Twitter users have been warned not to sign up to work-at-home schemes that promise to make money directly from the micro-blogging site.
The warning from US non-profit organisation the Better Business Bureau (BBB) applies to online work-at-home schemes which claim that users can earn substantial pay cheques simply by tweeting.
"The pitch used to be about making money by sending emails or placing ads on Google, but now cash-strapped job hunters need to be wary of shelling out money for a dubious scheme that revolves around Twitter," said BBB spokesman Steve Coz.
Such schemes may sound risk-free, but often require an upfront payment in order to be considered for the job. The money is often never returned, according to the BBB.
The organisation also said that the tweets frequently carry links that lead users to scam sites or install malware on their computers.
Furthermore, the BBB warned web users about phoney blog sites created as 'testimonials' to the success of Twitter money-making schemes.
One of the companies highlighted by the BBB is EasyTweetProfits, a Surrey-based outfit which claims that users can make up to $873 (£539) a day working at home with Twitter.
The web site offers a seven-day free trial with an instructional CD-ROM for $1.95 (£1.20) to cover shipping. However, the BBB pointed out that the lengthy terms and conditions reveal that the trial begins on the day the CD is ordered, not when it is received. If the consumer does not cancel within seven days of signing up, they will be charged $47 (£29) every month.
EasyTweetProfits could not be reached for comment.
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