Work-At-Home Biz Isn't A Snap

digital camera, photography, RKF CBS

For Robyn Stafford, a California mother of nine, the offer to earn some extra money working from home had obvious appeal, CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports.

The ad she saw from a company called Photowealth promised hundreds of dollars for taking "easy snapshots."

"It sounded very promising," said Stafford. "The main thing that caught my attention was that I would be able to take photographs of anything that I wanted"

Fifteen-year-old Tyler was looking through Science Magazine when he saw the ad for Photowealth.

"I ordered it and it seemed like a really good deal," Tyler said.

All Photowealth asked was $47 for training materials. Photowealth promised the money was fully refundable, which reassured Tyler's mother Julie.

"It sounded like we were secure. We'd get that back if we didn't like it," she said.

So Tyler sent off his $47; so did Robyn Stafford. But what they received was a lot less than they'd hoped for.

"That's when we went, 'This is ridiculous,'" said Julie.

For $47 Photowealth sends a thin training manual; all it says about photography is that you can make money selling photo ID cards.

Pat Wallace of the Better Business Bureau says he's never seen a work-at-home business that lived up to its big-money promises.

"You'll never make any money with it because there is not a market for it," Wallace says. "So to me it's a total 100 percent scam."

But what about that offer of a full refund?

"When I got the package in the mail, right there toward the front it lets you know once you got this package there is no refund. There goes that guarantee," Robyn Stafford said.

"I wanted somebody to respond to me but nobody did," said Julie

Turns out Photowealth is little more than a post office box in the California town of Idyllwild. Using a hidden camera, CBS station KPIX in San Francisco caught up with the man behind Photowealth. His name is George Bulik

KPIX reporter Hank Plante found Bulik as unwilling to give interviews as he is to give refunds.

"Mr. Bulik, why are you taking people's money without sending them anything?" Plante asked.

What Bulik might say is that least he is making big-money at home from Photowealth
  • Joel Roberts

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