In this struggling economy, sometimes it’s hard to find a job. And for some, the idea of working when they could do other things is unreasonable. So they turn to dishonest, criminal acts to get by. The crazy thing about these “unconventional” money making activities, is that many of them are even harder than working at a normal job!
Here are 5 things that people do to earn money that are harder than working:
You’ve probably seen them many times, on the freeway off-ramp or next to a busy shopping center. They’re carrying a sign asking for food or money. Sometimes, they want more than your spare change. If a panhandler stays out of the road and you leave your car windows up, you might not find it a serious problem. But in some areas of the country, panhandling is little better than robbery, and affects people’s sense of security. For example, in San Francisco, where begging and panhandling are part of the street experience, a third of local citizens felt pressured to give and avoided certain areas as a result.
2. Petty Theft
Someone picks up an item in a store and pockets it, leaving the store without paying. Every day in the U.S., nearly a million acts of shoplifting occur. It costs businesses around $9 billion-$10 billion per year. But since shoplifters can only use so many stolen wallets themselves, they take other tactics to bolster their pocketbooks. They may sell the merchandise in other markets, as panhandlers sometimes do, or return the items for cash or store credit.
3. Prescription Drug Theft
If you had surgery or an injury recently, chances are you have some narcotics left over. Most in the U.S. only take drugs as prescribed, but 20 percent of Americans have taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them for that condition. Like petty thieves, abusers often sell the drugs they obtain. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, with a 400 percent increase in prescription drug-related cases over the past five years. Where are they getting these drugs? From your medicine cabinet. The U.S. government wants people to take leftover painkillers to their pharmacy for disposal to reduce access to these dangerous pharmaceuticals.
4. Counterfeit Fraud
Like the panhandlers, you’ve probably seen these people before. They’ll stay in the parking lot of a shopping complex, or next to a gas station in the middle of nowhere. If you are just willing to pay them cash, you can get this great bargain on a luxury item or piece of technology. Usually it’s a carefully crafted fake that is not functional, or something that is far beneath the quality of the original. And by the time you realize it, it’s too late.
5. Identity Theft
When someone is desperate to make a buck, a regular con need only look to their family to find easy prey. Children are becoming a common demographic for identity theft. Because children do not maintain their own finances, and because their parents do not check kids’ credit reports, thieves can get away with years of obtaining credit on the child’s identity without detection. Often it is a relative close to the child, possibly even a parent, because they have easy access to government documents and sensitive information about the child’s identity.[easyazon-image align=”right” asin=”B008MG63U0″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51oLKOEpBBL._SL160_.jpg” width=”112″]
Any of these crimes will get you a jail sentence, and some have stiffer punishments than others. The government offers programs to help people get back on their feet after a job loss. If you find yourself in that predicament, instead of turning to a life of crime, it is wisest to seek help instead.
Nicole has been writing about earning money for years. When she gets low on cash, she has gone a few times to Ferratum cash lenders for a loan.