According to a CBS Denver report, ‘For every one legitimate work-at-home job posted online, there are about 70 scams.’ If you’ve spent any time trawling online jobs boards and classifieds looking for remote work from home opportunities then this statistic might not come as a surprise.
The fact is that millions of people (and millions more every year) want to gain the work/life balance benefits of being able to do work on the internet from home. But as always in life, tricksters, scam artists and unethical employers have seized on this demand as an opportunity to make money.
The stuffing envelopes scam, which dates back to the depression era of the 1920s, is still very much alive today on the internet. Scammers will prey on desperation, greed and hope, so if a work on the internet from home opportunity sounds too good to be true it probably is.
To help you avoid being one of the many people that falls prey to their tricks, here are my top 8 tips for avoiding work from home scams:
1. Don’t pay money upfront – Any work from home opportunity that asks for money upfront could well be a scam, whether the money is for registration, training, supplies or processing fees. No ethical employer would expect you to pay them before they pay you.
2. Speak with someone – A legit employer of remote workers will happily discuss the work from home opportunity with you over the phone. Scammers won’t.
3. Conduct background checks – Google the company’s name with the word ‘scam’ next to it to see whether anybody that’s been tricked into a non-legit work from home job has an axe to grind.
4. Check references – If your search on Google doesn’t reveal anything but you’re still suspicious, ask to speak to another internet employee of the company. If they can’t then your suspicions might be well founded.
5. Use ethical search terms – When searching for work on the internet jobs look for ‘remote jobs’, ‘telework’ or ‘telecommute’ rather than ‘work from home’ because these are terms less likely to be used by scammers when posting jobs where you can work on the internet from home.
6. Find out exactly what you’ll be paid – There’s no shortage of work from home opportunities promising you’ll earn $100s for a few hours work. Rather than trust these vague figures, ask them to explain exactly how much you will be paid and how your pay is calculated. This will likely reveal the holes in their sales pitch.
7. Jobs to avoid – Work from home jobs to avoid or be suspicious of are assembly jobs, data entry (when you have to pay for a starter kit), processing claims or emails and, of course, stuffing envelopes (businesses have postage machines these days!).
8. Avoid multi-level marketing online jobs – These are essentially pyramid schemes whereby the initial offer is to sell their products and services for a profit but then leads to recruiting more people to the scheme instead.
Hopefully, these tips should help you avoid some of the work from home scams out there and give you a clearer idea on the market for jobs where you can work on the internet. Remote working is becoming a lifestyle choice for millions every year and there are real opportunities to do online work from home, a subject which you can learn more about on this very website.