How to Avoid Work-From-Home Scams

There are literally hundreds of different web sites offering work-from-home opportunities. A casual search will reveal many web sites for the following:

* Taking on-line surveys
* Selling products independently by phone
* Writing academic essays

Many of these sites will appear very professional in nature, encouraging you to give your e-mail address so that you can be contacted by a member of the company. Many times, they will eventually ask you to pay some sort of up front fee, “just to get started.”

Most legitimate business offers will not require you to pay out of your pocket for anything. It is up to you if you believe in that company, or that product, strongly enough to put your own money out up front without receiving anything from them first. It is not my advice that you do this.

Get it in writing. You still have rights even if you are an independent contractor working out of your own home. There’s nothing wrong with asking for some sort of contract, and if they don’t use a standard one then it’s okay to ask if you can draft one. If they are going to pay you on a commission rate, or hourly based upon the time you work, then you absolutely should have a contract or some sort of paperwork to go along with their words.

If they do not ask for paypal identification or tax paperwork, don’t expect to be paid. How could they pay you if they don’t have your information? If you have to bring it up, there is probably something wrong. At the very least, there should be some request for your paypal ID.

Upon gross examination, it is almost impossible to discern the real work from home opportunities from the Internet scams. Most of the web sites in questions will have names like “eeee-zee-monee-dot-com” and “get-payed-today-dot-com.” The text will be lengthy, describing how simple the procedure is, how you can earn so much money (often with examples and dollar amounts), and how amazing it is to work from home.

Most of these sites will assure you that their services are free of charge. But there are still ways to spot the scam-artists. First of all, read the text. At least scan the text, and if there is any mention of having to put down any payment, download any special software, buy any certain products, or in any other way spend money from your own pocket, leave the site.

For the most part, there will be a space to register your name and e-mail address. If you are leaving this e-mail address to “get free information!” it is probably a scam. The information e-mailed will explain how to make payment, and how much payment, to receive what you need to begin. Erase the e-mail, do not go back to that site. If, however, you are signing up to join their service free of charge, it could be the first step to a true opportunity.

Under no circumstances should the web site ask for your credit card number. Do not enter the information, and simply exit the site if it comes up. No legitimate job offer will ask for your personal credit card or bank number. Legitimate sites generally pay their workers through PayPal. There is no need to arrange any sort of direct deposit through the web site. Do not exchange any of your banking information with any web site claiming to offer a job opportunity. If they ask you for this information, it is probably not a legitimate job offer.

There are more scams out there on the ‘Net than there are viable business opportunities. Keeping a sharp eye out and learning how to tell the good from the bad will become second nature if you’re committed to self-employment, and after a while you’ll know how to avoid the less-than-genuine offers. And of those three, there will always be some truly legitimate offers – if you can find them.

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