eHomemakers Responds To A Call To Ban Work-At-Home Businesses
Letter to the Editor – The Star (Opinion), Friday June 9, 2006
Beware work-at-home scams
WORK-AT-HOME scams are springing up like mushrooms and victims are often left to find their own remedy.
Complaints of being cheated are often referred to the Consumer Claims Tribunal for redress.
But getting redress is not easy as the perpetrators of the scams hide behind PO Box numbers and never give any street addresses or true names.
Are there no laws in this country which can be enforced to bring the perpetrators to book?
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, since it has no law at its disposal to deal with them, should refer all the complaints it receives on the issue to the police.
The police have the powers to trace the perpetrators through the PO Box numbers given and in some cases the bank account numbers into which victims are asked to deposit money for registration, agreements, etc.
The Government should get its ministries and departments to work hand in hand to stop illegal activities such as the work-at-home scams.
Genuine work-at-home schemes should get prior approval of the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry; and only with this approval should newspapers carry their advertisements, and that too with full street addresses and true names and contact numbers of the persons concerned.
If no solution can be found, the Government should once and for all ban work-at-home businesses.
S.M. MOHAMED IDRIS, President, Consumers’ Association of Penang.
Response from eHomemakers:
eHomemakers Advocates The Benefits Of Working @ Home
We refer to S.M. Mohamed Idris letter of June 9, 2006 on
“Beware work-at-home scams”.
Even though we agree that the Government should organize its ministries and departments to stop illegal work-at-home scams, we think that banning work-at-home options altogether is a drastic move that will be detrimental to Malaysia’s economic and social development.
The eHomemakers network empowers home workers, teleworkers, home business owners and those who want to begin a home-based career to overcome barriers and improve their socio-economic situations. eHomemakers’ ardent promotion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for income-generating opportunities and self-help have enabled people from all walks of life to set up e-businesses, do freelance work and telework – improving their own lives and the economic well-being of their families.
The benefits that honest home-based work opportunities can bring to society should not be overlooked. Working at home is especially advantageous to the disabled, those with mobility restrictions and to the rapidly increasing number of single mothers in our society. Additionally, with the rising fuel costs, teleworking is definitely more economical. It also reduces traffic congestion and is, therefore, a more environmentally-friendly work option. Finally, those who work from home find a better balance between maintaining living standards and careers, and caring for children and family members. For these reasons, we believe it would be a mistake to ban all home businesses just because of a few crooked scams.
On its part, eHomemakers, has created a dynamic portal, www.ehomemakers.net, to provide access to information and resources that enable its network of over 13,000 members to work @ home. In addition to having access to a variety of online tools, members are invited to attend seminars and conferences on entrepreneurship and new developments in ICT.
In view of the rampant spread of illegal scams, we have our own “Scam Squad” comprising members of our Forum Board who advise and caution each other about the latest con games that specifically target potential homeworkers.
Our portal itself has a special section dedicated to articles on scams. Sourced locally as well as from foreign websites such as the US-based Federal Trade Commission and Pyramid Scheme Alert, these articles are constantly updated for the benefit of our members.
eHomemakers will be pleased to collaborate with the relevant Ministries and local departments to curb the spread of illegal scams.