Many stay-at-home mums are falling victim to schemes that promise to make you loads of money for just a few hours work, but insiders are warning people to avoid them at all costs.
Being a stay-at-home mum can be extremely tough, but even if you find yourself thinking about going back to your job it’s not always an option. Finding (and affording) childcare or wanting to spend more time with your children are just a few reasons some mums choose not to rejoin the work force.
However, if you have been thinking about going back to work but aren’t keen on getting back into the nine to five office slog, you may have seen some very tempting job adverts on Facebook. They’re the kind that promise a financially stable life by working just a few hours a week AND from the comfort of your own home.
They’re usually accompanied by pictures of someone who has already worked their way to the top and are enjoying the benefits – posing next to a flashy car, or lounging by the pool on a lavish holiday.
Sometimes your friends may even be involved, and they'll convince you to do it too. All you have to do is sign up and you’ll see the money rolling in.
It all sounds too good to be true, right?
Insiders are warning that’s because it is.
The schemes, known as ‘Multi-Level Marketing’ (or MLM for short) usually comprise of people selling a particular product. They’re then expected to recruit people to join their ‘team’, and so on and so forth, until the individuals begin making money from their sales.
Although pyramid schemes are illegal, these are currently legal but work in a similar fashion - the difference being that there is a sold product involved. They work within a triangle structure, with recruitment being the key to actually making money as the cash gets passed backwards.
However Kate Dyson, founder of The Motherload, warns mums not to get lured in by these attractive offers. And they can be very attractive. Who doesn’t want to work just a few hours a week and have enough money in the bank to afford all of life’s luxuries?
But in her insightful piece about the inner workings of these schemes and how stay-at-home mums are targeted, Kate discusses the fact that the Direct Selling Association reports that 77.4% of individuals involved in schemes like this are women, and the vast majority of those are mothers.
“Why do women join these schemes? Well, being a stay-at-home mum can be bloody tough, and yet conversely, many of us would give our right arm to do it. Mum-guilt is a powerful factor, that MLM businesses know will lead to new recruits. But many of us feel redundant at home, with CBeebies on constant loop, and burbling baby talk filling our days,” Kate says.
“It’s understandable that women look for something to keep them ‘busy’, to give them their worth back as a working adult, and generate income. Single mums, low income families are an easy target.”
One former MLM link, Sammy, lost around £10,000 to the schemes she was involved with.
“I was sucked in by Forever Living... Two whole years I dedicated to it. I did ok, but looking back my biggest problem was the success above me. I was VERY close to the top bot in the country (4 levels away from her) my direct upline was earning £6,000 a month, her upline £10,000 and her upline £50,000. This definitely skewed my vision on it...I was just told over and over again that if I just worked a little bit harder then I would be that successful too.
“When I eventually left because I was getting nowhere with it (sucked into ANOTHER MLM which was a complete joke) my lovely supportive uplines turned on me so quickly it was unbelievable! Only once the second MLM flopped did I realise all of what you said in your blog. Looking back it's scary how cult-like MLM is. I felt totally stupid.”
If you’ve seen something similar and are tempted to get involved, make sure you do your research and check out all the information before handing over any money.