How to Avoid Work at Home Scams
Dream jobs typically include making millions of dollars while sipping a cold drink on a beach before getting into your private jet and heading to a private island. While there are ways to make passive income, you don’t just start off making millions of dollars by just working at home.
It might look like Bill Gates does nothing but earns millions, but don’t forget that he worked hard for years before he built up his empire. Nothing happens overnight.
Why am I telling you about Bill Gates?
Because I recently read an ad for a work at home job that promises $10,000 in your first month without leaving home. I knew that it was fake right off the bat, but then I saw the comments underneath of the post… “sign me up!” “PM me!” “can’t wait to start!”… people were buying into this lie!
I want to tell you about scams. More specifically work from home scams. They’re everywhere. They can range from the empty billionaire promises to the aggressive fake IRS calls saying that you need to work to pay off a debt.
Working from home, especially as a woman and mom, is the dream. And scammers know this. They know that moms just want to stay at home and still make the same money that they did at their job outside of the house.
They’ll do almost anything to convince you to sign up for their company. And for you, the results could range from unsolicited spam phone calls, to hacked bank accounts, to stolen identities.
The FTC estimated that only 1 in 55 advertised work from home jobs is real. There are some jobs that are typically predictable scams, but some others aren’t quite as easy to recognize.
You can find ways to work from home that are extremely lucrative! Coming from a blogger, it really is possible to make money from home. But I didn’t make $10,000 in my first month (and I’ll never tell you that you will!), and even a year after I started, I’m still working on breaking $2,000 a month.
I want to share with you how spot a phony job to avoid work from home scams.
They want you to pay for the job.
You should never pay for a service that claims you need to pay to be hired. If a company asks you to pay money for an application fee, training fee, processing fees, breathing oxygen fees, it’s not legit.
Think of a regular job application process. Did you need to pay to submit your application or get your training materials? Nope. So no work from home job should be asking you to pay for it either.
Not for a “data entry job” asking for $100 for access to their database of clients (which is empty, but you still paid $100). Never for someone offering you cash from Nigeria and all you have to do is send a few thousand bucks up front and they’ll wire you the rest of the hundred thousand dollars. You won’t need to pay for ANYTHING.
If you have to pay to get access to a job, it’s not legit.
Their site is full of errors or looks unprofessional
Check out their site for errors. If you get sent to a site to sign up for a job, and the site is full of spelling and grammar errors, be wary. Sure, some people confuse “your” and “you’re” and sometimes that gets past an editor even on the most reputable site. But if a sentence “lokz lik tis withot capitls or anee punctuashun” you’re likely looking at a scammer site.
Don’t enter any personal info on this site, and make sure that your computer’s antivirus software is up-to-date. There’s a good chance that you’ve found yourself on an information phishing site that will give your computer a virus before they try to take your cash.
They have a time limit on the job.
“I’m only offering this $1,000 to the first 100 applicants!” “Act fast! This job offer expires in 2 hours!” “Work from home jobs available today only!”
These are all red flags. Especially when you add in the sky-high promises (which we’ll get to in a minute), you’re looking as a scam.
No job will advertise the amount of time to apply to a job. Yes, there’s usually an amount of time before someone scoops up the job. But a reputable company will just take the job listing down, not put a countdown timer on it.
They’re asking for your social security number right away.
Don’t put your social security number anywhere. Do no, I repeat, do NOT give out your social security number!
Yes, for tax purposes you need to input your social security number. And that’s standard practice for many sites. If the only information they ask on the “application” is for your name, address, and social security number, you’re likely looking at a scam.
Legitimate companies will ask you many things before asking for a social security number. You won’t likely be asked for your social security number until you’ve been accepted for the job.
Be very careful about putting your social security number anywhere!
Google doesn’t like them (or even know them)…
If it’s a scam, a quick Google search will tell you other people’s experience right away. If you can’t find any information about the company at all, this is a red flag. Especially for a work from home company. Some mom-and-pop shops might not have a web presence, but a site that is asking you to work from your computer should have a website.
If they do have a site, check the reviews from other people. If everyone on the internet is saying that this company stole their money, or is a scam, or is not good, chances are good that you’ve found a scam.
…Neither does the Better Business Bureau.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) keeps track of businesses to try to keep both consumers and applicants safe from scams. If the Better Business Bureau doesn’t have the company listed at all, you’re likely looking at a scam.
Even if the BBB has the company listed, you should plan on checking out the other information that they have available. If there’s no information at all, be very careful. Usually, the BBB is very on top of companies. If there’s not a lot of information available to them, there’s not going to be a lot of information available to you either.
They’re promising too much.
“Be as rich as Bill Gates!” “Make $1,000 in your first week!” “Work 1 hour a week and make $10,000!” “Free Mercedes after your first month!” “Make $1,000 a day!” I’ve seen all of these promises when looking for work from home jobs.
When have you ever applied for an in-person job that advertised the job using these crazy statements? Never. Because it’s fake.
If you’re being promised riches beyond your wildest dreams for little-to-no work in a very short amount of time, you’re looking at a scam. It took Bill Gates years to get where he is now! He didn’t become world’s richest man the day after he decided to start Microsoft. The only way to wake up a millionaire is to win the lottery overnight (which, by the way, your odds are almost 200 MILLION to 1… just being real).
If a job is promising you millions overnight, you’re looking at a work from home scam.
You’ve got a bad feeling about it that you can’t shake.
Trust your gut. This is hands down the best way to avoid work from home scams. Does it make you uneasy? Or does it seem too good to be true? Does it feel “wrong” or off? Is there something that just doens’t feel right?
Chances are that your gut is right. It’s been proven time and time again that there’s something to be said for trusting your gut.
Have you ever fallen for a work from home scam? How did you find out it was a scam?