Recognize And Avoid “Work At Home” Scams

Recognize And Avoid “Work At Home” Scams

by Diane Hamilton, Ph.D
money” that you never thought was possible. Not only are they targeting the desperate, but the sick, the stay-at-home parents, the low-income and the uneducated.Evaluating Job Listings
There are things you should do if you suspect a scam. Find out more about the company and job. What kind of contact information do they supply? Use search engines to research the company’s history. Make sure you know what the job details are including how much and how often you’ll be paid. Check out scam lists. If they ask for money to work for them, beware. You can ask for references but even these can be questionable. (Find out how to spot internet fraud and protect your hard-earned money, see Avoiding Online Investment Scams.)

There are some things you should never do. 

  • Deposit money and pay it back to them
  • Send merchandise or checks out in the mail
  • Spam others with email
  • Call a 900 number for information – you will end up paying for that call which is how that scammer makes the money.
  • Assemble crafts or other items – they will probably tell you that you have not met specifications and end up not paying you.
  • Stuffing Envelopes – this scam that can be illegal.

Researching and Reporting Issues
To find out where you can go to research and report problems, check out the following:

  • Better Business Bureau – enter the company name into the organization’s site to see previous complaints. (The BBB is one resource to help you connect with the best product/service providers in your area, read The Better Business Bureau’s Tool Belt For Saving Cash.)
  • Federal Trade Commission – you can go here to find out if a company has had illegal pyramid schemes.
  • – check out this company’s bulletin board to see home scams and ask questions about companies you suspect.
  • Google – do research on the companies’ background to see what others have to say.

Other Online Career Scams
In your search for the ultimate work at home job, you may have placed your resume on the internet. This may leave you open for another problem. Consulting and recruiting scams are on the rise. A career consultant may contact you saying they found your resume online. Chances are this person may try to get you to pay for updating your resume or other job-related help. A recruiter may call to send you on a job interview. Later, you may find that there is not a job opening, and the company just wanted to sell you services.  There are many ways for others to take advantage of you during your employment search. Be careful regarding jobs advertised that don’t actually exist. If you get an email from someone who is very impressed with your qualifications, be careful of phishing scams, and can result in distribution of your information to other companies. (Looking to land your dream job? Skip the entry-level position by avoiding these common errors, check out Top Job-Search Mistakes For Finance Grads.)

Unfortunately, with all of the unemployed out there, there is always a threat of an increase in the number of unemployment scams. Keep your guard up. Go to the above mentioned sites and check everything out. Do not pay anyone up front, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. (To bamboozle someone out of their money is an age-old ruse. Learn about some of the gimmicks modern-day swindlers use and avoid becoming a statistic in Online Investment Scams Tutorial.)

by Diane Hamilton, Ph.D

Diane Hamilton’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Arts and a Doctorate degree in Business Management. She has an Arizona real estate license as well as certifications in the areas of medical representative, Myers-Briggs and emotional intelligence. With more than 25 years of business and management-related experience, her background includes working in many industries, including computers, software, pharmaceuticals, corporate training, mortgage/lending and real estate. She currently teaches business-related subjects for six online universities and is in the process of writing a book on personal finance for young adults. She can be reached through

Filed Under: Personal Finance

I recently completed my book “How To Reinvent Your Career” where I discuss how you must be very careful not to fall for some of the scams out there. People are very anxious to find employment and sometimes they see things as job opportunities when actually they are scams praying on them at their lowest points. Please check out this article I wrote for Investopedia about these scams. Of special interest to me since I wrote the book, is a newer job that has been developed due to the social networking opportunities out there. If you have not looked into working in social media, it may be an interesting option. I liked a tutorial put together by Kate Buck at . . . At last look, it was under $100 and gave step by step instructions about how to get into a home-based (legit) business that you run on your own. The job would include managing companies’ social media needs. I have no affiliation with Kate but I think she has a good product. It’s worth checking out.