Legitimate Work From Home

The decision to start a business or work from home is a large step for anyone to take. It usually begins with the desire to spend more time at home, followed by research for opportunities for these positions on the Internet. The good news is that the Internet has many great opportunities to offer. The bad news is that the Internet also has many scam offers. Discerning what the difference between a legitimate work from home opportunity and a scam is will save you time and headaches.

What Is A Legitimate Work From Home Opportunity?

A legitimate work from home opportunity is one that will allow you to earn an income from your home, it is that simple. There are many opportunities to start a business or work as a telecommuter online. Some of the more popular legitimate positions are:

  • Virtual Assistant
  • Customer Service Rep
  • Call Center
  • Help Desk
  • Freelance Graphic Designer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Affiliate Marketer
  • Mystery Shopper
  • Forex Trader


These are just a minor showing of the many opportunities that are available for people that wish to work from home. However, many of the scam artists realize that these positions are very coveted and they use this knowledge to create a scam.

How To Spot A Scam

While there is not a complete list of every way that you can be scammed on the Internet while you are looking for a business or career, some of the more obvious scams are listed below.

  • Any advertisement or “employment” opportunity that offers to pay you large sums of money for a job that normally would not pay that type of rate is a scam. The truth is that most virtual based jobs pay very similar to their office-based counterparts. While some companies will pay slightly higher wages due to their cut in office expenses, they will not pay large sums of money for jobs that can be done in their office much cheaper. Working online will not make you rich overnight, and any promises of this nature is a sure sign of a scam.
  • Any employment or business opportunity that is listed on a sub-domain is a scam. Businesses own their own domains – period.
  • Contact information that does not provide an address and a phone number is a sure sign that the offer is fraudulent. Contact information that provides an email address that is based on webmail is also a sign of a scam.
  • Any company that requires you to pay for information on how to get a job, a list of people hiring, or requests you to complete a purchase before hiring you is a scam. An employer would not request this offline, and real employers do not request this online.
  • Any company that does not require you to go through an interview process is a scam. Online employers’ interview home based employees. Freelancers will also be required to submit resumes on many occasions.
  • Any company that requires you to invest into the company you work for is a scam, with the exception of some MLM companies. However, it should be noted that even MLM opportunities should be considered carefully if a large investment is required.
  • Any company that requests personal information or credit card numbers is a scam. While employers will need you to provide tax forms, this will only be done after the interview and the acceptance of the position is completed. Employers will never request credit card information.
  • Companies that require you to submit email addresses of “other interested parties” are a scam. These people are gathering email addresses to sell for marketing purposes.

If the opportunity just sounds too good to be true, chances are it is a scam.

Are There Any Other Scam Opportunities Out There?

While the following opportunities are not actually scams, they are deceptive in nature. Many people have fallen victim to these “opportunities” only to be greatly disappointed.

  • Processing Rebates. This business is legal, however, you are not actually processing anything. You are placing items up for sale at a suggested retail price and when you make the purchase from the supplier at the “rebated price” you get to keep the difference. It is drop shipping with a twist, but it is not, in actuality processing any type of rebate.
  • Envelope Stuffing. Yes, you actually get paid to place advertising material in an envelope and send it out. Yes, many companies provide free materials and postage to do this. Yes, it is legitimate when it comes to the law. No, it is not profitable. Envelope stuffing requires you to run classified ads and wait for responses. Once a response arrives, you keep the money in the envelope and send out the materials that were requested.