Exposed: 22 Illegal Side Hustles You Need to Stay Away From

Each of us wants to have enough money to cater to our needs. But working more to make extra money is hard. This tends to push some people on a different and alternative path. And so they turn to the other side of the income generation – illegal side hustles.

Today, you are about to find out the other side of hustling. Some people try out a different side at some point in their lives. Why are people doing it? And why do these not-so-legal side hustles still exist? 

These side hustles that we will share with you will be eye-opening. Just be aware that not all side hustles are as legal as you think they are. 

Making Money From Side Hustles

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Who wouldn’t want to have extra income? Whether we are working hard to save money, pay off debts, or save for our emergency funds, a side hustle is a key to additional earnings. 

What is a side hustle? For those who are not familiar, a side hustle is another job besides your full-time work. It allows you to earn more money and will help you reach your financial goals faster. 

Many side hustles are out there waiting for you, such as proofreading, blogging, online tutoring, selling stuff online, and many more. 

There are a lot of great side hustle ideas to make extra money. Plus, everybody has their own reasons to start their side hustles. No matter what your reasons are for earning more cash, a side hustle will help you get there.

Illegal Side Hustles – You Should Be Aware Of

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Earning money is not easy, but that’s not a reason to resort to illegal work. We’re not talking about embezzlement or drugs here. There are things that we may not be aware of but are illegal, so how are we going to avoid them? 

Find out here the various illegal side hustles you should be aware of:

1. WhatsApp Ponzi Scheme

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A WhatsApp Ponzi scheme starts with creating a group and then promoting it. By advertising, the group means to tempt gullible people who want to earn cash fast.

How does it work? The money collected from the group is kept by the Ponzi scheme owner for 15 to 30 days, which depends on how long they can attract more investors. After that, the Ponzi scheme owner or admins will take the money and flee without giving it back to the investors.

Better invest in the right way, trade with cryptocurrencies, do real estate crowdfunding, or set up peer-to-peer lending. You will indeed receive more in return than on the Ponzi Scheme.

2. Freelance Writing On Designated Topics

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Freelancing allows flexibility and allows you to work from home or anywhere. But sadly, there are topics that you can’t write about as it is illegal and could lead to a misunderstanding.

Example concepts are how to invade a school, rob a bank, make a bomb, or find area 51. These are taboo topics, so avoid writing these because you may face imprisonment or suspension if you don’t.

Here are some freelancing jobs you can start with:

3. Reselling Products

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Generally, it is not illegal to resell items you have purchased. It is yours to do with as you choose. Even so, selling some things without meeting the requirements is illegal. 

Why is it illegal? Primarily because of health and safety concerns. Other concerns would be about the branding, logos used, or buying the item illegally. 

To avoid conflict in the future, it’s best to focus on things that you can make and resell (legally). 

4. Dog Bakery Business

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Dog bakery business has become popular nowadays, and more and more people are enticed to start a business with this. Baking some dog cakes, cookies, or biscuits is easy. However, when it comes to selling them, there are certain requirements you have to take and follow. If you don’t, it can result in losing your business permits or an actual fine.

To keep the business running, you will have to abide by the rules and regulations of the Food and Drug Administration in regard to the dog treats you make.

Aside from a dog bakery, you may consider pet sitting. There are many apps to consider for dog walking and start earning some extra, especially for those who love animals.

5. Under The Table Jobs

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It is impossible not to mention under-the-table jobs when talking about illegal side hustles. It is the most popular one but hard to spot. What is it that you do with the earned money from these that makes it illegal?

Specifically, any cash you earn needs to be proclaimed, meaning it will probably be taxed. Whether it’s taxed actually depends on one or two things, like your total financial gains this year. 

All of your earnings have to be declared to the authorities.

6. Handmade Food

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This is the least illegal side hustle most people would expect. Because most people are selling food online right now! You can find people selling homemade foods at events, flea markets, bazaars, and more. What’s unusual about that? 

The fact is we don’t know how the food was prepared. Were the ingredients used fresh? Was the container used approved by the Food and Drug Administration? 

People who work in the food industry are aware of the strict labeling requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration. And once you neglect to follow their guidelines, you may expect a health and safety inspection. 

So while selling your cake at a fair won’t get you fined immediately, it’s good to know when you’re selling homemade food on a more consistent scale.

7. E-book Scam

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Currently, there are two types of e-book scams. One writes fake generated content, gathers it into a book, and then sells it on e-book pages like Amazon and Goodreads. 

The second e-book scam is a stolen book sold in the form of an ebook without any copyrights. People will hardly notice the scam until it is reported to the website. Scammers use positive reviews from other sites to persuade potential buyers to buy the e-book.

Selling fake or plagiarized e-books is illegal and thereby punishable by law.

Instead of doing this illegal side hustle, you can try writing reviews or feedback in exchange for money, and there are a lot of sites that hire people for their opinion, like Amazon

8. Selling A Certain Style Of Clothes

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Selling items like clothes from overseas is unsafe, and most of all, it is illegal to sell clothes with the same design as brand clothes. Not to mention the health and safety concerns. 

Check the items you’re selling. It may have trademark prints such as a TM symbol all over the products. If yes, that’s not good for reselling if it’s a fake.

