people into the envelope stuffing “work”. This time, they will send you the money to get a job. In return, you send them the same instructions that you received. And so it goes on, a never-ending chain.
Here is an example of a suggested flier.
Recruit others into the envelope stuffing scheme
Although you are told you won’t be selling, you will only be paid when people reply to your adverts or fliers. You may be desperate, but don’t get involved. You will be printing fliers and perhaps be placing ads to attract new members to this scam. This means you will have to spend a little money yourself.
Can you imagine if you carry on with this? You will have gone from being a victim to someone who is trying to scam others and breaking the law? Remember if you do promote an envelope-stuffing scheme you can be prosecuted.
This business is based on signing up new members, who in turn, sign up new members. There is no product being sold so it is a form of pyramid scheme.
The people these types of schemes prey on are the desperate, the unemployed, stay at home moms, the retired or even the disabled. Anyone who really needs to earn some extra cash by working from home.
Two of the above schemes offer a “guarantee” that everything they have told you is true. The other one gives a 6-month guarantee if you are disappointed with a program after preparing and posting 500 envelopes.
Not surprisingly you can find complaints about all these programs and of course, they don’t honor any guarantee they give.
If you have been scammed by one of these programs, you can try and contact them for a refund. Normally they don’t reply but no harm trying. Also, let them know you will be reporting them to different organizations such as the Federal Trade Commission (ftccomplaintassistant.gov), the Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) and your local consumer protection offices.
If you found the envelope stuffing job via an advert let the company know, be it a magazine or a website, that they are advertising a scam.
FTC and BBB Warnings
If you need any further confirmation that these envelope stuffing jobs are scams do a Google search for BBB envelope stuffing jobs and you will find several articles they have written on the subject over the years. The FTC, the US Postal Inspection Service, and other consumer sites have also issued warnings.
Here’s a link to an article from the FTC.
There have also been several prosecutions, generally, when the schemes have many thousands of victims and the owners have stolen several millions of dollars. Here are two of the cases I found: Arkansas man and woman convicted of mail fraud and Spammer faces jail time for envelope-stuffing scheme
I find it very frustrating that this scam that has been going on for so long still manages to attract new victims. The FTC has closed some sites, but there are still way too many online that go unpunished.
Whatever you do don’t sign up for one of these schemes, anything that involves envelope stuffing steer clear.
Start your own online business
If you have a few hours per day to spare filling envelopes, why don’t you use this time to start your own legitimate business? You may not make any money straight away and it will take hard work. However, it is 100% legitimate.
You must accept there is no such thing as easy or quick money. Everyone who is successful, online or offline, has worked hard to get there.
Many people hesitate because they are afraid of building a website. However, there is software available that makes it very easy to build a website and add a great looking sales page.
If you think this is something you would like to try it would be a good idea to get educated in building an internet marketing business. It might sound a little intimidating but believe me, there are thousands of people just like you who are earning money this way.
To get a better idea of what is involved, take a look at my top recommended online training program. It’s completely free to join (you don’t even need your credit card) and you are even given 2 free websites.
You will see how quick and easy it is to create a website and you will receive your first 10 lessons of training for free. At that point, you may decide you would like to continue or choose it’s not for you. Either way no problem and no pressure. Even if you don’t go any further you can still keep your 2 websites.
Thanks for reading and if you have any experience of any stuffing envelopes jobs I would love to hear your story in the comments section below.
How can I do it and not get ripped off?
You shouldn’t do this Paul. You may get ripped off but to earn money you will do exactly the same thing to others. How would you feel knowing you have made money by misleading others? Don’t believe the programs that say making money online is easy, it takes time and a lot of work to be successful online.
I don’t think it is right that companies who hire people to stuff envelopes from home should have to pay a fee to start. maryrose
You should never pay to join an envelope stuffing scheme, Maryrose. All you will do is promote the same scheme to others. This isn’t a legitimate work from home job.
Wow I can’t believe the good old envelope trick is still making the rounds – surely everyone knows it is a scam by now?
It’s terrible that they end you up at a survey point and even make you assemble rubbish that will never make the grade – surely there must be some sort of legal complications with this – a law breach?
There are still envelope stuffing programs around Chris and yes, they are still attracting unwary desperate people. With most of these schemes, you are encouraged to start your own envelope stuffing business, you go from the person who has been scammed to the person who is scamming others. Certainly, something to be avoided!
In the past some of these schemes have been shut down or prosecuted by the FTC for making false and deceptive claims but other schemes are still operating.
hello im nancy and as work from home mom i love your article its true at the beginning its difficult and you struggle since theres a lot of scams and misinformation and you really end fed up trying to find a good job online but what i found is that if you subscribe to a good newsletter like workfromhomenewsletter com you can find something you like and works for you good luck
Yes, it’s quite difficult to find a genuine program with the many scams around. Thanks for sharing your tip about the workfromhomenewsletter. I have never heard of them before and I can’t find much information online which I find a little strange. I will try and have a closer look when I get the chance.
