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Work at Home Scams and How to Avoid Them E-mail
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The idea of working at home is attractive to just about everybody. You get up in the morning and flip on your computer with one fluffy-slippered foot. You sit down with a cup of coffee and a smile, looking out in amusement at the suckers with regular jobs huddling under an umbrella on the way to work. Sounds great, right?

Whenever an idea seems so attractive to so many people, there will be somebody out there waiting to take advantage. And while there are real work at home opportunities out there, scams abound. Want to know about the most dangerous work at home scams and how to avoid them? 

At-Home Product Assembly

“Easy money with assembly work at home! No experience needed.”

The product assembly scam offers you the opportunity to assemble craft items, toys, signs, etc., from home. The only price? An up-front fee (sometimes in the hundreds) for a starter kit including everything you need to assemble the products. Where’s the scam? Well, after the products are assembled, they’re automatically rejected as not meeting specifications. That’s because there are no specifications-- the scammers make their money selling the start-up kits, not the products.

At-Home Envelope Stuffing

“A guaranteed $500 weekly! Just two hours of easy work a day!”

You might think that most work at home scams are pretty new-- but this one is as old as the hills. It first started during the Depression, and has never been eradicated. In the most common version of this scam, you send money for information-- information which, if you pursue it, leads you to spend hundreds more on supplies, printing fees, etc. Fortunately, this is one of those scams that is easy to spot… because they’re all scams. The United States Postal Inspection Service knows of no envelope stuffing work at home opportunity “that ever produces income.”

At-Home Email Processing

“Make from $200 to $1000 a week in just hours a day! Work from home doing valuable email processing!”

In this scam, you’re promised the opportunity to become a work-from-home email processor for important companies who “need your services.” With a one-time fee of $50, you’ll get everything you need. And what do you get? Nothing more than an email and instructions on how to spam others with exactly the same scam. Talk about a vicious cycle…

At-Home Home Word Processing, Typing, and Data Entry

“Earn easy money and work from the comfort of your own home doing word processing!”

The idea of being able to work from home doing some simple that you do well is attractive. And while there are some real work-from-home word processing opportunities, many ads you’ll come across are scams. The scam comes into the picture when it’s time to fill in the application. At that point, you’ll be asked to pay an “application fee” or even pay for software. This is a big, blinking warning sign; legitimate companies will almost never ask for up-front fees.

Create an Online At-Home Business

"Turn your PC into a money machine! Free information on hundreds of jobs! No experience necessary!"

This work at home scam can be done in various ways. In one, they offer you information for a “one-time fee,” and simply supply information on how to scam others the same way. In another, you are offered a list of potential clients who are looking for freelance work-at-home employees. Once you pay for the list, you receive a worthless guide to work-at-home opportunities --most of which are scams-- or a list of other pay-for opportunities.

MLM (Multi-Level Marketing)

“Our great products will allow you to earn more than you ever have! Let others make money for you while you live out your life in luxury!”

This particular scam tricks a lot of people, mostly because there truly are some legitimate MLM opportunities out there. So how do you tell the difference between a real opportunity and an MLM scam? Check what they’re selling. If the focus of the MLM opportunity is more on finding new people to sign up than on selling a product, it’s actually a pyramid scheme-- and taking part in it can even be punishable by law.

At-Home Medical Insurance Claims Processing

“Earn up to $1000 per week processing insurance claims from your home. Work with doctors, dentists, and more in a much-needed field!”

This scam is practiced both over the internet and on cable TV advertisements and “trade shows.” You will be offered training, software, and help finding clients-- for a fee. While some of these opportunities are legit, most aren’t. Instead, scammers offer training and information that won’t help you get work at all, and you’ll be out up to $1000 in fees.

Work at Home Scam Warning Signs

Even when you know which opportunities tend to be scams, it can be hard to know whether an ad is legitimate or not. After all, scammers are smart-- they don’t want to look like scammers. So when you see any of the following things in a work at home ad or a follow-up, a warning bell should go off:

  • Promises of incredible earnings for very little work
  • Requests for fees before details about the opportunity are given
  • Statements that no experience is necessary, yet the salary is very high
  • Guarantees of a huge market for you to sell your work

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