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Work at Home Scams

Updated on March 7, 2008

Working at Home Isn't a Guarantee to the Easy Life

Work at Home, Make Lots of Money, Do Little Work?

Owning a business is most people's idea of paradise. A home-based business is one more step up on the dream job ladder. If you want to work at home, there are plenty of companies and websites that are willing to help. Their claims of making thousands of dollars a day working for a couple of hours daily are everywhere you look.

Seriously, if working at home was that lucrative and easy, everyone would do it. Working at home and being successful at it is just like any other business or job. A home business requires hard work, persistence, know-how, and maybe some luck.

If you decide to go with a work at home company, watch out for these warning signs. If any of these situations apply to the work at home company which interests you, move on. There are hundreds of work at home scams. Be diligent and you can find a legitimate work at home company.

5 Tips for Avoiding Work at Home Scams

1. Never pay money upfront for information. If a home-based business is legitimate, there should be no upfront money charges just to find out about the work at home program.

2. A company should be able to provide references. You should be able to talk personally with real people that have had success with the company. Online testimonials or printed testimonials in letters do not qualify as references.

3. Run like the wind if any home-based opportunity advertises easy money, quick money, or very little work involved. A successful home-based business is just like any other business. It requires work and takes time to make money. If it sounds too good to be true, trust me, it is.

4. There are several classic work at home scams that have been around for decades. Stay away from these classic work at home opportunities scams, no matter how promising they seem. These include stuffing envelopes, being a mystery shopper, and assembling products at home.

Some mystery shopper jobs are legitimate, however. But just like mentionend in rule #1 for avoiding work at home scams, no upfront money should be exchanged for information or to work for a company.

Pyramid schemes are also common work at home scams. The way to distinguish these from legitimate sales opportunities is that with pyramid schemes the emphasis is on recruiting others instead of the actual product.

5. Avoid companies that promise riches through the email. This is the easiest and most common way that scam companies try to lure people. If you must go to a site that sounds promising, keep points 1-4 in mind.

Work at Home Scams Comments

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    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      Good additional tips, Diana. Thanks!cgull8m, I definitely agree.Marco_Man, exactly. Just like with any business, working at home takes time and hard work.Thanks, Christine. Hopefully, this hub will save some poor soul from work at home scams.

    • ChristineRitter profile image

      ChristineRitter 10 years ago from Ohio

      I've been scammed soooo many times it's pathetic. Your hub hits the nail on the head !!! Thanks !

    • Marco_Man profile image

      Marco_Man 10 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Appreciate the info. I have been looking into these scams, 1 way or another, everyone wants you to pay up front for info. However, it seems as though you can be successful, but time, effort, and an investment is crucial to succeeding.

    • cgull8m profile image

      cgull8m 10 years ago from North Carolina

      Great article Angela, I have seen many who fall for it and then complain later. Now online there are plenty of sources who do that like you said pyramid schemes are dime a dozen. Wish there was a good source of legitimate businesses, there should be a rating system online to check their authenticity.

    • diana1000 profile image

      Diana Harvey 10 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Angela

      Good Hub.

      I work from home on the comp and yes there are plenty scams there I agree but also some really good ones around.

      You warnings are good but also even those living breathing people can tell you some stories.

      For those of you starting out on the home route

      1 evaluate the opportunity properly

      2 dont expect the fortune over night.

      3 you can and will do well it is possible.

      4 make sure that you either have access to a really good list builder program as I have and or you must also combine offline work as well.

      Thanks again Angela good article. Take care of yourself Di

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      Thanks, Bonnie. Work at home scams are a sad fact of life. And with news of the economy slipping, I'm afraid that it's only going to get worse.

      DJ Funktual, Thanks, man! I agree that I need to flesh it out a little. I'm not associate with any work at home companies. So I must follow my own advice before I put up links to legitimate work at home opportunities. But I will add them as I find them.

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 10 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

      Fantastic HUB! I read it three times.

      The only thing it lacks are some links to legitimate at-home businesses.

    • Bonnie Ramsey profile image

      Bonnie Ramsey 10 years ago from United States


      This is a great hub. I have written on this subject as well. Many people aren't aware of how to properly look for opportunities or seperate the scams from the legitimate offers. Things have gotten so bad that many think some of the legitimate opportunities are a scam if you have to invest anything up front. I don't mean for information. This is a definite red flag. I mean for the start-up kit. I have written some hubs to try to teach people how to look for the right opportunity by learning what to look for, what to avoid and what questions to ask. I also have some that try to help them learn what Network Marketing/MLM is, the difference in these and pyramid schemes and things of that nature. It is hard for some people to realize that you can't just hop on the computer the first day and find the perfect business for you without doing some research (unless you get VERY lucky, which is probably pretty rare). Great job on the hub and keep up the great work!