BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - With the unemployment rate at 8.3%, workers are growing desperate for jobs, and some offers that seem like a golden opportunity can turn out to be mirage.
William Gray is putting a lot of time and effort into a home-based business - clipping coupons - but might have been ripped off by a Canadian-based company.
Gray's business is called "coupon processing" - he offers shoppers $50 worth of coupons, for $10. They send Gray a form, checking off which coupons they want from a list of 800 coupons, enclose the money, and he mails the coupons.
A Canadian company - Select Coupons - sold Gray on coupon processing, and Gray says he ordered an "Instructional Guide" and starter kit from the firm for $39.95, "that I needed in order for the shipping, in order for them to get me the information and the kit."
While Buffalo is one of the top regions in the country for redeeming coupons, clipping those coupons is tedious and time-consuming.
Retailers and manufacturers are taking their deals hi-tech, on smart phones and the Internet. Wegman's offers an iPhone app, email, and a customer magazine called Menu that help customers save.
Theresa Jackson, Wegman's Consumer Affairs Manager says it starts with their loyalty card, "when they sign on, use their Shoppers Club card, they can build a shopping list that has the prices built into it, and that way everything is right there in front of them, either on their smartphone or their PC, and they don't have to take the time to actually sit and cut coupons."
Is William Gray's coupon processing business legit? He just started this week, and so far he has zero return on his $40 investment.
Is it a ripoff? If it is, Gray could be the victim.
The Better Business Bureau gives Ottawa-based Select Coupons an "F" rating, and in the Bureau's report, consumers are advised that kits like the one William Gray bought "are not real job offers. They are just schemes to get your money."
Peggy Penders, Communications Manager for the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York suspects Gray is being ripped off, "in terms of actually earning a legitimate income, it would be doubtful if you could really make enough money to support yourself, or your family, with this particular type of work."
But with all the effort William Gray has put into his clipping business, Gray says, if you pay him, he does have the coupons.
How do you know if a work-at-home business is legitimate? The Better Business Bureau offers these tips.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being apart from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
A Buffalo city jail cell block attendant was arrested early Saturday morning on multiple animal cruelty charges.
The death of 30 year-old Desirae James remains a mystery. Her body was found inside a burning car last month and sources say she was stabbed several times.
Dozens of loved ones gathered at the crime scene Saturday night to remember the …
Buffalo police homicide detectives have identified an Eggertsville man as the victim of a shooting Saturday morning.
Detectives say Brandon Cahee, 28, was found in an upper apartment of a home on Ericson Avenue, and he had been shot.
It's been one month since Typhoon Haiyan barreled through the Philippines, leveling towns and killing nearly 6,000 people.
Rookie Mike Glennon rebounded from one of his worst performances of the season to throw two touchdown passes and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 27-6 victory over the struggling Buffalo Bills on Sunday.