Prepaid Legal Service
It sounds like a good idea; at least at first... after all, it can be useful to have a lawyer should you need one. From another point of view, being a seller of prepaid legal services can seem like a good way to make a little bit of extra income. Unfortunately, the both style that is associated with prepaid legal services can result in more trouble than the service itself is worth.
First of all, let's look at what the service does. Prepaid legal service is much like insurance, allowing you to pay a premium for as long as you have the service, in case the service should be needed. Most prepaid legal services offer meetings and consultation and legal advice, as well as living will preparation and other common legal services. Unfortunately, many people may have the service for years without using it... at a cost of somewhere between $300 and $500 per year.
The worst part of the situation is that for many people, the legal matters that they do end up using the prepaid legal services for would actually cost them less if they paid for them outright. Many attorneys offer low-priced service or even free discussion, and typically don't charge extraordinary prices for living will preparations. In addition, some of the more expensive legal matters, such as being arrested or going to court on criminal charges, aren't even covered by basic prepaid legal plans... they have to be acquired for an extra additional fee, if they're offered at all.
On the other side of the equation are those persons who come to a decision that they want to make a bit of extra money selling prepaid legal plans as an affiliate for a prepaid legal company. There is usually an "investment fee" involved (around $250 is about the average), which means that you have to give them money in order to work for them. Many of the companies do offer training... however, you often have to pay for the training as well. (This can cost up to $500 or more, depending upon the company.)
After spending $750 to become an affiliate and get trained, the job often doesn't get much better. The advertisement for prepaid legal services is often over acting to interest investors, who later find that there aren't that many people interested in purchasing what they have to sell. While it is possible to make money selling legal services such as these, the ones who lose money far outnumber those who gain. In the end, the only one who's sure to make money is the company itself.
A final thought for associates or members is that in so many cases, the product that they're selling simply isn't worth the amount that people are paying for it. Each sell is a possible dissatisfaction, as well as a possible misrepresentation of the product that they're buying. Many affiliates can realize this later, and end up with a great feeling of guilt hanging over their head. In the end, prepaid legal services are most likely something to be avoided as both a buyer and a seller. Should you have legal questions, there are often multiple attorneys and legal aides who offer free consultations (and who often list this fact in advertising.) If you're looking for a way to make some extra money, there are many business opportunities that are much more legitimate than prepaid legal.
Escrow Service Scam
This service scam is growing ever more common on ebay and other online auctions. Especially since escrow services scam are now being used more and more often for high priced auction transactions. The purpose of an escrow service scam is to prevent fraudulent transactions between buyers and sellers. An escrow service scam is used to accept money from the buyer on the behalf of the seller. Once the buyer's payment is approved, the escrow service scam contacts the seller and verifies that payment has been made. The escrow service scam keeps a hold of this payment until the buyer confirms that the seller has sent the item, and that the item is as described. After the buyer's confirmation has been made, the seller receives his/her money from the escrow scam. One of the most used escrow scams is the arrangement of false escrow services scam. This service scam is often very skillfully set up, and happens victimize people more easily than many other online service scams. Basically what the service scammer (or scammers) do, is set up a phony escrow service scam. They start by creating a website that could fool even the trained eye into believing it is real escrow website. Once this fake escrow site is setup the service scammers begin going to various auctions as both buyers and sellers, and begin bidding on, and selling expensive items in order to gain "customers" for their fake escrow service. If a service scam goes into an auction as a buyer, the scammer often will bid as high as needed to win the item. Once the auction is over the buyer contacts the seller with an email saying something like. "I would like to use an escrow service for this transaction and I have found that www.somefakemadeupescrow.com has been very reliable in the past, and I would prefer to only use this escrow service."
Shortly after accepting to use the fake escrow the seller will receive yet another email, this time stating something like:
"Your buyer has just sent payment in the amount of (the winning bid price). This amount has been verified and will be held in a non-interest bearing trust account, until the buyer receives and approves their item." Once the seller gets this notice, he/she sends the item to the buyer (believing that payment is soon to follow). The buyer receives their expensive item, however the seller never receives payment from the fake escrow. When the seller tries to make contact with either party (buyer or escrow) all attempts fail and the seller never hears from the buyer or the fake escrow service again. Now, if the service scam goes into the auction as a seller, the scammer often begins by listing several very expensive items for sale. The auctions usually state that the bidder must use an escrow service to make payment for the item.
After the auction ends, the winning bidder receives an email stating something like:
"I would like you to use an escrow service for this transaction and have found that www.somefakemadeupescrow.com has been very reliable in the past, please use this escrow service to safely send your payment. I am willing to pay all escrow fees for this transaction." If the buyer decides to go ahead with the transaction he/she must use the seller's fake escrow service. After the buyer sends payment to the fake escrow, the fake escrow takes the buyer's money and the buyer nevers sees their item or money again.