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How to Recognize and Avoid Work-at-Home Scams

By Agnese Geka

The Main Things to Look Out For

When learning to recognize and avoid work at home scams, one of the main things to consider is where you saw the job advertised. Scams centered around home based jobs are most often advertised in newspaper classified ads columns, sent by instant message or emails which appear to be from the company that has work available. If a work from home job was as good as the message, email or ad would have you believe, they would hardly have to advertise in this manner as they would already have filled the position! You should also consider it to be a scam if the only means of contact is by ‘company’ email rather than direct to a specific person.

Likewise, you should treat as a scam (or spam) any offer which asks you to pay money upfront as a registration fee or those which make unrealistic claims about the amount of money you could potentially earn for seemingly simple tasks. After all, would you pay a person a thousand pounds a week to address envelopes, tap routine data into a computer, or write articles without first proving their literacy skills? Or would you trust a boss who’d give you a job on the condition you lent him your last week’s pay? No? Well, think on – the most obvious rules which apply in everyday life and jobs outside the home should be no different in a home working situation.

How to Avoid Being Taken In

Of course, not every scam ‘opportunity’ will be as glaringly obvious. So, if you happen to come across something and you’re not quite sure if it’s a scam or not, the best thing you can do is to turn detective and carry out some basic research.

Firstly, you should check if the company you are interested in has a physical address. If not and a Post Office box or a mobile phone number is given – or if you are unable to speak to anyone when you ring – then it is very likely that the home work offer is a scam. The wording of the advertisement should also be scrutinized as ads which state things like “must act now” are often not legitimate job opportunities. Genuine work from home companies rarely limit the time available for you to apply as many act as agencies who rely on having a constant pool of workers who they tend to add to on a frequent or ongoing basis. Likewise, genuine survey companies, all of which you can join for free at any given time.

Researching the company online can often provide you with reviews from other people who have worked for them. Otherwise, you should ask the company for references from their employees and talk to them about how they have been treated. If you are refused references, you should avoid the company altogether.

Also, its perhaps important to note that while you should never part with money blindly, some legitimate companies may ask that you make an initial payment to cover the costs of training, materials and background checks. Talking to the company in question should help ascertain their reasons for this. However, always ensure the answers they give can be backed by a reliable and (preferably) official source. 

But, above all, when it comes to avoiding work from home scams remember to keep a clear head. Don’t be blinded or brainwashed – and don’t believe all that you read.

By Agnese Geka is Online Marketing Executive for which is one of the largest online guides to market research companies providing paid surveys and advice on making extra income at home.

This post was written by Agnese Geka and sponsored by Survey With any business or work at home opportunity you need to do your due diligence and research the opportunity extensively. Please be aware that we can only promote advertising from companies that we feel we can legitimately recommend to our readers.

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5 Responses to “How to Recognize and Avoid Work-at-Home Scams”

  1. 1
    Sharon Ecob says:

    Thanks for this…the more awareness brought to this topic the better.There are so many people out there desperate to make extra cash they can easily get caught in a scam where they could be financially worse off. I recently came across an ad on Gumtree Durban South Africa.. advertising R10,500 PM (ZAR) for simply advertising online using your home based computer 1 hour a day….Of course I applied with my complete CV …(I’m a marketing professional) My cover note stated “I would like to find out more ..sounds too good to be true” I’m still waiting for an answer…my bet is I won’t get one as they are hoping to inlist people with far less Savy..

    • 1.1
      Holly Hanna says:

      Hi Sharon, It sounds fishy. Have you tried looking on FlexJobs or LinkedIn? With your marketing background you should be able to find some legit opportunities. Good luck and keep me posted!

  2. 2
    Eve says:

    True true, main point is to stay away from all the offers which sound ‘too good to be true’.

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