Work from Home Opportunities: Illegal in South Africa
So what exactly are work-from-home opportunities?
“Work-from-home” opportunities relate to the offer of opportunities to consumers such as typing, filling in and addressing envelopes, gathering of names and addresses and the compilation of data from a consumer’s home in exchange for a monetary consideration.
Did you know work-from-home opportunities are illegal?
The regulations to regulate “Work-from-home” opportunities were set by the department of Trade and Industry in 2007. They were welcomed by advertising watchdog body the Advertising Standards Authority. A large number of complaints about these adverts had been received by the ASA. Most of the time, people didn’t get paid what they’ve were promised in the adverts for these opportunities. The regulations were introduced to police this activity.
Promoters of these scams targeted people seeking extra income. Instead of helping people make money, the fraudsters used various tricks to take the victims’ money and left them with nothing of value. Consumers were issued with information on how to make money instead of actual employment. An advertisement would request consumers to start a business from home, and, upon responding to an advertisement, consumers were directed by promoters to deposit a sum of money into the promoter’s account, instead of being offered a job.
Some schemes sold information of no value (these are the worse kind of work-from-home scams). Some pretended to provide skills, which turned out to be unmarketable, and other schemes relied on recruiting or luring others into joining the scheme, which they supposedly offer. It was found that most promoters of “work-from-home” opportunities did not truthfully identify themselves, their firms or their products in their advertisements.
According to South African law work-from-home opportunities promotes unfair business practice and is hence illegal and may not appear in in newspapers, magazines, other print and electronic media, and any other advertising method.
Illegal Work-from-home opportunities include:
* Typing work
* Addressing envelopes of any kind whatsoever and/or
* Addressing (typing or writing) labels of any kind whatsoever and/or
* Filling of envelopes of any kind whatsoever and/or
* Administrative opportunities
* Compiling data
* Direct sellers of consumer goods that do not truthfully identify themselves, the firm and their products in any advertisements.
Legal Work from home opportunities include:
* Typing work requested by the purchaser of such a service, such as the typing of assignments required by the learners and students.
* The direct selling of consumer goods in which a sales person either:
* Demonstrates the product or represents a product catalogue in homes, the workplace or in similar places away from shops;
* Collects an order;
* Subsequently delivers the goods personally or arranges delivery;
* Collects payment for goods or arranges for payment or credit transactions;
* Applies person-to-person selling party plan selling multilevel marketing and network marketing.
This is provided that direct sellers truthfully identify themselves the firm and their products in advertisements.
Contravention of the minister’s order is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine not exceeding R200,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years, or both a fine and imprisonment.
Should you require any additional information or clarification you can contact Faith Mashikinya on 012 394 1308 or Narain Kuljeeth on 012 394 1515
So how do you identify a work-from-home scam?
– A common characteristic of most work-from-home opportunities is that promoters of these opportunities either directly or indirectly received or demanded a so-called registration or administration fee or any other upfront fee for the offer of an employment/ business opportunity. These employment /business opportunities are usually portrayed as a lucrative work-from-home businesses. Participating consumers, more often than not, enriched promoters of these schemes whilst consumers themselves received no tangible benefits. In short consumers are ripped off.
– Several promoters of these schemes through their advertisements, including brochures and fliers were engaging in unfair business practices as defined in the Consumer Affairs (Unfair Business Practices Act, No 71 of 1988, which is not in the public interest. However, not every “work-from-home” opportunity was undesirable or an unfair business practice or against the public interest.
We hope this article assisted you in understanding why work-from-home are illegal and how to identify a work-from-home scam.
Please read the below blog posts for other scam warnings:
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