That would fall under counterfeiting, which is a more complicated issue. Not every item similar to the popular brand is a breach of law, but it’s best to check those products before reselling them.

9. Instagram Money Flipping

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Instagram money flipping is one of the most common scams on Instagram, also sold as a way to get rich fast.

Money flipping on Instagram works just like any platform. They would create an account, then post pictures of money or shares about investment opportunities. These con artists persuade people to entrust their access to funds with a promise that it will multiply to 3 to 5 times the amount given to them.

However, your funds won’t increase. Instead, they will take your money and never contact you again. Many people have been entirely fooled on Instagram by petty scammers.

10. Facebook Scams

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Facebook scams are typically happening every day, from selling products such as bags, shoes, clothes, and up to services. Offering free shipping to attract customers is one way of doing it. Other than that, they would also advertise using fake photos.

Once you are hooked on buying and transferring the money, they will give you an update on shipping the items. Or, if they want to meet up to exchange the item, they will set the date and time. Once the parcel arrives, check it first. Some people sell false items or keep giving excuses as to why they can’t meet you today.

Be sure to validate the seller first and ask for a photo for proof before shipping the items, or you can check for reviews on Facebook Marketplace.

11. Bitcoin Fraud Online

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People have been opposing cryptocurrency investment for years due to crypto scams that have been going on Twitter and Facebook. You can see endless complaints on your newsfeed or sometimes in your favorite groups. 

These scammers create a fake Twitter or Facebook account with an actual name of a guru who people believe and trust. People would assume it is real and hastily follow the fake account. A few minutes after you have done that, you will receive a notification in your inbox saying that you are offered for a limited time about a coaching program.

Aside from that, you will also receive a message on where to transfer money in Bitcoin in order to join that coaching program. This is a common example of a red flag in investments and any scams that exist.

12. Insider Trading

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Making a profit through an insider’s access to confidential information on the stock exchange for their advantage is illegal. This happens when someone buys or sells stocks from undisclosed information they got from someone’s family or friends. It gives them an advantage in the stock market, which is unfair and illegal.

This kind of progress can make the prices go up or down when done in big quantities, making that person earn a remarkably huge amount. Given how much money is often involved, this is labeled an illegal side hustle. 

If someone is discovered doing this, courts will penalize and imprison them at a designated time. To prevent this from happening, ensure that any information shared with you is public before you log in to your trading account.

13. Money Mule

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A money mule is the oldest scam that ever existed, even before the internet started. A money mule is a way of transferring money or moving money illegally on behalf of someone else. Criminals recruit people who would become money mules and assist them in laundering their proceeds from online scams and fraud. 

It works like meeting up with friends. They would give you a certain amount of money via bank. And then your job will have to forward the money to the launderer before you can get a commission. 

14. Sports Betting

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Betting on sports has been considered illegal for years in specific states. Sports betting is surely not a wise strategy for generating extra money and definitely not a stable one. Instead, it makes sure you keep betting and betting, which causes most people to lose money over time.

The moment you lose, it frustrates you, and your frustration turns into a false hope that makes you bet on the next game, and then the cycle continues. Once you get used to the cycle, it’s hard to break from it, and you will continue to bet.

15. Paid To Convince Family And Friends To Join A Program

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A program like multi-level marketing (MLM) is well-known and has been ongoing for more than a decade. From there, it went viral. Increasingly people are hooked on joining and at the same time recruit to earn money.

Facebook is a commonly-used platform as it is easy to spread and simple to use. It starts with recruiting a person to join the same program and then convincing another one to join, and the cycle goes on. How do they produce money? The person who joins the program later on often is the one who gives money.

While the person who recruited the other one will receive the money, and the one who pays will start looking for more people, and once joined the program, they will receive the money.

16. Selling Things You Bought Online

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As we have said before, when you buy something, it is your choice what to do with it. But there are exceptions for specific products.

Reselling items such as tickets, software, digital media, recalled products, and prescribed medications are not allowed. Selling products like this can result in serious problems for you, as these products have complications once sold to a different party.

If something is marked as being limited only to personal use, then you have no right to resell it.

17. Phishing

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The most obvious of all is phishing. You can phish for information to almost anyone and sell that information on the dark web. This is how identity theft is born.

Another feature of sharing people’s information is called pharming. It requires using malicious websites when gathering personal data, such as financial institutes.

People who do phishing have put a lot of effort into making a website and go phishing. For example, they can create a fake e-commerce site that collects bank details. Remember what your bank keeps telling you about: they won’t ask for your details and access to your account. 

Conclusion – Illegal Side Hustles

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Side hustles are undoubtedly a perfect way to make extra income, particularly when struggling to keep it together between paychecks. You also want to enjoy a leisure life but how can you do that? 

Definitely not doing illegal side hustle jobs for one. No matter how tempting it can be to go down that path, stop yourself and ask, is it worth it? Despite your current situation right now, choose the one that can lead to real growth, both personal and financial. 

Doing something illegal and wrong may provide you with the money you need for your plans and needs, but would you really feel right about it? Knowing fully well that what you are doing is causing harm, would it not be better to stay far away from this? 

Remember that the path is never easy, and there are no shortcuts to achieve financial freedom and independence. Trust yourself, your plan, and know that there’s always a job waiting for you to find them, and you can start to look for them today!

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