While some of the ads for work-from-home jobs are legitimate, many of them are scams. You should always research a potential employer carefully and look out for these red flags:
- Requests for payment. The number one sign of a work-from-home scam is that you are asked to pay money up-front – whether for certification, training materials, background and credit checks or a job recruiter fee.
- High salary for simple tasks or minimal experience. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Requests that you deposit payments to your account and then wire money on behalf of the company. This scenario is often used as a means of laundering stolen money. By carrying out this request you could be committing theft and wire fraud.
- Vague job description. Be suspicious of job listings that are vague or overly generic, never stating exactly who the company is, what they do and what the position entails.
Certain types of jobs are more commonly used by scammers. These include:
- Envelope Stuffing or Rebate Processing – You pay a small fee for this business opportunity and then learn that there is no work; instead, they want you to get others to buy the same work opportunity as you. You only earn money when they sign up.
- At-home craft or assembly work – The company says it will pay you for creating or assembling crafts. But first you have to pay a significant amount of money for supplies and equipment. After you complete and ship your work, the company tells you that the quality is not up to its standards and refuses to pay you.
- Medical or claims processing – In exchange for an investment of hundreds of dollars, you’re told you’ll get everything you need to launch your own medical billing business, including the software to process claims and a list of potential clients. But the lists are bogus or out-of-date and the software may not even work. Few people who make the investment are able to find clients or generate any income — let alone get their investment back.