Technology provides us with a number of great opportunities. In fact, you can even have a successful career from the comfort of your home. I work from home, growing my business and earning a living for my family. It’s been a good gig for me, but it hasn’t always been easy.
Indeed, in the beginning, as I looked for clients on job boards, I constantly saw ads proclaiming “work from home” and “earn money online.” While there are plenty of legitimate ways for you to work from home and earn money with the help of the Internet, it’s important to note that there are also work from home scams, run by those intent on getting their hands on your hard-earned cash.
Before you sign up for a great work from home “opportunity,” consider these signs that it might be a work from home scam:
- Easy: Work from home scammers promise that you will have an easy time of it. You can purchase a system, or do simple tasks, and bring in $500 a week, or $10,000 a month. Unfortunately, actually starting a home business, and making it successful, isn’t easy. It requires dedication and hard work.
- Instant earnings: You are unlikely to see immediate results from your business efforts. Often, it takes time to build up a following and find clients. Creating a successful home business is not easy, and making money isn’t instant — nor is it guaranteed.
- Pay a fee: In some cases, you might answer an ad for a company hiring homeworkers. They promise a regular salary and good benefits. There are companies that offer these types of jobs. However, the companies (like JetBlue) are few and far between. And you don’t usually have to pay an “application fee.” Watch out for any “opportunity” that requires that you pay a fee, buy a special system, or pay money to a third party for a background check. Indeed, one of the up and coming scams is that you answer an ad for a job, and you are told to use a specific link to get a background check. The scammer gets the commission from your background check, and you don’t ge the job.
- Your personal accounts: Watch out if you are asked to put your personal reputation on the line. A company that has you sell eBay items for them, and collect payment, all the while promising to send what you’ve bought to the customer, is probably shady. You sell the item, collect the money (and send most of it on). The scammer, of course, keeps the money and never sends the item. But it’s your personal account on the line, and you’re the one in trouble with eBay — and stuck refunding the full amount.
Too Good To Be True
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. But watch out, too, for “opportunities” that dial back the expectations. Some scammers are getting smarter, toning down the rhetoric to reflect more realistic outcomes. You can check the Whois registry for red flags such as personal registration, a short time being registered, and a private listing. Be wary of sloppy web sites on free hosts. Legitimate companies can usually afford to pay for hosting — and pay for web design and editing. And, of course, pay attention to the contact information. If all you see is an email address, or an email contact form, and no phone number, physical address or other solid information, that could be another red flag.