Work from home scams
Work from home scams can be found on the Internet, in classified ads, on telephone pole flyers and in countless other places. If you’re interested in working from home, make sure you take care to avoid work from home scams.
Sample Work from Home Scam Ads
"Make $39,000 in less than 30 days from home!"
"You can make $8k+ a month from your computer!"
"We have customers waiting for you!"
"Make money filling out surveys!"
"Be your own boss!"
Tips for avoiding work from home scams
Work from home scams abound, but you don’t have to be a victim. Here’s how to avoid work from home scams:
Don’t give out personal information to anyone you don’t know. Don’t hand over your bank information or other details. Check with the FTC, Better Business Bureau or your Attorney General.
Get information up front. An ethical company will give you detailed information about your work, rate of pay, employer, hours of work and other terms. You should never have to pay for information about a job, opportunity or necessary supplies.
Find out who you’ll be working for. In most cases, work from home scam artists simply sell you materials — they don’t find customers for you or hire you directly. Be suspicious of any company that isn’t going to pay your directly or that’s based overseas.
Verify claims. Many companies claim you can make thousands of dollars per week and that they have customers waiting for your work. Ask if you can talk to some of those customers — then follow up. And call likely customers in your own city to see if they actually hire people to do that kind of work from home.
Don’t send money. You shouldn’t need to buy anything to start the program, get information on a job, or get a list of needed supplies.
Realize that building a business takes time. Don’t fall for get rich quick schemes. It takes time, effort, skill, good products and services and luck to build a business. Note that Bill Gates, Donald Trump and other wealthy people started their businesses decades ago. Avoid companies that promise huge markets, high demand, big profits or a big income.
Watch out for work-from-home email messages. Many unsolicited emails contain faked contact information, hidden links, and fraudulent tricks. Be careful about clicking links in those messages. In many cases, the link you think you’re clicking actually goes to another website. Or a site that looks legitimate may have an address that’s slightly different from a legitimate one.
Get references from other people who are doing the work. Find out if the company followed through on its promises. Keep in mind that many work from home scam artists will give you contact information for friends who are in on the scheme.
Check legal requirements. Some types of work, like medical billing, may require a license or certificate. Check with your state or province. You should also check zoning, business permit and other requirements.
Secure a refund policy. Do you have to pay for equipment, supplies or products? Find out if you can return them for a refund. And get the details in writing.
Watch out for envelope stuffing scams. This work from home scam works by getting you to advertise envelope stuffing opportunities. Then you send out information telling people to advertise envelope stuffing scams. This is an illegal pyramid scheme that could result in prosecution.
Avoid medical billing, craft making, mystery shopping, clipping coupons, email processing, typing from home, envelope stuffing, some data entry and other classic work from home schemes. The offers really are too good to be true.
Steer clear of companies that offer to send you an "advance" on your pay. Con artists do this to get your bank information and set you up for bounced checks.
More Information on Work from Home Scams
- Work from Home Scams from Fraud.org
- Reporting work from home scams (Consultant Journal)
- Finding work you can do from home (Consultant Journal)
Work from Home Scams