Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Scam Alert! How to Avoid Work-At-Home Scams!

Every year at least three million people fall victim to work-at-home scams. The sad part is that avoiding scams is not that difficult if you heed the advice of work-at-home professionals.

It’s my opinion that people fall victim to scams for one (or all) of the following three reasons:

1) A lack of knowledge and understanding about working at home: By reading free articles and website resources about working at home, checking out work-at-home books from the library, and talking with others who work at home, you can learn about common scams to avoid, as well as what working at home is really about. By knowing what’s really involved in working at home, you’ll focus on real opportunities and avoid the bogus ones.

2) Looking for the wrong types of work in the wrong places: When you learn about working at home (#1), you discover that typing and data entry jobs are nearly all scams, that telecommuting is real work and must be earned not bought, and that home businesses are a great way to make money, but that they can't be done completely on autopilot (there is no money for nothing). Many people get caught in scammers’ web because they buy into the idea that you can pay a job or get paid to do nothing at home. Remember, it’s called work at home, work being the operative word.

3) Allowing emotions to override common sense: Sometimes the desire to work-at-home can take on a desperate tone. When you find something that sounds just perfect, ideal for your situation, your desperation can lead you to send the money before your common sense can question it. You can’t fall for the hype no matter how good it sounds. Real work-at-home opportunities may be simple to run, but they won’t make you rich tomorrow (heck they probably won’t make you any money by tomorrow), and cannot be run by someone else or completely on autopilot.

To avoid scams you must make a promise to yourself not only to learn about working at home, but to also use what you know to critique and analyze work-at-home options, and don't let your burning desire to work-at-home override your common sense.

Here are some things you need watch for:
1) If its envelope stuffing, assembly work, email processing, payment processing, typing and data entry, it’s a scam. To be honest there are some legit data entry work and occasionally typing (although it’s not called typing it’s called transcribing), but most of them are scams. Home businesses that don't have a product or service, and any “guarantees” of income or the ability to earn big money doing nearly nothing are also likely to be scams.

2) If it’s advertising for a JOB, but asks for money, it’s a scam. Legit employers never charge to hire you. Ever! But watch out. Many people use this rule incorrectly. It’s only for ads from companies that indicate that for a fee you can work for them. It doesn't apply to business opportunities, work at home information resources, or even job boards.

3) If a company asks to use your personal bank account to do business, it’s a scam! Don't do it. It can cost you thousands of dollars and the loss of your bank account until the debt you owe is paid.

The best way to avoid scams is to be informed, take the time to research and understand work-at-home opportunities, and always let your head, not your heart, do the deciding.

About the Author: Leslie Truex has been providing work-at-home advice and information online since 1998. Get the Jobs Online Toolkit and other free resources with a subscription to her free weekly newsletter. Visit Work At Home Success for details.