Work-from-home scams are nothing new, but the Internet has made it easier and more affordable for scammers to reach their intended victims. Make sure you’re not one of them by arming your self with scam information. Here are 8 scams you should avoid.
1. Envelope Stuffing – This scam has been around and debunked for a long time. I’m actually surprised that people still get caught up in these types of scams. It just goes to show how clever scammers can be in making you think they’ve got a real opportunity. But consider yourself warned: envelope stuffing is always a scam. It would cost businesses more to send you materials and envelopes to stuff and pay $1 or more envelope. It’s cheaper to get a minimum wage worker or better yet, a machine to do it. You’ll notice in theses scams you’re always asked for money. Sometimes it’s as low as $25, and then you’re sent information on how to advertise and perpetuate the scam. Other times, you’re asked to pay $99 to $399. Remember, you never have to pay for employment.
2. Assembly Work – I’ve never run into anyone making money with assembly work programs at least not over the long term. These scams make their money selling you kits. The company may accept and pay for your first batch as a way to get you to buy more, but then after that you work is never up to snuff.
3. Data Entry and Typing – On occasion I find legitimate data entry and typing jobs, but it’s so rare that I feel comfortable warning you away from them. Most data entry and typing “jobs” are deceptive educational resources teaching affiliate marketing, which is legit, but has very little to do with typing and data entry. If you’re looking for employment, you’ll know these types of jobs are scams because they charge money. Legitimate typing and data entry work will ask for skills, experience, and a typing speed.
4. Pyramid Schemes – Many erroneously think MLM and network marketing are pyramid scams, but that’s not true. It’s not the shape or the act of recruiting alone that defines a pyramid. A pyramid scheme promises monetary gain without a quality product or service. Legitimate MLMs pay you based on what you sell. You can recruit others, but you aren’t paid per recruit. Instead you receive a percentage of what that recruit sells. So legitimate programs are always focused on selling a product or service. Illegal pyramids pay for the act of recruiting (i.e. $50 for each person you bring in…with no other income such as off sales). Another example is gifting and bogus investment opportunities where you’re told to invest $2000 and in a few weeks, when you find 5 other members, you’ll have $10,000. Those are illegal.
5. Email Processing – Some clever scammer figured out how to bring envelope stuffing online. In email processing, you pay a fee to join and then are sent information on how to perpetuate the scam (email others, charge $25 for information on how to email others to charge $25…etc).
6. Fake Check Scams – This scam is popping up everywhere, not just in work at home schemes. Further, it doesn’t seem to target one job type. I’ve seen fake check scams advertise for payment processors, mystery shoppers and helpers (i.e. “drive my mom around” or “help my mom move”). The trick to knowing this is a scam is if the “employer” asks you to use your personal bank account to help it do business. Anytime a stranger wants to send you send thousands of dollars, you should be suspicious. This is especially true if you’re asked to deposit the money, and send a portion of it somewhere else. If you think about it, who in their right mind would send a stranger tons of money and expect them send it back?
7. Pay to Play Jobs – Any work-at-home opportunity that says it’s a job, as in employment, shouldn’t charge you money to get hired. That’s not to say all work-at-home opportunities that charge money are scams. What I am saying is any JOB that charged money is a scam or at the very least isn’t a job. Employers never charge to hire you. The only time it’s okay to spend money on a job is help in creating a resume, access to a quality telecommuting data base like Flexjobs, a background check and on equipment you may need to do the job (this equipment shouldn’t be sold by the employer).
8. Bogus Business Opportunities – There are many great home business opportunities out there, but you need to do your due diligence to research them. The classic example is the medical billing program that will teach you how to do it and provide the software, but when you set out find clients you discover none of the prospects use that software. This program is all about making selling you a program, not actually helping get work.
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