Working from home seems like a great idea, and many people would like to work from home for whatever reason. They are easy targets for scammers who either get money from them or their work or both.
On the face of it, the offers sound very attractive, and the websites are full of them. You can not only earn a handsome living but also become quite wealthy if you believe all that is written on some scam web sites. There is usually only one catch – you have to pay a fee to either register or buy some products. There are millions of people who get taken in by some of these offers, and somebody somewhere sure is getting rich, but it certainly is not you!
Different work-at-home scams
There will still be those envelope stuffing offers, type at home, data entry, processing claims, sending emails, posting ads, taking surveys, online businesses, medical billing work, at home insurance work, etc. The situation is so bad that Christine Durst, CEO of Staffcentrix, a company specializing in home-based careers that sifts through home-based job leads every day, says that there is a “54-to-1 scam ratio.”
To find that two odd percent that is genuine takes a great deal of patience and time and apart from the fact that you may have to go through many trials and tribulations; and if you do find work at home, it is going to be hard work that you have to put in. How are the ads posted
If you have posted your resume on a job site, chances are you will receive emails offering you work – some of these may be good job opportunities, and others will be work at home scams. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it is not true. Any place which wants you to put in money upfront, or who tell you that your money is an ‘investment’ which will pay itself back in no time, should be checked thoroughly to see that it is not a scam.
Many ads on craigslist, too, are simply scams. Many of these scam sites advertise on Google or other search engines, or there will be links from other sites that take you to theirs. If there are any work from home sites that you hit on, check out their complaints section (if they have one) and don’t just get taken in by high sounding testimonials. Do go through the various scam sites and see if the website or organization is listed there. And never give your bank account number to any of these sites – it may just result in identity theft or your bank account getting cleaned out!
Do your homework
You must do your homework before you try out something new, whether it is a data entry job or a sales one. Research the credentials of the company or organization, talk to the people in their office several times, go and meet them physically if possible to gauge their veracity. If there are sites or work offers that come from overseas, be extremely cautious because they will probably not be liable or bound by the laws of your home country, and it will be well nigh impossible to take any action against them.
Find out how often and when you will be paid and the mode of payment, and also whether you get a fixed sum or a commission-based income. If you are asked for any upfront payment, you have to be doubly sure that it is not a scam. If you get emails using high-pressure tactics if you go to a website and decide it is not on the level and you try to exit. A window pops up, saying are you sure, and offering a further discount or a chance to ‘chat’ with an online supervisor? Be careful. Genuine sites don’t need to use high-pressure tactics.
If you have been victimized, what can you do?
If you have already been a victim of work at home scams, there are still things you can do. Complain at the Federal Trade Commission’s Web Site. Click here to view the video on FTC’s web site Complain to the Better Business Bureau and go through the BBB’s tips. However, there are lots of people who thing the BBB is not so genuine because the business people themselves fund it. If it is a small amount of money you have lost, you may be better off just cutting your losses, but if there is a significant sum involved, and depending on what actually happened, you may be able to get some restitution.
There are many blogs and forums you can post on, and you can ask questions at yahoo and MSN and get answers about these sites. Unfortunately, many sites, though genuine, may even have postings from people who write positive things about fake websites to get more victims!
Read our article on how to find gigs as a freelancer.