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Identifying Work-from-Home Job Scams


The unemployment rate in the U.S. started climbing dramatically in 2009. As more and more people began to consider work from home jobs, the number of scams began to rise as well. Con artists like to prey on desperation, and if you're not careful, you could easily find yourself losing money, rather than finding an opportunity to work. So how do you identify a job listing that's phony?

Processing Rebates

This is one of the most popular scams out there. It's an offer to train you to process customer rebates from the comfort of your home. The offers will even use the name of legitimate businesses, in order to make it sound like a real offer. Sometimes they even have a sophisticated web page. They charge an up-front fee to train you to process the rebates. These fees range from $30-$40, all the way up to several hundred dollars.

There's even more bad news. If you pay for these fake training fees with a credit card, you'll often find that the scammer is also charging a monthly fee to your card. Legitimate companies do not charge up front fees to give you a job, and they don't hire people to process rebates from home. Period.

Stuffing Envelopes

This is another fake job listing that you'll find every day in the classified ads. Think about it for a moment. Why would a company ship boxes full of flyers to your house, in order for them to be shipped a second time after you stuff them in an envelope? These offers usually charge an up front fee as well, which is always a red flag.

Multi Level Marketing

This is another deal that's too good to be true. Here's how it works: an expert salesman tells you that he's made millions of dollars working from the comfort of his own home. He offers to tell you how he did it, if you pay for an information packet or product that he's selling. Once you buy that product, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy - for the salesman. He is, in fact, getting rich from home. He's doing it by selling something to you. All the product usually does is tell you to make your own information product and sell it to other people, and you're out $20 or more for purchasing it.

Big Bucks for Very Little Work

These offers usually include the promise of a chance to make up to $1000 a week or more. Furthermore, you don't need any experience to do the job, and it only requires part-time hours. What a deal! Another question: if this job is so great, why is it advertised in the newspaper every day? Doesn't it seem like such a great job would be snatched up right away? Once again, these opportunities can only be provided to "serious applicants," i.e., someone who pays to apply for the job.

The common thread among all of these work at home job offers is that they ask for money before providing you with a job. No legitimate company does this. The rule of thumb: if they ask for money or a credit card number, it's a scam.


Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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