Melissa Johnson from Paraparaumu never thought that she would work online, until curiosity got the best of her and she filled out a simple online form. Before she knew it, she discovered her secret to beating the recession, and being able to provide for her family while at home with her three children. I read Melissa's blog last month and decided to feature her story in our weekly consumer report. In our phone interview she told me her amazing story. "I actually make about NZD $8,000-$9,000 a month working from home. It's enough to comfortably replace my old jobs' income, especially considering I only work about 15-18 hours a week from home.Melissa Johnson is a very common name I suppose, so it might be hard to verify if the story is actually real or not. The advert even has a bunch of selected comments saying how wonderful and genuine the offer is, but you scroll down to the end and get to see that "comments are closed" now that the required comments have been entered. Furthermore, the website purports to be a company called "Career Journal Australia" which does not come up when I search the Australian Company Name Search hosted by ASIC. The webpage is designed to look like an independent review, but all page elements click through to the sign-up page.
It seems like a total con to me, so any subsequent offer of money would also be treated with suspicion. I've seen the advert appearing off reputable sites - such as the Sydney Morning Herald, which offers "AUD 8,000 a month" using a NZ testimonial, but a little snooping quickly uncovered another Melissa Johnson advertisement, but who works and lives in New York and who also makes the same amount of money as Melissa from Paraparaumu. And they both receive the same "check" from Wells Fargo Bank. Not that you could easily deposit such a cheque, sorry, check, in New Zealand. The clincher though is that these two cheques are both made out to Melissa a year apart and yet have the same "Check Number" and the greyed out address block looks to be in USA format, not NZ format.
Maybe the scheme is legit, but using faked testimonials speaks of a company with no ethics.
Update at 10 January 2012: Melissa now lives in Karori! Good on her. She's obviously made so much money she could move to a better place, although every year she loses her job: Melissa Johnson from Karori is a regular mum who lost her job last year, and after an unsuccessful job hunt, she started working online. I interviewed her about her amazing story and she revealed her steps for success.
The Advert: Work From Home Special Report
Another site [Email and Internet Scams] that seems to have correlated further evidence of doctored testimonials: Is Melissa Johnson real? Look through the whole site to see the endless variety of patently obvious scams are thrust upon unsuspecting people.