Working from home is becoming more common, as people realize the advantages of not having to commute to an office to bring in an income. However, it is important to be aware of work-at-home cons and scams, which can put you at risk. By unknowingly giving your personal information to a scammer, you run the risk of losing all of your money and other assets. Learn how to protect yourself and avoid this type of trouble.
Knowledge is the best defense when you venture onto the Internet in search of home-based employment. So before you do, take the time to learn how to tell which opportunities are legitimate work-at-home jobs and which are work-at-home scams. The more work-at-home job postings and ads that you respond to, the more scams you will encounter and a pattern of deception will become clearer. This, in turn, will make the truly legitimate work-at-home jobs easier to spot. You will begin to discern the telltale signs of a work-at-home scam, in part, because of the sameness of their pitches.
When evaluating an opportunity, first think if it seems profitable from the company's perspective, particularly if it seems very lucrative. How would the promoters of the opportunity make money if they are paying you so much for so little work?
Also, if a work-at-home hiring company's reviews appear 100% positive, that is likely because it is offering a work-at-home scam or, at the very least, a poor money-making opportunity. That's why any job that promotes itself in search engine ad's as a "lucrative work-at-home job with little to no effort" most likely is not legitimate. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't a good opportunity. But scammers are sneaky, so common sense alone is not enough.
The most common way that scammers find victims is to play on their emotions. When you want something badly, your emotions can lead you to make illogical decisions in pursuit of it. Finding a work-at-home job is not easy, so you will need patience and a clear head. Be especially wary of any opportunity that tries to play on your emotions by saying you "deserve" something.
Begin by doubting everything you see, then do your research with a clear head. Even if an opportunity looks honest, do not send money to any organization without thoroughly checking it out. This includes finding out where it is physically based, determining if there is contact information, and contacting them via phone.
Look it up on social media and do an internet search for any reviews. It often helps to do an internet search with the name of the company and "scam" or "review." The results may not yield much concrete information, but it can be a starting point. Keep in mind that most legitimate companies do not charge job applicants and that business opportunities are never risk-free.
While work-at-home scammers are always coming up with new schemes, they tend to vary on a few themes. Some of these opportunities should be avoided, while others may be legitimate work-at-home jobs. However, often they are not, so be very careful with any of these:
Anything that requires money up-front as an "investment," anything sold as a "business kit," or anything requiring prepping or assembling to be sent off with compensation promised at a later date. Employers don't charge employees to work for them, and scams posing as legitimate business opportunities will ask for money. The pitch is that businesses are expected to have start-up costs.
However, true businesses are typically not simple exchanges of unskilled labor for payment, as in home assembly and envelope-stuffing schemes. A true home business is developed over time with careful planning and research, not purchased online sight unseen. There are many free reliable resources that list legitimate companies offering work-from-home jobs by industry.
Use appropriate channels for job searches to find a work-at-home job. While there is no guarantee leads found in these places are always legitimate, those sent via unsolicited email or found in Internet ads and social media usually are not.
You should never have to create an account on a social media or networking site to view job descriptions or apply for a job. Always go directly to a company's employment website if you find a job opportunity in another place. Not only can you check if it's legitimate, you can learn more about the position and the company. Keep in mind that companies hiring for legitimate work-from-home jobs are looking for qualified, reliable people to do the work. Screening applicants is a time-consuming process, so those casting a wide net by using Google, search engine ads, or social media advertising are not as likely to be legitimate.
If you suspect that you have been scammed, report it immediately. If you've given out financial information, contact your bank or credit card company and report it to your state's attorney general or any number of other authorities.
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