Work at Home: Knowing Real Jobs And Scams

By: James DeSantis

You should know by now that a majority of Work at Home opportunities on the web are useless and some are outright scams that will take your money and give nothing back but broken promises. It is getting more and more difficult to spot the frauds. Here are some solid tips to help you know the difference.

Online advertising has skyrocketed over the past few years. In 2007 alone, companies spent close to $20 billion advertising online. That figure is expected to far greater each and every subsequent year because, frankly, crooks are getting more and more sophisticated in their scams. What does this mean for you?

There are legitimate companies worldwide. Some are searching for people to type up their ads and post them online, and they'll pay you nicely in return. There are other companies that require you to pay for the ads and get a piece of the sales. It can be win-win or lose-lose depending on whether you do some smart research first.

The scammers target the unemployed, disabled, elderly, single moms, just about any warm body they can hook.

Work from home job postings are everywhere. There are listings for data entry jobs, research positions, multi-level marketing opportunities, and a variety of other ways to make a lot of money fast. In fact, there are so many of them that work at home schemes are on the National Consumers League's list of Top 10 Frauds.

Companies may claim that these opportunities are supposedly so lucrative that fees must be charged to give you the listings, provide you information on getting started, or to set up your business. This may be true in rare cases. There are legit companies which do verify opportunities and charge for the service but, with some work on your part, you can find them yourself.

Follow these rules to protect yourself and find legit companies:

Rule #1 - Just Say "No"

Just say "No" to any company that wants you to pay to sign up for their program. Despite what the work-at-home ads and companies might promise you, legitimate employers pay you, not the other way around. There are legitimate sources for this kind of information that do require a fee because they list verified opportunities but these sites are few.

Rule #2 - Be Aware of Typical Work at Home Scams

When you see any of the following typical work at home scams don't waste time applying.

Does it Look "Too Good to Be True"?

Take a look at these sample work from home ads:

.... $1000 A Day From Home
.... Automated - No Sales
.... Cash Money Every Day
.... Get Paid Daily via ATM
.... Work from Home Part Time
.... Earn $10K or more a month

If you think about it logically, the chances of making money doing a minimal amount work simply aren't high - other than, perhaps, for the people making money scamming others. Think twice before you sign up to anything that sounds too good to be true - it likely is.

Rule #3 - Search the Internet for Company Information

Scammers are very creative about how they advertise their opportunities because they want you to think that the position is legitimate but there are places to check out work at home companies.

.... Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Enter the company name or the web site into the Better Business Bureau search box to find out whether there have been complaints and whether the company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau.

.... Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC provides information on legal action taken against companies.

.... Work at Home Scams has an excellent Bulletin Board that has information on work at home scams and registered users can post questions about scams. They also have a Multi Level Marketing and Pyramid Scams bulletin board.

.... Rule #4 - Look For and Read the Fine Print

All offers should have some fine print somewhere in the offering to explain the risk. This is usually listed as "Terms and Conditions." If a company you are looking at does not have wording explaining the risks and your rights, get away from them immediately.

.... Rule #5 - Look For the Money Back Guarantee

If you decide to sign up with a service that supplies legitimate work at home opportunities you want to be able to get your money back if you are not satisfied. Be sure that your credit card company has a fraud protection program whereby they will go after the company if your money is not refunded. Also, on the checkout page look for companies like Clickbank or PayPal. They are the top payment processors and will help you get your money back if needed.

.... Rule #6 - Be Smart By Being Suspicious

Curb your emotional need to make money fast. Use due diligence and check out every single opportunity that appeals to you.

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Jim DeSantis is an Internet Publisher and former TV News Director. Visit Jim's blog where you'll find information on verified work-at-home opportunities, here - - click "Legit Online Jobs" in the sidebar.

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