Avoiding Common Work from Home Scams

by WorkFromHome on October 18, 2011

It is unfortunate that most people will fall prey to a work from home scam at least once in their lifetime. Scammers have become very sophisticated in their methods of “taking people for a ride.” They constantly reinvent their methods and implement new strategies that result in taking the money of unsuspecting, honest, hardworking individuals looking for legitimate work from home jobs. Although scammers are always coming up with new ways to scam people out of personal information or money, there are some very common scams that continue to plague the internet. Here are some of the most common work from home scams and information on how to avoid them all together.

Requests for Fees or Money

Some scammers go to great lengths to get you to open your wallet. Some create elaborate landing and sales pages, post “rags-to-riches” stories that tug at the heartstrings, and even offer “exclusive” or “non-published” lists of amazing jobs in exchange for your money. No matter which approach they take or how legitimate they appear, any company that asks you for money is a scam artist. Even if it just a few pennies or dollars, if they ask for a fee to cover placement, for access to exclusive lists, or to cover administrative costs, they will take your money and run without hesitation.

Promises of Success

No company can predict how much money you will earn. Each person is different in their time commitment, lifestyle, motivation, and drive. If a company promises you that you will earn hundreds or thousands of dollars per day without much work or effort, they are definitely trying to scam you.

Upon further research or reading, you will find that these so-called companies are only interested in scamming you out of your personal information, money, or financial information. As a general rule of thumb, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, especially when it pertains to working from home. If you could make thousands of dollars an hour for clicking on websites, everyone would be doing it.

Lack of Website Content or Contact Information

A legitimate work from home company will always post some form of contact information directly on the website. Most of the time, it is listed under a “contact us” or “questions” tab. The majority of companies will list a valid email address, but some also include a point of contact, a phone number, and sometimes an address. Always check the validity of this information by sending an email, calling the number, or sending a letter to the address on file. Anything that comes back as undeliverable or disconnected usually indicates a scam. Online website verification companies and governmental agencies are also great resources for checking the validity of a business or operation. Legitimate work from home companies will offer a wide range of contact information, a page of “frequently asked questions,” information on pay, training, and even forums where employees or contractors can interact with one another. Scammers will not have any of this information.

Lack of website content is also a sign of a scam artist. Many of these sites are thrown up haphazardly and unprofessionally in, what appears to be, a matter of minutes. In many cases, they are thrown up in minutes. If a potential job website or company site contains very little information about the job or company itself, numerous excessive amounts of grammatical errors, and very little appearance of professionalism or web development experience, it is most likely run by a scammer.

Links to Other Companies

A legitimate job opportunity or company will provide you with everything you need to fulfill the duties of a job. In some instances, an employer will require that you purchase items with your own money from local venues or online resources, but only after you have interviewed and been offered the position. Typically, necessary contractual paperwork and tax documents will be finalized before a company asks you to purchase equipment or other software.

Any company that links you to a third party site to sign up for or pay for a service or product up front is typically a scam. These people are simply unethical affiliate marketers doing whatever they have to in order to earn a commission. When you click on the link in a job posting for a data entry position, for example, it would then link you to a dictation software program to purchase. You will never get the “job” and will be out money, while the marketer makes a commission off of your purchase.

When you know the basics of what to watch out for and do thorough research, you can greatly reduce, and even eliminate, the possibility of falling prey to an awful scam.

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