Thanks again for the info,
Hi Peter, I too have heard of this stuffing envelopes scam. I never myself have been interested in such a thing but my sister has. I don’t believe that she has taken the time to really look into it but it concerns me that she will. She isn’t a good one to read “the fine print”.
I am with you, these types of programs make me angry when I see them all over the internet. It makes wonder how some people can sleep at night! I could never fall pray to such things and I would never ever consider trying to promote such crap.
One thing you pointed out that I didn’t realize, these pyramid scams are illegal. Could you really be prosecuted for doing this?? That is a scary thought! Should be enough to deter others from joining. Thank you for pointing that out!
Now I have something more to discourage my sister away from it!
Try to stop your sister from getting involved in this scam, she will only lose her money or worse start promoting the same envelope stuffing scam herself. The problem is that these people make it seem so simple to earn money this way and they have already caught many people, that’s why this scam is still going after all these years.
There have been quite a few prosecutions for envelope stuffing scams over the years but new schemes keep popping up. I suppose that shows how successful these scams are. The authorities take action when they have received a lot of complaints about a scam.
The best way to avoid the scams is to thoroughly research any so-called opportunity and anything that seems too good to be true avoid!
Good luck in discouraging your sister!
Good work exposing another online scam. This one’s classic, do people really think that they can make $1,000’s online by providing manual labor of stuffing envelopes as a legitimate home based business.
It’s got to be easy to start a scam, just think of things that people want to hear and they naturally trust the company because they want to believe it.
I never got suckered into programs like this, but I understand how it happens. To really make money online, you need to get educated on internet marketing and learn from a reliable source. That’s step one, then you have to be willing to work at it and take action on what you learn.
Find the formula that works and repeat. Today I woke up to $245 dollars in commission, so believe me, it can happen with the right training, support, and work ethic.
This scam has been around for years and still, people fall for it. It’s really the typical type of scam that we see so often, easy money for doing very little. As you say it’s easy to see why people are drawn to schemes like this.
You’re having success after working hard to build your own business and I congratulate you. You found a genuine training platform and you understood that making money online wasn’t as easy as stuffing envelopes. Thanks for telling us of your success, Todd I’m sure it will inspire others into trying internet or affiliate marketing.
Luckily I do not see myself stuffing envelopes in the near future. I would say that this “company” is a pyramid scheme because they do not have products to sell. I am not a big fan of MLM so when I see a pyramid scheme I immediately turn green.
I hate it when marketers use the words “Proven money making system”.
I’m glad you won’t be trying this because the only way anyone can make any money at stuffing envelopes is by scamming others. I would prefer this to be called a proven way of losing money or scamming people. I am sure there aren’t many who actually make money filling envelopes and if they do, I wonder if they feel good about scamming others. I certainly wouldn’t!
All the best,
Hi Peter, thank you for this text. I am puzzled just like you in Conclusion, with the fact that this kind of activity continues attracting people, and this in spite of the FTC and BBB Warnings as you mentioned in the text. So I guess the problem is less in the ‘business’, it is more in the people. Thank you for this text, I believe you have contributed a lot from your side in warning people against such activities.
I agree with you, if there weren’t people ready to invest in these scams, they would soon give up. There are loads of complaints and warnings online, however, many don’t bother to check if something is legit before paying their membership fee. Little by little perhaps they will start to take heed and do their due dilligence.
Thanks for your comment,
Paying money to get some obscure ebook/list. That’s crazy! Indeed, it’s weird that people still fall victim to such nonsense. But it’s a big world on the internet and there are desperate people online…
I agree with you that this time would be better spend building your own business, instead of doing some passive brain numbing work. But I guess people just want to take the easy way.
Thanks for pointing out another obvious scam! Hopefully it helps people to finally realise there is no such thing as getting easy money online.
I am also surprised that people fall victim to these obvious scams, but as you say there are many desperate people out there who are willing to try anything to earn some money. After all the years the envelope stuffing scam has been going on it’s a shame they haven’t all been shut down. People should really get used to researching any program before investing their money.
Building a business is a much better idea, but unfortunately, most people seem to want almost immediate results. They aren’t prepared to put in the work and time.
Thanks for your visit,
People like you only put companies down because you only want people to order from you. There are many jealous people like you in this world.
Thanks for your comment. My goal is to stop people from wasting their time and money on these enevelope stuffing or other scams. The program I recommend is a program I use and has built me a monthly income so I know it works. All the best,