How to Avoid Work from Home Scams

You may be familiar with the ads: easy money (or big paychecks), no experience, one hour a day, work from home. Sound too good to be true? It probably is. In fact, for every legitimate work from home opportunity, there are 70 work from home scams that attempt to rob you of your money. While working from home can be very appealing, it’s up to individuals to do their homework to determine if the opportunity is legitimate.

You can begin by viewing every opportunity with some degree of skepticism and then conduct your own due diligence. The first critical rule-of-thumb is to avoid any job or opportunity that requires an upfront fee to join or purchase materials. Legitimate companies do not charge job applicants. Then:

  • Look for a physical location and contact information. If none, move on.
  • Look it up on social media. If none, move on.
  • Do an internet search for reviews of the opportunity. Enter the name of the company or opportunity along with the word “scam” or “review.”

While there are many variations of work from home scams, they tend to follow a few themes. Some should be avoided, while others should be met with some healthy skepticism.

Always avoid Investigate very closely
Pyramid schemes Multi-level marketing
Check cashing or wiring money Online business start-up kits
Home assembly/envelope stuffing Product reseller
Link posting jobs Mystery shopping
Processing claims Data entry/call center
Any opportunity requiring a payment Taking online surveys
Any opportunity promising “get rich quick”  

You should also avoid any opportunities offered through search engine ads or unsolicited emails.

There are plenty of work from home opportunities available through traditional channels, such as job boards, job search engines and newspapers. You can check the company’s website to see if it’s legitimate and learn more about the position.

You can also check out websites for freelance jobs, such as FlexJobs, Upwork, Working Solutions and Rate Race Rebellion.

Above all else remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it is.

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