Don’t Get Snagged in a Work-At-Home Scam

January 10th, 2012

Dreaming of a job where you can work and be home with the kids?  Yearning to stay in your pajamas while you log in some hours?  Then ads for work-at-home jobs may have caught your eye.  But, unfortunately, many of these ads are scams.  And these scams usually follow the same formula:

Offer for an easy work-at-home job
+ Requirement that you purchase a “start-up” kit
= You lose the $ on the kit and don’t make a
dime on the work.

So how can you tell if it’s a scam?  Here are a few signs to watch-out for:

  1. Ads that use the term “work-at-home”: Typically, legitimate work-at-home jobs are labeled as “telecommuting” positions (though, this may not always be the case).
  1. No resume, references, or experience required: Genuine employers usually want to know what they’re getting.  Scammers, on the other hand, just want your cash.
  1. Big bucks for little work: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

And don’t be fooled if the company doesn’t require you to purchase a start-up kit.  Sometimes, all the swindlers want is your personal information so they can either steal your identify or sell the information to others who want to advertise their stuff to you.

Five most common “work-at-home” rip-offs:

  1. Envelope Stuffing
  2. Assembly of craft work
  3. Rebate processing
  4. Online searches
  5. Medical billing (i.e., processing medical claims electronically)
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Data that can be used to identify you, like your name, address, birth date, or Social Security number

One of a host of notorious work-at-home scams (others include data entry, online surveys, mystery shopping, and medical billing, among many others). The pitch’s appeal stems from its uncanny coupling of the simplicity of stuffing an envelope (anyone can do it!) with the prospect of making tons of money working in the comfort of your own home.

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