With so many looking for work, many have turned to online companies for telecommuting jobs that allow them to work at home. Unfortunately, several unscrupulous entities have responded by creating schemes to bilk desperate individuals out of what little money they have left. One program named Speak Asia Online purports to offer workers the chance to earn wealth and purchase products at discount rates; however, there are numerous warnings regarding a SpeakAsiaOnline scam.

What is it?

Speak Asian Online describes itself as a growing consumer network, marketing system and online marketplace all rolled into one; however, many describe it as a Ponzi scheme aimed at profiting from consumer ignorance. Most notably, the company purports to offer cash in return for successfully completed surveys that are then used by businesses for market research. Members are supposedly able to earn rewards points by completing tasks, selling products and - perhaps most importantly - by recruiting new members.

Who they target

Based in Singapore, the SpeakAsiaOnline scam mainly targets citizens of poorer countries who are desperate for some way to feed their families using work at home platforms. The Indian government has opened an investigation into the company and lobbied Singapore officials to put a stop to what it calls "bogus multi-marketing and Ponzi schemes."

Why should I care?

Although Speak Asia Online mainly targets people outside the United States, other similar offshore and American-based companies employ similar tactics to entice American, European and Canadian citizens. The SpeakAsiaOnline scam works by requiring members to pay a yearly membership fee in return for weak opportunities and training aimed at teaching new members how to dupe new recruits into following the same flawed path.

If you're looking for an online employmer who will allow you to work at home, beware of any so-called opportunity that requires an upfront payment for any reason, in any amount. Most western governments have implemented tight regulations to control web-based Ponzi schemes; however, many countries have not, and it can be difficult for consumers to identify the origin of these companies, many of which work hard to appear legitimate and conceal their region of operation.

If you're looking for legitimate online employment opportunities, you'd be better off searching an employment website, such as SnagaJob, or utilizing Amazon's Mechanical Turk, which allows you to select from a substantial pool of relatively simple tasks that pay between one to 20 cents each.