Have you ever dreamed of working from home?
Waking up on your own time, spending the day in your pajamas while you make a living online, all without a boss?
Working at home is a dream for many. Unfortunately, there are too many people out there that are just out to take your money and scam you!
After years of looking at “business opportunities” I have seen a pattern that these so-called gurus feed to uneducated and often desperate people. They promise you the world only to deliver disappointment and an empty wallet.
Follow the simple directions below to protect yourself and avoid getting scammed!
1. Use Common Sense
I know, this sounds silly, but you might be surprised at how often people see something that is too good to be true, only to fall prey to the scam. It happened to me and I don’t want it to happen to you.
When you come across an opportunity, really take some time to think about it before whipping out your wallet.
Especially if “the program” seems to be high paying or a very lucrative opportunity. I’m sorry to say, that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
I mean think about it, if the people pushing this opportunity are paying you so much for such little work, how do they make money?
If the company has to work at convincing you they are legit, most likely they are not. Generally, any “job” that uses search engine ads to promote itself and highlights that it is a “legitimate work at home job” is probably NOT going to be legit!
2. Don’t Buy With Your Emotions
I’ve done it and I’m sure you have done it before. You see something and the marketing is spot on and speaks to you and you whip out your wallet and buy something that you later end up regretting.
Scammers prey on this! They pay copywriters a TON of money to write copy that pulls on your emotional heartstrings. When you think you need something and are in an emotional state you can make illogical decisions.
When you are searching for work from home job opportunities, take your time. Do your research and make sure you are not making any snap decisions.
3. Research, Research, Research!
Like I said before, do your research! Be skeptical of EVERYTHING! Make sure you are not researching when you are emotional and you have a clear head. Even if an opportunity sounds legit, if they ask for money, be wary!
Check to see if there is a physical location, a customer service number, and or founder information.
Do a check through a search engine and social media for reviews of the opportunity. Do a search with the name of the company or opportunity and ad “scam” or “review.” A lot of times these can be posts of people just trying to push the opportunity or another opportunity that they will make money off of, but it’s a starting point.
Just keep in mind, that real companies offering real jobs don’t charge applicants. Furthermore, no business opportunity is “risk-free” but can be quite risky!
4. Be In The Know
It seems like there is always a new hot scam online. I am amazed at how creative scammers can be with coming up with new ways to scam people. However, if you know the trends you can easily spot a scam from a mile away!
Some of the “opportunities” listed below are ones you should proceed with caution before jumping into anything.
- Direct sales or MLM (make sure it is a reputable company)
- Receiving and sending packages
- Business start-up kits
- Gifting programs
- Pyramid Schemed – These are ALWAYS a scam!
- Posting links or ads online
- Anything that involves cashing checks or wiring money – Also ALWAYS avoid!
- Processing claims
- Product re-seller or wholesaler
- Stock trading systems
- Envelope stuffing
- Directories of telecommunicating
- Website tester
- Mystery Shopping
- Data entry/call centers (this job can be legit but can also be used to sell scams)
- At home assembly
- Taking surveys (Read my post on legit ways to make money through taking online surveys here)
Now I am not saying that all of these listed above are scams. There are many legit opportunities that fall into these categories, direct sales for example. There are MANY legit direct sales companies where people can make good money, but it’s not easy work either.
There is one technique that I have come across that looks legit but is just another way to scam people. They set up a website dedicated to busting online scams but all it really does is funnel readers into another scam. They tote that this opportunity over here is a scam but the one they are promoting is legit when indeed it is just another scam.
So proceed with caution when reading review and scam articles.
5. Be Cautious of Ads and Unsolicited Emails
Although it may be tempting to buy into one of these amazing opportunities, it’s probably a trap! Try to stick to more traditional ways of finding work at home job opportunities. Look on legit job search sites like Indeed and Zip Recruiter to start with. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that everything you find will be legit, but your chances are certainly better.
Also, if you are getting random emails about job opportunities, make sure you don’t jump into it right away.
When you find an opportunity, check out the company’s website also. Is the job listed on there? If it is legit you should be able to find out more info about the company and the position.
Don’t’ forget to consider the real side of the hiring process. Looking for reliable and trustworthy people is time-consuming. If all you have to do is fill in your name and email to “qualify” then it’s probably not legit.
6. You Won’t Get Rich Quick
Don’t fall into the “get rich quick” scam. Unless you win the lottery, you will not be a millionaire overnight!
If a company is promising you great wealth and financial prosperity, it is most likely going to be a scam!
Stear clear of anything that is offering you full-time income for part-time work. The only people getting rich in these situations are the ones taking YOUR money!
7. Don’t Pay For An Opportunity!
Yes, there are legit opportunities that require an investment, purchasing inventory for direct sales for example. But that is a business opportunity. If you are looking for a job, a real employer is not going to charge you to work for them. When they are asking for money they try to disguise it as start-up costs or training, but they are just taking your money. You might get something in return, but it’s most likely not going to replace your income in a week so you can quite your 9-5.
Someone who is running a legit business and is in need of employees isn’t just going to hire anyone off the street for a few bucks. It’s much more complicated than that.
If it is a business opportunity you are looking for, then be careful. Real businesses are built over time, with a lot of research and planning.
If you are interested in starting a blog, check out my post: How to Start a Successful Blog: The Complete Newbie Guide
8. Report Scammers
If you think you have been scammed, report it immediately! If you gave out any financial information call your credit card company or bank right away!
File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
It’s simple and you will be playing your part to help stop these scammers!
The information you need to report a scam to the Internet Crime Complaint Center are:
- Your name, mailing address, and telephone number.
- The name, address, telephone number, and web address, if available, of the individual or organization you believe defrauded you.
- Specific details on how, why, and when you believe you were defrauded.
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