As economy tanks, beware these make-money-from-home schemes

Who wouldn't want to make up to $5,000 a week from home stuffing envelopes? You wouldn't, since you're more likely to lose money by signing on for such a scam.

As the economy takes a turn for the much worse, those make-money-from-home schemes start to sound awfully appealing.

Targeted to senior citizens, stay-at-home moms and low-income earners, these scams have been going on for years but have been jump-started with the help of the internets. It's as easy as buying a few well-placed banner ads on existing, otherwise legitimate websites. Indeed, just Google "Work from home" and see how many ads pop up, promising that you can make "$240 by tonight!"

Forbes Magazine gives a great rundown on the kinds of scams taking people for a ride these days. Work from home-related complaints ranked among the Federal Trade Commission's top 20 fraud complaint categories between 1997 and 2005 (the latest figures available), according to Forbes. In those nine years, some 37,333 complaints were filed to the FTC.